Sac State hosts pro day for Hornets seeking professional football opportunities

Seven players participate in evaluation showcase


Brandon Bailey

(Left-Right) Thomas Parker (Far left), Josiah Erickson (Left), Kooper Richardson (Right) and Taylor Powell (Far right) pose for photos after pro day workouts March 15, 2022. In the last five years, the Hornets have had three players who have made it to an NFL roster.

Brandon Bailey

On a gloomy Tuesday morning at Hornet Stadium, Sacramento State football hosted their annual pro day for Hornet participants looking to find their way on an NFL or CFL roster. 

The Hornets had seven players participate in the pro day activities which tested them on their 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, three-cone agility drill, Bench press, vertical jump, and individual position workouts. 

A few names among the group of Hornets participating in the pro day included FCS All-Americans Josiah Erickson and Thomas Parker along with Sac State linebackers Taylor Powell, Marcus Hawkins, offensive lineman Kooper Richardson, and second-team All-Big Sky cornerback Gregory “Munchie” Filer. 

The day started off with the Hornets showcasing their speed on the 40-yard dash and for most of the players. 

Unfortunately, for Filer, Sac State’s former shutdown cornerback, his pro day was cut short due to a hamstring injury. 

According to Filer, he knew he tweaked his hamstring training for the pro day a few weeks prior, but it was important to him to still go out and try to showcase his talents to the best of his ability. 

“I felt it pop as soon as I got down to about the 30-yard line,” Filer said. 

As the third leading interception leader in the Big Sky, however, Filer still has the potential to land on a professional team’s radar and make an impact. 

Related: Against all odds Sac State football player bounces back from injury and shines early – The State Hornet

The rest of the day went well, according to the rest of the Hornet seniors who were able to work together one on one and showcase their talents to professional scouts. 


Senior offensive lineman Kooper Richardson said he broke a lot of personal records at the event, but was particularly happy with how he did in the 40-yard dash after running a 4.93. 

“I felt like I was really flying today, and once again I hit my P.R. (personal record) and I felt really good out there,” Richardson said. 

Richardson said that his versatility sets him apart from the rest of the pack because he’s capable of playing all five positions on the offensive line just like he has in his collegiate career.

Richardson and Parker both displayed their blocking talents for a few scouts including the one for the 49ers, who coached most of the drills.


“I think the thing that sets me apart the most is both work ethic and coachability,” Parker said. ”But also things like playing the defense, understanding the play as a whole and being able to direct the guys around me and trying to bring them up and make the team better as a whole,” 

On the defensive side, Hawkins, Powell, and Erickson gave their best effort in the agility drills and displayed that they can play multiple different positions if needed for a professional team. 

Erickson, who mostly played for the Hornets as a defensive end during his collegiate career,  showed that he can also transition to a middle linebacker on a professional level if needed. 

“At the beginning of college I came in as a backer [and] transitioned more into a defensive end and stand-up outside backer,” Erickson said. ” Transitioning back to the league into more like a middle backer, but I’ve also shown that I can rush the edge, too, so I would say my versatility is the best thing I can give.” 

As for Powell, who had an impressive senior year after transferring to Sac State from Northern Arizona this past year, he said he is confident in his leadership tendencies and willing to help out a professional team wherever he is needed; whether on the defensive side or special teams. 


“I feel like [I’m] coming in and offering a person that can lead the defense, get guys on the same page, and give100 percent effort,” Powell said. “I’m not just a defensive player. [I’m] a player that’s going to come out on special teams, all four quarters and impact the team right away.” 

Although the NFL is something of an exclusive club that is hard to get into, the Hornets have had success getting players into the league such as Washington Commanders’ wide receiver Deandre Carter, former Super Bowl champion and Denver Broncos linebacker Todd Davis and former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darnell Sankey who have all been on an NFL roster within the last five years. 

The Hornets have also had multiple players active in the Canadian Football league like quarterback Mcleod Bethel-Thompson and Sankey. 

The big day for Hornet pro day participants will be April 28 as the NFL draft kicks off their three-day event. Even if they are not drafted, the Hornets will potentially be able to get signed to a deal that allows them to try out for teams as undrafted free agents. 

As far as the CFL goes, their draft begins on May 3 and will be another opportunity for Sac State players to get an opportunity on a professional level.