Pro Day notes, quotes and video
March, 7, 2012
By Pedro Moura | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Here are notes and quotes from USC's annual Pro Day event held on campus Wednesday that didn't fit into the rest of our coverage from the day:
- The stars of the day were left tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry, by far. Both players dominated the only thing in which they participated -- position-specific drills. Perry's agility showed up in his drills, when he looked twice as fast as the other defensive linemen in changing directions in small areas. Kalil went one-on-one against Rhett Ellison and Martin Coleman in line/tight end drills and consistently controlled each situation.
- Ellison looked good in pass-catching drills, far more fluid than he did last season. With a respectable time of 4.83 in the 40 and height/weight of 6 feet 5 and 250 pounds, Ellison might be drafted higher than initially projected. Worst-case scenario, he could probably be a usable special-teamer in the NFL. And he has the bloodlines and work ethic to give him the benefit of the doubt.
- Christian Tupou again didn't test well, running 5.50 and 5.40 in the 40-yard dash and struggling some in the defensive-line drills. He's really not a workout-type player and this setting hurts his stock. Running back Marc Tyler said scouts had him in between a 4.64 and 4.70 40, but his official time was in the 4.8-range. He joked that he wasn't going to be running for any 70-yard touchdowns regardless, unless the defender chasing him slipped.
- The fastest 40-yard dash time from a 2011 Trojan was Brandon Carswell's 4.56. Former USC defensive back Cary Harris ran the overall fastest time with a 4.53. The slowest went to Coleman who was timed at 5.95 and 6.03 (gulp). Of the prospects with a legitimate hope of being drafted, Carswell's time helped him the most.
- A general theme from those who went to the NFL combine: It's a little bit scary. Tyler said the time change messed him up and an injured hamstring contributed to his poor running in the 40-yard dash. Linebacker Chris Galippo said he was happy with his performance, not only on the field but in the interview room, where he said he hoped he showed teams he was a "fast-twitch brain" kind of player.
- Among the walk-ons who worked out for USC were tackle Peter Yobo and cornerbacks Boomer Roepke, James Harbin and Allen Noble. Former players included Cary Harris, safety Kevin Ellison, linebacker Nick Garratt and defensive back Josh Pinkard. 2011 Trojans who worked out but aren't expected to be drafted included linebacker Shane Horton, safety Marshall Jones and long-snapper Chris Pousson.