Speedy Time Brings Smile To Wells' Face

Chris "Beanie" Wells developed few doubters of his talent thanks to his sterling body of work in three years at Ohio State, but slow runs at the NFL Scouting Combine added to the vagaries of the pro league's draft left his projected selection status up in the air. Wells thinks he boosted his body of work after some flying 40 times at OSU's pro day left him grinning from ear to ear.

Chris Wells was all smiles – a familiar look for the former Ohio State running back – as he addressed the media after Ohio State's pro day workouts Friday afternoon.

Wells was pleased after his performance in front of the bunches of NFL scouts and coaches that descended on Columbus for the annual workout session, his 40-yard dash time that ranged from 4.34 to 4.40 seconds among the major reasons for his grins.

But the man known as "Beanie" wasn't happy because he possibly had improved his draft status that in some circles that had slipped after a 40-yard dash time in the range of 4.6 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. In fact, the player who chose to left OSU after his junior year hadn't even been paying attention to mock drafts that had become wildly divergent on his possible draft status.

"Not really," he said. "I'm just living life and enjoying the opportunity that I had. I've really been blessed to be in the position that I'm in today. I'm just enjoying it."

Instead, he was in good spirits after his performance simply because he had improved at the level he had expected. Suffice it to say, running the 40 he did in Indianapolis after expecting to do at least one-tenth of a second better was motivation for Wells.

"It was for myself, not for anybody else," he said of Friday's showing. "I know I was faster than what I ran at the combine. It was just a personal thing for me."

In the intervening time since the February NFL combine, Wells spent his time working with the Buckeye training staff. After his most recent performance, Beanie credited director of football performance Eric Lichter for helping him drop his 40 time by working on starts and explosion.

"There would be times when Me, James (Laurinaitis) and Marcus (Freeman) didn't get out of here until 10 o'clock at night," he said. "We came in on Saturday nights, Friday nights, Sundays."

Other than speed drills, Wells took part in a number of position drills and also caught footballs to show NFL scouts that he could catch the ball after making just 15 grabs during his three-year OSU career.

"I definitely think it's important for me," He said. "A lot of people tend to think Ohio State running backs can't catch the ball just because they don't see us do it in the games, but I went out there today and proved I had really good hands."

What hasn't been questioned is the performance Wells had on the field while a Buckeye. Wells, a two-year starter at tailback who was been the team's MVP both years, placed his name all over the Ohio State record books. A product of Akron Garfield, Wells left with 16 career games of 100 yards or more and 30 career touchdowns.

He finished his freshman season with 576 yards and seven touchdowns on 104 carries while backing up Antonio Pittman, who left for the NFL following his junior season.

Wells took over as the starter in 2007 and helped the Buckeyes return to the national title game. He compiled 1,609 yards and 15 touchdowns on 274 carries and got better as the year went on, averaging more than 160 yards per game and topping 200 yards twice over the final six contests.

This past season, Wells finished sixth in the nation in yards per game as he totaled 1,197 yards and eight scores on 207 carries.

The only blemishes on his record were injury troubles that caused him to miss three games this past season and deal with nagging injuries in other contests. Now, Wells says he is completely healthy, and questions about his body have stopped coming from NFL teams.

"I'm healthy," he said Friday. "I took care of my body a lot better. I'm a more healthy Beanie Wells. (I was) able to go out and seek other treatments (since declaring), which I didn't do while I was there."

He left school amid reports that he was set to be drafted in the first 15 or so picks and thoughts that he could end up as high as a top-five pick. Though most draft analysts have since dismissed that possibility, some still view him as a first-rounder while others say he could go early in the second round.

He hopes to end up being chosen higher after his performance in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

"It was great for me," Wells said. "I'm just happy. I don't know what it does to my draft status or who dictates that. I'm just happy I did it."

Beanie added that he has workouts scheduled with six teams but would not elaborate. In the meantime, he'll continue to work while waiting for the April 25 draft.

"I'll get ready for those individual workouts and those meetings with teams and just live," he said.


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