Rochester NFL hopefuls impress scouts, virtually, at pro day

NFL Draft

Four Rochester athletes put their best foot forward as they try to make the NFL

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC) — For NFL hopefuls coming from smaller schools, a quality pro day is essential to showcase your physical talents. While many pro days were cancelled, a Rochester pro day was held today to give local athletes a chance to prove they have what it takes to make it to the NFL.

The event was closed to the public, social distancing measures were in place, and while there were no scouts in attendance, there were hundreds of people watching the live stream throughout the day. The live stream ended with over 14,000 total views.

“I’m very fortunate,” says Aquinas alum and University of Maine wide receiver Earnest Edwards. “I just keep telling Bruce [Johnson] and [Quentin Gause] who put this together, just keep telling them thank you because who knows what would have happened if it wasn’t for them, what we would have been doing.”

“Everybody came out here and they showed out,” says Johnson, a former NFL player who first had the idea for the pro day. “It was a great day for everybody, all the way from the start, the stretch. Everybody was focused up. I think we came out here and we really did what we had to do.”

Jared Gerbino, a Rush-Henrietta alum, had played quarterback at Dartmouth but is making the switch to tight end to try and make it to the NFL. Today’s pro day was invaluable to show scouts that he had picked up his new position.

“Since I didn’t have any film at all, I had some receiving film from my sophomore year and what not but not enough for scouts to be able to watch, so I’m glad that I was able to run some routes,” says Gerbino. “I felt really good on them.”

“It’s been difficult given the situation, getting in with teams, showcasing my abilities so this is huge there to show off my long-snapping and my tight end skills,” says Webster Thomas grad Alex Hutchings, who walked-on to Rutgers as a long-snapper before going to DII Gannon and playing tight end.

Edwards impressed the most, running a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash, which would have been the 7th-fastest time among the 46 wide receivers at this year’s combine.

“I’m very confident in myself, honestly,” says Edwards. “I don’t care if I don’t get drafted. I’m not trying to get my hopes up… all I want is the opportunity to play football. 

“It feels amazing because finally all the training that I’ve been doing for the past three months, I came to prove it on the field and showcase it and I’m just grateful and happy, honestly, thank God,” says Jojo Guase, a Bishop Kearney alum who finished up a prolific career as a wide receiver for DII Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Johnson says that things went so smoothly today that they’re considering holding a Rochester pro day every year.

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