UNI Panthers

Daurice Fountain boosts NFL Draft hopes with UNI Pro Day vertical jump

Former Panther heard he could be late-round pick

Northern Iowa Panthers wide receiver Daurice Fountain dives for a first down at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Northern Iowa Panthers wide receiver Daurice Fountain dives for a first down at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR FALLS — Daurice Fountain’s 42.5-inch vertical jump got his Pro Day started in spectacular fashion at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls on Sunday.

In front of scouts from 26 of the NFL’s 32 teams Fountain’s Pro Day performance only built on the buzz that began after his MVP performance at the East-West Shrine Game in January.

Had Fountain been invited to the NFL combine, his 42 1/2-inch vertical would have been best among all wide receivers by 2 1/2 inches. The former Panther went 11 feet, 2 inches on his broad jump and ran a 4.46 40-yard dash on Sunday. His broad jump would have topped the NFL combine-best for wide receivers, while his 40-yard dash would tie him for sixth at the position.


The 6-foot 1-inch, 210-pound wide receiver totaled 943 receiving yards on 66 catches with 12 touchdowns in 2017 as a Panther. After his workout, Fountain was most struck by how business-like the game of football is after college.

“It’s just so crazy how much of a business this is,” Fountain said. “I just got through an interview with the (Detroit) Lions receivers coach and he was just telling me, ‘like, when you get in, whatever organization picks you up, just make sure you over-do everything. Taking notes. Asking questions.’ It’s not like college football no more. Everyone’s grown. This is literally a job.”

Fountain’s three-catch, 61-yard performance in the East-West Shrine Game, along with a head-turning week of practices leading up to the game, created the kind of buzz that had NFL analysts and the like singing his praises back in January. Now two months removed from that experience, Fountain called it a “blessing.”

“I was literally talking to my mom about that the other day,” Fountain said. “Coming out of my senior season a scout told me, ‘you went from being a potential rookie mini-camp body to a day-three pick.’”

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Now, just four weeks from the draft, Fountain is pleased with where things stand related to his draft stock, and, in particular on Sunday, the relief set in after hearing 4.46 for his 40-yard dash time.

“I ran fast on my first 40 (yard dash), so I was happy. That was one of the main things I was worried about,” Fountain said. “I knew I was going to do well with the jumps — God willing. I was really calm today. It was pretty good overall.”

Fountain has an upcoming private workout with the Kansas City Chiefs and said his agent may soon be telling him of more workouts. Between what he’s hearing from his agent and scouts, he could be drafted anywhere between the fourth and seventh rounds. No matter where the former Panther ends up, it’s safe to say the FCS product is more than comfortable bringing an underdog mentality to his first post-college job.

“I always have a chip on my shoulder,” Fountain said. “I knew regardless, even if I was going to be (at the NFL combine) or not I still was going to be an underdog regardless. When it didn’t happen, it just added more fuel to the fire.”

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