Former Texas players impress at Texas Pro Day

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Former Texas running back Jeremy Hills has his wingspan measured at Texas Pro Day Tuesday.  Hills jumped, sprinted and caught passes from Vince Young as part of the day’s activities.  

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Vince threw, Ricky donned a suit and Marquise danced.

Athleticism marked Texas’ pro day as Texas graduates and NFL hopefuls strutted the skills they’d worked tirelessly to perfect for a bevy of scouts. 

“We wanted the guys who didn’t do as well at the combine to have a second chance, so they can come home to a more comfortable setting and show the scouts what they can do,” head coach Mack Brown said of pro day.

The work began midmorning in the weight room, where players were measured and completed vertical jumps, 40-yard dashes and other strength activities. Marquise Goodwin, who sprang off the ground for an impressive 42 inches, pouted because he thought he’d jumped 44. Former running back and Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams snapped photos with Brown and former Texas quarterback Vince Young, who threw passes later in the afternoon in front of scouts. 

Fullback Ryan Roberson had a group of family members there to support him, including his father, stepmother, brother, sister and a friend.

“We’re so proud of him,” Charles Roberson said of his son. “He just had the drive and determination and he pushed himself to get this far.”

Players then made their way to the indoor practice field for passing and running drills. Young’s son bumbled across the turf and helped his father line up balls and stack cones. 

Young’s participation drew a lot of attention from scouts and the media, but Brown said he is proud of Young and his willingness to keep trying. The Buffalo Bills dropped the former Texas quarterback in 2012, and he is currently working on landing a spot on an NFL roster.    

Young shot spirals at Texas running back D.J. Monroe and at Goodwin, who performed a dance in the end zone after stretching his arms to grab one of Young’s passes.

Running back Jeremy Hills worked out after spending months mending an injury.

“That’s a blessing, really, to be able to break your leg and tear ligaments in your ankle and come back four and a half months later and be able to compete,” he said. “It felt good on the turf. This is like a second home for us.”

Highly touted safety Kenny Vaccaro did not run a 40-yard dash due to a hip injury, but participated in other Pro Day workouts.

Defensive end Alex Okafor, who some experts predict will be selected in the first round of the NFL draft, said he was proud of the work he did at pro day.  “I think more than anything, the coaches wanted to see what I would do once I got tired,” he said. “I wanted to show that I was healthy. I thought I came up to the occasion.”