FIU football will hold its NFL Pro Day on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at FIU Stadium but the event is closed to the public and the media. However, you can follow along on Twitter: @PetePelegrin.
A number of former Panthers will audition for NFL scouts. Last year all 32 NFL teams turned out to watch T.Y. Hilton, who would be taken in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Former FIU basketball player Nick Taylor also stood out at last year's Pro Day earning him a free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings.
A similar turnout from all 32 NFL teams is expected on Thursday to watch several Panthers including Johnathan Cyprien, Tourek Williams and Caylin Hauptmann. Also on Thursday, a former Panther will be trying a comeback into football.
Offensive lineman Andy Leavine, who played at FIU from 2006-09, is going to give pro football another try. After attending training camp with the Miami Dolphins in 2010 and later the Tampa Bay Storm, Leavine will workout for NFL scouts on Thursday.
"I've never stopped training since my football playing days," Leavine said. "I'm a competitor and if I have to switch to the defensive line or start out playing in Canada or the arena league then that's what I'll do."
Leavine, who last played on the defensive line at Springstead High in Brooksville, Fla., has been in Puerto Rico the last nine months wrestling in the WWC, a developmental league. Leavine is currently weighing between 310 and 315 pounds and says he is in the best shape of his life. During the past few months, Leavine has been training for drills he will encounter Thursday such as the broad jump. He recently bench pressed 225 pounds 43 times.
"I've got nothing to lose in trying to get back into football," Leavine said. "I read the Nick Taylor article last year on the FIU Sports website and I said what the heck. Why not go for it. I'm bigger, stronger and faster than I've ever been."