<strong>I feel like I did my best and I'm happy with my results.Being in Utah and being in the comfort zone I'm in helps and it was a great day.</strong> – Former BYU running back Jamaal Williams
PROVO — BYU’s all-time leading rusher, Jamaal Williams, participated at the National Football League Combine in Indianapolis earlier this month, but he posted even better numbers Friday when he returned to campus for Pro Day inside the friendly confines of the Indoor Practice Facility.
Williams, who is expected to be the first former Cougar taken in the NFL Draft April 27-29, shaved his 40-yard dash time from 4.59 to 4.53 and he showed improvement in the 3 cone drill and 20-yard shuttle in front of scouts from 28 NFL teams.
“I feel like I did my best and I’m happy with my results,” Williams said. “Being in Utah and being in the comfort zone I’m in helps and it was a great day.”
Since finishing his eligibility with a 210-yard rushing performance in a 24-21 victory over Wyoming in the Poinsettia Bowl, Williams has been preparing for the draft and he noted that it can be a complicated process.
"I love playing football,” he said. “It's the business side that I'm trying to get used to."
With his agent, Leigh Steinberg, on hand Friday, Williams is looking forward to the draft, which features a deep class of running backs.
“It’s just the waiting game now,” Williams said. “I’ll be home, playing video games and working out, like I usually do, while I’m waiting.”
Steinberg said he was happy with what he saw out of Williams. He’s been busy setting up meetings for Williams with NFL teams ahead of the draft.
Meanwhile, based on their Pro Day performances, offensive lineman Andrew Eide, safety Kai Nacua, defensive lineman Sae Tautu and quarterback Taysom Hill probably boosted their respective NFL stocks Friday.
Eide recorded 33 reps in the bench press, which would have put him among the top five at the NFL Combine.
“I was aiming for 32 or 33 (reps),” Eide said. “I was happy about hitting 33 today. I think 35 was the most at the Combine.”
In addition, Eide’s 30.5-inch vertical jump would have tied for No. 3 among offensive linemen at the Combine.
Though he played tackle at BYU, Eide, a Southern Utah University transfer, is projected to play either center or guard in the NFL.
https://twitter.com/brandonljudd/status/845437719614435328Nacua had a vertical jump of 39 inches, a 10-foot-7-inch broad jump (which would have been No. 5 at the Combine) and a 40-yard run time of 4.5.
Tautu ran a 4.55 in the 40, which would have been No. 4 among linebackers and defensive linemen at the Combine, and he logged a vertical jump of 38.5 inches.
“It was fun. I hadn’t felt those pre-game jitters since our last game. It was good to get that feeling back,” Tautu said. “I met my expectations. Overall, I’m really pleased. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a dream to get to this point. You’ve got one shot ... I’m happy I was able to do well. We’ll see what happens from here.”
Hill ran a 4.44 in the 40, which would have placed him No. 1 among quarterbacks at the NFL Combine, ahead of Trevor Knight’s 4.54. He also had a 38.5 vertical jump.
Harvey Langi, who, like Williams, participated in the NFL Combine, didn’t run the 40 in Indianapolis due to a hamstring injury he suffered a couple of weeks prior. He ran a 4.62 in the 40 Friday.
“It felt good. I did what I had to do and I saw all the boys again,” said Langi, who is preparing to play linebacker and special teams at the next level. “Now I’ve got to get ready for the draft.”
Cornerback Michael Davis was clocked at 4.34 in the 40, which would have ranked No. 4 at the Combine. It would have been No. 2 among corners. And wide receiver Colby Pearson ran a 4.43 in the 40.
Others who participated Friday included running back Algernon Brown, offensive lineman Parker Dawe, wide receivers Mitchell and Garrett Juergens, wide receiver Nick Kurtz, safety Eric Takenaka (who injured his foot during drills), offensive lineman Brad Wilcox and Graham Rowley, who graduated in 2015.
For Eide, returning to campus to be a part of Pro Day was a special experience.
“It’s a great feeling. After a couple of months of watching Pro Days and seeing results, I was champing at the bit to start competing,” he said. “Seeing everyone and seeing how hard everyone was training, I think overall everyone did well today and it was cool to see that. It was a good environment to be in and to compete again.”