Voytik guns for chance at pros

BY PATRICK MacCOON patrick.maccoon@clevelandbanner.com
Posted 3/18/17

Many dream of the opportunity to play professional sports at a young age, but not many get to live it.

Former Cleveland High School gunslinger Chad Voytik is looking to impress NFL teams at a …

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Voytik guns for chance at pros

Posted

Many dream of the opportunity to play professional sports at a young age, but not many get to live it.

Former Cleveland High School gunslinger Chad Voytik is looking to impress NFL teams at a number of Pro Days, with the hope of being drafted or signed as a free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft on April 27-29 in Philadelphia, Pa.

At Arkansas State’s Pro Day this Friday, the former Army All-American ran a 4.7 40-yard dash along with a 33-inch vertical, 9 foot 7 inch broad jump and completed all of his passes.

“I feel like I did really well,” said Voytik, who tested out in front of 10 NFL teams. “I talked to a few teams and think I turned some heads while I was throwing, according to some reporters there.”

Voytik plans to participate at two other Pro Days at the University of Pittsburgh (Wednesday, 10 a.m.) and at the University of Chattanooga (March 30, 10 a.m). All 32 NFL teams will be in attendance at Pittsburgh.

“I want to show the scouts I am worth taking a chance on,” said Voytik, who has a master’s degree in business administration from Arkansas State. “It has always been a dream of mine to put on an NFL jersey and go out there and compete at the highest level. Hopefully I get that chance.”

With 18 starts at the Division-I level of play, experience is a plus for the 6-foot-1, 215-pound quarterback. Voytik also has something unique most signal callers don’t have under their belts in the upcoming draft class.

While most quarterbacks have operated out of the spread offense, Voytik started 13 games for the Panthers his sophomore season under center and excelled in the pro-style offense.

In 2014 the starboard slinger rifled 176 completions out of 287 attempts for 2,223 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions with 433 rushing yards and three scores. Pittsburg went 6-7 and averaged 31.9 points per game.

“I think that season under center helped me a ton,” Voytik said. “Coach (Paul) Chryst had a very good system and taught me a whole lot. I think that year helped my feet in the pocket and prepared me to step into a mini camp at the next level and thrive.”

In two bowl game starts with the ACC program, Voytik went 1-1 and completed 23-of-44 for 330 yards a long passing touchdown to go with 64 rushing yards on eight carries and a score.

While Chryst’s departure from the Panthers to take a dream job as the next head coach of Wisconsin in 2015 shook up the final two season’s of Voytik’s career, there is no question regarding his skill or perseverance.

With only three starts over his final two college seasons, as Nathan Peterman was brought in by a new coaching staff to Pittsburgh and Arkansas State used him mostly as a running-threat, Voytik’s last collegiate start was stellar against a Southeastern Conference team.

In a loss to Auburn on September 19, 2016 the dual threat completed 15-of-21 passes for 215 yards and also had two rushing touchdowns to account for both of Arkansas State’s scores.

“Hopefully the pro teams check out some of my tape while I was at Pitt during the 2014 season and from my tape against Auburn,” Voytik said. “I feel confident my tape can do some of the talking for me.”

Voytik looks forward to his time at Pittsburgh this week, where he will reunite with friend and star running back James Conner who is projected to go in the first six rounds.

“My career did not take the ideal path in college, but I think the process really has taught me some great life lessons,” Voytik said. “Coming back for pro days is just finishing up the process, which is something I always find important in life.”

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