NFL Draft: Southwick hoping for camp invite; Burks, Tjong-A-Tjoe waiting by the phone


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NFL Draft: Southwick hoping for camp invite; Burks, Tjong-A-Tjoe waiting by the phone

By Paul Gerke. CREATED May 8, 2014

Former Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick hasn't given up on his dream of playing professional football.

Southwick has been working out at California Strength with well-known coach Dave Spitz. Once healthy, Joe tapped another coach (Will Hewlett) to alter his throwing mechanics, and the results have caught the attention of multiple NFL teams.

"Quarterback-wise, I'm the best I've ever been," explained Southwick. "We've changed some things, and I'm excited to see the difference. I know the film I put out as a player will be different than I am now, and I'm very confident I'm a better quarterback now."

"We didn't get spring ball this year," he added. "It was just train, train, train, lift, and run. You miss football."

It seems unlikely that a team will spend a draft pick on Southwick, but he should get at least a mini-camp invite this fall. Even if the NFL doesn't pan out, Southwick isn't about to hang up his cleats. He said he'd be happy to continue his career in another league.

"Everyone I've talked to, Coach Pete or the new staff... Their recommendation is try to play as long as you can," Southwick said. "I'll have the rest of my life to go out and try to get the best job I can or pursue any kind of business avenue, but for now, it's just continue to have fun and play the game I really enjoy. If I can do that for however many more years, I'm all in."

One of Joe's targets last season, 6'3'' wide receiver Aaron Burks, is also in the mix for the NFL Draft this weekend. Burks has been busy since the 2013 campaign ended. He spent time in Seattle for his pro day, returned to Boise to train at the Bleymaier Complex, then went home to Grand Prairie, Texas and worked out for the Dallas Cowboys.

A handful of NFL teams have shown interest, but Burks' eyes won't be glued to the television Saturday. "I'm probably not going to watch the draft, other than the first round," he said. "The plan is just to go golfing and keep the phone on loud!"

Burks said a couple NFL teams think he could be picked in the seventh round, but most are dubbing him a priority free agent.

Former Bronco nose tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe has seen his stock soar this offseason. His agent has made the 6'3'', 300-pound lineman unavailable to the media, but he fully expects Tjong-A-Tjoe to be signed to an NFL roster by Saturday night.

Tjong-A-Tjoe made a career-high 52 tackles in his senior season.