4-Year Starter Trying to Impress Pro Scouts

Former Tiger Will Herring talks about taking a shot at pro football.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn's Ben Grubbs, Kenny Irons, David Irons and Courtney Taylor got to showcase their talents to pro football scouts at the NFL Combine, but for their fellow seniors interested in playing more football Auburn's Pro Day was a one-time shot to impress NFL scouts.

One of those taking his best shot at getting noticed by pro teams was Will Herring. A three-year starter at safety for the Tigers, Herring bulked up and moved to linebacker and started there as a senior. Auburn's all-time leader in games started, Herring says that the on-campus workout was a pressure situation, but not anything harder than what he's already gone through in his career.

"I don't know if anything is tougher than going out in front of 90,000 screaming in T-Town or Knoxville, but it's just fun to compete," Herring says. "If you enjoy playing football then you love to compete. That's all we were doing is competing and pulling each other on and hoping for the best. We're trying to show them what we've got down here in Auburn."

Herring catches a pass during a defensive back drill.

Considered too slow to by some to stay in the secondary at Auburn, much less in the NFL, Herring was out to prove that he has the speed to help a NFL team wherever he's needed next season. Weighing in at 229.9 pounds, just under the 230 mark that was his goal coming into the workout, Herring ran a best time of 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He says that while it wasn't quite what he hoped for, it was good enough.

"I'll take it," Herring says, who did 18 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press with a vertical jump of 35 inches. "I was hoping for a 4.49 because I wanted to break a 4.50. I have done several 4.5s in training and some 4.4s but we're on a true grass field. This was a true 4.5. After putting on weight to get to about 230, I feel pretty good about it."

Already considered a versatile player because of his ability to line up at two positions, Herring also showed the pros that he can be serviceable long snapper if called upon to do that in the future. It's something Herring says he has worked on and decided he wanted to show he could do.

"I have maintained my long snapping throughout college," Herring says. "I have messed around here or there. I was a quarterback in high school and if you can throw a football you should be able to throw it between your legs. That's all it is. I worked on it some during the off-season and did it some for the scouts."

With the pro day now behind him, Herring says that he'll continue to train and get ready in case his name is called in the NFL Draft that begins April 28 in New York. Until then the Opelika native says he'll just take some time to relax with his family before finishing his training with Chip Smith at CES in Atlanta.

"I'm going to spend some time with my grandparents," says Herring, who did extensive workouts for the pro scouts as both a linebacker and safety after the combine style testing was done at Pro Day. "My granddad has had a rough time of it and is in the hospital now. I'm going to see them for a week or so and then come back and keep training. I'm going to work on football stuff and get mentally prepared.

"I have been working on football stuff as well as combine stuff, but the combine is just a track meet. It's not really football. It shows your raw skills and explosiveness. I'll just keep working on football skills and see what happens from here."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories