You always wish you could’ve done a little bit better, but I’m happy with the training I got done and I’m very appreciative to the scouts who came out here to watch us today. – Zach Vigil
Utah State had 16 former football players work out in front of 20 NFL scouts on Thursday morning in its annual Pro Day.
In all, scouts from the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins were in attendance.
Participating in this year’s Pro Day event included defensive back La’Ron Bennett, punter Jaron Bentrude, wide receiver Ronald Butler, placekicker Nick Diaz, running back Joe Hill, defensive end B.J. Larsen, defensive back Rashard Stewart, safety Brian Suite, safety Frankie Sutera, offensive lineman Bill Vavau, linebacker Zach Vigil and offensive lineman Kevin Whimpey.
Former USU players in defensive back Quinton Byrd, linebacker Jake Doughty, running back Robert Marshall and wide receiver Travis Reynolds also participated in the drills, along with several former Southern Utah and Weber State players.
Pro Day began in the ICON Sports Performance Center, where players had their height, weight and wing span measured, followed by performance tests in the broad jump, vertical jump and bench press.
The remaining drills were performed in Utah State’s San Laub Indoor Practice Facility, where players were timed in the 40-yard dash, shuttle run and three-cone pro agility run, along with other on-field tests.
Highlighting Thursday’s action was Hill who ran a 4.26 40-yard dash, while Suite clocked in a with a time of 4.45. Butler had a time of 4.50, Stewart ran a 4.59, Bentrude ran a 4.61, Sutera ran a 4.64, Vigil ran a 4.66 and Larsen clocked in with a time of 4.82.
Suite had the best vertical jump during the day with a leap of 37.5 inches, while Bentrude jumped 36.5 inches. In the broad jump, Suite again had the best mark with a jump of 10 feet 2 inches, while Hill recorded a jump of 9 feet 8 inches.
Whimpey recorded the top mark on the 225-pound bench press with 39 reps, while Vigil had 26 reps and Vavau finished with 25.
“It was fun,” Vigil said on his Pro Day experience. “You always wish you could’ve done a little bit better, but I’m happy with the training I got done and I’m very appreciative to the scouts who came out here to watch us today. That just shows you that Utah State is finally getting out there because we had like 18 scouts here today, so that’s good. It’s good for the program.
“I just need to continue to become more explosive and quicker, have better footwork and keep working on my hips. Obviously, the study of the game is always very important. If you want to be successful in the NFL for a long time, I’ve been told you’ve got to be a student of the game and understand all your weaknesses, and try to improve and make them strengths.”
Players now wait for the NFL Draft, which takes place Thursday through Saturday, April 30 – May 2, from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Round one is on Thursday, April 30. Rounds two and three are Friday, May 1, and rounds four through seven are Saturday, May 2.
Doug Hoffman is the associate athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.