Former Illini receiving star A.J. Jenkins turned heads at the NFL Combine recently, running the 40 yard dash in a blistering 4.39 seconds and going 38.5" in the vertical leap. He then showed off his skills for scouts from 29 pro teams at the annual Pro Timing Day on the Illinois campus.
The main thing he wanted to do Tuesday was show scouts quickness out of his cuts and the ability to catch all kinds of passes.
"It's been a long, real hard process. I think I did okay. I was catching the ball and running around. I thought it went smooth."
Being with friends and teammates in a familiar environment helped Jenkins relax and enjoy the day.
"The combine takes 3 1/2 days, and this was just one day. You've got to get x-rays and all that. There is more stress level at the combine; you're always around scouts, you're always around head coaches. Today is critical, but it's a lot less stressful."
Jenkins had a definite purpose for partaking in the field work.
"I just wanted to show them that I was a complete package. Show I can play both the slot and outside receiver positions. Run routes, catch the ball well, just do things critics say I can't do."
He wasn't sure how to interpret the reactions he received.
"I got some feedback, but nothing specific."
His 40 time at the combine is exceptional for most humans, but it didn't excite Jenkins.
"I thought it was going to be faster, to be honest with you. It took me too long to get my tights off. But it is what it is."
He didn't go into detail, but Jenkins has some private workouts scheduled with pro teams prior to the draft.
"Right now, I'm continuing my workouts. I've got to get in better shape. I've just got to keep on being humble and being hungry. I've got a workout next week, so I've got to watch my p's and q's."