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University aims to increase enrollment over time

March 19, 1997

NFL scouts recruit University players

By Kevin Allen

Lariat Sports Reporter

Several University football players took advantage of another chance to showcase their talents Tuesday at Floyd Casey Stadium. Representatives from 14 NFL teams were on hand to scout players who have the potential to be selected in the NFL Draft on April 19.

This was the second workout at the University this semester. Several players said they felt better about this second workout because they knew what to expect.

'It was more relaxed this time,' said Pearce Pegross, a wide receiver and a Port Arthur junior. 'I think everyone had a good workout.'

Among the potential draftees is George McCullough (5'10', 188), a Galveston defensive back. McCullough was selected to the second team All-Big 12 last season, and he is considered one of the top 10 cornerbacks in the draft. ESPN's draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. listed him as a player to watch in the draft earlier this spring.

'I didn't do anything spectacular today,' McCullough said after Tuesday's workout. 'But I didn't hurt myself, either.'

Pro scouts have had several opportunities to see McCullough in action this year. He played in the Senior Bowl in January and also worked out at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Three other players, including Pegross, Donnie Embra and Ty Attebury, also participated in the combine.

Pegross, who led the Bears with a 19.0 yard-per-catch average, chose to forgo his senior season to make himself eligible for the draft. Pegross had 25 catches for 474 yards last season and will be among tough competition in the draft. Pegross admitted that he did not have the numbers to compete with the top receivers, such as Florida's Ike Hilliard and Riedell Anthony.

'The workouts give me the chance to show what I can do when I get the ball,' Pegross said. Kalief Muhammad, who was a triple-threat for the Bears running, receiving and returning kicks, worked out as well Tuesday.

Muhammad led the Bears last season with 39 catches for 479 yards. He is undersized for an NFL receiver, but many teams have looked at him as a third-down back. Wherever he goes, he will certainly compete as a return specialist.

Several University players who will not be in the draft also worked out for the scouts. Robert Mason, a junior linebacker who was named to the 1996 Scholar-Athlete team, gave the scouts an early look for next year. Steve Strahan also worked out for the scouts. He was drafted two years ago but is not currently on an NFL team.

Muhammad and teammate Embra were excited about their workout and said they look forward to the draft in April and beyond.'It's a really great experience,' Embra said.

Muhammad said, 'At first, I just wanted to get drafted. Our goal now is to make the team.'

The scouts seemed equally excited about the talent shown Tuesday.

'As always, there are good athletes here who are also good football players,' said one NFL scout. He could not comment on when the Baylor players would likely get selected.

Even though none of the players have been heralded as Darryl Gardener was last year, the Baylor players have kept a positive outlook toward the draft.

'It doesn't matter if 29 teams dislike you,' said Muhammad. 'It only takes one to draft you.'

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