Seniors Pursue NFL Aspirations

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina graduating seniors Jesse Holley and Larry Edwards turned in identical 40 times, as both, along with several other Tar Heel seniors displayed their wares for NFL scouts during Pro Timing Day Tuesday at UNC.

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    Holley and Edwards were joined by several teammates with aspirations for the next level, including Kareen Taylor, Bryan Rackley, Jon Hamlett and Melik Brown.

    Victor Worsley turned in a surprising 4.49-40 time.

    Holley, who ran a 4.6 over 40 yards, hopes other aspects of his skill set will impress scouts.

    "Early on I started off a little slow, but I picked it up as the day went on," Holley said. "I think it's my all out route running with my size. All the drills, but I don't really see me doing those drills out on the football field. My hands – I didn't drop a ball. I think I tucked it away and burst it well. I think my size is what a lot of people in the NFL are looking for."

    Holley, 6-2, 208, played in every game during his four-year tenure at Carolina, catching 126 passes for 1,760 yards and seven touchdowns.

    "I just loved playing football at UNC week in and week out," he said. "College really helped me grow up a lot, because I came in as a hard headed boy and I'm leaving as a man. That's one of the things I really appreciated about going to school at a top notch university and playing against top notch programs."

    Many analysts are projecting Holley as a possible late round pick.

    Edwards, 6-0 ½, 230, impressed with 4.6 speed to go with his good size. He hopes the measurables won't distract from what he considers his most valuable attributes – passion and love for the game.

    "A lot of these things assess what kind of player you are, how explosive you are and the kinds of things that you can do," he said. "But a lot of it comes from heart and what kind of person you are. They all know my injuries, and they know what I can do. I feel pretty comfortable and that things are going to go pretty good for me."

    An Achilles injury has hampered Edwards's training of late, he said.

    "I think things went fairly well, but I felt I could have done better," Edwards said. "But as far as everything goes, I feel I did OK. That's how it goes with me – I'm can never be satisfied with what I do."

    Fox Sports currently ranks him as the 35th outside linebacker. Edwards said he's aware he may be a free agent prospect.

    "It's up in the air right now," Edwards said. "I'm not going to let my expectations get too high. I think my tape will show what kind of person I am, the attitude I had towards the game of football and what kind of player I am. It's all in the hands of the scouts and the NFL.

    "I love this game, and I'm going to do whatever it takes to keep doing what I love doing. If not, if anything, I'll just keep working and striving to become the best player I can be."

    Taylor, 5'10, 199, who was named team defensive MVP at UNC season-ending banquet, ran a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. Taylor, who played in all 12 games as a senior, led Carolina with five interceptions and finished second with 70 tackles. Taylor recorded two interceptions in each of the two final games of the season against NC State and Duke.

    Ronnie McGill is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the season-finale versus Duke and did not participate.

    The NFL Draft will be held April 28-29 in New York City.

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