The event began at 8:00am with registration and at 8:30am the film reviews began. At 11:00am the USC staff was brought in for a question and answer session on the players which lasted for an hour.
The workouts began in the weight room at 1:00pm with the players being put through a variety of tests including vertical, bench press reps of 225 pounds, broad jump, height/weight, hand size, arm length and more. It was a festive setting in the room as 35-40 current Trojan players were there to give encouragement and support to the seniors as they went through the drills. A few of the efforts which drew the biggest cheers were 33 reps on the bench press by Bernard Riley and a 43.5 inch vertical leap from Troy Polamalu. It grew especially loud for Riley as Bernard walked back and forth in front of the bench to get himself pumped up before the lift and the entire team gathered around in anticipation of seeing a big number from the big defensive tackle. There was one light moment with Darrell Rideaux on the bench press as he struggled to get one last rep when the spotter grabbed the bar. Darrell obviously thought he had one more rep in him as he smiled and said "Why did you have to grab it? Now I'm gonna have to go out and run a 4.1". Here are the numbers:
Ht (6-2.7) Wt (244) arm (30.5) hand (9 7/8) vert (33.5) brd (9.2 1/2) bnc (23)
Ht (5-11.7) Wt (226) arm (30.5) hand (9.5) vert (30.5) brd (8.9 ) bnc (19)
Ht (6-0.7) Wt (214) arm (31) hand (9 7/8) vert (39) brd (na) bnc (combine)
Ht (5-11.1) Wt (198) arm (30 ) hand (9.5) vert (38.5) brd (10.2 ) bnc (17)
Ht (6-0) Wt (185) arm (30 7/8) hand (8 7/8) vert (35.5) brd (10.6 ) bnc (na)
Ht (5-10.3) Wt (225) arm (29 ) hand (9 ) vert (35) brd (na) bnc (27)
Ht (6-2.1) Wt (222) arm (31 ) hand (9.5) vert (35.5) brd (10.4 ) bnc (21)
Ht (5-11.3) Wt (193) arm (31 1/8) hand (8 1/8) vert (41) brd (na) bnc (combine)
Ht (6-5.2) Wt (227) arm (32 ) hand (9 7/8) vert (30.5) brd (9.1) bnc (na)
Ht (6-0.3) Wt (245) arm (29.5) hand (10 ) vert (33.5) brd (na) bnc (27)
Ht (5-10.1) Wt (203) arm (30 5/8) hand (10 1/8) vert (43.5) brd (10.7) bnc (25)
Ht (5-11.2) Wt (213) arm (31 1/8) hand (9.5) vert (31/5) brd (9.2 ) bnc (23)
Ht (5-7.5) Wt (165) arm (27 7/8) hand (8 3/8) vert (38) brd (10.8) bnc (10)
Ht (6-1.7) Wt (329) arm (32) hand (10 3/8) vert (25) brd (7.1) bnc (33)
Ht (6-4.6) Wt (300) arm (32 ) hand (10.5) vert (28) brd (8) bnc (22)
At 2:00pm the players moved to the track for the highlight drill of the day with the 40 yard runs. Each player had two attempts although Justin Fargas elected not to run after putting up such an impressive number at the combine last month and Carson Palmer only ran once. Rideaux didn't run a 4.1 but he was the fastest guy on the day. The scouts use multiple stopwatches timing each player on the track so the following results will indicate the time for each run as kept by different watches:
Kareem Kelly - 1st run (4.39, 4.34) 2nd run (4.32, 4.32)
Bernard Riley - 1st run (5.25, 5.20) 2nd run (5.21, 5.27)
DeShaun Hill - 1st run (4.67, 4.64) 2nd run (4.63, 4.66)
Carson Palmer - 1st run (4.66, 4.65)
Sultan McCullough - 1st run (4.33, 4.35) 2nd run (4.34, 4.31)
Malaefou MacKenzie - 1st run (4.59, 4.55) 2nd run (4.52, 4.59)
Mike Pollard - 1st run (4.85, 4.82) 2nd run (4.78, 4.78)
Grant Mattos - 1st run (4.61, 4.66) 2nd run (4.57, 4.58)
Darrell Rideaux - 1st run (4.27, 4.27) 2nd run (4.29, 4.28)
Doyal Butler - 1st run (4.70, 4.64)
Sunny Byrd - 1st run (4.89, 4.87) 2nd run (4.75, 4.75)
Troy Polamalu - 1st run (4.37, 4.35) 2nd run (4.35, 4.33)
Chad Pierson - 1st run (4.67, 4.68) 2nd run (4.62, 4.62)
After the 40's were completed the event moved to Howard Jones Field for the skill and technique portion of the workout. The players were first timed in various shuttle and cone drills before breaking up into groups with Carson, the running backs and receivers staying on the south end of the field and the defensive players moving to the north end. The defensive backs were also timed in a "turn and run" drill.
