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Monday, March 12, 2012
Pats take closer look at UMass talent

By Mike Reiss

The Patriots were one of four NFL teams represented with scouts at the University of Massachusetts Pro Day today in Amherst.

New England scouting assistant Ronnie McGill was on hand, along with scouts from the New York Jets (Scott Cohen), Atlanta Falcons (Robinson Payne) and Pittsburgh Steelers (Dave Petett).

"Everything went smoothly. The scouts were awesome, working out every guy individually, and it was spirited. Guys were getting after each other," said UMass assistant Allen Suber, who serves as UMass' pro liaison.

Suber described conditions as ideal, as it was a beautiful day in New England. There wasn't much wind, so the 40 times weren't affected.

Receiver Jesse Julmiste had the fastest 40 time of the players working out, clocking 4.47, according to Suber, while offensive lineman Josh Samuda had more than 30 reps on the bench press and receiver Julian Talley had the top time in the 3-cone drill.

The success of former UMass receiver Victor Cruz with the New York Giants has garnered more attention for the Minuteman football program of late. In addition to Cruz, James Ihedigbo (Patriots), Vladimir Ducasse (Jets), Jeromy Miles (Bengals) and Jeremy Horne (Chiefs) are UMass alums playing in the NFL.

This year's top prospect at UMass is tight end Emil Igwenagu of Boylston, Mass., who attended the NFL combine last month. He is viewed by analysts as a possible mid-round draft choice.

When it comes to New England college football and Pro Days, Boston College is scheduled to hold its day on March 21.