Ohio State Football had its annual Pro Day on Friday to showcase the speed, strength and precision of NFL hopeful seniors.
Buckeyes including running back Brandon Saine, linebackers Ross Homan and Brian Rolle, wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, guard Justin Boren, and defensive backs Jermale Hines and Devon Torrence looked to improve on their marks from the NFL combine. And in most cases, they did.
The players worked out in front of NFL scouts, families, and Coach Jim Tressel. Tressel is in the middle of a current NCAA investigation for allegedly failing to report e-mails from attorney and former Buckeye football player Christopher Cicero, indicating players sold football memorabilia to Eddie Rife, the owner of Fine Line Ink Tattoos.
Tressel’s failure to report the e-mails is in violation of both his contract with OSU and NCAA Bylaw 10.1. The university conducted a self-report on the infractions, and is awaiting the results of a report from the NCAA. OSU notified the NCAA of Tressel’s violation Feb. 3 after becoming aware of the Jan. 13 violation.
Early results of the 40-yard dash were an improvement for Rolle and Homan. Rolle ran a 4.56 at the combine, and improved that to a 4.51 at OSU’s Pro Day. Homan ran a 4.68 at the combine and improved to 4.60 at Pro Day.
Homan talked about the difference between his experience at the NFL Combine and OSU’s Pro Day.
“There is pressure, but at the combine, it’s a lot more heightened, you have all 32 teams in the stands, it’s a bigger stage,” Homan said.
Present at OSU’s Pro Day were scouts from all teams except three; the Arizona Cardinals, the Washington Redskins, and the Seattle Seahawks.
To no one’s surprise, former Ohio track star, Brandon Saine, posted the fastest time of the day with a 4.40, an improvement on his 4.43 time at the NFL combine.
Saine talked about the speed difference between himself now, and when he won the high school state championship in track.
“I like to think I’m faster; I’m stronger. If I could race my former self, I don’t know who would win,” Saine said jokingly.
Sanzenbacher seemed to gain the most of any prospect today as he answered a lot of questions about his speed. He ran a 4.48 at OSU’s Pro Day.
“I’ve been working on it every day. My goal from the beginning was to try and touch four-four, wherever it was,” Sanzenbacher said. “Speed is probably one of the biggest questions withme, I think you can only control things that there’s questions about when you are going into Pro Day. Speed was a big thing.”
Cameron Heyward, OSU’s top prospect, did not participate in workouts while he is still recovering from January surgery.