USF bumps football Pro Day back to March 30
With an unprecedented number of players in position to be drafted, USF has moved its Pro Day -- where NFL scouts and their stopwatches convene at the Bulls' soccer stadium to evaluate draft prospects -- from March 3 to March 30.
The original date was tentatively scheduled before the coaching change, and the later date is more in line with new coach Skip Holtz's schedule. USF has six players going to the NFL Combine at the end of this month, and the Pro Day would have come less than a week later, so the new date gives players a chance to polish up areas that might not have been optimal in Indianapolis.
USF junior defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is being projected as a first-round pick, potentially as high as No. 3 in one mock draft. Safety Nate Allen seems to be next on the list, potentially as another first-rounder, with defensive end George Selvie, cornerback Jerome Murphy, receiver Carlton Mitchell and linebacker Kion Wilson all likely to get drafted.
Moving the date back also gives former USF quarterback Matt Grothe another four weeks to rehabilitate the knee injury that ended his senior season in September, allowing him to better showcase himself as a potential draft pick or free-agent signing.
-- Just to offset some of the excitement over ESPN.com's Todd McShay putting Pierre-Paul at No. 3 in his latest mock draft, two other sites have new mocks that barely include Pierre-Paul in the first round -- or not at all. Foxsports.com's Peter Schrager has Pierre-Paul clear down at No. 54, going to Cincinnati in the second round, one spot ahead of Allen. And Nationalfootballpost.com's Wes Bunting has Pierre-Paul sneaking into the first round at No. 30, to the Vikings.
-- More national pub for USF guard Dominique Jones, as USAtoday.com's Jack Carey writes about Jones and how USF's prospects are looking up in the Big East this season. Not sure if it's in the printed USA Today today -- surely somebody out there is in an airport or something and can confirm for me ...
-- Rivals.com has its preseason football top 25 for 2010, with three Big East teams ranked. Pittsburgh leads at No. 14, with Connecticut at No. 23 and Cincinnati at No. 25. That doesn't count West Virginia or Rutgers, so you could see USF as low as sixth in some Big East preseason rankings.
-- Today is the last day that tickets are on sale for USF's leadoff banquet for baseball and softball on Feb. 18, and Lelo Prado and Ken Eriksen haven't disappointed with the guest list this year. Olympic star Jennie Finch will be in attendance, as will Yankees manager Joe Girardi. If you've been to the banquet before, there's usually a few Yankees and/or Hall of Famers there unannounced as well ...