FARGO-Pierre Gee-Tucker is taking a break from the real workaday world this week for a shot at the real world of NFL football. The former North Dakota State linebacker, who finished his eligibility in 2016, will be one of 10 former NDSU players taking part in the Bison's annual Pro Day on Thursday.
It's the several-station workout regimine in front of pro scouts that could make or break a player's chance at the pro game.
For Gee-Tucker, it's a chance to show what he can do when fully healthy. He took part in last year's Bison Pro Day, but it was also after an offseason where he spent a good chunk of the time just trying to shed the injury bug.
"I wasn't explosive where I could move like my true self," he said. "I could do things, but I wasn't anywhere near my full capabilities because I was still dealing with swelling in the knees and a thigh bruise where I lost a lot of range of motion. I was trying not to worry about it and just fight through it, but it didn't help me. With the year being out and letting my body recover, I think I'll be a lot better."
A player partaking in Pro Day a year after their last season isn't totally uncommon. Last year, Travis Beck gave it a shot. The former Bison linebacker tore his Achilles tendon toward the end of his senior year in 2015.
Gee-Tucker got his degree from NDSU last December and has been working as a financial analyst for Northwestern Mutual in the St. Louis area. It's made for long days, leaving the house at 6:30 a.m. for his job.
From there, he went right to training for three hours getting home around 9:30 at night.
"I want to make sure I have another door for myself," Gee-Tucker said of his financial analyst job. "Nothing is guaranteed so if things don't work out with this, I'm good."
Gee-Tucker missed two games with a knee injury in 2016, starting 12 games and finishing fourth on the team in tackles with 74. Perhaps his signature play was a hit on Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard that turned into an MJ Stumpf interception for a touchdown in the Bison upset of the Hawkeyes.
Gee-Tucker played that year at 6-foot-1 and about 221 pounds. He's about 225 right now. Nine other former Bison are expected to go through the measurements and tests on Thursday: linebackers Nick DeLuca and Chris Board, safety Tre Dempsey, long snapper James Fisher, tight end Jeff Illies, punter Jackson Koonce, offensive lineman Austin Kuhnert, defensive tackle Nate Tanguay and fullback/tight end Connor Wentz.
The workouts are closed to the public.
The other nine Bison players were part of the 2017 FCS national championship. Gee-Tucker probably needs to prove he has no rust from not being a part of that team.
"I'm pretty sure they're going to look at it but that's why I'm here, to show them that I'm moving even better," he said. "As long as I go out and handle business like I have been doing in training, then things will fall into place."
Gee-Tucker said he ran a 4.65-second 40-yard dash last year. He hopes to get that down to between 4.5 and 4.6 seconds.
"I'm pretty sure my agility and things like that are going to be good as always," he said. "It's always been one of my best attributes, I'm pretty confident about that."