Players rely on family support at Ball State football Pro Day
At Ball State football's Pro Day, scouts use 40-yard dash times to measure straight-line speed, three-cone drills to measure agility and vertical and broad jumps to measure explosion.
All of the drills help quantify players' athleticism — and weigh heavily on prospects' draft stocks.
"It's kind of the agony of a whole season encapsulated in 45 minutes to an hour," said Clyde Posley, whose son Joshua finished his collegiate career at Ball State in the fall. "It's an emotional roller coaster and I'm sure it's one for [the players] as well."
So when defensive end Joshua Posley lined up for the broad jump, Clyde was there to watch.
"It is nerve-wracking, because when he's jumping I feel like we're jumping," Clyde Posley said. "I'm on pins and needles and I'm probably a little more nervous than I would normally be because I know so much is riding on this for him and for his future. When he leaps, I lean forward. I lunge as if we're both doing it — and in a way we are."
But access to the football weight room was limited to players, coaches, scouts and media, so the parents who came to support — like Clyde Posley — crowded around the window.
"Seeing my dad outside the window watching, it felt just like it did in little league," Joshua Posley said. "He's fully behind me and I have his full support."
Defensive back Aaron Taylor's mom, Pat, also watched from the window. When Aaron did his broad jump, Pat Taylor turned to ask Clyde Posley it was a good distance.
"Watching all the parents, it's a camaraderie," Pat Taylor said. "We've all been through pee-wee league all the way up. It's just exciting to see and to commensurate with other parents as you watch your kids do well and push each other."
Aaron Taylor was especially happy to see him mom — she lives in Georgia, so she hasn't been able to attend many of his Ball State games.
"That means everything to me," Aaron Taylor said. "Going to school so far from home, you get few opportunities to see your people at a game. I'm just happy she made it out here to Pro Day."
The Posley family, though, had another reason to be nervous. Joshua hurt his pectoral muscle in training, limiting the range of motion of his left arm. He said he didn't measure as well as he would've liked, in part because of the injury, although he thinks his toughness was on display.
"I think today I showed good perseverance and I wasn't going to let this mess with my mind," Joshua Posley said.
Regardless of how Joshua Posley measures up, Clyde said he's proud his son.
"I appreciate him, as a father, taking full advantage of the opportunity and seizing the moment," Clyde Posley said. "I wish him nothing but the best, but if he doesn't become a pro, he's a pro to me already."
Aaron Taylor, Joshua Posley and the rest of Ball State's hopeful professional football players — and their parents — will learn their fate during the NFL Draft April 27 to 29.