Sights, sounds from USF Pro Day
Seventeen former Bulls spent three hours Monday morning engaging in a series of lifts, leaps, footwork drills and 40-yard dashes for scouts from 21 professional teams at the USF Pro Day at the Morsani Practice Complex. Reporters (and apparently, family members) were allowed to attend, but workout results weren't publicly posted, leaving us to jot down as much as we could hear and observe. Here are some notes and quotes from the morning:
* The NFL teams represented: Jets, Broncos, Jaguars, Cardinals, Dolphins, Packers, Eagles, 49ers, Bucs, Bills, Steelers, Saints, Texans, Chargers, Giants, Ravens, Colts, Lions, Bengals. A Tampa Bay Storm scout also attended, as did a representative of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. No NFL head coaches were spotted.
* WR Derrick Hopkins, a Big East sprint champion, ran his 40 in the 4.3-second range according to some stopwatches. Elsewhere, MLB DeDe Lattimore ran a 4.58, S Fidel Montgomery ran in the low 4.5s and TB Marcus Shaw was clocked in the 4.6s. DE Aaron Lynch, who didn't run at the recent NFL Scouting Combine due to a hamstring injury, ran a 4.64
* The best lifting performances we saw were from DE Tevin Mims and TE Lawrence Martin, both of whom did 27 reps of 225 pounds. Close behind were DE Ryne Giddins (25), DE JuJu Forte (24) and Lattimore (20).
* Lynch, clearly one of the morning's most scrutinized participants, also logged a 29-inch vertical leap and 9-foot, 9-inch broad jump, and did the short shuttle around 4.6 seconds. He said he weighed in at 252 pounds.
"I feel like I'm versatile enough to play any position on the (defensive) line (or) outside linebacker, because I can put on the weight, said Lynch, an early entry who played one year at USF. "I can be 270, I can be 280, or be an outside linebacker and be 260 or 250 and move well."
* At least three players -- Forte, CB JaQuez Jenkins and S Mark Joyce -- had 33-inch vertical leaps. FB Ryan Eppes, who arrived with a chiseled physique and might have enjoyed a breakthrough workout, had a 32 1/2-inch effort.
* Following a lackluster effort at the NFL Scouting Combine, Mims said he felt he performed better Monday. "I felt like I was pretty smooth," he said. ... He added some clubs are interested in him as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
* Lattimore, expected to get an invitation to an NFL camp if undrafted, also registered a 30 1/2-inch vertical leap and ran the short shuttle in the 4.3s. "Just watch film and you'll see my toughness and my drive and my will to win," he said.
* Lynch said the first question he's asked by NFL teams is why he left Notre Dame after his freshman season (2011). His response: To be closer to his girlfriend in Cape Coral.
"I wasn't homesick; my mom moved up to Ohio to watch me play at Notre Dame," he said. "It was really just the whole girlfriend (thing). I got married and I think everybody knows we got a divorce a few months back. That's the question I get from every coach, the first question."