'Boys Workout Explosive Kick Returner

Not surprisingly, the Dallas Cowboys are looking to upgrade their talent at both the punt and kick return positions this off-season. This former track standout from the west coast, who recently had a private workout with Dallas scouts, has the jets to become an impact player at the next level.

The Dallas Cowboys must have liked what they saw at Stanford's Pro Day last month. Just days after the event the team worked out at least two former Cardinal players, including LB Jon Alston and kick return specialist T.J. Rushing, TheRanchReport.com has learned.

Rushing, a cornerback, is primarily being looked at as a return specialist.

The former Standford standout has also had private workouts with New England, Pittsburgh, Chicago and St. Louis.

Originally an afterthought for many analysts and scouts for the upcoming NFL Draft, Rushing performed well in front of representatives from most of the league at his Pro day last month.

Rushing ran the fastest 40 of the day among Stanford's seniors, with a 4.34 despite rainy conditions that made for slick grass and a number of slow times. He also recorded a 40" vertical jump and - most impressive of all - put up 20 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press.

"Everybody had me billed as a guy not strong enough and not fast enough," Rushing said afterwards. "Any questions about speed and strength were answered [at Pro Day], even though the surface conditions were not what I wanted and I didn't run as fast as I wanted."

Not invited to the NFL Combines in Indianapolis (Ind.), Rushing had his first real opportunity to test and perform drills in front of an audience of NFL scouts lst month. Believe it or not, he had been listed with "4.55" speed in the publications and data that circulates among scouts and general managers. Rushing rewrote that notion at Pro Day and now has scouts talking about his speed.

The other issue for Rushing has been his size, not among the biggest of cornerbacks at 5'9". But he says that he is not far from the size of many at his position in the NFL. Moreover, his leaping ability helps erase further concerns where size could be an issue.

"We've looked, and the average corner throughout the league is 5'9.75"," Rushing said. "And I think I answered that with my vertical. Some people were wondering if at my size I would get beat on the deep ball. If I can go up and bat it down, then there is no issue."



Full Name: T.J. Rushing School: Stanford

Ht: 5-10.5 Wt: 175 40: 4.50 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Moved into the starting lineup as a sophomore and awarded All-Conference honors the past two seasons as a return specialist. Defensive numbers last year included 48/2/4 when he averaged 26.7 yards on 22 kick returns, with two scores. Averaged 28.4 yards on 23 kick returns as a junior, bringing one back 99-yards for a score.

Pos: Explosive track sprinter who translates his speed onto the football field. Quick-closing on the play, stays with opponents out from their breaks or easily runs downfield with receivers. Willing run defender who plays with an aggressive style. Breaks games open returning kicks.

Neg: Lacks instincts on defense and does not show a good sense of timing. Under-sized and loses out in battles at cornerback.

Analysis: A terrific athlete yet raw football player, Rushing's game-changing skills on special teams are his ticket to the NFL.

Full Bio
T.J. finished his Stanford career as one of the top kick returners in school history, piling up 1409 yards to rank third all-time at Stanford with a 27.1 that places him second ... Named First Team All-Pac-10 as a specialist in his junior season and Second Team in the same role as a senior ... Had three career touchdowns on kickoff returns, including both the first and last return of his senior season ... Played in 43 of 44 possible games during his career with 19 coming in a starting role at cornerback, where he had four picks for 96 returns yards ... Also finished his career with 147 tackles (118 solo, 29 assisted), 13.0 tackles for loss for 59 yards, 4.0 sacks for 37 yards, 14 passes defended, four forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, two blocked kicks and 14 punt returns for 128 yards.

