CINCINNATI, Ohio (WDTN) – After etching his name into the University of Dayton record books as arguably the best running back in the school’s history, former Flyer Jake Chisholm made the first step towards his NFL dream with a pre-draft workout for the Cincinnati Bengals.

“I felt like it was a very successful day. I felt like did what I came out and needed to do,” said Chisholm. “I’d be a liar if I if I said I wasn’t nervous coming in. But once I got out here and I started moving around, all the jitters went away and it just felt like I was out here playing football.”

Chisholm, the lone UD alum participating in the workout at Paycor Stadium on Tuesday morning, was one of 31 draft-eligible players from various in-state universities including Ohio State, University of Cincinnati and Miami University.

Chisholm will hope to hear his name called during the 2023 NFL Draft, with the first round scheduled for Thursday, April 27 at 8 p.m. and Rounds 2-3 set for 7 p.m. on Friday, April 28. The remaining 4-7 rounds continue that Saturday.

And whether he’s drafted by the Bengals, his childhood team, or another franchise, Chisholm wants to prove he has what it takes to play at the next level.

“It’s something I always dreamed was possible as a kid. And then you get older and and, you know, reality sets in. And I’m not the biggest guy, but I’ve always had a had a tremendous spirit and love for the game. So it’s really, really awesome to be able to be here today wearing wearing this jersey,” added Chisholm.

Chisholm, a two-time FCS All-American and four-time Academic All-American, is the first Dayton football player to have three 1,000-yard seasons. 

The Union, Kentucky native ended his Flyer football career as UD’s all-time record holder in all-purpose yardage (5,063 yards), second in career touchdowns (47) and third in career rushing (3,276 yards). 

The 5-foot-9, 191-pound halfback rushed for 1,050 yards last year in his final season at Dayton. 

He also earned his degree in Pre-Med in December.

In 2022, he led the Pioneer Football League in scoring (102 points) and all-purpose yardage (1,320 yards). Nationally, he was fourth in carries per game (21.2) and fifth in touchdowns per game (1.5).

A two-time White Allen MVP for the Flyers, Chisholm led UD to an 8-3 overall record in 2022, including 6-2 in the PFL, which tied for second place in the league.

He was also named the 2022 winner of the FedEx Ground Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award, which is annually presented to the top student-athlete in FCS football.

Several other local athletes who played their high school careers in the region were also in attendance, including Alter alum and former Kentucky kicker Matt Ruffolo.