METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints hosted a pro day for players from Louisiana universities pursuing their dream of an NFL career.
Standouts from Southern, Southeastern, Nicholls, Northwestern State, and McNeese State University performed drills in front of NFL scouts.
Here are some of the notable talents taking part in today’s event:
Nicholls running back Julien Gums headlined the field of participants after ending his time in Thibodaux as Nicholls’ all-time leader in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and total touchdowns. The De La Salle product has proven to be one of the top running backs in the Southland Conference and with production that translates to the NFL.
Next was Southern defensive tackle Jason Dumas. The St. James product recently made headlines as the HBCU Legacy Bowl defensive MVP.
Hailing from Southeastern Louisiana University was quarterback and all-around athlete, Cephus Johnson. In his lone season as the Lions’ starting quarterback, Johnson recorded 1,354 yards passing with 10 touchdowns while adding 488 yards rushing with 5 scores. He helped Southeastern to the 2022-23 Southland Conference championship.
Johnson patiently waited his turn to lead the Lions’ offense after playing behind former Walter Payton Award winner Cole Kelley but used his time wisely by showcasing his playmaking abilities as a wide receiver. At 6’5, 220 pounds, Johnson made for a great pass-catching option.
At Thursday’s pro day event, Johnson registered 18 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press. His vertical jump was 36.5 inches and his broad jump was 10.1. Cephus Johnson ran a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash.
Johnson was joined at today’s event by wide receiver CJ Turner as well as running backs Jessie Britt and Carlos Washington Jr.
Britt totaled 739 yards and 9 touchdowns in the Lions conference championship run.
As for Washington, he served as the Lion’s leading rusher with 715 yards on the ground and 15 rushing touchdowns. Washington averaged 60 yards per contest in what was an impactful committee at running back.
Rounding out local prospects at Thursday’s Pro Day event was former Southeastern and St. Aug standout, Donniel Ward-Magee.
The safety finished his final year in Hammond with 52 tackles and 3 interceptions. Donniel Ward-Magee hopes to carry on the tradition of former Purple Knights to successfully make the jump to the professional ranks.
Southeastern defensive back Ferlando Jordan was also in attendance for today’s event. Jordan was considered an intriguing pro prospect before the Lions championship campaign, playing opposite of now-LSU cornerback Zy Alexander.
Jordan has already been drafted by the USFL’s Pittsburgh Maulers along with teammate CJ Turner.