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NIU's Moore making another try at NFL

Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014 11:33 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 7, 2014 12:40 a.m. CDT

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Martel Moore wants to get his name back on the radar of NFL teams.

The former Northern Illinois receiver also wants to show he’s healthy today at NIU’s pro day at the Chessick Center.

Moore signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent last spring, and was among the final cuts at the end of training camp.

He injured his quad the second week of camp, but played through the injury before an eventual tear forced him out of action.

Moore said he had some teams show interest after he was let go by Atlanta, but he wasn’t able to

work out for them because of the injury. Moore, who caught 75 passes for 1,083 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior at NIU in 2012, said he wasn’t running until November, and didn’t feel fully healthy until December.

Moore now is healthy and going through the workout process again.

“I’ve just been working on getting my speed back and getting back into pro day condition,” Moore said.

Moore has been working out at EFT Sports Performance in Highland Park and at the Chessick Center in preparation for today. There should be a good number of NFL scouts in attendance – about 20 were at last year’s event.

This year’s most highly touted prospect is safety Jimmie Ward, who has been projected to go as high as the second round. Ward didn’t work out at the NFL Combine because of a minor foot injury.

Former quarterback Jordan Lynch also will be among the attendees. Lynch competed in January’s East-West Shrine game, going just 2 of 7 with two interceptions. At the NFL combine, Lynch ran a 4.76 40-yard dash, which ranked sixth among quarterbacks. His highlight was the 6.55-second three-cone drill, which broke Tim Tebow’s record for a quarterback.

Nine players from this past season’s NIU team will work out, as will Moore and receiver Perez Ashford, another senior wideout from the 2012 Huskies.

Ashford bounced around quite a bit last summer. He spent time with his hometown Cleveland Browns, as well as the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, who released him in August.

Joining three different teams and learning the new playbooks was a hectic experience for Ashford, but he made the most of it.

“I enjoyed it. It’s an experience that can’t be taken away,” Ashford said. “Some of the people that I’ve met and the things that I’ve learned, it was a great experience.”

Ashford has been working out at Proforce Sports Performance in Batavia, as well as NIU. Today, Ashford wants to show the scouts his route running, quickness and catching ability.

Neither Moore nor Ashford got to take advantage of the Chessick Center while they were part of NIU’s program, but both have had workouts there recently and give it high reviews. They said the turf is much better than the surface at the DeKalb Recreation Center – the site of last year’s pro day – which could help times in the agility drills such as the 20-yard shuttle.

“It’s more of a football-like field. It’s real turf,” Moore said. “DeKalb Rec was more of a carpet, you couldn’t get like real grip or anything. It’s going to have a big [effect] on people’s times.”

NIU Pro Day participants

NIU's annual pro day will take place at 12:15 p.m. today at the Chessick Center. Here's a list of the players attending: Ken Bishop (DT) Sean Evans (CB) Jhony Faustin (CB) Jordan Lynch (QB) George Rainey (DT) Mathew Sims (K) Jimmie Ward (S) Anthony Wells (DT) Joe Windsor (DE) Perez Ashford (WR, 2012 senior) Martel Moore (WR, 2012 senior) Dustin Greenwell (TE, University of St. Francis)

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