Pro Day on the Palouse - in words and photos

PULLMAN -- NFL and CFL scouts descended on Washington State's indoor practice facility Wednesday to put a dozen Cougars through their paces as part of the annual Pro Day workout. Defensive back Markus Dawes was the top cat in two assessment categories. Quarterback Gary Rogers was back in action and receiver Brandon Gibson was there but not running.

Twelve Cougs participated in the proceedings, though not everyone performed in every event. Gibson, the only Cougar currently projected to be taken in April's NFL draft, took part in the bench press. He skipped the running/agility drills as he works his way back into shape following a hamstring injury suffered in January at Senior Bowl practices.

Dawes turned in the top effort in the vertical jump, at 39.5 inches, and the horizontal jump, at 10 feet, 3 inches. Linebacker Greg Trent and defensive back Tali Talakai were close behind at 10 feet.

In the bench press, defensive tackle A'i Ahmu led the way, firing up 28 reps at 225 pounds. Linebacker Ken Dunn was second-best with 24 reps. Dunn also did well in the 60-yard shuttle, completing it in 11.44 seconds. Tight end Devin Frischknecht was second at 11.59 seconds.

"I was expecting to get 25 in the bench but I guess I hit the bar (holding the bar in rest position) and that threw me off a little bit," said Dunn. "I can live with 24. I just wanted to go out and do my best. I'm pleased … Hopefully I'll get a call from somebody and get a invited to a camp, get a shot."

Ahmu had similar sentiments.

"I just came out here and gave it my best shot in every drill and laid it on the line … I gave it my best. I graduate in May and I'll see what happens … If the NFL doesn't work out, the CFL, whatever is out there. I just love playing football and if I can play I'll keep playing."

Dawes said he was pleased with parts of his performance but not all. "My expectations were real high. I gave my all but the numbers just didn't show today (in the 40) … I'm way faster than I showed. I'm just going to keep training until I hear something. If I don't, I have a couple of degrees to fall back on."

Times in the 40 were not readily available.


• The players had measurements taken for the width of their hands and distance from shoulder point to tip of finger.

• Besides the players named above, the other Cougs who worked out for the pro scouts were Derrell Hutsona, Alfonso Jackson, Vaughn Lesuma, Benny Ward and Tim Freeburg.

• When Ahmu graduates in May in general studies with emphasis in sociology and comparative ethnic studies, he will be the first male in his family to earn a college degree.

• Stay tuned for CougfanTV's summary of the Pro Day proceedings. The video overview includes a chat with CouGreat Michael Bumpus of the Seattle Seahawks. He was on hand to cheer on his former teammates.

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