2005: Earned Second Team All-Pac-10 honors as a specialist ... Led Stanford with 21 kick returns for 575 yards and a pair of touchdowns, ranking third in the Pac-10 and 20th in the nation with a 27.4 average that was eighth on Stanford's all-time single-season list ... Returned both his first and last return of the year for touchdowns, going 93 yards for a score at Navy and 87 versus Notre Dame ... Had 100 or more kick return yards on three occasions (at Navy, 2-127; vs. Oregon, 5-108; vs. Notre Dame, 2-108) ... Finished with a team-high 722 all-purpose yards, adding 128 in 14 punt returns ... Started all 11 games at cornerback, intercepting a pair of balls with 19 return yards ... Had a career-high eight tackles in his final collegiate game versus Notre Dame, while recording seven against both Arizona State and UC Davis ... Recorded his interceptions at Oregon State and at Arizona.

2004: Had an outstanding season as the team's top kickoff return specialist and one of three cornerbacks who started in 2004 ... T.J. averaged 28.4 yards per kickoff return, which led the Pac-10, ranked No. 6 in the NCAA and was third on Stanford's all-time ... Named First-Team All-Pac-10 as a kickoff return specialist ... Returned 23 kicks for 653 yards and one touchdown, ranking second on Stanford's all-time single-season kick return yards list ... His 99-yard kickoff return against BYU went into the Cardinal record book as the third longest return in school history ... Following the game, he was named the Pac-10 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week ... Also had a 54-yard kickoff return vs. USC ... Defensively, T.J. teamed with Stanley Wilson and Leigh Torrence as the Cardinal's cornerback trio ... Played in all 11 games and started two ... Had 36 total tackles, six tackles for loss, two quarterback sacks and one fumble recovery ... Against BYU, he not only had his 99-yard kickoff return but added three tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss and one fumble recovery ... Had seven tackles and a tackle for loss vs. USC and six tackles, including 2.0 sacks and 2.0 tackles for loss at Arizona State ... Winner of the Phil Moffat award as the team's Most Outstanding Offensive Special Teams Player.

2003: A member of Stanford's three-man rotation at the cornerback positions along with Stanley Wilson and Leigh Torrence ... Played in all 11 games and started six ... Finished the year with 42 total tackles, five pass breakups, three forced fumbles, 3.0 tackles for loss, one blocked kick and 1.0 quarterback sack ... Forced two fumbles and five tackles in The Big Game vs. Cal ... Also recorded five tackles and 1.0 sack against Arizona State ... Season-high seven tackles against Oregon State ... Returned eight kicks for 181 yards and a 22.6 average. The 2002 Season: Along with Julian Jenkins, the only true freshman to earn a letter in 2002 ... Used in nickel situations as the team's No. 3 cornerback ... Had 21 total tackles, including 17 solo, two interceptions, 4.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 quarterback sack and one forced fumble ... Returned his second interception 63 yards against Oregon State to set up a Cardinal touchdown ... His first INT came in his first game as a Cardinal, September 28 against San Jose State ... Had a season high seven tackles, including six solos, a forced fumble and 1.0 tackle for loss against Washington State ... Registered four tackles vs. Arizona and Oregon State.

| Track and Field: A sprinter on the Cardinal track and field team in 2003 and '04 ... Ran the leadoff leg on Stanford's 400m relay team in 2004 that broke the long-standing school record with a time of 39.71 ... The old mark of 39.84 was set in 1978 and included future NFL stars James Lofton and Darrin Nelson ... Posted a season best of 10.68 in the 100m, second best on the team ... Also competed on the 1600m meter relay team ... In 2003, he was a member of Stanford's 400m relay team that posted the second and third fastest times in school history (40.15 at the Stanford Invitational, 40.24 at the Texas Relays).

High School: Named All-Midlands by SuperPrep following his senior season ... Starred in football, basketball and track at Pauls Valley HS in Oklahoma ... Named the County Player of the Year and First-Team All-State as a cornerback in 2001 ... Played quarterback, running back and cornerback as a senior ... Accounted for over 1900 yards rushing and 27 TDs ... Four-time All-County selection in football ... County Player of the Year in basketball following his junior season ... In track, he led his team to the state 3A championship after capturing four gold medals in 2002 (100m, 200m, 4x100m, 4x400m).

Personal Information: Born June 8, 1983 ... Political Science major ... Member of the National Honor Society and Who's Who Among American High School Students.

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