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Army's Trent Steelman hopes to catch eye of NFL scouts

Record-setting QB Trent Steelman is pleased with his recent switch to receiver.
Record-setting QB Trent Steelman is pleased with his recent switch to receiver.
Published Jan. 16, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG — Army QB Trent Steelman completed his career as the Black Knights' all-time leader for rushing touchdowns (45) and rushing yardage by a quarterback (3,320 yards). A four-year starter, Steelman is the only Army player to rush and pass for more than 2,000 yards.

But standing just 6 feet tall and hidden in Army's traditional run-heavy offense, Steelman garnered little attention from NFL scouts.

A month ago, Steelman made a position change to wide receiver. The early returns have been encouraging for the Bowling Green, Ky., native.

"I love it," he said. "I think it fits my skill set very well. I'm liking the position a lot."

Steelman is a member of the East Team for Saturday's 88th annual East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field. On the second day of practice at Shorecrest Prep, Steelman made several difficult catches in heavy traffic, including a diving, full-extension grab while tiptoeing the sideline on a short out pattern.

"I'm just trying to get better every day," Steelman said. "Wide receiver is a new position for me, and although I've been training for about a month everything's still pretty new. I'm just hoping to learn and get better."

In a goal-line drill simulation, Steelman found himself back in familiar territory. The 210-pounder took a handful of snaps from center in the wildcat formation and showed his ability to get into the end zone. Steelman rushed for 1,248 yards and tied the single-season school record with 17 rushing touchdowns as a senior.

"(The East coaches) told me pretty much from the start I was going to get some looks from the wildcat, so I knew it was coming sooner or later," he said. "I love running the ball. I ran the option for a long time. It fits me pretty well."

ONE TO WATCH: One of the more intriguing prospects on the East Team is Southeastern Louisiana QB Nathan Stanley. Scouts love Stanley's 6-5, 215-pound frame and the zip he puts on his passes, but he is still an extremely raw talent.

Starting just one season at Southeastern Louisiana after transferring from Ole Miss, Stanley threw for 1,952 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012 to help the Lions to a 5-6 record, 5-2 in the Southland Conference.

He has been heavily involved in the college all-star game circuit in an attempt to become more familiar to NFL scouts and coaches.

Friday, he participated in the Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game in Tucson, Ariz., where he went 2-for-9 for 19 yards with two interceptions.

The tutoring Stanley has received heading into the NFL draft has proved invaluable.

"We've got some great coaches here, and I'm just trying to take in as much as I can," he said.

MISCELLANY: Florida K Caleb Sturgis routinely booted kickoffs deep into the end zone Tuesday. And his first kick, which went through the goal post, drew an audible gasp from East coach Jerry Glanville. "I thought I hit them a whole lot better (Tuesday) than I did (Monday)," Sturgis said. … Catch of the day went to Auburn's Emory Blake, who hauled in a one-handed, 20-yard out from Kansas State's Collin Klein while managing to drag both feet in bounds.