Notes from USF's pro day workouts ...
I've covered Trae Williams for four years, every game from the hard days of 2004 to the wild first half of his senior season, and Friday, with a circle of cameras and reporters around him after USF's pro day workouts, I started to ask him a question and called him ... "Mike."
Silly mistake on my part, and Trae laughed it off. We certainly know who Trae Williams is, and Friday's workout was another step of Williams making a name for himself as a mid-round NFL draft pick. Wherein Mike Jenkins ran well enough at the NFL combine to politely decline to run Friday, content to rest on his official time of 4.38 seconds, Williams needed a good showing at USF's soccer stadium.
He had run a 4.53 at the combine, and faced windy conditions on Friday morning and still came up with two good runs -- the best time I was given was a 4.48. If it's possible to appreciate a major difference in one-twentieth of a second, it's here -- a good showing for Williams, who also looked sharp in agility drills and positional workouts. Jenkins had a few drops in position drills but was pleased with everything he's done to solidify his position as USF's first first-round pick.
The next-most-important 40-yard time of the day belonged to linebacker Ben Moffitt, who has trimmed off an impressive amount of weight -- at least his listed weight -- in the last two months. USF listed him at 245 pounds during the season, and the NFL listed him at 231 at the combine; Friday, he checked in at 224 pounds. Moffitt also ran well in his 40s Friday -- the times I got were between 4.58 and 4.62 seconds. USF reported it as a 4.55, which would be impressive. He also improved his vertical leap five inches since the combine, to 37.5 inches; Williams added four inches to his, getting 36 inches. You can see a full report of all the times and numbers at USF's official site.
No head coaches in attendance, but Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was there in a faded green sweatshirt, singing the praises of USF's athletic facility and the job Jim Leavitt's done with the Bulls. In all, nine 2007 Bulls participated -- the big three of Jenkins, Williams and Moffitt, tackles Jared Carnes and Walt Walker, recievers Amarri Jackson and Courtney Denson, defensive tackle Julian Riley and linebacker Sam Miller.
Clebert had a chance to show something in the weight room, where he holds USF's bench-press record with 43 repetitions at 225 pounds; he "only" did 38 on Friday, though the scouts apparently didn't count four, giving him a total of 34. Former Bulls running back Chad Simpson didn't participate, but linebacker Ronnie McCullough (who transferred to Bethune-Cookman) worked out for scouts, as did former Bulls defensive end Jon Simmons and quarterback Pat Julmiste, along with NFL veteran Frank Murphy, who was at Kansas State when Leavitt coached there.
I'll get quotes from Jenkins and Williams up later today -- Moffitt left early, not needing to do agility drills after a strong showing in those at the combine -- and now the top draft prospects can catch their breath for a moment before they start individual workouts with teams. Jenkins said he already has a date with the Jets on March 29 and said he expects to meet with the Bucs as well. Lots more to come on the draft front, but looks like a good showing for the USF guys today ...