Football: Ohio State players finish pro day
Thirteen players from Ohio State's undefeated 2012 season worked out for NFL scouts this morning at the program's pro day, and some Buckeyes appeared to have helped themselves.
There are no "official" statistics kept because each team records its own times. But tight end Jake Stoneburner said he was told he ran times of 4.55 and 4.52 second in the 40-yard dash. His official time at the NFL combine in Indianapolis was 4.65, so that's a significant improvement. Stoneburner also caught the ball well taking throws from former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.
Safety Orhian Johnson deliberately bulked up a little to 215 pounds but still ran a 4.5 and seemed happy with that.
"Any time you get to come out here and compete, I get amped up for it," Johnson said. "Things like this, where I can show my athleticism, I think I excel at. I always feel like I can do better. I know putting on a little more weight made my 40 a little slower, but I feel I stil ran fast enough to show I can cover those tight ends and those slots when I need to."
Like Johnson, Travis Howard wasn't invited to Indianapolis, so he had much at stake. He was disappointed with his 4.50 time in the 40, saying that he'd run in the 4.4s during workouts. But the cornerback said he was pleased with how he performed in other drills.
"I feel good, but I feel there's a lot of room for improvement," Howard said.
Safety/special-teamer Zach Domicone said he heard that he ran in the 4.5 range, which was his goal.
"I think I had a great day," Domicone said. "I wanted to come out and give it my best shot, and I think I did that."
Fullback Zach Boren didn't know his 40 time but said it was better than the 5.0 time he ran in Indianapolis. Boren even did some long-snapping after the official workout was over, and that position, along with fullback and linebacker, was listed on the information distributed by Ohio State.
Linebacker Etienne Sabino tweaked his hamstring at the NFL combine so he decided not to run the 40, but he said he had 30 reps in the 225-pound bench press. Defensive end/linebacker John Simon is rehabbing his shoulder after recent surgery. He said he will work out for NFL teams March 25 at Ohio State.
Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and offensive tackle Reid Fragel did only limited drills today after doing the full set at the combine. Fragel said he wanted to showcase his pass-protection skills after working out with former Buckeye and NFL center LeCharles Bentley in Arizona.
Nathan Williams, Garrett Goebel, Taylor Rice and Karim Stephens also worked out, as did Brookhaven grad Mark Jackson, an offensive lineman who played at Glenville State.
OSU football spokesman Jerry Emig said that 28 NFL teams -- as well as the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers -- and at least 36 scouts signed in to watch. Among those attending was former Buckeye and NFL Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau, the longtime defensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers.