The road from Division III college football to the NFL is a long one, but it's a trek Bridgewater wide receiver Tyler Beiler is hoping to make.
Beiler, the ODAC offensive player of the year and a Division III All-American in 2010, was among the six players to work out for scouts from five NFL teams Wednesday at James Madison.
The other five players were all from JMU: offensive linemen Theo Sherman and Brandon Monroe, running back Jamal Sullivan, wide receiver Marcus Turner, and defensive lineman Ronnell Brown.
The Browns, Ravens, Raiders, Buccaneers and Falcons had scouts on hand Wednesday.
"I barely could get any sleep, but I knew I had to get into bed, and get into bed early," said Sherman, a second-team all-CAA selection last season. "But when you come up to a day that you've been practicing for all your life, and you want it so much, it's hard to sleep."
"It's judgment day," said Beiler, who led the country in all-purpose yards per game as a senior.
"I've been working hard. The last three months I've been putting all my time and energy into this day right here," he said. "Just to get my name out there more, create a little buzz."
Beiler succeeded in creating a buzz, at least inside the weight room at the Plecker Athletic Performance Center, with a 40.5-inch vertical jump, the best of the day.
Beiler also did 15 reps on the 225-pound bench press, and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds, a time matched by Turner as the day's best.
Brown's 30 reps on the bench press were tops for the day, and Sullivan also had a strong performance, with a 37-inch vertical jump, 11-foot, 3.5-inch broad jump, 20 reps on the bench press, and a 4.46-second 40.
Adding motivation for the JMU players working out was the presence of three former teammates, coming off their rookie seasons in the NFL: linebacker Arthur Moats and tight end Mike Caussin of the Bills, and Steelers offensive lineman Dorian Brooks.
Last April, Moats and kick returner Scotty McGee (Jaguars) became the first JMU players taken in the NFL Draft since 2000.
"It feels good to see our teammates in the league," said Sherman. "And we just want to get in the league, and be up there with them."