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Pro Day notes

3/31/2010

We'll have video interviews from a number of Trojans who participated in Wednesday's Pro Day soon, but here are a few highlights to carry you through the wait:

  • The fastest Trojan was cornerback Kevin Thomas, who registered an official 4.43 time in the 40-yard dash. Other impressive times came from defensive end Everson Griffen (4.59, significantly better than his 4.66 at the NFL Combine) and offensive lineman Alex Parsons (4.90, would have been the third-best time for a lineman at the combine). Safety Taylor Mays didn't run the 40.

  • Mays did perform favorably in individual workouts, though, making several plays in defensive back drills. His ball skills have been questioned, and he admitted that in interviews with the media afterward. He also said — to questions that he may isolate himself as a player and not be "coachable" at the next level — that he was always receptive to coaching at USC.

  • Impressive strength performances: 38 reps of 225 pounds from offensive lineman Nick Howell, 35 from safety Will Harris and 32 from defensive tackle Averell Spicer, who looked particularly good.

  • Justin Hart and Adam Goodman also did timed drills and individual workouts. Other participants who didn't play for USC last year included Hershel Dennis, Omar Nazel, Ryan Powdrell, and Michael Coleman. Dennis also appeared at Pro Day last year. He ran a 4.65 40 today.

  • Running back Joe McKnight struggled in both the short and long shuttles, tripping up twice on the latter version. He said his camp decided he had no need to run the 40 this time after recording a 4.47 at the combine. Receiver Damian Williams didn't participate in the short shuttle but impressed scouts in attendance with his long shuttle performance.

  • Speaking of scouts, there were significantly less NFL crowding Cromwell Field this year as compared to previous years. The likely reason? Texas, boasting prospects like Colt McCoy and Sergio Kindle, held its Pro Day today as well. The only head coach spotted was Carolina's John Fox, who was also reportedly at UCLA's Pro Day on Tuesday.

  • Harris wasn't invited to the combine. He said he took it as a slight and came into Pro Day with a chip on his shoulder. He ran a 4.59 40 and impressed in other workouts. "I'm very happy with my performance," he said.

  • Offensive lineman Charles Brownhurt his hamstring on his second 40-yard dash attempt and didn't take part in anything else. His official 40 time was a 5.25; Howell, a reserve on the line in 2009, ran a 5.07. His father, former USC great Pat Howell, was in attendance. Offensive guard Jeff Byers ran a 5.09 and looked decent.

  • In a stark contrast from last year, when former coach Pete Carroll was all over the field motivating players and talking to NFL personnel, new head coach Lane Kiffin was nowhere to be seen.