Football: Seniors show off during Pro Day, vie for opportunity to play in NFL

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    March 14, 2010


    Football: Seniors show off during Pro Day, vie for opportunity to play in NFL

    3/11/2010 11:01:00 PM Email this article • Print this article

    Will Frasure • Staff Writer •

    On Ohio's Pro Day, several seniors stole the show from Taylor Price.

    Thad Turner and Chris Garrett put on impressive performances in various drills for scouts from 12 National Football League teams in hopes of boosting their stock for April's NFL Draft. In all, 13 of Ohio's seniors participated in drills, with former Bobcats and prospects from smaller schools also participating.

    Turner, a second-team all-MAC cornerback last season, had arguably the best day of all the seniors. After beginning training shortly after the season in Miami, the corner's hard work paid off as he ran a 4.46 in the 40 and impressed scouts in jumping drills, especially with his 10-foot-3-inch broad jump.

    "I trained real hard since the end of the season," Turner said. "I trained with a lot of projected top-15 picks, people like Eric Berry and Jahvid Best."

    Garrett, the Bobcats' leading rusher and kick returner last season, put on impressive showings in speed tests (mid-4.3s in the 40) and the bench press (19 repetitions). The senior running back stands only 5 feet 8 inches, but might have impressed scout with his quickness and speed that could make him a viable kick returner in the NFL.

    Ohio University representatives and NFL scouts were prohibited from talking to the media and giving numbers from the drills, so all numbers come from the players.

    "I wanted to come in here and run a sub 4.4," Garrett said. "I wanted to get the fastest time possible, and I think I did that."

    Although he did not participate in any of the testing drills after having an impressive showing at the NFL combine, Price did catch passes from quarterbacks Theo Scott and Brandon Jones for scouts. The wide receiver, a projected second to third round pick, said he wanted to show scouts improvement in the his route-running after he was criticized for it at the combine.

    "(Route-running) is definitely something I've been working on," Price said. "I've been trying to improve my footwork at the top of routes, keeping my body-weight down, little things like that."

    One distinct advantage for Price this time around was the opportunity to have Scott, his starting quarterback, throw him balls instead of quarterbacks from other colleges at the combine.

    "It felt comfortable," Price said. "He knows me. I know him. I know how his throws are. He knows my speed."

    "It was a great help," he added.

    Price and Scott both looked impressive during the throwing drills, with Scott throwing some impressive deep balls. The highlight from Price was an out-and-up route, and he made a finger-tip catch on the goal line.

    Other top seniors, such as Errik Ejike and Patrick Tafua, also participated in the drills, hoping for the chance for a call from an NFL team, either in the draft or after it.

    The two did not go through some of the rigorous training others did. Instead they spent their off-season doing schoolwork or finishing school.

    Tafua, like many of the seniors, might have played his last down of football last fall, but is hoping the Pro Day might bring him an opportunity to play in the NFL.

    "I'm just hoping to take full advantage of an opportunity that comes," Tafua said. "This was a great opportunity for all of my teammates and I."

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