Two DWU players work out for NFL scout
Dakota Wesleyan University football players Jon Bane and Anthony Muilenburg worked out in front of a professional scout Tuesday afternoon.
Before taking the field on a chilly afternoon for spring practice, the Tigers' quarterback-wide receiver duo met with the Dallas Cowboys' Justin Stucky, who's the team's scout in the Midwest.
"I've always dreamed of going on playing football," said Muilenburg, who will be a senior wide receiver for the Tigers this fall. "I don't know if I will, but it was a great experience, a lifetime opportunity that a lot of college players don't get at this level. I cherished every moment."
Stucky recently talked to DWU head football coach Ross Cimpl, who sent him game film of Bane and Muilenburg.
After making a trip to Nebraska earlier this week, Stucky came to Mitchell to meet with Bane and Muilenburg.
The entire process took about two hours, Bane said. Stucky took both of the players' measurements in height, weight, arm span and hand width. He also clocked both players' 40-yard dash times and gave them the Wonderlic test, which gauges a person's cognitive abilities.
"He just said if you can play, you can play," said Bane, a Temple, Texas, native. "It doesn't matter what level you're at. Yes, it's probably a little longer road coming through the NAIA than from (Division I), but if you're good enough, they'll find you is pretty much what he said."
In addition to working for the Cowboys, Stucky also is a member of the National Scouting Committee, which is connected to 21 total NFL teams, meaning both Bane and Muilenburg's information that was recorded Tuesday will be sent to more than just Dallas prior to April's NFL Draft.
But Bane and Muilenburg aren't expecting anything extra special to come from Tuesday's meeting. They said they were glad to enjoy the experience and plan on playing for the Tigers again this fall.
"What comes of it, who knows?" Cimpl said. "Just having somebody here, it's the first time I've experienced this in the last three years since I've been here. It's huge for our guys and huge for our program in general."
In three years playing for the Tigers, Bane has started 29 of 30 games and has thrown for a school-record 6,894 yards. He also has 58 touchdowns to 30 interceptions in his career.
Muilenburg, a Sioux Falls Lincoln graduate, has 160 receptions for 1,823 yards in three seasons for the Tigers.
As a junior in 2011, he caught 15 touchdowns, but took a medical redshirt last year due to an ailing ankle injury that required surgery and took longer to heal than he initially had hoped.
He said the ankle is doing better and hopes to be fully ready for the season, which starts Sept 7 in Menominee, Wis., against the University of Wisconsin Stout.