Maher Intrigues NFL Scouts at Northwestern Pro Day
Evanston, Ill. – After spending the last four seasons impressing Saint Xavier University football fans on Saturday afternoons, former standout wide receiver Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic) may get the opportunity to showcase his skills for a national audience on Sunday afternoons after impressing some National Football League (NFL) scouts at Northwestern University’s Pro Day in Evanston, Ill. Representatives from 29 NFL teams made the trek to Evanston Tuesday to evaluate draft-eligible Northwestern players as well as 34 players from other area colleges and universities. Maher turned more than a few heads with the excellent quickness he displayed, especially in the shuttles. In fact, the Chicago Bears plan to bring Maher in for a private workout in mid-April.
“I am so happy for Mike because he has worked incredibly hard to put himself in this position,” said SXU football coach Mike Feminis. “As dominating as he was for us, I was anxious to see how he’d match-up with the guys from the bigger schools. To perform the way he did in front a bunch of NFL scouts was impressive and Mike was one of only three wide receivers who were asked to return for another workout in the afternoon. He certainly caught the attention of a lot of the scouts and to have our own hometown team invite Mike for a private workout makes it extra special. But he deserves it. Mike’s a special young man and hopefully someone will give him a shot.”
Maher wrapped up his impressive collegiate career last December by setting several of Saint Xavier’s single-season marks including 116 receptions, 1,470 receiving yards, 20 receiving touchdowns, 23 total touchdowns, 2,110 all-purpose yards and two kickoff returns for touchdowns. He also set several SXU career records with 349 receptions, 4,487 receiving yards, 48 receiving touchdowns, 51 total touchdowns and 5,954 all-purpose yards.
Some former Cougar players have already found some success playing at the next level for the Chicago Slaughter, an Indoor Football League (IFL) team based out of Hoffman Estates, Ill. Defensive back Pat Geary (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), quarterback Anthony Kropp (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), defensive back Chris Rodgers (Homewood, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) are on the 2011 roster, while wide receiver Xavier Torres (Chicago, Ill./Central Michigan University/Lane Tech) is a member of the practice squad. Both Geary and Rodgers are starters for the team, while Kropp is the team’s back-up quarterback.
“To have four guys from our program on a professional indoor team when the majority of the squad is made up of former NCAA Division I players says a lot,” said Feminis. “All of them have graduated and are working full-time, so to be able to still find time to play the game they love is a credit to them. I haven’t been able to see the guys play yet, but from what I understand Pat and Chris are starting and were instrumental in a win last weekend. Anthony is their back-up quarterback and helped them win the season’s first game when the starter got hurt. It’s neat to see them doing well.”