Day to Impress

Twenty-five scouts representing 22 NFL teams were on hand Monday to get an up-close look at 20 recently-departed Ole Miss Rebels for Ole Miss Pro Day.


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Pierce Burton was understandably disappointed when he wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, held late last month.

But rather than allow his frustration to get the better of him, the now-former Ole Miss offensive lineman instead set out to prove himself at Ole Miss Pro Day on Monday.

Twenty-five scouts representing 22 NFL teams were on hand to get an up-close look at not only Burton, but some 18 other recently-departed Rebels. And Burton didn't disappoint.

"I feel like I did really well," he said. "I heard one scout tell me he didn't know I was as athletic as I was."

Burton, who started 26 games at right tackle in his two years at Ole Miss, weighed in at 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, benched 225 pounds 26 times and ran a 5.1-second 40-yard dash, among other recorded drills. He was only disappointed in his 40 time, which he had hoped would be in the 4.9 range.

However, by his estimation, the day couldn't have gone much better. He'll now return to Dallas, Texas, for more training at Fourth And Inches, where he's spent the past six weeks.

"It was pretty upsetting, but also really motivating because I felt as if I should've been there," Burton said of the NFL Combine snub. "Starting in the SEC for two years every game, most games get invited. For whatever reason, I didn't get invited.


Nick Brassell
Josh McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

"But I feel like I made the most of my opportunity today."


Brassell hoping for a shot:


Three years ago, Nick Brassell and Donte Moncrief were highly-rated high school prospects. There summers consisted of recruiting camps, from trips to Ole Miss to Mississippi State to Alabama.

Even before they signed with Ole Miss in 2011, the pair knew the turf of Ole Miss' indoor practice facility well. It was there were they ran 40s, short shuttles, etc., for then-Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt and staff.

They returned to campus on Monday, their career trajectories headed in vastly different directions.

One, Moncrief, recently participated in the NFL Combine and is well on his way to becoming a high draft pick in May. The other, Brassell, is simply clinging to his dream of playing professional football.

"I think I'll get a chance," Brassell said. "It's just about me staying focused, working out, training. Just staying focused from here on out."

Moncrief didn't participate in drills, opting only to catch a few balls for scouts at the end of the four-hour session. He didn't have anything to prove; not after his impressive showing in Indianapolis, Ind., which included a 4.41 40.

Brassell, meanwhile, was involved in everything. He ran an unofficial 4.55 40. His standing broad jump of 9-6.5 was second only to Ja-Mes Logan's 9-7. He netted a goose egg in the bench press, unable to lift 225 pounds once.

But, overall, he was pleased with his performance.

"I feel like it went all right, just getting out here and competing," he said. "I was just kind of nervous, ‘cause I haven't been out here in the lights and all that in a while."

Brassell was forced leave Ole Miss for community college in 2012 due to academics. After a semester at East Mississippi, he rejoined Ole Miss in the spring of 2013. But he was unable to get his academics in order, and he left Ole Miss for good in August. After a brief stint in Canada with the Toronto Argonauts, he returned to his hometown of Batesville to prepare for Ole Miss Pro Day.

Now he only hopes he gets a shot.

"My mindset was just never give up," he said. "If I really wanted this opportunity, I just knew I had to go out there and get it. I felt like it went good. Just playing football, something that comes naturally to me.


Jeff Scott
Josh McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

"I'm sure there are a lot of options for me to choose from. (Football), that's my dream. I'm going to push it until I can't no more."


Leftovers:


My unofficial stopwatch clocked Jeff Scott at a 4.38 40-yard dash, while others had him in the 4.4s. Either way, an impressive run for the former Ole Miss running back, though speed has never been the issue with him. … Burton was somewhat disappointed in his 26 225 reps. He said he benched 29 just last week. … Enrique Davis, after being listed as a potential participant, didn't show for Pro Day. A.J. Hawkins and Louis Convington did. … A few of us media types caught up with former Ole Miss DB Von Hutchins, who, following stints with the Colts, Texans and Falcons, now works in an in-office capacity for the Oakland Raiders. He was in Oxford to scout today, which he said isn't an every-day duty. He next visits Mississippi State for its Pro Day tomorrow. … Austin Miller of OleMissSports.com and Parrish Alford of the Daily Journal compiled some unofficial numbers. Barry Brunetti, for example, ran a 4.76, according to their records. A few more: Charles Sawyer ran a 4.5, Mike Marry ran a 4.95, Ja-Mes Logan ran a 4.65, Cameron Whigham ran a 4.88 and Emanuel McCray ran a 5.53. … Media weren't allowed to view weight room events, such as the bench press and vertical jump. … Despite multiple attempts, Moncrief didn't make himself available to the media.


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