MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – After declaring for the NFL Draft last December, former Northern Michigan offensive tackle, Jake Witt, got to work. Behind the scenes, Witt began intense training at AdvantEdge in Marquette readying for his opportunity to showcase his abilities at his upcoming Pro Day.

“The training was a huge part of this process and that was our focus,” said Witt. “That was our focus. We were focused on the 40 yard dash and all the minor details that you usually don’t get in a normal training cycle. We were hitting it hard in the first eight to ten weeks and then the last two to four weeks right before the Pro Day we kind of tapered it off. We had a lower volume in our lifts and we wanted to make sure we were 100% primed for that Pro Day.”

“He’s worked his tail off, he’s put on about twenty pounds of muscle in the past ten weeks,” said Dustin Brancheau, the owner and special strengths coach at AdvantEdge Training. “That was a major concern for a lot of the scouts, they wanted to make sure that he could get up over 300lbs and he did that. He got up to 302lbs and his height was 6’7″. We knew that if we could continue to stay where he was at, that he would test better than any other lineman possibly in the history of the NFL Combine.”

Witt was one of a group of NFL hopefuls to showcase their abilities and Central Michigan’s Pro Day earlier this month.

Each prospect was put through a variety of drills while NFL scouts watched and evaluated their every movement.

After the workouts were completed, Witt was given a ‘Relative Athletic Score,’ which is used to measure a prospect’s athletic testing results.

“It’s comprised of four or five different traits,” said Brancheau. “His height is top in his position. His height and his weight, believe it or not, his weight actually brought his score down a little bit. So, if he actually weighed about ten more pounds he would have been top two percent all time. He probably would have been top one percent all time if that would have happened. His bench reps, we were going into it hitting 26-27 reps, and he had 22. So, that was another thing that kind of brought him down a little bit and that probably would have brought him into the top percent. His 40, it doesn’t get much better than that. His vertical jump is the highest of all time, his broad jump is the furthest of all time. Also, his lateral quickness and his pro agility in his ‘L’ drill, he did a tremendous job as well which were top five, top ten respectively as well. So, his testing day could have not gone any better.”

Witt’s preparation and ability to seize his opportunity paid off in a big way. Witt recorded a head turning 9.80 RAS score out of a possible 10.00 scale. That places Witt in the top 2% all time for his position group since 1987.

“You can take a look at that RAS score and say, ‘oh, that’s really cool,'” said Brancheau. “It’s literally one of the best of all time in his position group. To kind of put that in perspective, that’s usually a first, second, or third round pick.”

If Witt didn’t have the attention of NFL teams before, he certaintly did after his workout. Witt’s performance and untapped potential firmly placed him on the NFL radar.

“As soon as he got done running his 40, as soon as he got done doing all his testing, as soon as he got done doing all of his position work, all the scouts told him, ‘hey, your numbers are phenomenal,'” said Brancheau. “Your ability to move and your body of work coming together as far as his position work, when he got done with that every single scout in that building came up to him. It was almost like he was doing a press conference. I’ve been to Pro Days every single year and I’ve never seen something like that before.”

“After that Pro Day it was insane,” said Witt. “I’ve spoken to almost every team since then in the past two weeks. I’ve flown out to some visits and I’m going to fly out to some more here. It’s has really just blown up. I’m just kind of a ball of clay to mold. It has really shifted it. Before, I was in talks with a number of teams and now I’m in talks with almost every team just from that Pro Day performance.”

When Witt is not traveling and meeting with teams, you can find him back in Marquette where he continues to train for his next opportunity. He’s hoping to hear his named called during the NFL Draft, which is set to start on April 27th.

“The rest of the process up to the draft for me is my home base is Marquette,” said Witt. “We’re going to continue training here at AdvantEdge. It’s kind of just the waiting game, just trying to continue brining your stock up how you can whether that’s through interviews or visits. Just a waiting game until the end of April when that draft period begins now.”

While Witt waits for his name to be called, he has a team of support around him here at home.

“Jake is just a tremendous kid,” said Brancheau. “It sounds like I’m being over the top with it but I really can’t speak any higher of the character of Jake Witt. This kid is about as loyal as it comes, he’s a hard worker, and he’s going to do anything he can to help and organization win. He’s going to be the kid that shows up early and leaves late. He’s going to do everything he can to stay apart of that team as well. So, as far as a teammate and a person, I can’t sell him enough.”

Witt says wherever he ends up he will be bringing the U.P. with him as he continues to embrace the tough and resilient Yooper mindset.

“The U.P. support is huge for me,” said Witt. “I’m going to be wearing in on my back as a Yooper, a proud Yooper, wherever it takes me. Whether I’m playing on an NFL field, I’m going to be wearing that Yooper on my back. It’s just something that I’ve embraced and I’m just going out to show that there are no boundaries for people, for kids from the U.P, for people from small areas. You can set your bar high and achieve what you want to achieve. So, I’m going to wear it proudly, I’m going to embrace the Yooper in me and it’s going to be a fun process.”