CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Tackle Anthony Castonzo and linebacker Mark Herzlich took center stage Wednesday at Boston College's pro day, which was also dominated by the presence of the New England Patriots.
Castonzo, a near-certain first-round draft pick, spent about an hour under the tutelage of Pats offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, who commanded a group of about a half-dozen offensive linemen. Scarnecchia gave a lengthy pep talk and guided drills while almost everyone else in attendance gathered around to watch.
"The coaches kind of let us know it would be pretty intense for a short amount of time," Castonzo said. "We just wanted to get through everything and do it all."
The Patriots had four representatives in attendance — Scarnecchia, director of college scouting Jon Robinson, assistant director of college scouting Brian Smith and Bill Belichick's right-hand man, Berj Najarian — at least two more than any of the other 16 teams in attendance. Two of the Patriots' greatest rivals — the Jets and Colts — were present, along with the Super Bowl champion Packers.
Herzlich's draft stock is uncertain, but the 2008 ACC Defensive Player of the Year has been happy with his progress since overcoming cancer a year ago. He was medically cleared by all 32 NFL teams at the combine, and he thought he worked out well Wednesday at Alumni Stadium.
"There were no nerves.I wasn't coming in shaking, jittery. I was just doing my thing, and I think it helped me," Herzlich said. "I was excited."
Thirty-nine players from 17 programs participated in BC's pro day. Boston College had the most with nine, while UMass (five), Harvard (five), Holy Cross (four), Assumption (three), American International (two), Bentley, Curry, Fitchburg State, Framingham State, Marist, Merrimack, New Hampshire, Stonehill, Union, Vanderbilt and Worcester State (one each) were also present.
The combine-style event lasted about two hours.
"At first, it's a little nerve-wracking because you're like, 'Oh, man, I'm under a microscope, and everybody is watching every little move I make,'" Boston College offensive lineman Thomas Claiborne said. "But after awhile, you get a little used to it. It's no more than when you're out training and doing your field drills and stuff. You've just got a few more eyes on you."
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