IOWA CITY — The wait ended Monday, a date that had been circled on the calendar for months.
Sidelined for the bulk of their senior seasons because of injuries, Iowa’s Pro Day was a chance to compete again for Hawkeye offensive linemen Ike Boettger and Boone Myers.
“It felt good just to be able to do that,’’ Boettger said after working through drills in front of scouts representing 31 of the 32 NFL teams. “To have a chance to compete, it’s a sign of progress, a sign that things are getting back to normal.’’
“We’re competitors. We like to compete,’’ Myers said. “We start doing some 10-yards, some sled pulls, something like that, we’re always asking questions. What was your time? How far did you jump? It’s that inner drive. It keeps you competing, keeps you going. It motivates you.’’
With one eye on the future, plenty of Hawkeyes found motivation as scouts for potential future employers recorded results of vertical jumps, 40-yard dashes and multi-cone drills of player after player.
Former Hawkeye Desmond King, a fifth-round pick in last year’s NFL draft who enjoyed a strong rookie season with the San Diego Chargers, was among the spectators at the Iowa football complex Monday.
“It’s an important time,’’ offensive lineman Sean Welsh said. “We’ve been working since the end of the season for this chance. I had an opportunity to compete at the (NFL Combine), but this is just as important. You want to put your best out there, catch somebody’s attention.’’
For Boettger and Myers, that opportunity started with the Hawkeyes’ annual pro day.
Boettger’s senior year ended during the second week of the season when the starting right tackle suffered an Achilles injury during a win at Iowa State.
Myers dealt with ankle issues early in fall camp that limited him to three starts at left guard before he ultimately sat out the rest of the season. He underwent surgery a little over two weeks later and joined Boettger on the sidelines for the final six games of Iowa’s 8-5 season.
The pair combined for 46 starts during their careers and one of Boettger’s main objectives was to be able to post a decent time in the 40-yard dash.
Estimating that he is 80 percent healthy right now, Boettger was satisfied with his time of 5.3 seconds.
“This is the only day that’s been on my calendar,’’ Boettger said. “When I didn’t get the invite to the combine, I really focused on today. This was my chance. People understand where I’m at and I feel good about what I was able to accomplish.’’
Myers, who said he is back to 100 percent in what he can do, felt the same.
“I’ve been up front with people, telling them where I’m at. Now being back on the field, showing people what I’m capable of, it feels good,’’ Myers said.
CUTTING TIME: Linebacker Josey Jewell, one of five Hawkeyes to participate in the NFL Combine last month, accomplished one of his Iowa Pro Day objectives Monday.
He trimmed his time in the 40-yard dash from the 4.82-second timing he ran at the Combine to 4.68 seconds on Monday.
BUSY APRIL: Hawkeye center James Daniels didn’t work out for scouts Monday after posting solid numbers at the Combine.
He has a busy April planned before the start of the draft, already setting up location visits with the Bears, Eagles, 49ers, Chargers, Rams, Browns and Panthers among others.
“It’s been good getting to know people and giving them a chance to know me,’’ Daniels said.
COMEBACK TRAIL: Drew Ott hasn’t competed in a game for Iowa since October of 2015 when injuries brought an early end to his career but the all-Big Ten defensive end did compete in Iowa’s pro day on Monday.