Chris Harr (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Garrett Hughes (Lawrenceburg, Tenn.), Chris Marshall (Pasadena, Calif.), Chris Pitchford (Knoxville, Tenn.), Buster Skrine (Woodstock, Ga.) and Erroll Wynn (Jonesboro, Ga.) all participated in today's Pro Day. Skrine drew the most attention following the eye-opening times he posted at the 2011 NFL Combine in February, but did not run in any of the timed events.
Skrine, a two-time First Team All-Southern Conference defensive back, had a 4.29 in the 40-yard dash based on the NFL Network's hand time at the Combine. He also had the fastest official time in the 60-yard shuttle at 10.75. That number was listed as a 'recent best' on NFL.com/combine. He was second in the 20-yard shuttle at 3.90 and second in the three cone drill at 6.44.
"I talked to a lot of scouts and different coaches," stated Skrine. "They all told me my numbers were great and I didn't need to run, just do position drills. I think I did pretty good today."
Skrine has seen his stock shoot up since the Combine and there is a buzz around the NFL about his chances at the next level. He has gone from a borderline draft pick to being projected as high as a third or fourth round possibility.
"I just try to zone it out," explains the down-to-earth Skrine. "I have been training for this my whole life. I just like the feeling that I have a good chance of being drafted. I am taking it all in and trying to take advantage of all of my opportunities."
Harr, a two-time All-SoCon offensive lineman, is also trying to take advantage of the added number of scouts visiting UTC because of Skrine's performance at the Combine.
"It is very exciting having all of the scouts come in here," added Harr. "Usually there is only one or two scouts here, but to have all of these guys is great for the program and the community."
Harr was a three-year starter at left tackle for Chattanooga, but is being projected as a center at the next level. He took part in every drill and had some impressive numbers. He posted a 5.12 in the 40, faster than the 5.23 average for centers at the Combine. He was also above average in the long jump (8-11) and the three-cone drill (7.58).
"I think I did very well on most of the drills," said Harr. "I got a little tight on towards the end of the position drills but overall I think I did very well. I worked out very hard the past 2-3 months and I think it really paid off."
Hughes, a first team All-SoCon tight end last season, bested the average Combine numbers in the long jump (9-11), 20-yard shuttle (4.27) and the 60-yard shuttle (11.89) for his position. Marshall posted the fastest 40 time at 4.45. That was quicker than the 4.56 average for receivers at the Combine. He was also ahead of the Combine curve in the 60-yard shuttle (11.25) and had the best long jump (10-1) of the Pro Day. Wynn was just off the Combine average for running backs with a 4.65 in the 40. He also had a solid long jump of 10 feet.
"Everybody did well," lauded UTC Director of Athletic Performance Scott Brincks. "It is tough to do. It is the most scouts we have had here in a long, long time. They performed well. They jumped well, they ran well. I was very pleased with how they did. It is exciting to see them move around and do the drills with the scouts and position coaches."
The success of today's workouts also has an added benefit in the exposure it gets for Mocs football. "It is great for the program," stated head coach Russ Huesman. "To have this much interest...to know that we have guys that can play at the next level... and the exposure we are getting for our guys is great. Whether you get a shot somehow, someway...if you pop a good time, maybe you open some eyes and that is what these guys want."
Many members of the current Mocs were also on hand to cheer on their teammates. "I hope they see what hard work does," continued Huesman about his current student-athletes. "Buster and Chris have has worked so hard, played and became all conference players. It is not only a reward for what happens on our football team, but this is another reward for them. I hope our kids realize that if they work a little bit harder in the weight room and a little bit harder on the practice field, these things can happen for them some day."