ORONO — Joe Harasymiak is looking for more wall space in the hallway outside his head football coach’s office at the University of Maine.

Specifically, he needs more space to put up photos of the former UMaine players who have gone on to the NFL. While six photos hang there, Harasymiak said he still has three to put up. And maybe even more next year.

The Black Bears held their annual Pro Day on Thursday morning, with nine players working out for two NFL scouts (New England Patriots and Indianapolis) and one from the Canadian Football League (Saskatchewan Roughriders).

They were measured – everything from the size of their hands to their wingspan – and tested – bench press, vertical jump, 40-yard dash, broad jump, agility drills – for roughly two hours, each hoping to produce a result that could lead to a private workout. The results of the Pro Day workout, as well as videos, are available for any team to see.

“I’ve been working out like mad for today,” said quarterback Dan Collins.

Every one of them admitted to having something similar to game-day butterflies. “There’s definitely pressure going into it, wanting to perform your best,” said offensive lineman Max Andrews. “As soon as you start doing it, the pressure goes away and you’re doing what you were born to do.”


Defensive lineman Pat Ricard, a first-team all-Colonial Athletic Association selection, was the big attraction this year. And he didn’t disappoint.

The 6-foot-3 Ricard, who graduated in December with a degree in economics, spent six weeks working out in Indianapolis and came in 15 pounds heavier than he was when UMaine’s season ended in November, weighing 300 pounds.

He was most impressive in the bench press, lifting 225 pounds a personal- best 33 times. His vertical jump was 33.5 inches and his best 40-dash time was 5.0 seconds. “I’m definitely pleased,” said Ricard.

Not knowing where he would play on the defensive line – Ricard played both inside and on the edge for the Black Bears – Ricard knew he was going to have to put on weight, but he also wanted to show he could still move well.

“I think it was just more showing them I am 300 pounds and I move a lot better than most 300-pound guys,” said Ricard. “I think it was just (about) showing my athleticism mostly.”

Ricard, Collins and Andrews were joined by wide receiver Jordan Dunn, linebacker Christophe Mulumba Tshimanga, tight end Jeremy Salmon and punter James DeMartini from last fall’s 6-5 team. Also working out were former Black Bears Damarr Aultman and Sherrod Baltimore.


They were each looking to make the type of impression Trevor Bates made last year. The Westbrook native drew 10 scouts to Maine’s Pro Day a year ago, was drafted by the Colts and is now with the Super Bowl champion Patriots.

Ricard reached out to Bates to talk about how to approach the Pro Day and said Maine’s track record could help. Since joining the CAA in 2007, Maine has had four players drafted by the NFL. Over the last 16 years, Maine has had 27 players either drafted or signed as a free agent by NFL teams.

“Since I’ve been here, there’s been a handful of guys who have gone on, a couple drafted,” said Ricard. “It’s nice to know that there are guys who did it before I came here.”

Mike Derice, the Colts scout, is a frequent visitor to Maine because he likes what he sees in its players.

“They work hard, they’re tough and they do things right,” he said. “I can live with that.”

Harasymiak said this was a big day for the program. “I think it’s exciting and it’s humbling,” he said. “Some of these guys … I remember recruiting Ricard, just what he looked like then and what he looked like now, not that they didn’t have potential … but they grow so much. It’s such a rewarding day for us as coaches and (for) the university.”


Every player came in with the hopes of continuing their career, wherever that may be.

The Saskatchewan scout, Rich McKenna, was here because of Mulumba Tshimanga, who is from Laval, Quebec. The CFL draft, which is exclusive to Canadians, is on May 7, a week after the NFL draft. Mulumba Tshimanga is projected to be a high pick.

Mulumba Tshimanga spent six weeks training in Knoxville, Tennessee, at Petrone Training, where one of his training partners was LSU running back Leonard Fournette, who is expected to be a top-10 pick in the NFL draft.

“He’s a good kid,” said Mulumba Tshimanga. “It’s good to work out with someone like that because he pushes you.”

Mulumba Tshimanga, who graduated in December with a degree in psychology, lost 10 pounds in his workouts to become leaner and faster.

“I’m very satisfied with what I did,” he said. “This is a stressful process. It’s something you want to do, you can’t wait till the day comes and … my adrenaline pumped in and my numbers were better than I expected.”


Mulumba Tshimanga had 22 reps on the bench press, a vertical leap of 34 inches and a 40 time of 4.88.

Dunn probably caught someone’s attention. Among the senior players, he had the day’s best time in the 40 (4.59), the best vertical jump (36.5 inches) and best broad jump (10 feet, 2 inches).

In the end, said Ricard, the goal was the same for everyone there.

“I just want to keep playing,” he said. “I don’t want to get a job, I just want to keep playing somewhere.”

UPDATE: This story was updated at 11:20 a.m. on March 24 to correct the spelling of Sherrod Baltimore’s name.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:


Twitter: MikeLowePPH

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.