Brendon Kay made some noise in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl all-star game last weekend, but that is not why the University of Cincinnati senior quarterback is increasingly optimistic about his National Football League chances.

Kay is not rated in the Johnny Manziel-Teddy Bridgewater upper echelon of draftable quarterbacks, but he has learned enough to know that he should get an NFL chance. This year’s draft is May 8-10.

“I’ve talked to plenty of teams, to where I think I will get a shot somewhere,” Kay said via telephone. “All I need is an opportunity to get in. I’ll take it from there.”

Kay helped lead Team National to a 31-17 win over Team American in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl last Saturday in Carson, Calif. Kay threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Miami Hurricanes tight end Asante Cleveland on the team’s first drive of the second half, breaking a 14-14 tie.

Kay is rated the No. 25 available quarterback by CBS Sports’ website, which means Kay is looking at free agent status. Other draft websites also list Kay in that range, including No. 26 by

Kay has NFL size at 6-foot-4 and 228 pounds. He had a 12-4 career record in games he started at UC, and in 2013 Kay became only the fourth Bearcats quarterback to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season. Kay finished with 3,302 yards passing, 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions as UC went 9-4.

Kay recently has been training in sunny Miami at Bommarito Peformance Systems, which features NFL Draft preparation workouts. Kay has his UC undergraduate degree and is working on a master’s in Business Administration, and his schedule has allowed him to stay in football shape. UC will have its annual NFL Pro Day workouts March 6 on campus.

Kay said he gained invaluable experience at NFLPA all-star practices, which were viewed by multiple NFL scouts. Kay also soaked in some wisdom from an all-star staff that included former NFL coach Dick Vermeil, who was head coach of Kay’s team.

“The game is more for the fans, but it was really the week of practices where everything counts,” Kay said. “You install an NFL offense in four days, and every single team has scouts or coaches or GMs there. I probably met with 15 or 20 teams.”

UC coach Tommy Tuberville liked what Kay did for him in Tuberville’s first year as Bearcats coach, as Kay battled numerous injuries.

“He made plays, and the NFL likes that,” Tuberville said.