Seniors LaMacchia and Foley Hope for a Shot in the NFL
Published: Thursday, March 24, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 11:06
In its first issue of the 2010-2011 school year, the Circle profiled 2009 Marist College graduate Jake Dembow's journey to play professional football in Aarhus, Denmark. This spring, two current seniors that finished up record careers in a Red Fox uniform are trying to play professionally as well - only much closer to home.
Wide Receiver James LaMacchia and safety Rory Foley both attended a Pro Day held at Fordham University on March 8, and Foley also plans to attend one at Boston College on March 23.
LaMacchia and Foley were part of a 31-player group that performed various strength and agility drills for 20 scouts from 16 NFL teams at the school's Bronx, NY campus.
"It was definitely intimidating," Foley said. "They were on their cell phones the whole time and they had clipboards and stopwatches. I saw a lot of the other players get nervous and crumble when they saw them."
Both players were First Team All-Pioneer Football League selections for the 2010 season and both competed in the inaugural FCS Senior Scout Bowl on Dec. 11.
A fixture in head coach Jim Parady's defensive lineup over his four year career, the 5'10'', 204-pound Foley tallied 103 tackles in 2010, notching the highest single season total in Marist's 18 seasons as a Division I program.
Finishing his career with 321 tackles, Foley became the first player to collect over 300 career tackles in the program's D-I history.
"I loved playing at Marist," Foley said. "I wouldn't change it in a million years if I had to redo it. It was a great experience. Coach Parady took a chance on me and I took a chance on Marist. It really worked out."
This past season, the Red Foxes second season as a member of the PFL, LaMacchia set single-season program records with 74 catches and eight touchdown receptions. The senior is also the program's all-time leader in receptions with 176 and receiving yards with 2,485.
Known for stretching the field as a wide out, LaMacchia also averaged 13.3 yards on 18 returns as the Red Foxes' primary punt returner.
Fordham's football program, a member of the Patriot League, has been mentioned over the past two years in discussions about John Skelton.
Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL draft, the 6'5'', 248-pound quarterback played college football at Fordham.
Skelton's younger brother Stephen, a Fordham tight end, worked out at the Pro Day and the elder Skelton was on hand to work with his brother on certain drills.
Athletes from schools such as Columbia, Yale, Stony Brook, Albany and Monmouth were measured in the following categories: height, weight, arm length, 225-poung bench press repetitions, vertical and broad jump and the 40-yard dash.
"I felt like I did very well," Foley said. "I ran an unofficial 4.4 [40-yard dash time] and the laser time was 4.51. That was one of the top for a defensive back. My bench was 27 reps which was tops by a long shot."
After all of the drills were completed, the scouts selected certain players to test in the 20-yard shuttle drill and also held a meet-and-greet with these select players.
Foley was selected to speak with the scouts - the only non-Fordham athlete selected.
"The kind of style of football that I play was really the question," Foley said. "They were not very detailed questions, but they said, '[w]e'll be talking to you in the future."
At the time the Circle went to press, LaMacchia could not be reached for comment regarding his experience working out at the Fordham Pro Day.
Foley is scheduled to participate in Boston College Pro Day on March 23. Scouts from all 32 NFL teams are scheduled to attend. Current Boston College senior Anthony Costanzo, an offensive lineman, is projected to be a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
Closed to the general college football playing population, athletes must be referred to this event by a scout. Foley expressed that attending participants must live in a close proximity to Boston College - a requirement that the West Roxbury, Mass. Native met easily.
"To play in the NFL, whether it's a couple of weeks in a training camp or 10 years is [my goal]," Foley said. "I just kind of want to know if I'm able to do it. Just to get a chance, just to get a shot.