Grand Forks, N.D. -- Michael Coe arrived in Grand Forks last summer wanting to prove to himself that he could play and succeed at a higher level of college football.
After three seasons as an All-Rocky Mountain Conference performer at the Division II level, Coe decided to play his final collegiate season along way from Western New Mexico and even further from his hometown of Carlsbad, Calif.
What drew him to the upper Midwest was the relationship he had with UND's current offensive line coach Luke Knauf, who coached Coe as a freshman at WNM before he joined Bubba Schweigert's first staff prior to the 2014 season.
Fast forward nearly eight months and Coe not only proved to himself that could play Division I football, but he also showcased his skills to more than 20 professional teams that made their way through Grand Forks in the fall.
Now, Coe is a week away from finding out the fruits of his labor as he attempts to parlay his one season as a Fighting Hawk into an NFL career.
"I believe I'm in the position I am right now because of the opportunity I had to play at UND last season," Coe said. "Having the chance to play three different positions at the FCS level definitely increased my draft stock."
Since January, Coe has been back near his home base in southern California working out with Carry Reese at the Rise N' Fly Football Academy. He said his first three months of training were geared towards his pro day, which took place in Fargo on March 29 at the FargoDome.
The modest Coe said he thought it went well with his best events being the broad jump, vertical and bench press. In a post on Twitter from his agent Evan Brennan, Coe's numbers would have stacked up nicely against those o-lineman invited to the NFL Combine in February.
Coe's Top Pro Day Numbers
32-inch vertical (would have been tops at combine)
9-foot, 3 inch broad jump (would have been third at combine)
31 reps at 225 pounds on bench press (would have been fourth at combine)
Ten NFL teams were in Fargo for the pro day and Coe says as of this week, he has spoken with 28 of the 32 teams and had private workouts for both the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots in San Diego.
Coe admitted thoughts of a professional career did not start to intensify for him until after UND finished its 9-3 season and made the program's first FCS playoff appearance.
"I came to realize I had an opportunity to play in the NFL when scouts began contacting me shortly after the season," he said. "They were telling me I had the talent to play at the next level, so I hired my agent and quickly began working towards that goal."
According to scouts, it's Coe's footwork that impresses them the most and the 6-foot-3, 300-pounder was able to display that in 12 starts for UND last season. He started the first three games at center before shifiting out to right tackle for the remaining nine games due to a teammate's injury.
Coe was the catalyst and most consistent piece for an offensive front that helped UND once again rank among the nation's best rushing teams. The Fighting Hawks racked up 2,502 rushing yards and 22 ground scores, while Coe earned All-Big Sky first team honors and American Football Coaches Association All-America honors (second team).
With only a week remaining unti the NFL Draft starts next Thursday with the first round, Coe will continue to work on position specific technique drills and staying in shape. As for what he plans to do on Draft Weekend, he said he'll treat those days as regular as possible and most likely find something to do to distract him.
-- UND --