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Nick Toon, son of Al, ready to embark on NFL journey

INDIANAPOLIS — Some family trees bear a lot of NFL fruit. Former Wisconsin WR Nick Toon hopes his apple didn’t fall far from his dad’s tree.

By Gary A. Vasquez, US Presswire

Toon followed his father, who played the same position, to the University of Wisconsin. Al Toon, who was drafted 10th overall in 1985 (six spots ahead of Jerry Rice), went on to become a three-time Pro Bowler while playing for the New York Jets until his career was cut short by concussions following the 1992 season.

Nick was 4 when Al retired. But he remembers being on the field for his dad’s final game with the Jets as well as flashbacks to times on the practice field and in the locker room.

But he still incorporates aspects of Al’s game into his own.

“My biggest strength is my hands,” Nick said Saturday at the NFL scouting combine. “A receiver’s job is to catch the ball, that’s something my dad taught me from a young age.”

As for the combine process?

“(Al) just told me stay relaxed, go out and have fun,” said Nick. “You only get to go through it once, and I’m enjoying the process.”

Nick Toon was hampered by a foot injury as a senior, but says it “feels great” now.

“There will always be in obstacles in this game, whether it’s an injury or a dropped pass as a receiver or a blown assignment,” he said. “You try not to have too many of them.

“By no means have I reached my full potential.”

His father’s injury history was never a deterrence, either.

“Concussions are part of the game,” he said. “You take it for what it’s worth, and you go out and play. If it’s not something you don’t want to do, then don’t play.”

He played well for the Badgers in 2011, catching 64 passes for 926 yards and 10 TDs but takes pride in other aspects of his game, especially blocking. The whole package could get him drawn off the draft board by Round 3.

He grew up rooting for the Packers, for whom his dad now serves on the board of directors.

Nick Toon is 6-2 and 215 pounds, shorter and stockier than his fleet, 6-4 father. But he hopes his pro career produces similar success.

“I think my dad was a great route runner, had great hands, he was fast. He was kind of the first of his time as far as big receivers go,” said Toon.

“The game obviously has evolved since he played. I think I look like him a little bit when I’m out there playing.”

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