UNC Pro Day Report

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- The Tar Heel seniors auditioned for NFL scouts on Tuesday for UNC's annual Pro Timing Day.

by Greg Barnes

* It should come as no surprise that Norkeithus Otis has spent his offseason training as a linebacker after playing UNC’s tweener Bandit position for the last three seasons. His workouts have included specific detail given to learning different drops, backpedaling and covering in space.

The transition from the defensive line to linebacker hasn’t been seamless.

“I did feel out of place,” Otis said. “It felt a little different for me. If that’s where they want me at the next level, that’s where I’ve got to be able to try to work and be able to play at.”

Otis (6-2, 235) ran a 4.85 40-yard dash and got up 17 reps of 225 during the early morning testing.

* Tuesday marked Tim Scott’s fourth Pro Day attendance, although this was the first time that was inside of the ropes instead of playing the role of cheerleader for his teammates.

“When you watch other people do it, you’re like, ‘I can’t wait for it to happen, I can’t wait,’” Scott said. “But I’m not going to lie – when we first started, I felt like I had to throw up I was so nervous because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But I felt like I definitely showed up for it.”

Despite going to bed at 10:30pm on Monday, Scott said he woke up at 1:30am and then 3:30am before finally getting up at 6:30am.

Scott, who ran a 4.55 40-yard dash, has trained as a cornerback after playing safety during his senior season in 2014. He hopes his versatility in being able to play multiple positions will boost his draft position.

Scott and Otis have spent the offseason training together, in part due to sharing Bus Cook as their agent. Cook also represents former UNC standouts Tre Boston (Carolina Panthers), Jabari Price (Minnesota Vikings) and Eric Ebron (Detroit Lions).

* Former Tar Heels James Hurst (Baltimore Ravens), Eric Ebron, Jabari Price, Tim Jackson and Darius Lipford, among others, were in attendance on Tuesday.

by Pete Dawson

* The first thing that stands out for all of these guys (UNC had 8 position players, as well as place kicker Cody Johnson and punter Tommy Hibbard), is how pressure is packed into this situation. The eight position players all participate in six standard drills (bench press, vertical jump, standing long jump, the 40 yard dash, the pro agility drill and L-Drill) that are designed to give scouts a baseline of the players’ strength, speed and agility. Players often get just two reps (chances) at each drill, so they have to make each opportunity count. All of these players have been working their whole lives for an opportunity to play in the NFL, and today was their chance to make a strong first impression on scouts from around the league (all 30 NFL teams had a representative present).

* All of the players have been working all spring to prepare for this moment. Some players, such as Ethan Farmer, trained at local workout spots in Raleigh. Others such as Tim Scott traveled a little bit farther -- Scott said that he went down to Mississippi and worked with All-American defensive backs from Ole Miss such as safety Cody Prewitt and cornerback Senquez Golson.

* Former UNC tight end Eric Ebron (drafted 11th overall by Detroit in 2013) was among the most vocal cheerleaders, particularly when tight end Jack Tabb was going through his individual drills.

* One name that was not on a lot of people’s radar was wide receiver Roy Smith. Smith (a high school teammate of former Louisville and current Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater) came to UNC primarily as a track and field star. As a redshirt junior, he earned All-ACC Honors in the 110 hurdles for placing third at the ACC Outdoor Championships. Recently, he has been preparing to tryout as a receiver for UNC’s NFL Pro Day. Smith’s last game action came in 2012 when he returned 12 punts for 164 yards. The wide receiver (he’s listed at 5-10 170 lbs) was tied for the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.55) and ran crisp routes at wide receiver.

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