CEDAR FALLS — There’s a chip on Daurice Fountain’s shoulder that’s about the size of Texas.
The University of Northern Iowa wide receiver and NFL hopeful plans to carry it around for awhile, too.
After a Most Valuable Player performance at the East-West Shrine Bowl in January, Fountain did not hear his name when invitations went out for the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
“I always have a chip on my shoulder,” Fountain said Sunday after a stunning workout in front of 26 NFL scouts at UNI’s Pro Day inside the UNI-Dome. “Regardless if I got it or not, I was going to be an underdog. I just keep that chip on my shoulder, so when it didn’t happen, it added more fuel to the fire.”
With scouts from every team except Denver, San Francisco, the Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta and Pittsburgh on hand, the 6-foot-1, 203-pound Fountain opened with 14 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press.
Then, Fountain put on a show. He posted a 42 1/2-inch vertical jump that was better than all wide receivers at the NFL Combine by 2 1/2 inches. He followed that up with an 11-foot broad jump, which would’ve tied for the best at the Combine, and then ran a 4.46 hand-timed 40-yard dash.
It was the type of day that could make Fountain the 19th former Panther to be drafted into the NFL.
“I knew my talents before I came in here,” Fountain said. “I was pre-jumping around that area so I just knew with adrenaline I was going to get those numbers. I felt I could’ve went even higher.”
Already told by one scout after the Shrine Bowl that he had improved from rookie mini-camp fodder to a potential day three draft pick (rounds four through seven), Fountain may have upped his stock even further Sunday.
“I’m just keeping my head down,” Fountain said. “It is up in the air right now ... just waiting to see what happens.”
After the drill session of the Pro Day, Fountain was ushered into a room by Detroit Lions’ receiver coach Robert Prince, who then tested Fountain himself.
“Just went over film work and seeing how I learned ... what type of learning style I had,” Fountain said. “He had me on the board, and installed a couple of plays they have from their own organization just to see what I could remember.”
Fountain said he has a private workout set up with the Arizona Cardinals for later this week inside the UNI-Dome and said the rest of his schedule is up in the air prior to the 2018 Draft that will take place April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Fountain was one of eight former Panthers on hand Sunday. He was joined by punter Sam Kuhter, defensive linemen Adam Reth and Preston Woods, defensive backs Malcolm Washington and Elijah Campbell, running back J’Veyon Browning and linebacker Jared Farley.
“It was quite an experience,” said Campbell, a safety. “It went how I thought it was going to go. I was pretty excited and pretty satisfied with what I’ve done. I don’t know my numbers exactly. I felt good out there. I have nothing to complain about, can’t dwell on it.
“I’m excited for the next level, that is it.”