March 16, 2016
Hokies hold annual Pro Day for NFL personnel
Dadi Nicolas and Ryan Malleck impressed, while Kendall Fuller and Luther Maddy did not work out because of injuries

By Jimmy Robertson

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech held its annual “Pro Day” on Wednesday, but two of the Hokies’ biggest attractions did not participate.

Kendall Fuller, who decided to forgo his final season at Tech and make himself available for the upcoming NFL Draft, stood on the sidelines and watched while most of the Hokies’ departing seniors worked out in front of NFL scouts. So, too, did Luther Maddy.

Both of them are rehabbing knee injuries. Fuller is still recovering from a right knee injury suffered last August that required surgery, while Maddy underwent surgery on his left knee for tendonitis.

“I feel really good,” Fuller said. “Rehab and training have been going well. I’m feeling good and moving around a lot. I still don’t have that strength and power back in my leg. Whenever I get that, I definitely want to do my own little pro day workout before the draft. I’m really just taking it day by day and going along as we go.”

Fuller underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee on Sept. 29. Following the season, he decided to go to Pensacola, Florida and train with EXOS, a training facility that features what it touts as the best in training, nutrition and physical therapy.

Some mock drafts project Fuller, a 6-foot, 196-pounder from Baltimore, Maryland, as a first-round pick, though most predict him going in the second round. Fuller said he hasn’t been keeping tabs on any of that stuff.

“The mindset I have is to focus on my training and things like that,” he said. “I try to control everything that I can control. I haven’t talked to them as much. The only thing I talk about with coaches and scouts is when I’m going to get healthy. I haven’t talked with them too much about draft status and stuff like that.”

Maddy also trained with EXOS. The former Tech defensive tackle from Delray Beach, Florida, went to the NFL Scouting Combine, where he recorded 29 reps in the bench press (225 pounds). Shortly after the Combine, he decided to take care of the issues in his knee.

“It’s been going well,” Maddy said. “I upped my rehab yesterday. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff and feeling pretty good. There is no pain in my knee right now. I’ve been talking to scouts and they like the way I play. Just trying to enjoy the process and make the most out of it.”

Maddy plans on working out for the scouts on April 19 in Blacksburg.

Scouts from all 32 NFL teams attended the event and worked out 15 Tech players and three former players (Tariq Edwards, Chase Williams and Caleb Farris). The scouts recorded heights and weights, measured hands, arms and wingspans, and tested the players in the 40-yard dash (two attempts for each player), vertical jump, broad jump, 20-yard shuttle, 60-yard shuttle, three-cone drill, and bench press (lifting 225 pounds as many times as possible). They also oversaw position-specific drills.

Dadi Nicolas received a lot of attention during the workout. Nicolas checked in at 239 pounds and ran a 4.75. He also recorded a 38-inch vertical.

Nicolas said most teams are looking at him as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

“It depends on the scheme,” he said. “Overall, most of the teams are looking at putting me at linebacker. To be honest, I’m looking forward to that. I’m looking forward to making that transition. I think I’m more than capable of doing it. Whatever it takes, though. If I need to put my hand in the dirt, I’ll do that, too. As of right now, I’ve got to let the process play out.”

Some notable performances came from tight end Ryan Malleck, who ran a 4.76 and recorded 21 reps on the bench press, and J.C. Coleman recorded the best 40 on the day with a 4.48. Also, Wade Hansen recorded 25 reps on the bench press and checked in at 306 pounds.

Here are some more quotes from Fuller, Maddy and Nicolas:



Why did you decide to attend the pro day even though you weren’t working out?

“The main thing is to support those guys and make sure they’re doing the best that they can do. I’m definitely frustrated because you want to be able to work out, but God has a plan and I’m waiting until I’m ready. I’m waiting to showcase that talent.”

How anxious are you for the draft?

“I can’t wait for it. I’m definitely enjoying the process. I’m excited for the next step. I’m looking forward to it and I’m going to keep grinding.”

What have your brothers told you about the draft process?

“Really just enjoy it. Talking to a lot of people, you’re trying to enjoy it, but at the same time, you can’t wait until it’s over. Really, I’m taking it slow and enjoying it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m trying to focus on doing that.”

When do you anticipate being back at full speed?

“We really didn’t set a timetable. We’re doing all the running and DB [defensive back] drills right now. I’m just waiting for that strength and power to come back. We don’t want to set a timetable because we don’t want to rush it. I’m just taking it day by day and waiting until I’m fully healthy.”

Do you plan on doing anything in front of the scouts before the NFL Draft?

“We plan on working out in front of the scouts before the draft. Nothing is set in stone. Nothing is 100 percent. We’re just taking it day by day.”


What was the issue with your knee?

“Just real bad chronic tendonitis in my left knee. It’s been going on for a while, and during training, I had to do something about it. I had to get a small procedure done. The recovery is two to three months, so I’ll be back fairly quickly before camp starts. I’ll hold my own pro day on April 19 when I’ll be able to show some stuff to the scouts and show them that I’m getting healthy.”

What sort of feedback have you been getting from NFL teams?

