- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- As much as Kevin Koger wanted to last month, he couldn’t pull himself away from the television. It was kind of a forced torture, a reminder of what he felt should have been and could have been all at once while sitting in his Ann Arbor home.
On his television, in half-hour increments, was the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. The former Michigan tight end had felt he performed well enough during his career and at the East-West Shrine Game to snag an invite but instead was left out.
So he watched. And watched.
“I felt like I needed it,” Koger said. “It motivated me even more. It was definitely hard to sit down and watch the tight ends perform, but I felt it was completely needed and something I had to do.”
Koger also decided to pass on attending a regional NFL combine in Chicago two weeks ago and instead put all of his focus on Thursday, when he will finally be able to try and impress scouts at Michigan’s pro day at Schembechler Hall.
The tight end, who has spent the past three months training with former Michigan strength coach Mike Barwis at BarwisMethods Training Center in Plymouth, Mich., is probably the most anticipated working out at the pro day among available prospects.
Mike Martin and Junior Hemingway worked out at the NFL combine. David Molk is still recovering from a foot injury in the Sugar Bowl and isn’t expected to work out. A message checking on Molk's status Wednesday was not immediately returned.
But Koger and defensive end Ryan Van Bergen will be among the headliners Thursday at the event that is closed to the public and the media.
So what is Koger hoping to prove?
“I just need to run well,” he said. “I need to show them I am athletic enough to play tight end on the pro level. Obviously the 40 is going to be important but just the position drills and just showing them how well I can move will also be important.”
His pro day 40-yard dash goal is anywhere in the 4.6 second range -- something he has been working on with Barwis. Otherwise, he’s just hoping to impress enough scouts to land himself as a potentially drafted player in next month’s NFL draft after catching 59 passes for 756 yards and nine touchdowns during his career at Michigan.
Over the past three weeks, though, from the combine until Wednesday, has been half-anxiety, half-anticipation of what would be next as he negotiated going through a final semester of classes along with preparing for his future.
“It’s a waiting game now,” Koger said. “Going about business as usual and doing what we have been doing the past few weeks. But you do hit a time where you get anxious and just want to get it over with so you can show what you can do.”
That comes now.