The media was not allowed inside Manley Field House to watch the SU Football Pro Day on Wednesday afternoon, but judging by the players reactions it was a positive day as a whole for the SU athletes.
Running back Jerome Smith was grinning from ear-to-ear as he addressed the media, excited about a much-improved performance compared to his showing at the NFL Combine in February.
"It was a good workout for me," Smith, who improved his 40-time from about a 4.8 to around 4.5/4.6, said. "I got better at everything compared to the Combine. My numbers at the Combine were horrible, so I had to come back here and redo things. I redid everything, so I did well."
Smith said his slow 40-yard dash times at the Combine caused some scouts to say he would be a fullback, a moniker Smith wanted to shed quickly this afternoon. He said he did not handle the Combine well mentally, and that his numbers suffered because of that. But, on Wednesday, Smith felt comfortable enough to both run faster and do more reps on the bench press. He said his hard work with Coach Hicks paid off as well.
"I was here with my friends, I was here with my teammates, my brothers, so it came out good and we helped each other out," Smith said.
As for Defensive Tackle Jay Bromley, who also went to the Combine, he used today's Pro Day to also improve, as he should be the highest picked SU player in the draft.
"[Today was about] just showing I can be faster than I was at the Combine, which I believe I was," Bromley said. "Just have some versatility, doing D-line drills effectively, change direction. Just improve today."
CBA graduate and former SU center Macky MacPherson said he didn't reach a few of the numbers he was looking for, but heard good things from the scouts, including about his long-snapping.
"I've been doing it since high school but I haven't done it here," he said. "I only did short-snapping as a freshman but it's something I've been working on for months now. Coach Hicks said I did well. The scouts that were there said I did a good job from what I understand. So that's all I can hope for."
Linebacker Marquis Spruill wasn't invited to the Combine, but thought he proved himself worthy to move up draft boards with today's performance.
"Besides what you see on film, my raw speed, my raw athleticism...because I don't have a big name like a couple other linebackers at bigger schools," Spruill said. "But, [the scouts] came here and saw what I can do and they were pretty pleased so I think I acheived my goal for the most part."
Twenty-nine NFL scouts were in attendance, as several other SU seniors participated as well.