“That they know I’m a great player and they like the way I play – great accountability, great guy and they know I came from a great program. I learned a lot from Coach [Frank] Beamer, Coach [Bud] Foster and their staff. I’ve been portraying to the scouts and they find that very valuable. Not only am I a great player, but someone who can help out in your locker room a little bit. They love my effort and love my skillset. There’s been a lot of positivity.”

How was the Combine?

“It was great. I did some formal interviews and some informal interviews with some guys. That was great. I got 30 reps on the bench press. They took one of my reps and that I was kind of upset about that, but I was able to get 29 and weighed in at 287, so that was good. I’m just trying to enjoy the process. That was a couple of long days, but other than that, I met some new guys from around the country who went to some great schools. I talk to those guys a little bit just about their school’s background. I’m just having fun.”

Do you think about your draft status?

“I know I can play in the NFL. I know that deep down in my heart. Being that I had a couple of injuries, I know that’s going to scare some teams, so I’m going to be realistic and know that I may get drafted in the lower rounds. But I’m confident I can make a team, maybe play right away and help somebody’s team. That’s how I really feel, so my goal is to make somebody’s team and add a different dimension to the team and help as soon as possible.”

How anxious are you for this process to end?

“I’m anxious. I’m excited to get healthy. My knee is finally feeling better. I played with my knee like this last year, so imagine if I can get my knee healthy. I’ll be an even better player, so I’m excited about that aspect of it. I’m excited to get healthy and show these guys what I can do.”

Will you go back to Florida and train or do that here?

“I’ll be up here the whole time. My pro day will be here on April 19. I’m going to stick around here and rehab.”


How did you feel about your efforts today?

“Overall, I felt like I did great. I came out and competed. I came to try and improve my numbers and show that I could drop and make a good transition to linebacker. I feel good. I felt confident about the drills.”

Do teams view you as a defensive end or outside linebacker?

“It depends on the scheme. Overall, most of the teams are looking at putting me at linebacker. To be honest, I’m looking forward to that. I’m looking forward to making that transition. I think I’m more than capable of doing it. Whatever it takes, though. If I need to put my hand in the dirt, I’ll do that, too. As of right now, I’ve got to let the process play out.”

How has your training been going?

“Training has been going well. I’ve gotten the chance to improve on a whole lot of things. I’m more fluid in my drops, which I was able to display today. I had the confidence to come out here and compete with everybody.”

How is your weight?

“This is the most I’ve ever weighed. I’m 239.”

What feedback are you getting as to where you’ll be drafted?

“You’ve got the media and then you’ve got the coaches. I believe in what the coaches think. They’re the ones turning the film and are people that played football and have a lot of experience in football, people that have coached football and can see the potential. Overall, I’m real confident with my film. I can’t wait to be a professional. I want to improve and get better.”

Are you anxious about the draft?

“Of course. That’s part of the process – just being anxious and not knowing what’s going to happen and not know where you’re going to go. I’m excited and grateful. I feel blessed.”

How many teams have you talked to during this process?

“I was at the Combine and at the Senior Bowl and got the chance to meet mostly every team. I got into a lot of formal meetings, which are the big ones where you’ll meet with a lot of coaching staffs and you’ll sit down and watch film with them. I’ve talked to probably eight or nine teams seriously.”

How did you perform at the NFL Scouting Combine?

“Gaining weight played a factor on my speed because I was expecting to run a whole lot better, but I’ve been consistent with what I’ve been running. I guess it is what it is. At the Combine, I ran a 4.74. I think I improved that a little bit. I heard a 4.65 [today]. Hopefully that’s what everyone got [on their stopwatches].”

Were you surprised at your vertical jump at the Combine?

“No, I jumped 40 there. I broke the record here. I was at 41.5, but I was a little lighter then.”

How do you feel physically?

“I feel explosive and powerful. I feel stronger. I’m looking forward to seeing what that gets me on the other side.”


40-yard Dash
J.C. Coleman RB 4.48
Donovan Riley S 4.57
Demitri Knowles WR 4.59
Dadi Nicolas DE/OB 4.7
Ronny Vandyke LB 4.7
Best time out of two runs

Vertical Jump
Darius Redman OL 28"
Wade Hansen OL 29.5"
Donovan Riley S 32.5"
Michael Brainard WR 32"
Corey Marshall DT 32"

Broad Jump
Deon Clark LB 34.5"
Demitri Knowles WR 35"
Dadi Nicolas DE/OB 38"
Darius Redman OL 28"
Corey Marshall DT 32"

20-Yard Shuttle
J.C. Coleman RB 4.23
Michael Brainard WR 4.39
A.J. Hughes P 4.39
Donovan Riley S 4.42
Deon Clark LB 4.57

60-Yard Shuttle
J.C. Coleman RB 11.41
Ryan Malleck TE 11.46
Michael Brainard WR 11.52
Demitri Knowles WR 11.68
Ronny Vandyke LB 11.69

J.C. Coleman RB 7.02
Ronny Vandyke LB 7.27
Michael Brainard WR 7.32
Donovan Riley S 7.39
Deon Clark LB 7.44

Bench Press
Wade Hansen OL 25
Darius Redman OL 23
Ryan Malleck TE 21
J.C. Coleman RB 19
Donovan Riley S 19

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