Assorted notes from USF's Pro Day
The top seniors from last fall's football team gathered at USF Soccer Stadium along with a few alums to work out for pro scouts with the hopes of improving their chances at landing a pro contract, either with the NFL or elsewhere. Seventeen NFL teams were said to be on hand, and the Bucs' contingent included linebackers coach Joe Barry and former linebacker Shelton Quarles, now a pro scout for the team.
USF's biggest draft prospects remain linebacker Tyrone McKenzie and receiver Taurus Johnson, who worked out at the NFL combine last month. Johnson didn't run the 40, content to stick with his combine times of 4.43 and 4.47 seconds, so the fastest 40 times recorded was safety Louis Gachette, who was timed at 4.5; former Bulls receiver Ean Randolph, who got a long look with the Chiefs in 2007, ran a 4.59. Johnson mentioned that he's already scheduled for a workout with the Bucs on April 15.
McKenzie has been slowed by a hamstring injury and was timed at 4.78 seconds, which is in the same range as many of the top linebackers at the combine. Ohio State's James Laurinaitis, for instance, ran a 4.8 in Indianapolis. McKenzie had a solid time in the 20-yard shuttle -- 5 yards to the left, 10 to the right, then 5 back to the original starting point. His time of 4.28 seconds was the fastest of any USF player.
McKenzie also had a 32.5-inch vertical leap, while Johnson's measured at 34.5 inches; neither can keep up with running back Ben Williams, who recorded a 36.5-inch leap. Best in the bench press? Defensive end Jarriett Buie, who was disappointed with his 4.81 40 time, put up 32 repetitions at 225 pounds, a solid number, and two more than former Bulls defensive tackle Richard Clebert and guard Matt Huners. Offensive linemen Jake Griffin and Ryan Schmidt had 28 reps each.
I wouldn't say USF's defensive secondary was known for its speed last season, but the 40 times were still surprising for cornerback Tyller Roberts (4.75) and safety Carlton Williams (4.88), who managed only 9 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press. Former Bulls quarterback Pat Julmiste handled the passes for receivers and backs running routes for the scouts -- Ben Williams looked solid catching passes out of the backfield. Here's a full rundown of all the players' times and other measurables from USF's official site.
It's always interesting to see how the players' exact heights and weights compare to what they're listed on USF's roster, and several players were two inches shorter than they'd been listed -- Buie at 6-2, Carlton Williams at 6-2, Roberts at 5-11, Gachette at 6-1. Linemen Griffin and Huners weighed 13 pounds more than their rostered weight, and Schmidt was up 10 pounds. And there's no real significance to height in a long-snapper, but Eric Setser, who worked out with fellow snapper Darryl Dudding, was measured at 5-foot-9, four inches less than his roster height. Again, it doesn't change what they accomplished on the field, just takes them down a notch in size, which does count for something.
-- Roster update: Remember the five new walk-ons we told you about Monday? Four of them are already gone after just two practices -- quarterback Steve Tagye, running back Edward Williams and receivers Lonnie Oxendine and Bermanley Augustin are no longer on the team. Defensive back Chris Lane remains, and there are two new names (for now): linebacker Craig Breen, who I believe is from South Sumter, and former Bloomingdale standout Deonte Franklin -- not exactly sure what position he'll play.