Cleveland, Ohio – April 28, 2011 – Every year the NFL allows its 32 teams to hold a work out for draft eligible athletes within the team’s metropolitan area. Earlier this month senior Mike Preston (Euclid, Ohio / Euclid) of the Heidelberg University football team was one of three Ohio Athletic Conference players that worked out with the Cleveland Browns.
Joining Preston at wide receiver was Frank Ross of John Carroll University and Keith Darbut, a defensive lineman from Baldwin-Wallace. A total of 16 players were put through combine-like workouts earlier this month at its training facility in Berea, Ohio. Preston had an opportunity to work out in front of the teams’ scouts, coaches and front office personnel.
“Just to be in the mix is a blessing,” said Preston. “It is a very humbling experience. I am very blessed to be brought to the Browns facility for a work out. At this point I want to stand out and give someone a reason to pick me up and put their time into me.”
And his accolades in his final season on the gridiron at Heidelberg give a reason to be looked at.
Preston led the Berg with 1,213 receiving yards on 76 receptions. He started all 10 games and hauled in 15 touchdown passes to lead the team as well. For the year he finished with 90 points to sit atop the team. Within the OAC, Preston led the way with 7.60 receptions per game and an average of 121.3 yards an outing. He was second in receiving touchdowns.
He earned three All-American honors on the year, and was tabbed the OAC’s Ed Sherman Most Outstanding Receiver, as well as earning a nod on the OAC First Team, the OhioCollegeFootball.com First Team and the D3Football.Com North Region Second Team.
Preston left his name scattered throughout the Heidelberg annuals after his four-year career. He will leave the Berg as the all-time receiving yards leader with 2,748 and receiving touchdowns with 27. In 2010, he topped the Heidelberg single season record book for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
Heidelberg is not a stranger to the current ranks of the NFL. Gene Smith, the general manager for the Jacksonville Jaguars was a 1987 ’Berg graduate and Browns scouting assistant Donovan Beidelschies was a 2000 graduate.
Take a closer look at local athletes working out with the Cleveland Browns on the teams website.