Former Ute sprints toward draft
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Brice McCain needed little more than four seconds to establish his NFL potential.
A great workout in front of NFL scouts pushed the former Utah defensive back up from unlikely to quite possibly on the long list of potential draftees. McCain's times in the 40-yard dash were undeniably fast -- so fast that he may be a late-round pick next weekend.
A three-year starter for the Utes, McCain said NFL interest in him was higher his junior season than after Utah's unbeaten run through 2008.
"A lot of people lost interest in me. I never knew why," said McCain. "With my 40 time, I've just gotten more looks."
It took more than his time, which NFL scouts listed as 4.30 seconds, to get McCain to potential-pick status. He also had to show he could cut and go side-to-side just as quickly in the agility drills, but his speed in the straight run is what people are talking about.
"We knew he was that fast," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "I was happy to see him do it in front of the scouts because I think a lot of the scouts didn't believe us when we told them how fast he was. They got to see it firsthand."
The 40 has been part of football's evaluation process for decades. McCain, who's only 5-foot-9, knew he was going to have to run a fast 40 and excel in the other drills if he was going to get serious consideration in the draft.
He enrolled at TEST Sports Football Academy in New Jersey and worked with strength and conditioning specialist Brian Martin to hone his form for all the pre-draft drills over several weeks.
"He needed to have incredible numbers to get on the draft board," said Martin, a former college linebacker who founded TEST.
For players like McCain, the workouts in front of the scouts either corroborate or contradict what he had done in college.
McCain watched video of some early 40s he ran for Martin and saw his body was at a slight angle as he made the sprint. With a few tweaks in his stride and more pump from his shoulders, McCain shaved nearly one-tenth of a second off his 40 time.
Martin said during one run, three different timers had McCain running a 4.19.
"I've never seen a faster athlete in my life," Martin said.
McCain may have been just as fast during his workout at Utah's indoor practice facility on March 9, but times vary because each scout keeps his own stopwatch. The times listed with the NFL were 4.30 and 4.34 -- which were still fast under any circumstances.
"I got the same treatment everybody else got I got. I think I just took more advantage of it," McCain said. "Anybody can run fast, but can you play? And I can play."
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