Bigger Smith Shines at USC Pro Day

Los Angeles - After playing his final collegiate game last December at 280 pounds, Smith added nearly 30 pounds since, but without sacrificing any of his trademark athleticism.

LOS ANGELES – For Tyron Smith, bigger is certainly better.

While most draft prospects are concerned about losing weight, the junior has been packing on the pounds since last December.

The approach seems to have worked, as a bulked up Smith impressed during USC Pro Day at Cromwell Field on Wednesday.

"It was a long process," he said. "I gained the weight naturally. It feels natural."

After playing his final collegiate game last December at 280 pounds, Smith added nearly 30 pounds since, but without sacrificing any of his trademark athleticism.

The Morris Trophy recipient as top offensive lineman in the Pac-10 Conference ran the 40-yard dash in 5.02 and 4.97 seconds.

Smith said he hoped to run an even faster time, in the 4.8 range, but stumbled at the end of his second try.

He also excelled in the short shuttle and three-cone drill.

Working in blistering temperatures that felt more like summer than the last day of March, Smith worked out for 31 NFL teams, three general managers and two head coaches, including Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys.

Garrett watched intently as Smith and three other former Trojan offensive linemen went through drills directed by representatives of the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions.

The Cowboys, who have the ninth overall pick, are regarded as a probable landing spot for Smith, who made 24 career starts at USC, all at right tackle.

"Several teams are saying they prefer me at left (tackle). I feel more comfortable at left," said Smith, who said he has been invited to and will attend the NFL Draft.

"It wouldn't matter to me (where I play) as long as I'm playing.

Smith will meet with the Cowboys next week.

The other top prospect in attendance was defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, who like Smith, bypassed his senior season.

While Smith is a physical marvel, Casey has had to overcome doubts about his physique.

"A lot of people say I look a little sloppy, my body shape and stuff like that. I look sloppy but I play a hell of a game," he said.

Casey got a scare when he pulled up midway through his second attempt at running the 40, grabbing his right hamstring. However, he was able to go through all position drills.

"Even after pulling my hammy, I was able to go out there and show coaches I can compete, still going to give everything I can give," Casey said.

"The position drills is the main thing for me. When I go through drills, I know I'm going to kill it.

Casey said he is receiving the most interest from the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons, both of which run 4-3 defenses.

Others who worked out included running back C.J. Gable, wide receivers David Ausberry and Ronald Johnson, linebackers Michael Morgan and Malcolm Smith and tight end Jordan Cameron, fresh off his viral video with Los Angeles Clippers sensation Blake Griffin.

"Everyone wants to talk about it," said Cameron, who elected to stand on his strong performance at the combine and only went through position drills. "Everyone wants to know about him. He's a friend of mine. It helps get my name out there a little bit.

The clip, which has Griffin playing a Mars Blackmon-like hype man to Cameron's Michael Jordan, has its origins in pickup basketball games the two played in last summer.

"We were joking about a little video to showcase my athleticism. He was all for it and it kind of evolved. He was pretty funny in it."

Former USC receiver Travon Patterson, who transferred to Colorado last season taking advantage of the so-called ‘free agency' provision of sanctions handed down in the Reggie Bush case, pulled up while running the 40 and unable to continue.

Fullback Stanley Havili did not work out because of a shoulder injury that hampered him for much of his college career.


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