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NAU Pro Day

Northern Arizona's Elijah Marks finishes his 40-yard dash in front of scouts from NFL teams during Tuesday's pro day at the south recreation fields.

With nearly all of the NFL represented and a few CFL teams attending as well, Northern Arizona hosted its pro day with receiver Elijah Marks on display for scouts from all around football.

An All-Big Sky First Team and Associated Press All-American Second Team receiver, Marks finished his senior season with a career-high 1,170 yards and 71 catches. Ranking eighth in total yards, fourth in yards per game and seventh in receptions per game, Marks put together one of the best receiving seasons in Northern Arizona history.

On Tuesday, Marks recorded a 36.5-inch vertical jump inside the Walkup Skydome gym before moving to the south recreation fields. Running on turf with hand timing by the host of scouts, Marks clocked a 4.55 40-yard dash, a 4.25 20-yard shuttle and a 11.53 60-yard shuttle.

“This is always a big day that a lot of people put a lot of time into, but a lot of it comes back to what is on film,” said Lumberjacks offensive coordinator Aaron Pflugrad. “I think Elijah showed today that with his 40, his agility, his vert and his broad that he is an NFL receiver, and now it is just someone giving him an opportunity.”

Officially listed at 5-11.5 and 184 pounds, many of Marks’ agility times would have ranked inside the top 15 at the NFL Combine earlier this month. While Marks’ 40 time likely could have been faster and he struggled on the bench press, Pflugrad said many of the scouts grew familiar with the receiver during his senior season.

“I think they do their due diligence; we had an NFL scout at almost every practice this fall. They know him and know what he is about,” Pflugrad said. “A lot of it comes back to what you put on film, and Elijah has had great production but also hasn't scratched the surface of his potential.”

Also participating in pro day as he looks to restart his football career, former Northern Arizona guard Eric Rodriguez put up a pair of numbers in the gym that stood out while also running a solid three-cone time for an offensive lineman.

Benching 28 reps and jumping 29.5 in the vertical. Rodriguez’s marks would have ranked in a tie for sixth and a tie for ninth respectively at the combine. Measuring in at 6-2 and 293 pounds, the former All-Big Sky guard also came up with a 7.36 in the three-cone, a number that would have ranked near the top of the combine even after factoring in the difference between hand and electronic timing.

Also going through the whole run of workouts, Byron Evans and Clarence Smith put together solid performances. Evans hit 35.5 inches in the vertical jump and 9-11 in the broad jump, both inside the top 12 of combine participants at linebacker. Smith ran a 4.65 40-yard dash, ranking well as a defensive end or an edge rusher.


Sports Reporter

Cody Bashore serves as the beat writer for Northern Arizona University basketball and football in addition to covering high school sports around Flagstaff for the Arizona Daily Sun.

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