Tennessee's annual pro timing day took place Wednesday inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center, allowing National Football League scouts the opportunity to see first-hand the skills of recent UT performers.
And it is the opinion of one UT football insider that a certain linebacker who recently decided to pass up his senior season and declare for the NFL Draft likely made a wise decision.
"The guy who I think really advanced himself was Jerod Mayo," said Condredge Holloway, UT's assistant athletics director for player relations.
Holloway said he has had several conversations over the past two months with scouts discussing Mayo's talents and preparedness for professional football.
They basically laughed at me and said, We don't think he's that fast, we don't think he can jump and we don't know that he can play in the NFL,Holloway said. All of them to a man came up to me today and said, You were telling the truth and you were right. Not only can he jump and run fast, but he's an NFL player and has the character we like.
So I think he really helped himself today.
Fourteen former Volunteer footballers -- along with one-time UT track and field star Justin Gatlin -- displayed their wares in eight events under the watchful eyes of representatives from nearly every NFL team.
Among the pro football executives in attendance was Jerry Reese of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants. A Tiptonville native and UT Martin graduate, Reese is the team's senior vice president and general manager. Late last month, he was enshrined in the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
He's a Tennessee guy and I was glad to see him here, Holloway said. I saw him at the induction ceremonies last month in Nashville and it was good to see him here today. I guarantee you half the people here this afternoon didn't know he was here. He's very unassuming but a very nice person.
The list of former UT players participating was: Erik Ainge, Cory Anderson, Chris Brown, Brad Cottam, Jonathan Hefney, Ryan Karl, J.T. Mapu, Xavier Mitchell, Roy Olasimbo, Jarod Parrish, Antonio Reynolds, Gerald Riggs Jr., and Eric Young, in addition to Mayo and Gatlin.
Tennessee's current football team returns to the practice field Thursday for the final non-contact workout before spring break. The team's first practice in full gear is March 25.
The NFL Draft takes place April 26-27 in New York City.
Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information