BERKELEY – Not even the rain could slow down Michael Calvin.
Despite a gloomy and gray Wednesday in Strawberry Canyon, the Cal wide receiver unofficially clocked in with a consensus 4.32-second, 40-yard dash time. No matter that Witter Rugby Field was showered with a steady dose of rain, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior opened eyes with his blazing time and his neon green cleats.
“I got to the end of the field and I looked back,” Calvin said. “(The scouts) were all just staring at me, kind of comparing the times and trying to make sure it was a consistent time. It was a good thing to see, because it means obviously I ran something fast.”
Twelve former Golden Bears recorded 40 times for a group of about 30 NFL personnel members after a morning weight room session which also included timed agility drills. The players were originally scheduled to run position drills as well, but the event was cut short due to the weather after each player took two turns at the 40-yard dash.
Calvin certainly emerged as the biggest winner of the day, as he didn’t earn an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine to show off his physical attributes. The 22-year-old wideout, who backed up talented players like Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen, finished his four-year Cal career with 42 catches for 528 yards. Calvin had his best season in 2011, hauling in 20 receptions for 269 yards and the only touchdown of his college career.
No NFL team had contacted Calvin as of Wednesday afternoon, but the nearby San Lorenzo native said he’s hoping he made a name for himself. Aside from his notable 40 time, Calvin also posted a 40.5-inch mark in the vertical leap and an 11-foot-1 mark in the broad jump. Calvin's broad jump distance and 40 time would have been tops at the 2012 Combine.
“It’s great,” Calvin said. “It’s just a chance for me to show the assets that I have and being under the radar, it’s good to get this kind of exposure.”
High-profile players like Jones and linebacker Mychal Kendricks didn’t participate in the 40-yard-dash after impressive showings at the NFL Scouting Combine, but were measured in the weight room earlier in the day.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Kendricks stood on his numbers from Indianapolis, as the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year was one of the most explosive athletes at the Combine. He finished as the top-ranked performer in the 40 (4.47 seconds), the vertical jump (39.5 inches), the broad jump (10 feet, 7 inches) and said he’s gained plenty of interest since then.
“It’s been ridiculous,” Kendricks said. “(The Combine) really opened up a lot of doors for me.”
Though he played at middle linebacker in Cal’s 4-3 alignment, Kendricks said he would feel comfortable in any defensive scheme. He also noted how he received more attention for his showing at the Combine than the entire 2011 season.
“I’ve been overlooked kind of all my life,” Kendricks said. “I had to work for everything I’ve got. Even though I was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, you didn’t hear my name a lot; we didn’t get a lot of (publicity) like that. But that’s OK, I like being the underdog.”
Since the Combine, Kendricks said he’s worked out at Athlete’s Performance Institute in Phoenix, alongside other high-profile draft hopefuls like Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III and Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower among others.The 21-year-old ‘backer racked up 107 tackles and four sacks in 2011, and said he looks up to players like 49ers defensive captain
“He’s a great linebacker,” Kendricks said. “Physical at the point of attack, he’s fast, he’s strong. He’s smart and that’s the biggest thing. He’s smart player; him and Ray (Lewis) are two players that I would love to be like.”
Jones, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 299 pounds, appears to be an intriguing option at the wide receiver position this year after running a 4.46-second, 40-yard dash at the Combine. Jones had 62 catches for 846 yards and three touchdowns in 2011 and also bolstered his draft stock with a solid showing during the Senior Bowl.
The talented receiver said he has no personal ties to the 49ers organization, but that he knows the style of coach Jim Harbaugh, who was at Stanford during Jones’ initial three seasons at Cal.
“He’s hard-nosed,” Jones said. “He’s a guy that’s not going to fabricate anything and his teams resembled him. Hard-nosed football; just running downhill football. That’s kind of the perception I have of him.”
With a pair of young children at home and an NFL paycheck on the horizon, the talented wideout is looking forward to the future. Jones said he’s expecting to be a second-round pick.
“This whole process has been great,” Jones said. “I’ve definitely boosted my stock sky high from where I was, so it’s been a great experience. I’m blessed to be a part of this process.”
Other notable athletes taking part in Cal’s pro day included defensive back Sean Cattouse and defensive lineman Trevor Guyton.