As '09 NFL Draft Nears, USF Players Wait

It's a big weekend for USF football and the Bulls aren't even playing a game. Over the next two days, several Bulls will be watching and waiting to see what the future may bring. Read on and see who has the best chances and what teams have shown interest. Only on

As the NFL draft approaches many former USF players will be spending this weekend in different ways and different places, but all will have the similar thoughts going through their minds, what will the future bring? For a few, the dream of getting drafted into the NFL will become a reality this weekend, while others could sign NFL free agent contracts after the draft.

Since the season ended, it's been all business for many of the Bulls players. Selecting representation for some, and then spending a couple of grueling months training at various locations throughout Florida leading up to the NFL Combine where two Bulls Tyrone McKenzie and Taurus Johnson were invited to participate.

For the Bulls that weren't invited to Indianapolis, they got their chance at the USF Pro Timing day. Players worked out in front of over 40 NFL scouts and coaches from teams that attended the USF Pro timing day to further evaluate McKenzie, Johnson, and at the same time look at the other seniors. Since then, many have had individual interviews and work-outs with various NFL coaches across the country. Here the breakdown of Bulls that are hoping to make it to the next level.

Consensus Draft Pick

LB Tyrone McKenzie (6'2/245) led the Bulls with 105 tackles, 14 for a loss, with one sack in 2008, the third consecutive season that he has totaled at least 100 tackles. McKenzie (6'2/243) bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times, tied for the fifth strongest linebacker at the combine, but he hurt his hamstring during the 40 yard dash, and ran a 4.7-40, which is well off his mark, but and has garnered the most interest, working out for several teams including the Buccaneers, Eagles, Giants, and the Patriots.T-Mac is likely to be the highest Bulls player selected in this year's draft, being projected to go as high as the third round this weekend.

Pete Fiutak College Football News Scouting Report: A big-time producer who fought through a series of issues off the field to become a leader and the type of player you want in a locker room. Strong, he plays bigger than his size and isn't afraid to mix it up and stick his nose in to make a big play. He'll fight through the nicks and bumps and will have to be really, really hurt to not get in the lineup, but he's limited by average athletic ability and a lack of size. Even so, he'll work to make a roster and could be a star on special teams before he gets his chance to shine as an outside linebacker.

Possible Late Round/ Free Agent

WRTaurus Johnson (6'1/207)had 38 receptions for 498 yards and six touchdowns in his senior season, and finished his career at USF with 112 catches for 1,434 yards and 12 touchdowns. At 6'1-208 pounds, has a good blend of strength & size. At the scouting combine, T.J. ran a 4.43 & a 4.48 in the 40 yard dash and put up 18 reps of 225, placing him in the top 5 for receivers. He also registered a 35 1/2 inch vertical leap a 10-1 broad jump. T. J garnered plenty of interest from the Bears, Browns, Denver, and had private work-outs with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Tamp Bay Buccaneers', and has a chance to be a late round selection or a free agent

DE Jarriett Buie (6'3/255) started and played in all 13 games as a senior, finished year with five sacks for minus 32 yards, all in the final eight games of the season, also had eight tackles for a loss, and finished his career with 74 tackles, 7 sacks, 15 tackles for a loss, and two fumble recoveries. Buie put up 32 reps of 225 pound on bench and runs in the 4.8 range, and is probably best suited for a 3-4 scheme. The Texans have been in contact, while the 49ers &, Dolphins have shown a lot of interest, and Green bay, Cleveland, & the Cardinals have shown some as well.

Possible Free Agent Contract

TE Cedric Hill (6'3-255) Played in 51 games and started in 27. He finished with 60 receptions 774 yards and 4 scores, and had a reception in 19 consecutive games, the fourth longest at USF. Hill has the size and speed cause big match-up problems for the defense, and posts a solid 10'1 broad jump. After being more of a hybrid type player rather than a pure tight end during his first two years, has worked on putting on size to get to the next level. Hill said the Buc's, Bears, Brown and Saints have all expressed interest.

OG Matt Huners ((6'2/290) played in 34 games and started 27 during his USF career. Successfully returned from injury riddled 2007 season to become the Bulls most consistent lineman and earn second team All-BIG EAST. Graded out at 84% on the season with 61 total knockdown points, and had a season-high 15 knockdown points against NC State, grading out at 93%.

OL Ryan Schmidt (6'5/320) played in 27 games and started 26 at both left tackle and left guard. Was a second team All-BIG EAST selection according to Phil Steele, and graded out among the best offensive lineman on the team at 69% on the season with 63 knockdown points to rank third among USF offensive lineman. Also recorded a season-best 14 knockdown points against FIU, and had 13 knockdown points against Rutgers.

RB Benjamin Williams (5'7-206) played in 39 games starting 8 and during his senior year recorded 513 all-purpose yards, including 308 on the ground and 175 receiving, and scored five rushing touchdowns. A bruising back that was one of the best blocking backs in America. At USF's Pro Day led the team with a 36.5 vertical jump, 4.22 20-yard shuttle, and a 11.77 60-yard shuttle. "It was a lot of fun. I was the only back working out," said Williams. Worked out with the Buc's and said several teams including the Buc's, Green Bay, the Titans, have been calling."

Stay tuned with as we follow all the Bulls through the draft.

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