Cody Prewitt had a determined, almost angry, look in his eye - as if he were about to line up against Alabama - as Pro Day was about to get underway in the Manning Center Thursday morning.
"It really ate at me that I ran a 4.61 40 at the NFL combine. It aggravated the crap out of me," said Prewitt. "I know I can do better than that - a lot better."
With scouts from 27 teams on hand, this would be his proving ground, and prove something he did.
Depending on which scout you listened to, Cody ran anywhere from a 4.42 to a 4.47 and he had to do it twice because the scouts were skeptical the first time he ran it.
"I'm a competitor. When they said they didn't trust that time the first time, I wanted to run it again," he noted.
It was an odd deal. On his first try - all participants get two runs, Cody ran a 4.58. On his second run, he clocked in the 4.4s - again depending on who you listened to, but a consensus 4.4.
Run it again, they all said in disbelief.
Prewitt obliged and blew the doors off again, prompting Rebel Strength & Conditioning Coach Paul Jackson - who had been stoically watching to that point, to come off the bleachers at the finish line yelling, "Do it, Cody!"
"I just let loose. I felt a lot of pressure at the combine. I was tight there. I just got tired of that feeling, relaxed and ran like I know I can run," Prewitt explained afterwards. "They thought my second time was a fluke, so they asked me to run it again and I was pumped up to do it.
"Both my last two were in the 4.4s and that's what I expected of myself and what I wanted. I still think I can do better, but this is a good start versus what I did at the combine."
Cody also went up on his bench press, moving up one rep from 11 at the combine to 12 today.
"Any little bit helps," Cody smiled.
A slimmer Prewitt, who admitted to starting a healthier eating regimen, also looked good in the secondary drill session.
"I cut back on the cheeseburgers and have started baking my food," he said. "There was some concern before the Senior Bowl and the combine that I couldn't play on the back end of the secondary.
"They know I can play down in the box, they know I am physical, but I wanted to show them I have the movement to play in the secondary. I think I have done a pretty good job of getting that point across."
Prewitt, who has signed with Bus Cook out of Hattiesburg as his agents, said he will continue working hard through the draft, trying to improve "everything."
He will do so with Rebel teammate Senquez Golson, also being represented by Cook.
"Senquez and I got here when things weren't too good. I'm very proud of how far this program has come since we have been here and very happy he's getting this opportunity to play at the next level too," Prewitt closed. "I have enjoyed the journey."
Golson already had a 4.46 40 in his back pocket from the combine, so all he did during Pro Day was the bench press and run specific secondary drills.
"I went from 15 225 reps in the bench to 16, so I'm pleased with that," Golson noted. "It was exciting today to get back with some of the guys and work out. It was like a reunion of sorts.
"I feel like I made a good showing at the combine and a good showing today, but I'm constantly battling being a 5-8 cornerback. There are a lot of questions the scouts have - how did a 5-8 corner get 10 picks?
"I answer those questions by telling them to look at the film my four years. For four years I went against Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, Amari Cooper - bigger receivers like that my whole career and the film doesn't lie. I help my own and they are first-rounders."
Golson doesn't have much indication where he will be drafted, but word among some of the scouts is that he will be drafted, for sure.
"I've got a private workout with Tampa Bay and Baltimore and the Steelers. Other than that, I'll be waiting by the phone," he noted.
It's been four years since Golson turned down $1.35 million to play pro baseball for the Boston Red Sox and opt for college football with the dream of playing in the NFL.
"This is what I always saw for myself. When you break down those numbers, it's not as much money as it sounds like for the long term," he explained. "I don't have any regrets with the path I took.
"The goal was to use football to get some of that money back and I believe I am on the verge of that."
Senquez said the first thing he's going to do when he signs his first contract is take care of his son.
"I'm going to pay his school off - set up a fund for him," he closed. "Beyond that, I'm just going to grind and be the best I can be in the NFL."
While official numbers from Pro Day have not been released, another player who turned some heads was DE Carlos Thompson, who measured 6-4, 252 pounds, benched 225 21 times, broad jumped 10.3, had a vertical of 38" and ran a 4.75 40.
"I put myself on the map," Carlos said. "All I want is an opportunity."
MLB D.T. Shackelford also created a buzz by benching 225 33 times, a high number regardless of size.
QB Bo Wallace, who said the ankle he injured against Arkansas is still bothering him, ran the 40, but limited his action to throwing to receivers for the scouts.
"My ankle still isn't right," Wallace said, "so there's not much I can do. I've been training in California for a while and can throw OK, but everything else, I'm limited."
Pro Day - where dreams are realized and dreams are broken.
Fortunately, for a few Rebels, their dreams are still alive.
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