- Brian Bennett, College Football
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The underwear Olympics -- er, the NFL combine -- is officially over.
For several days in the past week, pro football hopefuls ran, jumped and lifted in front of scouts and front office types in Indianapolis, showing off skills that apparently weren't evident during their college careers.
Several Big Ten players stood out during the event. First, let's look at some of the top performers at the combine who hailed from league schools:
Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes posted the second-fastest 40-yard dash time of the entire combine at 4.31 seconds, behind only UAB's J.J. Nelson. As one of the top three fastest players, Waynes earned $100,000 from Adidas. Not bad for less than five seconds of work.
Penn State linebacker Mike Hull finished 11th in the 225-pound bench press, pushing it up 31 times. (My pick to win and possibly challenge the record was Iowa's Brandon Scherff, who came in at "only" 23 reps. Still at least 22 more than I could do.)
Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah and former teammate Bell showed very well in the drills. Abdullah was third in the vertical jump at 42.5 inches, tied for eighth in broad jump (10 feet, 10 inches), 13th in the three-cone drill, fourth in the 20-yard shuttle and seventh in the 60-yard shuttle. Those excellent numbers should more than make up for his 40-yard dash time of 4.6 seconds.
Bell, meanwhile, tied for seventh in the vertical jump at 41.5 inches, tied for 14th in the broad jump at 10-9 and was fourth in the three-cone drill. Known as much for his blocking as his receiving in college, Bell likely opened some more eyes in Indianapolis.
Wisconsin star Melvin Gordon was second overall in the 60-yard shuttle. He ran a 4.52 40.
Former Michigan defensive end Frank Clark tied for 10th in the 60-yard shuttle and was 14th in the 20-yard shuttle.
Penn State safety Adrian Amos tied for 12th in the 20-yard shuttle.
Some other notable results:
Michigan's Devin Funchess showed off a 38.5 inch vertical at 232 pounds. Is he a tight end or a wide receiver? Who cares? Just throw it his way.
Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams ran a 4.78 in the 40, which was third among tight ends but belied his overall playmaking skills.
Speaking of tight ends, Ohio State's Jeff Heuerman and Penn State's Jesse James tied for second among their position group in the bench press at 26 reps each. James also went 37.5 inches on his vertical jump, second best among tight ends and broad jumped a position-best 10 feet, 1 inch. Physical freak.
Northwestern's Ibraheim Campbell was tops among safeties with 23 reps on the bench press. Michigan State's Kurtis Drummond had the highest vertical among safeties, at 39.5 inches. Amos was second in the group in both the 20- and 60-yard shuttle.
Waynes' 40 time grabbed headlines, but Ohio State's Doran Grant tied for the third-fastest cornerback in the group, going 4.44 seconds.
Wisconsin offensive tackle Rob Havenstein ran a 5.77 in the 40. Sure, that's "slow," but he weighed in at 321 pounds. The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is still recovering.
The underwear Olympics -- er, the NFL combine -- is officially over.For several days in the past week, pro football hopefuls ran, jumped and lifted in front of scouts and front office types in Indianapolis, showing off skills that apparently weren't evident during their college careers.