Former NU trio hopes to catch on with NFL |

Former NU trio hopes to catch on with NFL

As members of the Nevada Union football program, James Brindley, Brennan McFadden and Chris Ulinski all helped lead the Miners to the pinnacle for prep programs with a berth in the Sac-Joaquin Section championship game.

After graduating from high school, all three former Miners landed football scholarships at Utah State, bringing the Nevada Union trio together on the same team at the Division I level.

On Thursday, those three former Miners likely took to the same field for one final time, as they made their case for continuing their careers in front of a flock of NFL scouts at Utah State’s annual “Pro Day” in Logan, Utah.

“My dream will come true when I make a team,” said Brindley, a 5-foot, 11-inch, 189-pound safety who is considered to be Utah State’s top NFL prospect. “But not too many people get the opportunity to work out in front to professional scouts. Just getting the chance to do that is huge.”

Apparently, Brindley was up to the challenge. He clocked a 4.45-second 40-yard dash time and recorded a 37-inch vertical jump which will likely turn some heads. He ranked eighth in the WAC in tackles with 7.8 per game and was ranked third among defensive backs in tackles and in passes defended.

Brindley said going into his Pro Day performance, his agent expects him to be an undrafted free agent signee. But after producing such impressive numbers, Brindley will now wait to see what kind of impact it has on his immediate future.

“My agent said I’ll probably be picked up in free agency,” he said. “But if anything else happens that’s great.”

He wrapped up his career ranking 12th on the all-time USU career interceptions list with nine, but is second on the Aggie’s list for interception return yardage with 210 yards, according to the school’s web site.

Brindley, McFadden and Ulinski were three of eight Aggies to be evaluated Thursday. Neither McFadden nor Ulinski could be reached for comment Thursday.

McFadden, a 6-2, 294-pound center, had the top performance in the bench press, putting up 225 pounds in 22 consecutive reps. McFadden earned a spot on the watch list for the Rimington Award, presented annually to the top center in the nation, in his senior season.

Ulinski, a 6-3, 202-pound placekicker who handled kick off duties for the past three seasons also worked out Thursday. Ulinski led the WAC in touchbacks (21) in 2008 and tied for 13th in the nation.

During their playing days at Nevada Union, Brindley, McFadden and Ulinski were all members of the 2004 section runner-up squad, while Brindley returned in his senior season at NU to help lead the Miners to the 2005 section championship.

Contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton via e-mail at or by phone at 477-4240.

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