Darrell Moody, a college scout for the Chargers, recently worked out NC State basketball player Simon Harris. The workout took place on the turf surface at nearby University of North Carolina and reportedly went well.
Harris (6-foot-3, 259 pounds) averaged 11.7 minutes per game with the Wolfpack last season, putting up 1.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per contest.
He said his decision to swap sports was not inspired by former Duke point guard Greg Paulus, who last year transferred to Syracuse to pursue a football career.
"I've never had a Dookie inspire me," Harris joked.
Simon Harris (middle) shows his hustle on the hardwood.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty
Harris aimed to showcase his Gates-like skill-set at NC State's Pro Day on March 24. At least 24 teams attended the Pro Day, including the Chargers.
Harris did 20 reps of the 225-pound bench press; posted a 32-inch vertical; and ran the 40 in 4.97 seconds and 5.0 seconds.
Like Gates, Harris figures to become an undrafted free agent. So, if the Chargers fail to tab Brandon Manumaleuna's replacement during the seven-round draft, Harris can expect a call from Moody or GM A.J. Smith inviting him to compete for a roster spot during training camp.
More from NC State's Pro Day
The Chargers got an up-close look at RB Toney Baker (5-foot-9, 234 pounds), who unofficially posted times of 4.51 seconds and 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash. NC State conducts its 40-yard dashes on grass in cleats, which makes Baker's time even more impressive.
Baker recorded a 37-inch vertical jump and bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times. He actually posted 32 reps but five were tabbed "no locks" by the scout conducting the workout.
As expected, Baker showed very good hands catching the ball out of the backfield and reportedly impressed with his footwork and agility.
Baker led NC State last season 773 rushing yards and six touchdowns. However, prior to that he missed two seasons with a knee injury, which is a red flag.
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Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.