NFL prospect Blake Cashman has been living what some people might consider a nightmare for the past several months.
One long, never-ending job interview.
“Everyone’s evaluating constantly, and you’ve got a lot of eyes on you,” the former Gophers linebacker said. “… You’ve got to continue to impress people. At the end of the day, you’ve got to get a team to like you. And, hopefully, you land on a roster.”
Cashman — along with former Gophers offensive lineman Donnell Greene, kicker Emmit Carpenter, defensive lineman Gary Moore, linebacker Julian Huff and defensive back Jacob Huff — participated in the Gophers pro day Wednesday at the Athletes Village. For Cashman, it was just another examination after a series of tests from the NFL combine, to phone and FaceTime interviews, to team workouts.
With the draft April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn., Cashman hopes the stress is worth it.
“You’re anxious as well because you have no idea what team you’re going to be on or where you’re going to be going or living,” Cashman said. “So it’s a lot of factors that you’re thinking about.”
The Eden Prairie native created a lot of buzz at the combine, ranking in the top seven of linebackers for his broad jump (124 inches), 40-yard dash (4.50 seconds), 20-yard shuttle (4.12 seconds), vertical jump (37.5 inches) and three-cone drill (6.95 seconds). That strong performance prompted him to participate only in the positional drills at pro day, where at least 26 NFL teams had scouts.
“I just try to ignore, really, all the hype you see out there on social media,” Cashman said. “But as I get closer, I definitely have been getting really excited. I have a lot of confidence in myself.”
Greene, the Gophers’ other NFL combine participant, made like Cashman and also took part only in position drills while still in recovery from a knee injury.
Greene said he injured the knee in the Northwestern game on Nov. 17 but played through it before opting out of the bowl game for surgery.
“I’ve played through injuries. It’s tough,” Greene said. “Even being a Gopher, playing through pain, I stuck it out a lot of the times.
“But for the bowl game, I had to make a decision that was best for me and my body at that point.”
Greene said he felt “pretty good” at pro day despite still being three to four weeks away from 100 percent health, which pretty much coincides with the draft.
In the midst of pro day, the Gophers garnered two more commitments. Athan and Dino Kaliakmanis out of Antioch (Ill.) Community High School shared their news on Twitter.
Athan Kaliakmanis is a 6-4, 190-pound quarterback. Dino Kaliakmanis is a 6-2, 188-pound athlete or wide receiver.
The twin brothers, who are not yet rated in the 247Sports star rankings, bring the 2021 class to three members.