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Nebraska football practice, 10/11

Nebraska fullback Luke McNitt shares a laugh with teammates between drills during a 2016 practice

If the fullback is indeed destined to become a dinosaur, an ancient artifact of Nebraska football's past, then Luke McNitt sent the position out on a high note Wednesday.

The senior was among the top performers at Nebraska's pro day, putting on an impressive workout for scouts in the weight room and in the Hawks Championship Center.

McNitt was one of 16 players to take part in pro day, joining 10 of his senior teammates, four other former Huskers and a player from Wayne State College.

A team captain and Nebraska's lifter of the year in 2017, McNitt started his day with an impressive performance in the weight room before moving to the field. He put up 26 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, easily the highest number of any of the participants.

That number would have ranked second among running backs at the NFL combine, behind the 29 by Penn State's Saquon Barkley and Georgia's Nick Chubb. His reps would have been the most among any of the tight ends at the combine by three.

McNitt wasn't invited to the combine, so Wednesday provided him his first opportunity to work in front of pro scouts.

"I've talked to a few teams, and I'm happy with the feedback I've been getting," McNitt said after the workout. "I think today only helped that."

Scouts from 27 NFL teams and three Canadian Football League squads attended the event. Players were tested in vertical jump, broad jump, bench press, 40-yard dash, three-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle and 60-yard shuttle, along with position-specific drills.

And McNitt excelled. The Kearney native and former Nebraska-Kearney quarterback and tight end ripped through the broad jump, vertical jump and bench press in Nebraska's weight room. On the field, he went through passing drills with former NU quarterback Tanner Lee, receiver De'Mornay Pierson-El, tight end Tyler Hoppes and former Tulane receiver Xavier Rush.

McNitt didn't drop a pass during the drill, at one point making a nice grab on a wheel route and later going up the seam to catch a laser from Lee in addition to making several grabs out of the backfield.

While he likely won't hear his name called during late April's NFL Draft, McNitt almost certainly figures to get a shot as a special teams player at the next level, and Wednesday's performance could earn him a spot as a fullback on the right roster.

As for Lee, his Wednesday consisted solely of a throwing drill comprised of 45 passes. Happy with his testing numbers from the NFL combine, Lee worked with McNitt, Pierson-El and Hoppes to develop a script for Wednesday's workout. Needing an extra set of hands, Lee called Rush, an old teammate from Tulane and close friend, to help out.

Lee finished 41-for-45 in the drill. His second-to-last throw traveled 65 yards in the air, but was slightly out of Pierson-El's reach. His last throw was a 60-yard bomb that hit Rush perfectly in stride.

"It's been a long time coming, it's been a lot of hard work. It's been about three months now of just daily training, and nutrition, and throwing and the repetitive process of just giving your best," Lee said. "It's good to see the guys come out and perform, and to cap it off with that (last throw) was a lot of fun."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or cbasnett@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.

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Husker basketball reporter

A Ravenna native, Chris covers the University of Nebraska men's basketball team and assists with football coverage. He spent nearly 10 years covering sports at the Kearney Hub and nearly four years at the Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Mo.

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