The NFL season never truly ends. After the final gun sounds at the Super Bowl, talk begins about the upcoming free agency period and the draft. Since coverage of the draft and the preceding NFL Scouting Combine has become so intense, media now are descending on college "Pro Days" where players can work out for scouts at the practice facilities where they had spent so much time during the previous three or four years.
So it's no surprise at this time of year to read about the Ohio State, Michigan or USC Pro Days, where future millionaire running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers run through drills for drooling NFL scouts and coaches.
But I was really surprised to read today that IU had a Pro Day yesterday in Bloomington. Coverage from the IDS is here. The football program may have scheduled them in the past, but I don't remember them. It seems the day was mostly about receiver James Hardy, who has been mentioned as a first-round pick, but for other graduating players it was a nice opportunity to maybe get on some teams' draft boards for the later rounds.
Does this mean IU football is turning a corner toward long-term respectability? I'm not sure yet. I would like to see some sustained excellence first.