Tillman and Fooks tryout at NFL Combine
Photos courtesy of: Tracy Maple
But the Whittier wide receivers were pleasantly surprised to find representatives from at least 11 different NFL teams waiting for them to arrive on Monday afternoon at Rolland Stadium on the campus of Cal Lutheran University.
Head Coach Todd Stratton was in attendance and explained that “I am very proud of Dameron and Kimble, they represented themselves in a very professional manner. Their participation in this event gives our school and the SCIAC conference wonderful exposure”.
Tillman and Fooks were joined by Cal Lutheran wide out Eric Rogers and offensive lineman Joe Unga of Midwestern State University.
Scouts from the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears, Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers were in attendance.
The players began their pro combine being weighed in and measured before they took part in a variety of speed and agility drills. Some of the drills included the vertical leap and bench press in CLU’s weight room before they moved onto the field for the broad jump, 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, three-cone drill and some route running.
Both Fooks and Tillman displayed impressive numbers for the scouts and Stratton explained that “several teams in the CFL and NFL are very interested in both Dameron and Kimble, both will be in professional camps this summer.”
This season Fooks wrapped up one of the most impressive finishes as a wide receiver being a 1st Team All-SCIAC selection and BSN All-American after he compiled 61 catches for 1,050 yards to go with 11 touchdowns averaging 116.7 ypg. He was also close to grabbing SCIAC Offensive Player of the Year Honors but fell by one vote to Cal Lutheran's Rogers. In SCIAC Fooks ranked No. 3 in receptions per game, No. 3 in receiving yards, and No. 6 in touchdowns scored.
Tillman saw his breakout year on the football field as he garnered 1st Team All-SCIAC recognition as a wide receiver, while tallying 2nd Team All-SCIAC Honors as a special team’s player. Offensively he finished 44 receptions for 790 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also threw for a touchdown on the year and rushed for 34 yards on six carries and a score.
On special teams he was also dangerous being Whittier's top return specialist returning 18 kickoffs totaling 458 yards, which included a 96 yard touchdown return. Tillman finished the year being ranked No. 3 in scoring, No. 3 in scoring touchdowns, No. 1 in kick return average, and No. 4 in all-purpose yards.
“I am very thankful to Coach McEnroe and his entire staff, they did a great job putting on this event, it was a class move on his part to include our athletes,” explained Stratton.