College area scout Todd Brunner is back on the road for the next few weeks, attending various Pro Days of colleges in his area. Keep checking back for his most updated workout recap!**
Wednesday, March 14
I drove down to Baltimore last night to get ready for Towson University's workout this morning. They've got an offensive lineman there who a lot of people thought could slip under the radar. Given the turnout today, this kid is not under anybody's radar. There were four offensive line coaches and about 15-18 scouts there to see this kid, Jermon Bushrod. He had a very good workout. He's a nice kid, he ran well, moved around well and is definitely someone to keep an eye on, and someone we will have our eye on.
Once that was over I drove down to Maryland for their workout this afternoon. It was a decent turnout but not like last year when Vernon Davis was coming out.
Stephon Heyer, an offensive linemen who had been at the Combine, opted to participate in everything again today, the 40, the positional work, etctera.
Cornerback Josh Wilson only did the shuttle run and the positional drills, which was fine because he was one of the fastest guys at the Combine, running the 40 in the low 4.3's.
A handful of other guys who weren't at Combine also worked out at Maryland and some might have a chance of being a late pick or a free agent.
It was definitely a productive day and a chance to compare those two offensive linemen in particular.
This trip I got a lot of questions from people today about our quarterback Shaun Hill. A guy who coaches at Towson played as a WR with Shaun at Maryland and then coaches who are still at Maryland who coached him wanted to know how he's doing out in San Francisco.
After I wrapped up at Maryland I drove back to Philadelphia to catch a flight to Virginia Tech and will be there on Thursday.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I started off the day at Virginia Tech, arriving over there around 9AM. The workout wasn't supposed to start until 11 but you like to get there early so if players are milling around, you can get some leg work done. We always need to confirm little things like their agent's name and their draft day phone numbers, and the more stuff you can get out of the way before the workout starts, the better.
There were 12 players who showed up, and about a quarter till 11, we started doing the heights and weights.
Aaron Rouse was a guy who was at the Combine and ran the 40, but didn't do the positional drills and some of the other tests like shuttle, etc. He did those today, plus he ran another 40.
David Clowney, the wideout I wrote about at the Combine, did a vertical jump and he also opted to do a shuttle run because he wanted to compete against another player on his team. Everything else he had done at the Combine already.
Offensive lineman Brandon Frye opted just to do his height and weight and then his positional drill because he did everything at the Combine and was satisfied with those numbers as well.
There were a few other guys, one being Joel Patton's son Jake. Joel is an ex-player in the league who now scouts for the Redskins. Since so many scouts are friends with Joel, everyone was anxious to see how his son would do. I think everyone hopes good things will come for Jake next year in the league too.
After the workout, I drove back to Roanoke Virginia to catch a flight to Hartford, Connecticut but with a connection through Dulles Airport in D.C. When we landed in D.C. they couldn't get the stairs up so we had to sit on the tarmac for a while and that delay almost caused me to miss my connection. When I got to the gate there was still one lady left taking tickets and she took a few of ours and said to run down the jet way. We get down there and the door to our plane is shut and another woman there wanted to know how in the world we got beyond the ticket gate. We told her and so they did decide to let us in, barely opening the door a crack so we could literally squeeze our way on to the plane.
Despite the confusion, I arrived on time in Hartford early enough to make the hour drive over to my hotel in Amherst and get my numbers typed up for the day so I could watch some of the NCAA basketball tournament.
Friday, March 16
I went to UMASS this morning. They were the Division IAA National Runner-Ups, after losing the Championship game to Appalachian State.
I will keep coming back to the cold here because it was cold, bitter cold. There was a snowstorm that was expected to hit at anytime so we kind of reversed the order of our workout. Right after we did the height and weights, we went straight out to the field to do the 40's, shuttles, and positional workouts and then came back inside to finish up the bench press last.
Also, instead of working one group out and then the next by position, we just did them all at once because of how cold it was and the incoming snow. You just kind of had to keep your eye on everything going on at once.
Coaches there told us that wide receiver Brandon London started working out the day after the Championship game which really shows his commitment to football. He's been in there every day getting ready to make his next step. He took a big step today in fact, working out in 25 degree weather and doing well. He ran a decent 40 for it being as cold as it was and he caught the ball well in the drills. The wide receivers coach from the Giants was there to work him out, and then myself and the offensive coordinator from UMASS were the two quarterbacks.
Steve Baylark who is one of the top running backs in IAA needed a little encouragement to run the 40, but eventually he ran it. He also worked out well and showed good hands in catching the ball, especially given the miserable weather conditions.
A lot of these kids will go to the Boston College workout next week, and with a chance to run indoors, it'll be interesting to see how much their numbers improved. It was so bitter cold, and windy, that it's hard to stay warm and get your muscles going. I don't know that anyone would have performed optimally today given the weather.
After the workout, I headed to the airport to catch my flight home, but all flights were cancelled. My wife refused to let me rent a car and drive. She didn't want me to risk it since it's snowing pretty heavily right now. They are expected to get between 8 inches and a foot of snow, and there's some sleet and ice so conditions are definitely hazardous.
Since there is nothing I can do about it, I'm sitting at my hotel room and watching the basketball tournament. I'm not necessarily pulling for anyone in particular. I just like to see good games like I was watching Winthrop taking it to Notre Dame which would definitely be an upset.
The plan is to get out tomorrow. A scout from Green Bay and Philadelphia rented a car and the three of us are going to try to drive out in the morning since none of us could get on flights out of here until late Saturday night.