UMM star Foss on NFL’s radar
Conventional wisdom says National Football League prospects don’t hail from small towns like Hancock and they don’t play their college ball at small schools like the University of Minnesota, Morris.
Conventional wisdom isn’t so conventional anymore when it comes to pro football.
UMM junior receiver Brendon Foss recently had some of his game highlights sent to the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys. Earlier this month, the Cowboys sent a representative to Morris to get Foss’ measurements, give him the Wonderlic test, take his 40-yard time and fill out other paperwork.
The information is also sent to the NFL to be filed in a database available to all the league’s teams.
"He said, 'Now you are officially on the list as an NFL prospect,’ ” Foss said. “It’s pretty cool.”
The 2010 Hancock High School graduate, who is also one of UMM’s top basketball players, led the Tribune area with 72 receptions in 2008 and 52 catches in 2009, and he led area receivers with 1,005 yards in 2009.
At UMM, despite missing time with an ankle injury, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Foss finished last season with 54 catches for 789 yards and 8 touchdowns in seven games, averaging 112 receiving yards per game. He had 100-plus yards in four games and in two games he had more than 180 yards, often on passes from his older brother, four-year Cougar starting quarterback Derrick Foss.
Brendon Foss had 53 receptions for 890 yards and 11 TDs in 2011 and he will enter his senior season with 119 catches for 1,877 yards and 22 touchdowns. Cougar career records for receptions and yards are out of reach but he has a shot at Matt Fragodt’s team record of 26 career touchdowns.
In basketball, Foss has scored 685 career points and this season averaged 12 points and almost 8 rebounds per game.
Foss said he was surprised by the Vikings’ and Cowboys’ request for game video and the Cowboys’ visit let him know it’s getting serious.
He said the Dallas rep had already collected a lot of information via the Internet.
“It’s motivation for me to work even harder because you never know,” he said.
A football career would be a dream-come-true, but Foss is on track to succeed regardless.
Foss is a management major who carries a 3.85 grade-point average and in December 2012 he was selected to the Capital One Academic All-America First Team, which he said is one of his greatest honors.
And he knows the odds aren’t great for NCAA Division III players making it to the NFL, although notable exceptions are Washington’s Pierre Garcon, Jacksonville’s Cecil Shorts, Philadelphia’s Andy Studebaker and Detroit’s Chris Greenwood, who are former DIII players drafted since 2008. Others have caught on as free agents.
Regardless, the news has Hancock excited.
“It’s something different,” Foss said. “At first, I didn’t really want to tell anyone but it didn’t take long for word to get around. I was getting a haircut in Hancock and people were saying, ‘What?’ ”
Foss seldom lifted weights during the basketball season because the work messes up his shot and he only had two days to prepare for the Cowboys’ visit.
His 40 time of 4.9 seconds is off from the 4.6 seconds he ran during the football season, and Foss said his 225-pound bench press reps aren’t anywhere near where they need to be to impress NFL teams. The Wonderlic test also was an experience.
“You get 12 minutes to answer 50 questions,” Foss said. “There are some weird questions in there that really make you think.”
Foss will work for the City of Morris this summer and also work out to prepare for his final collegiate season.
He’ll have a tough decision to make late next fall: play his final season with the Cougar basketball team or skip the season and concentrate on football workouts.
“I’ve got to be thinking about it now, but I’ll wait and see how the football season goes,” Foss said. “Right now, I plan on playing basketball. Even then, I’ll still work out more on football drills.”