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Go Inside Nutter Fieldhouse for UK’s Pro Day

Harrington Huguenin prepares for his vertical leap while his teammates patiently await their turn.

Farrington Huguenin prepares for his vertical leap while his teammates patiently await their turn.

18 former Wildcats auditioned in front of 50 representatives from 30 different NFL teams in this year’s edition of the UK Pro Day.  All of these guys will get their shot, but how they perform during the combine testing will determine the pecking order.

The two with the most to prove were safety A.J. Stamps and linebacker Josh Forrest.  Both are on the fringe of being drafted or entering the NFL as free agents.  After marginal success at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, today was their day to prove that was just a fluke.

Josh Forrest made the most of his opportunity.  After posting a sluggish 4.91 40-yard dash at the combine, he ran an unofficial 4.75 during both attempts.  It’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

Other Notable 40 Times:

  • A.J. Stamps: 4.53 and 4.72
  • C.J. Johnson: 5.07 before tweaking a hamstring
  • Javess Blue: 4.63
  • Ryan Flannigan: 4.56 & 4.63
  • Cody Quinn: 4.46 was the fastest of the day.
Coach Edmund instructs Ryan Flannigan before he enters his stance for the 40-yard dash.

Coach Edmund instructs Ryan Flannigan before he enters his stance for the 40-yard dash.

Pro Day is kind of a strange event to attend.  It’s very quiet in the large indoor facility, with scouts and current players huddling around the different drills.  It’s interesting to watch who hangs out with who.  Coach Stoops loves the defensive guys.  After spending time last year chatting with Joey Porter and Mike Tomlin of the Steelers, Stoops spent most of his morning with Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. 

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I was searching for an appropriate joke, and Curtis Burch found it:

Stoops: “I think this is finally the year we get to the postseason.”

Lewis: “Trust me, it’s not as good as you think.”

There were tons of current players that spent some time to watch their friends compete.  From Jacob Hyde, Matt Elam and Jon Toth, to Drew Barker, Tate Leavitt, Drake Jackson, JoJo Kemp and Juice Johnson (just to name a few).

The best time to be there is to watch them cheer during the bench press.  During the final five reps or so, chants of “COME ON!” and “ONE MORE!” ring throughout the Fieldhouse.

C.J. Johnson got in 26 bench press reps. 

Melvin Lewis didn’t fully participate.  He said afterwards that he’s still about 2-3 weeks away from being 100%, but he’s still good to bench, knocking down 22 reps.

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More photos from the event:

C.J. Johnson's familiar smile before his vertical leap.

C.J. Johnson’s familiar smile before his vertical leap.

Josh Forrest shares a moment with his family before position drills.

Josh Forrest shares a moment with his family before position drills.

Players receive shuttle instructions from Packers' scout Steve Wojciechowski.

Players receive shuttle instructions from Packers’ scout Steve Wojciechowski.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR