EVANSTON, Ill. -- Kain Colter wore a neon yellow and blue jacket given to NFL combine participants and black Northwestern sweatpants, an outfit pointing to both his future and his past.
Colter's much-publicized push to unionize Northwestern football players has coincided with his preparation for the NFL draft. Two weeks after testifying at a National Labor Relations Board hearing and making some pointed comments about his experience at Northwestern, which he equates to a full-time job, Colter returned to Trienens Hall, the facility where he had spent much of the past four years.
The former Wildcats quarterback didn't participate in the team's annual pro day as he recovers from recent ankle surgery (Northwestern has scheduled a pro day specifically for Colter on April 16). Colter came to support five teammates going through workouts. He chatted with several scouts -- 31 NFL teams were represented Tuesday -- but declined to speak with reporters.
Colter exchanged greetings with several support staffers but didn't have much interaction with the coaching staff. He stuck with the group of participating teammates as they went from field drills to the weight room, where he cheered on players such as wide receiver Rashad Lawrence and defensive end Tyler Scott while Scott went through the bench-press station.
"That's my guy from Day 1, since we came in as freshmen," Lawrence said. "We've been like brothers since. ... I haven't seen him in a while, been texting with him, but definitely good to see my guy."
Lawrence supports Colter and the movement for players to have a greater voice in key issues.
"I think he's doing it with good intentions," Lawrence said.
Scott wasn't sure if Colter would turn up Tuesday but was glad to see him.
"He was supporting us all the way," Scott said. "Can't wait to see what he does on his day. I'm sure most of us will come back to support him."
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald also looks forward to Colter's workout. Colter is aiming to play wide receiver in the NFL.
"He's an incredibly versatile athlete, a very bright guy that played multiple positions here for us," Fitzgerald said. "[He] didn't play a lot of wide receiver, except for in game or literally running the routes. There's a great upside once he focuses in on that."