SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

April 22, 2010

FEELING THE DRAFT

Salem's Harrington may get the call from NFL team

(Continued)

The Pro Day results were particularly relevant for Harrington because it happened so recently. Performing for scouts from various teams, Harrington ran the 40-yard dash in 4.87 seconds with the wind and 4.96 seconds against the wind. He also displayed a 26-inch vertical, an 8-4 broad jump and did 43 bench press reps. There were several other drills and while it all sounds technical and perhaps even tedious to the average fan, pro teams take this stuff very seriously.

"I felt pretty comfortable out there," Harrington said of Pro Day. "At one point, the (Philadelphia) Eagles scout took me aside and had me do some drills. He went out of his way to have me do that stuff for him. I thought, 'This is a good thing.'"

A nose tackle at UMass, Harrington got an inkling that he might be NFL draft material when the team's defensive coaches told him in a postseason meeting that he might have the talent to take it to the next level.

Harrington, who graduated with a degree in criminal justice last winter, took his cues from there. He came home and, along with UMass teammate Eric Dickson, became a regular at Mike Boyle's Strength and Conditioning facility in Winchester. NFL players Zak DeOssie (New York Giants), Gosder Cherilus (a Detroit Lions first round choice two years ago) and Nick Hennessey of Danvers (Buffalo Bills) have capitalized on specific programs that have been set up at Boyle's, so the precedent was set for hopefuls like Harrington and Dickson.

Kyle Holland, a strength and conditioning coach at Boyle's Winchester facility, is accustomed to seeing motivated athletes, but Harrington and Dickson took it a step further. They were fanatical about their workouts in anticipation of Pro Day and even after that day passed, they were still showing up. The owners might as well just tell them to bring in sandwiches for the staff since they're there so often..

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