- Austin Ward, ESPN Staff Writer
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The deep balls carried easily down the field.
The passes to the sideline arrived crisply, and pretty much everything over the middle was on the money.
None of the 36 scouts at Ohio State on Friday morning were there to watch Troy Smith work, but six years after going through his own Pro Day, the former Heisman Trophy winner still put on a show for them anyway.
"That wasn't for me, though," a sweating Smith said as he walked off the field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. "That was for Jake Stoneburner, that was for those guys. Anything the Buckeyes need in general around here, I'm at their leisure. Any which way we're going to work, I'm going to help.
"You know, over the years I've learned [a writer's talent] is media stuff. I can roll out of bed and throw spirals, what can I say?"
Those tight spirals helped Stoneburner, who said he dropped his 40-yard dash time to 4.52 seconds and then followed it up with an impressive pass-catching performance with his new mentor playing quarterback for him.
The hybrid wide receiver/tight end was been working closely with Smith to prepare for his pro auditions ahead of next month's draft, and the two certainly made each other look good during the positional drills late in the morning. It might not help Smith get back to the NFL after getting released by the Pittsburgh Steelers last summer, but the outing could boost Stoneburner's stock and help him get there for the first time.
"I can see why he won the Heisman, I see why he was a captain -- he motivated me better than anyone I've ever seen," Stoneburner said. "Having him out there certainly made me look better, and I think he was happier for me than I was for myself.
"I mean, that guy is incredible. I was running as fast as I can 40 yards down the field, didn't have to take one single less stride. He hit me right in stride. I absolutely believe he could be in the NFL, and I think he believes it, too. For the scouts here today, I'm sure he made an impression. He looked flawless out there."
On the other end, Stoneburner didn't look too shabby, either.
5dDan Murphy and Austin Ward