As a 2013 graduate of Canyon High School, Drew Wolitarsky already had his name in the history books for record-breaking football stats. He cracked the ceiling on total receiving yards and total number of receptions among all California high school football players that came before him.
He continued to perform as a University of Minnesota Golden Gopher, where he finished his college career at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 27. It was Wolitarsky’s 26th consecutive game, with a catch that put him among the top 10 receivers in Gopher history for that category.
The season for NFL scouting starts in late February with the Combine, where football players show their abilities to scouts. After that invitation-only event, each of the larger colleges host their own Pro Days, drawing scouts to their schools to showcase their best players.
Last week, Wolitarsky was one of 10 players who performed for approximately 46 NFL scouts representing 26 teams at the University of Minnesota’s Pro Day. They ran pretty much the same drills as the Combine, timing their speed and testing their strength.
“They literally just jot things on their clipboards and go to the next Pro Day,” explained Drew’s father, John Wolitarsky, who attended the event. “For the next three weeks or so that’s what they’ll be doing … fact-gathering.”
What it means is that Wolitarsky’s a contender.
After the Holiday Bowl, the University of Minnesota senior began training with Bill Welles, the personal trainer for Larry Fitzgerald, an All-Pro NFL wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. The trainer’s indoor facility is about 30 miles from the university.
Drew Wolitarsky, who turns 22 next week, spent eight weeks doing intense training there, all leading up to Pro Day. Part of the demonstration for scouts includes bench pressing, where they put 225 pounds on the rack and see how many times the player can bench it. Wolitarsky did 14 repetitions of the 225 and then he ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash.
The players also completed two other drills, which are important for receivers: the 3-cone drill, which Wolitarsky whizzed through in 6.88 seconds, and the shuttle drill, which took him 4.22 seconds.
“It was an amazing experience to remember when Drew started playing flag football at seven years old to now watching him perform in front of a bunch of NFL teams,” John Wolitarsky said.
He began with Santa Clarita Parks & Recreation football and later joined the Canyon Country Athletic Association Outlaws team before joining the Canyon Cowboys and on to Minnesota.
“Then to play in the Big 10 with a fantastic senior campaign, ending it all in San Diego at the Holiday Bowl—it’s been fun to watch the journey,” John said.
Now on spring break, Drew will return to train right through the NFL Draft April 27, because if his name is on a roster, the Gopher grad will have to head to camp right away, according to his dad.
Santa Clarita is convinced Wolitarsky is a great catch. In another month, we’ll know if he’s also caught on with the NFL.