Carson began with short throws to the running backs before a series of quick passes to the receivers. With several members of the Bengals staff on hand Carson was looking fairly sharp although he set a quick pace early. The drill slowed down considerably though after Carson preferred throwing with the NFL ball instead of the college-sized ball. He's been working out for the past few weeks exclusively with the NFL ball and has a better feel for it at this point but there was only one NFL ball available for the drill. Carson would throw a pass and have to wait for the receiver to throw it back so he got some extra rest between throws.
Malaefou MacKenzie looked extremely good catching the ball out of the backfield and at the end of the drill he also asked to line up wide and run a deep post route. Carson put the ball on the money and Malaefou made a great catch which caused one scout to say "that's exactly what he does well". Fargas showed himself well catching the ball and Sultan McCullough looked pretty good too. Chad Pierson really made some nice catches and Sunny Byrd caught most everything thrown his way. The running backs also took handoffs with two scouts in the position of the DT and MLB. The scouts would lean one way as the RB reached the line of scrimmage and he would have to cut depending on which way the scout leaned. All the guys performed well. Kareem ran precise routes and caught pretty much everything. He did drop one pass and as soon as he got to the sideline he dropped to the ground and did ten push-ups in punishment. Grant Mattos showed his good hands.
The workout ended around 4:00 and some scouts headed back to Heritage Hall to get measurements and information on the Trojan juniors who had gathered in the weight room. It was our first look at incoming junior college cornerback Will Poole who has pretty good size and long arms.
One comment that was heard from several scouts today was how well the Trojan players performed as a whole. One scout said "You know the Trojans are back because not only is SC recruiting good players but now you can see they're being developed as well" and another added "we might not see another group of better prepared athletes at any school in the country. We may have a single guy here or there who tests better but this whole group today came out and was really impressive". It was also obvious to see the close relationship between Pete Carroll and many of the NFL personnel on hand and that can only benefit the Trojan players on a day like this when their professional future is at stake.
Story Courtesy of
Justin Fargas / RB- Did not run because he did at the combine. Had a vertical of '39 and a 3-cone run of 7.0. Shuttle 4.09.
Kareem Kelly / WR- 4.32/4.31 on both 40's. Shuttle 3.98. Dropped three passes during workout.
Darrell Riddeau / CB - 4.29/4.29 on both 40's. Shuttle 4.41/4.15.
Malaefou McKenzie / RB - 4.45/4.50 on both 40's. 4.25/4.26 on shuttles.
Sultan McCullough / RB - 4.34/4.28 on both 40's. 220.127.116.11 on the shuttles.
Troy Polamalu / S - 4.37/4.06 shuttles. Slipped on first one.
Carson Palmer / QB - Threw passes during workout and ran one 40-time of 4.63.
Lots of NFL personnel (scouts etc) watching the workout with what looks to be
most teams in attendance, every team went up to every player. Prospects ran on a
fast track is the word from
USC. Also news from Stanford is Teyo Johnson was unimpressive running poorly in
the 40 but Kwame Harris look good all day and solidified himself as a top 15
choice. Total results when we get them.