DeKALB – In his final two years as quarterback of the Northern Illinois football team, Drew Hare's season ended with an injury.
With the NFL Draft less than seven weeks away, Hare acknowledged that his stock may have taken a hit because of the injuries.
"For sure, it effects it," Hare said. "Guys are going to invest millions of dollars into these people and they think they're getting somebody who's injury prone and that's not who I am. I had two freak injuries that were totally unrelated. It could have happened to anybody."
Hare was one of 14 former Huskies to participate in Northern Illinois' Pro Day in front of 18 NFL scouts on Friday morning at the Chessick Center. The 6-foot-1, 211-pound quarterback said he's fully recovered from his knee injury – he said he was healthy around Christmas – and threw to receivers Kenny Golladay and Aregeros Turner and running back Joel Bouagnon during the workout.
Hare suffered his knee injury in the second game of 2016 and missed the rest of the season. That came a year after a ruptured Achilles ended his junior campaign and missed the final five games of the 2015 season. A business management major, Hare said he wants to play football somewhere as he doesn't want the last football memory being the back-to-back season-ending injuries.
"Right now, I'm focused on making an NFL team," said Hare, who threw passes while wearing a backwards hat. "Obviously I have backup plans if that doesn't work out, like the CFL. I'd do that. I'd go international. Whatever. I want to play football as long as I can."
While Hare said that he's open to any sort of football opportunity, offensive lineman Levon Myers has set himself up with a strong backup plan. Although the two-time second team all-Mid-American Conference lineman has garnered attention from teams around the league, he said that if he doesn't get hooked up with an NFL team, he likely plans to use his marketing degree to get into advertising.
"I feel like I'm in a good spot where I know what I want to do," Myers said. "It takes a lot off my shoulders, knowing if it doesn't work out, I'm still going to be all right and I have faith that God has a plan for me that whatever happens, I'm going to be okay."
The 6-foot-5, 309-pound Myers finished with 24 reps on the 225-pound bench press on Friday, saying he was happy about his performance and that he didn't help or hurt his draft stock on the day.
While Golladay only ran routes on Friday – he tested his measurables at the NFL Combine last week in Indianapolis – he showed off a trait that many Huskie fans have seen before. He hauled in a one-handed catch on the sideline, which brought plenty of cheers from those inside the Chessick Center.
"Coming from the combine and then coming back here to my stomping grounds, it was a lot more calm, cool and collected," said Golladay, who is garnering plenty of attention leading up to the draft. "At the combine, it's stressful. You have those long nights and early mornings.
"It's a buzz right now and I just have to embrace it. I'm taking it all in. It's fun."
Turner, who finished with a 4.57 40-yard dash, said he keeps in regular contact with former Huskie wide receiver Tommylee Lewis, who was also on hand on Friday. Lewis went undrafted last season before being picked up by the Saints and finishing the year with seven catches for 76 yards.
For Turner, the 2015 MAC Special Teams Player of the Year, his versatility may be one of the biggest attributes heading into the NFL Draft.
"It's not about what I think, it's where they want me," Turner laughed. "If they want me to play tackle, I'll go play tackle. I can do a lot of stuff. I can catch punts, catch kicks, play wide receiver, play running back. Wherever they need me, I'm willing to play."