Friday, March 9, 2007

Coffee, Bagels and the News

Rutgers held Pro Day in the Bubble yesterday, and the media was invited to watch some of the action. I, however, was there for much longer, and will try to give a little more detail on the goings on of what was really an impressive day.

The biggest moment of the day was clearly Joe Porter's 40-yard dash time of 4.28. Porter, one of the best sprinters in BIG EAST history, didn't disappoint with an initial run of 4.31. Porter came back with a second run of 4.28 and word spread throughout the crowd as quickly as, well, as quickly as Joe could run it. The first few people behind the scouts caught a glance at the time and eyes lit up. "4.28" you heard one player say, who passed it to another then another then another. People hear a lot about the 40 and watching it on TV during the combine doesn't do it justice. Sub 4.3 is crazy fast. There's no other way to say it. You can't imagine someone running that fast.

Several Scarlet Knights enhanced their profile with the scouts yesterday, but none more than Derrick Roberson. Roberson ran a 4.34, which is very impressive. What's more impressive is that he stumbled slightly coming out of the gates and still managed that time.

To put those times in perspective, the official times at the NFL combine are posted at, and for the defensive backs, the fastest time was 4.32. It's been noted that hand timing can be less accurate than digital timing, but Roberson and Porter have proven they are as fast as any d-backs in the Draft.

Roberson showed his prowess elsewhere, leaping 42.5 inches in the vertical. That is so high, he jumped above all the pegs, touching above the top one. At the combine, only three d-backs jumped over 40 inches, with the best overall at the combine being 41.

The position workouts were varying, with some scouts really going hard on the prospects. The offensive linemen went first, and had a very intense workout, with nearly every one of the more than 50 scouts watching intently. Clark Harris had, quite possibly, the most demanding session, working one-on-one with Giants tight end coach Mike Pope on a lot of tight end specific drills, while Giants scouts and scouts from several other teams looked on.

To get quotes, and more perspective on the pro day, read Aditi, Franklin and the Ledger NFL writer Mike Garafolo.

• While basketball season is over for the men, head coach Fred Hill never stops (and seemingly never sleeps). Read Tom Luicci's column as he spent the day with Hill.