On Wednesday, March 20th, sixteen former members of the USC football team participated in the program’s annual Pro Day, a day dedicated to testing their strength, agility, and skill through a variety of drills. With the NFL Draft coming up next month, many standout players were looking to put on a show in front of scouts from an array of the NFL’s 32 teams.
For some of the participants, this was the second opportunity they were given to test their abilities. Cornerback Iman "Biggie" Marshall, offensive tackle Chuma Edoga, safety Marvell Tell III, and linebackers Cameron Smith and Porter Gustin all participated in the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine from Feb. 26th to March 4th.
Also participating in USC Pro Day were seniors Aca'Cedric Ware and Ajene Harris who — despite being key players on the Trojans' squad — were not invited to the Combine.
Ware, a 6-foot tailback from DeSoto, Texas, put on an all-around solid display for the scouts, coming in seventh in the vertical jump (32 inches), sixth in the broad jump (114 inches), eighth in the bench press (12 reps), and sprinting into third in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.60 seconds.
Often Pro Day proves to be most beneficial for prospects like cornerback Ajene Harris, who missed out on any bowl games and the Combine. The Los Angeles native posted moderate numbers both in the vertical jump (30 inches) and in the broad jump (111.6 inches), coming in eighth place in both tests. Harris' high point came in his fourth-place finish in the 40-yard dash, where he clocked in a time of 4.63 seconds.
Toa Lobendahn, USC's center, was similarly not invited to the Combine. He posted 103 inches in the broad jump at 28.5 inches in the vertical, good for 13th and 10th respectively. Lobendahn excelled in the bench press, putting up 36 reps at 225 lbs. Only one player at the Combine put up more reps than Lobendahn.
Gustin had an impressive showing in the vertical jump and broad jump tests, improving upon his numbers at the Combine to nab second place in both categories. Gustin's vertical jump was 36 inches, while his broad jump improved two inches to 120″. Gustin was able to once again show scouts his athletic ability and prove his healthiness.
Another Trojan with strong results at Pro Day was senior Marvell Tell III from Pasadena, Calif. Tell came in first place in the vertical jump with 41 inches and ran into second place with a speedy 40-yard dash (4.57 seconds). Despite it being the highest measured vertical jump amongst the Trojans, Tell jumped even higher at the Combine (42 inches), a few weeks ago.
For a few players, USC 's Pro Day served as a chance to be tested in the remaining skills that they did not participate in at the NFL Combine.
Edoga participated in both the vertical and broad jump, ranking fourteenth (24.5 inches) and ninth (108 inches) respectively. Similarly, Marshall did not participate in the vertical jump and broad jump tests at the Combine but did perform at Wednesday's Pro Day. With jumps measuring at 32.5 inches and 118.8 inches, Marshall found himself in the middle of the pack in sixth and fifth place, respectively.
Many Trojans currently in the NFL came out to show their support and to serve as reminders to the players of what could be just around the corner after the draft. Players including the Titans' Adoree Jackson and Chargers' Uchenna Nwosu returned to offer advice to the NFL's future stars. The 2019 NFL Draft will be held on April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.
Full Pro Day results available here.
Annenberg Media will continue to follow the NFL Draft closely and provide updates on where these Trojans go.