March 4, 2009

Eleven former players participate in Pro Day

MADISON, Wis. - With the National Football League draft only a matter of weeks away, several professional scouts got a peak at what several former Wisconsin football players have to offer during UW's pro timing day at the McClain Center.

In total, 11 former Badgers participated in the day's events that included the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and bench press. The following is a recap of each player and his approximate numbers:


Weight: 239 pounds, he was 243 pounds at the combine and put on 20+ pounds since the injury.

"It's always good to be heavier," Beckum said. "Especially to play at that weight in the NFL."

40-yard dash: Between 4.59 and 4.63 seconds

"I have ran faster than that when I was training about two weeks ago in Florida," Beckum said. "But I'm going to take it and I'm satisfied with what I did today."

When UW played host to Illinois last fall, Beckum was rolled up on and suffered a broken leg. The injury sidelined the star tight end for the remainder of the year. Now, nearly four months after the fact, Beckum did not seem to show many lingering effects from the injury.

"I'm probably about 80 percent," Beckum said. "I know it's a six month injury and I'm at about four months. So I'm just blessed that I can have the chance to come out here and perform."

Shuttle run: His second run was clocked in the 6.7 range. (My stop clock only went to one decimal point)

Bench press: Did not lift

Individual drills: For approximately 10 minutes, Beckum, P.J. Hill, Bill Rentmeester and Chris Pressley received passes in front of scouts. Beckum was very impressive in the drills and only dropped one pass in the back of the end zone on a post-corner route.


Hill's new body shape was immediately recognizable. The former Badger running back said he has lost approximately 20 pounds since the end of the season and currently weighs 218. He was lean and very cut during the pro day festivities.

40-yard dash: Between 4.59 to low 4.6's

"I got with the right trainer and that made me a lot faster," Hill said. "When you run the 40, it's all about technique most of the time and how you come out and run those first 10-20 yards. That will make you run your best times. I just tried to keep what I learned in the back of my head and just go out there and just do what I learned."

Vertical jump: 37 inches

Three cone drill: 6.9 second range.

Bench press: 16 reps of 225 pounds

Individual drills:

Hill struggled catching the ball in individual drills. Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice was throwing the passes to Hill, Pressley, Beckum and Rentmeester. Hill seemed to struggle the most out in the flat and with deeper thrown balls.

"Two balls I felt like I should have caught," Hill said. "Some of the balls he was throwing me were all over the place. He said it was his fault most of them, but two I should have caught."

"But I felt like I had a pretty good pro day."


Weight: 285

"It's higher than the end of the season by about seven pounds," Newkirk said in regards to his weight. "It was maybe one more small meal before I went to bed, but it wasn't really a struggle to keep on or off, it was something I felt I needed to do to be viewed as a legitimate defensive tackle."

During pro day, Newkirk was most impressive on the bench press. His 35 reps at 225 pounds were the most of any Badger that lifted. He did not run the shuttle event so he came into the bench press more rested than some of the other players, and that could have benefited him.

Bench press: 35 reps of 225 pounds
40-yard dash: 5.2 second range
Vertical jump: 30 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet 4 inches
Shuttle run: 7.1 second range

"I couldn't get much sleep last night," Newkirk said. "I tried, but I was up at about 5 o'clock this morning. I had to go to the grocery store and get some breakfast. I was doing some cleaning around the house and waiting for it to get here. But it was a good time."


Weight: 257 pounds

"I lost some pounds. At the end of the season I was about 267, 268. I would fluctuate from 265 to 270, now I'm 257 today. I dropped some pounds and it feels better."

40-yard dash: 4.80

"I definitely wanted to be in the 4.7's, but it wasn't. 4.80 is okay, I kind of wanted to do that. A lot of guys didn't expect me to run less than a five so that's good for them to see. It worked out to my advantage today."

Shuttle run: 7.25 seconds
Vertical jump: 31.5 inches.
Broad jump: 8 feet 11 inches

"It went good, I think I had a good day," Pressley said. "Really, my biggest thing was coming out and showing the scouts that I could move around and that I'm someone that they would want to have on the team, (show) that I can work and that I'm explosive. The type of thing that they look for in a fullback."


Weight: Just less than 250 pounds.

"What always happens to me during the season is that I always keep gaining weight," Rentmeester said. "Basically, I'm back to where I started at the beginning of the season."

40-yard dash: Between 4.75 and 4.80 seconds

"I was happy with my times right there," Rentmeester said. "This is a grass surface so it's not the fastest surface in the world. So I was pretty happy with it."

Broad jump: 9 feet 5 inches
Shuttle run: 7.1 second range
Bench press: 18 reps of 225 pounds

"I wasn't happy with that," Rentmeester said regarding his bench press. "I came off the 60-yard shuttle and I was pretty gassed. I got a lot less reps than I'm used to doing so I wasn't too happy about that. I'm going to come back April 2nd and just going to bench press then."


40-yard dash: 4.7 second range

"I thought I did okay," Langford said. "There was a lot of stuff I could have done a lot better, but for the most part I thought I did very well. It's out of my hands now so we'll just see what happens."

Shuttle run: 6.9 second range
Bench press: 15 reps of 225 pounds
Vertical jump: 36.5 inches

"I jumped too far forward," Langford, who nearly fell down during his first attempt, said. "I wish I could have gotten another jump, I would have gotten a little bit higher. But, I'm satisfied with 36.5."


40-yard dash: 5.0 second range
Vertical jump: 30.5 inches
Shuttle run: 7.7 second range
Bench press: 8 reps of 225

Chapman was lifting with seemingly little trouble but suddenly stopped. After sitting up, he clutched his right shoulder area and did not lift anymore. He did return to participate in individual defensive line drills later in the event.


40-yard dash: 5.3 second range
Vertical jump: 27.5 inches

Kemp also participated in individual offensive linemen drills.


40-yard dash: 4.9 second range
Shuttle run: 6.9 second range

Shaughnessy also participated in individual defensive linemen drills.


40-yard dash: 5.3 second range
Vertical jump: 35.5 inches

Urbik also participated in individual offensive linemen drills.


40-yard dash: 5.1 second range
Vertical jump: 39 inches


-During the event, representatives from the following NFL teams were present:

-New Orleans Saints
-Detroit Lions
-Cincinnati Bengals
-New England Patriots
-Green Bay Packers (Including Ted Thompson)
-Miami Dolphins
-Minnesota Vikings
-Washington Redskins
-Houston Texans
-San Diego Chargers
-Jacksonville Jaguars
-Atlanta Falcons
-New York Giants
-Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In addition to the NFL teams, there were representatives from the Canadian Football League present as well.

-Former Badger great, and newest member of the New York Jets Jim Leonhard, was in attendance. (Look for a question and answer tomorrow featuring Leonhard)

-The UW coaching staff and a major contingent of current UW players were also on hand to take in the day's festivities

The following are audio files from Wednesday's pro day:
Hill, pro day
Beckum, pro day
Newkirk, pro day
Pressley, pro day
Rentmeester, pro day

The following is a short audio file from Packers general manager Ted Thompson:

Ted Thompson, pro day

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