During his senior year, Deon Butler set a school record at Penn State with
179 career receptions. Now he's ready to start catching passes from NFL
quarterbacks after relaxing a bit while watching this weekend's NFL Draft.
"It's an enjoyable time because you get some time with family and
friends," he told Scout.com. "I've been working out, staying in
shape and now it's time to relax and wait and see how your life changes."
At Penn State's Pro Day, a coach from the Carolina Panthers ran the wide
receiver drills. And the 5-foot-11, 182-pound receiver was more than ready for
what he'd be asked to do.
"Through my agency, I worked with Ricky Proehl. He had spent some of his
later years with the Panthers, so he knows how they teach route-running there.
So when the Panthers wide receivers coach was teaching us how he wanted us to
run routes the way they do in Carolina, I had a head start on it."
One of the teams that took a close-up look at Butler's talent as a wide
receiver was the Philadelphia Eagles, who sent a coach to the school to work him
out along with teammates Derrick Williams and Jordan Norwood.
"The funny part was that it was snowing that morning and there was
something going on where we weren't able to use our indoor facilities. So we had
to go out to an intramural field at nine o'clock in the morning and worked out
in the snow," he said with a laugh. "The day before, it had been
beautiful. So we were out there running routes and catching passes in the
freezing cold and the snow."
One of the most recent teams to show interest in Butler was the Cleveland Browns, who invited him for an official team visit.
The Nittany Lion's stock has been rising during the pre-draft season. A key
advantage for Butler is that he was a walk-on at Penn State as a defensive back
during his redshirt freshman season before switching to wide receiver as a
sophomore, so he understands defensive schemes and what an opponent will attempt
to do in various situations against a wide receiver.
Wisconsin offensive guard Andy Kemp is proud of the fact that he was a
three-year starter for the Badgers, but he's just as proud of one of his
Doug Benc/Getty Images
"Getting an education. You're an athlete, but most importantly, you're a
student-athlete," he said.
While he had the opportunity to meet Packers General Manager Ted Thompson
during the school's Pro Day, it was an NFC North rival of Green Bay who invested
time in sending a coach to the school to conduct a private workout with Kemp and
fellow offensive lineman Kraig Urbik.
"The Vikings are big running team and Coach (Jim) Huber was my offensive
line coach at Wisconsin my first year," Kemp said. "It would be a
great honor to play for a team like that, but it would also be a great honor to
get picked up by any NFL team, having that opportunity to play for them and
helping the team win."
The Philadelphia Eagles also worked out the 6-foot-5, 313-pound lineman. And
offensive coaches from the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers were
in attendance at his school's Pro Day.
Kemp is a well-grounded player who coaches and fans will appreciate for his
outlook and work ethic that he displays every day.
"I'm a blue-collar kind of guy, not real fancy," he said. "I'm
a tough guy who loves being in the trenches, and the run game is definitely one
of my strong points. I'm the kind of guy who likes to lock-on the chin strap
every day whether it's for practice or for a game, leaving everything out on the
"I go out and do my job to the best my ability, try to get better every
day at practice, and try to learn from every game. I work on the little things
that matter in the long run."
As you would expect, Kemp's not going to be getting too caught up in the
hoopla of NFL Draft Weekend with a huge, wild party.
"I'll be at Mom and Dad's house. We've got some family and friends
coming in, and we'll have some food and fun," he said.
Wisconsin teammate DeAndre Levy says that the pre-draft experience has been
both exciting and a bit surreal.
"It took a lot patience. I had a couple of setbacks, so it felt good
when I finally was able to do my individual workout," he said.
At the NFL Combine, the 6-foot-2, 236-pound linebacker pulled his hamstring
during the broad jump, and then tweaked it again about a week before his
school's Pro Day while pushing himself to recover in time for the big event. As
a result, he held a personal Pro Day when he was fully recovered. Eight NFL
teams made the trip just to watch him perform, including representatives from
the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers,
Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, according to Levy.
At the Combine, he had formal interviews with a number of teams that included
the Steelers, Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, and the
Detroit Lions. His first interview was with Detroit.
"That was a good icebreaker," he said. "It was probably the
most relaxed bunch, they've got a lot of new guys, so it really helped me
prepare for the rest of my interviews."
As the team's strongside linebacker, Levy showed good balance and talent in
defending both the pass and the run. And he was a noticeable contributor on
special teams during his career at Wisconsin, a skill that will help him
contribute as a rookie in the NFL.
"I like working against teams that like to run the ball a lot, you get
to go downhill and be physical with the fullback or the lineman that's in front
of you," he said. "I've been working on my hand work the last couple
of years to keep improving how I shed blocks, and I think that helped me a lot
"In pass coverage, I try to anticipate where the ball is going and
strive to be in the right place at the right time. I anticipate a lot of the
routes and get underneath to help the DBs out."
While talking with NFL team representatives, Levy wanted to be sure that they
focused on who he was as a football player and the results he's achieved on the
"I know a lot of guys who are good athletes, but I think being a
football player is a little more important," he said. "I can do the
small things that can make a difference, and I'm willing to learn. I take
criticism well, and I'm a guy you can depend on day-in and day-out whether it's
in the weight room, on the field or off the field."
Levy led the team with five sacks and 9.5 tackles for a loss during his
senior year. He made 210 tackles and forced six fumbles during his college
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