Wildcats Showcase Talents at Pro Day
March 10, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 2010 Kentucky football seniors put their physical abilities on display Thursday morning at the annual "Pro Day" workouts for professional scouts.
Representatives of 26 National Football League teams, along with an NFL Combine scout and members of the Canadian Football League, put the Wildcats through their paces. The seniors, who helped take UK to five-straight bowl games, were tested in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, agility drills, various position-specific drills and the 225-pound bench press.
Two of the players, Derrick Locke and junior draft entrant Randall Cobb, already had been worked out in February at the official NFL combine. Those players were on hand today for additional evaluation. Cobb and Locke spent significant time running various routes with quarterback Mike Hartline and receiver Chris Matthews.
Phillips believes that the 2011 draft will add to the success of the recent UK senior classes. A total of 26 Wildcats have been drafted or signed as free agents over the last three years, including reigning Super Bowl champion punter Tim Masthay of the Green Bay Packers. The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 28-30.
"This thing (Pro Day) has evolved into a big day for us," UK coach Joker Phillips said. "When I first got here in 2003, there were only two or three scouts. This shows where our program has come. Now we have nearly every team here represented. That shows that we have done a good job of developing players here."
Phillips indicated that a number of Wildcat players have benefitted from working with UK track and field sprints coach Erin Tucker.
"I just talked to a couple of guys (scouts) that have been before, and after talking to them, they said that we looked different," Phillips said. "We are a lot leaner, a lot fitter, and our numbers in the weight room have gone up. I think it has helped our flexibility.
"The players have had the opportunity to work with Erin Tucker, who is the assistant track coach (for sprints) here at Kentucky. He has helped us develop some of the testing that we have done, and that helps us a lot," Phillips continued.
The coach noted that, when evaluating high school players, Kentucky looks for the same skills emphasized by the professional scouts.
"They really are just looking for body control and how they are handling themselves," Phillips said. "They are looking for similar things that we do. We look for similar stuff when we go out and watch high school kids. It's the same thing, but just at a different level."