Northwestern superback Dan Vitale. (AP)

Players eager to impress at Bears’ local pro day

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SHARE Players eager to impress at Bears’ local pro day

As usual, the Bears’ annual local pro day will be an eclectic mix, ranging from potential NFL picks to those who might find work in Canada.

But on Thursday, they all will try to leave their fandom behind and impress the Bears at the invite-only event at Halas Hall.

“It’s really a business trip,” said Ole Miss offensive tackle Fahn Cooper, who went to Crystal Lake South.

Ole Miss star receiver Laquon Treadwell, a likely first-round pick and the area’s best player, said he isn’t attending the pro day. But he added he’s scheduled to visit with the Bears soon. He already has visited the Browns, Cowboys, Vikings, 49ers and Bengals, with others scheduled.

Cooper, Northwestern fullback Dan Vitale (Wheaton Warrenville South) and defensive lineman Dean Lowry (Rockford Boylan) are among the notable players invited. All three have a good chance to be drafted.

“I’ve been a die-hard Bears fan my whole life,” said Vitale, the Wildcats’ versatile “superback” for four seasons. “Getting a call like that and a letter from [general manager] Ryan Pace is pretty cool, asking me to come out to their pro day,”

The Bears have eyed Vitale for some time and spoke to him at the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine.

Cooper could be viewed as a swing tackle after playing both sides in college. His development as a prospect, going from a low-profile recruit to the College of DuPage to Ole Miss, could make him a good value.

“You need to have confidence in yourself and remain humble,” said Cooper, who has met with the 49ers and Titans. “It will lead to success.”

Hopefully that continues Thursday at Halas Hall.

“I have to experience it and make the most of it,” Cooper said.

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