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Eagle standouts show off their skills for NFL scouts
W 031513 GSU PRO DAY 01
Former Georgia Southern defensive tackle Brent Russell works out for a host of stopwatch-armed National Football League scouts during Friday's Pro Day workouts at Paulson Stadium. Russell and several graduating players got a chance to get measured and perform drills to catch the eyes of NFL scouts before April's annual player draft.

   Paulson Stadium routinely hosts some of the best college football in the nation, but all thoughts were on the professional ranks Friday morning as Georgia Southern hosted its pro day.
    Departing Eagle standouts such as Darius Eubanks, Brent Russell, J.J. Wilcox and John Stevenson put their talents on display, running through various drills and exercises. With so many potential NFL prospects coming out of Georgia Southern this season, 20 different teams — easily the largest ever turnout for a GSU pro day — sent scouts to observe the talent.
    “NFL teams are attracted to teams that win,” Wilcox said. “That’s what we do here at Georgia Southern. I’m proud to have been a part of this program, and now it’s a dream come true to be out here in front of NFL scouts.”
    Wilcox has been all over the radar of many pro teams after a solid showing at the official NFL combine held last month in Indianapolis.
    “Today, I just wanted to show everyone that I’m still working hard,” Wilcox said. “I just want to shape up. Overall, I’ve heard some good news, so that’s exciting.”
    There have been whispers about a future in the NFL for Brent Russell since he first started terrorizing opposing offensive lines in his freshman year.
    Russell spent the morning knocking around tackling dummies and displayed quick feet and great agility for a 300-pounder. An even bigger testament to his athleticism and overall football I.Q. is that in addition to his normal role as a defensive tackle, a few teams have asked him if he would be up for playing center.
    Russell stepped in on an injury-depleted offensive line during a few GSU practices last season and is eager to do whatever is asked of him to find his way onto a professional roster.
    “I’m just trying to show teams my work ethic,” Russell said. “I’m not the biggest guy out there, but I think that some teams like me and like what they’ve seen.”
    Though his 6-foot-2 height isn’t much compared to the towering lineman in the NFL, Russell’s 36 completed reps in the 225-pound bench press are just as good as any NFL hopeful.
    While Russell was putting up the weight, Eubanks was burning up the sidelines. Eubanks ran unofficial 40 times of 4.48 and 4.50 and didn’t drop a pass that was thrown his way throughout the entire workout.
    “(Not dropping a ball) was a goal of mine,” Eubanks said. “Overall, it was just a really exciting day. This is something you dream about when you’re a little kid, but this is hopefully just a stepping stone to the next level.”
    At 6-foot-1 and 218 pounds, Eubanks fits perfectly into the mold for an NFL defensive back.
    The departing Eagles will be on edge as they listen for their names to be called when the NFL holds its draft April 25-27 in New York City.

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.