Ole Miss Pro Day

Ole Miss' senior football players went through Pro Day today at the Indoor Practice facility. Every NFL team was represented and even though result numbers were not readily available, it was believed every Rebel working out helped their draft status.

When SS Jamarca Sanford crossed the finish line of the 40-yard dash, a dozen or so of the 45 NFL scouts in attendance at Ole Miss' Pro Day could not contain themselves.

It was an "oooh" type of sprint for the bowed-up Sanford, who also unofficially bench pressed 225 pounds 26 times.

"What does that mean when the scouts go 'oooh'?" Jamarca's Father asked a bystander.

"That means dollar signs," the onlooker responded.

At the end of the day, that type of effort from the Rebel seniors was the norm as several, it was said, raised their draft stock.

"One of the better Pro Days we go to is right here," said Buffalo Bills scout Buddy Nix, the pseudo-spokesman for the 45 NFL scouts in attendance. "It was that way when Houston (Nutt) was at Arkansas and it will be that way at Ole Miss with him here.

"His strength coach (Don Decker) does an outstanding job of getting his seniors ready for Pro Day and they always improve the numbers we are looking for under his direction. Plus, Ole Miss has some good players. The reason you see this many scouts here is we know there are several players from this team you will be seeing playing on Sunday. When you have players like (Peria) Jerry, Michael Oher and Mike Wallace, the scouts are going to show up."

Per the NFL guidelines for attendance to this sanctioned event, times and numbers are not officially released, but Nix noted that "everyone" improved their stock.

"They all did well. The jumps, times, bench presses were as high as anywhere we will go from top to bottom," Nix allowed. "They are well-coached in testing and they are good athletes. We had a huge turnout here because there are good athletes here."

One scout, on the condition of anonymity, believes and projects Oher and Jerry will go in the first round, Wallace will go in the second round, Ashlee Palmer and Sanford have made themselves draftable and Jermey Parnell, Tony Fein and Jason Cook are definite free agents, and possible late draft choices.

Jerry did not test at the combine in Indianapolis earlier because of a hamstring injury. He is still only "85%" on the hamstring, but he impressed the scouts today in every phase. Unoffically, he ran a 4.88 40, he said, and benched 225 pounds 28 times.

"Considering I'm not 100%, I was pleased with what I did. I might have done better at 100%, but I hit nearly all my goals today, so that's a good thing," Peria noted. "I'm feeling pretty good about where I am now and will just keep working."

Oher did test at the combine, but he felt he could do better on his home turf, so he tested again.

"I helped myself big time today. I improved everything dramatically since the combine," said a happy Michael. "I was trying to improve my 40 and my bench. I did both. I think I ran a 5.08 in the 40 and I went up to 25 reps in the bench.

"It was more comfortable doing the tests here. This is home."

Oher was asked what he's hearing about his position.

"You hear so much stuff, but all I know for sure is that I will be in the Green Room on draft day in New York, so that tells me I should go fairly high," he laughed. "I was glad I did well, but I am also proud of guys like Ashlee and Tony and Jason and how well they did."

Next up for Oher is to hit the road.

"I have to go around to several different teams to do some tests and interviews. That will be big for me, but I am looking forward to the process," he closed.

Wallace tested in Indy and was pleased with all his times, but he was asked to catch some more passes and run some routes today.

Since Indy, his stock has climbed and continues to do so.

"The whole process has been a blast. I have just been trying to show people what I can do. There was no need to do any tests today," he explained. "I was trying to save my legs for what the scouts did want me to do - run routes and catch passes. I didn't have any drops today, so maybe I raised my stock some more."

Mike is hearing second round regularly, but he intends to keep working to raise that even higher.

"Monday, I go to Tampa, then I go to Tennessee on Wednesday and Minnesota on Friday," he noted. "Then I will work out for the Bears here and maybe the Lions.

"I don't mind the attention. I like to talk and I like meeting people so this process has been a lot of fun to me. I worked hard to get to this point so why not have fun with it?"

Parnell may have been one of the more interesting studies on the day. The 6-9, 275-pounder worked out for DL, TE and OL coaches, doing anything to find a niche'. Along the way, he benched 225 24 times and raised some eyebrows with his movement and frame.

Fein unofficially led the team in the bench hitting 225 29 times. He also had a vertical jump of 37 1/2" and, he said, a 40 time of 4.68. Those are all draftable numbers for a 240-pounder.

"I was very proud of the way all these guys prepared themselves and the way they tested," said Decker. "They worked hard to get ready and came through with the eyes of the scouts on them."

The NFL does not allow individual numbers to be publicized other than on their official site unless a player mentions them in an interview. Hence, the lack of numbers available for this article.

But suffice it to say the Rebels who were tested, almost to a man, made their presence to the scouts in attendance known.


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