USC Pro Day hosts 15 Trojans prospects in their pursuit to the NFL

Thirteen current and two former Trojans braved the difficult weather conditions to showcase their skills in front of NFL scouts.

Jordan Addison is running a route at USC's NFL Pro Day. He is wearing a black outfit.

Tuesday morning looked nothing like Southern California. Pouring rain drenched Allyson Felix Field, resulting in the Trojans taking multiple drills inside.

But with the conditions being insufficient for the 40-yard dash for nearly the first two hours, the players finally made it outside around 10 a.m. The on-field workouts were finally able to start and included the 40-yard dash, shuttle and route runs.

Thirteen current Trojans participated under the watchful eyes of each of the 32 NFL teams.

USC’s Pro Day also marked running back Travis Dye’s return to the field after his season and career-ending injury against Colorado on November 11. Dye recorded 16 reps on the 225-pound bench press and, off a severe ankle injury, ran for 4.75 on the 40-yard dash.

“I wish I had better 40-yard dash weather conditions,” Dye said. “Every time I sucked my foot up, it felt like I was running in the mud.”

But after breaking his left ankle fibula back in November, Dye was excited to finally be back on the field.

“It was tough, it was heartbreaking [the injury],” Dye said. “I had the people behind me … everybody behind me really uplifted my spirits.”

Dye said he recovered from the injury pretty quickly and even considered pushing it if the Trojans made it to the College Football Playoff. But now, back at 100%, the Trojan is ready for the next step.

“I feel like my whole college career has been preparing me for this, this moment right there,” Dye said. “And I’ll always be grateful for that. I’ll always be a Trojan, I’ll always be a Duck.”

Conditions could not have been worse, and no one had an exceptional performance in the 40-yard dash. Out of the 15 Trojan prospects, only six decided to run. Wide receiver Tyrell Bynum had the best performance of the day, with a 4.5. Other notable times included a 4.62 from running back Brandon Outlaw and 4.65 from defensive back Micah Croom.

Following the 40, defensive linemen Brandon Pili and Tuli Tuipulotu displayed their defensive skills and agility with a range of exercises, working on their bends and hands in various drills on the field — an occasion for NFL scouts to test the players after USC’s poor defensive performance during the games late in the season.

“I got a couple hard comments about how we ended the season, so they really caught me off guard with that one,” Tuipulotu said. “I mean they’re trying to get you out of your comfort zone, try to see what type of person you are, how you respond to that kind of stuff.”

Due to the difficult weather conditions, star prospect Jordan Addison opted out of running. The wide receiver chose to focus on running a few routes on the field instead.

“When the rain came down, I was like, ‘Okay, now I’m really going to show them what I’m about,’” Addison said. “On any surface, I’m going to get to it. It doesn’t matter if it’s snowing or anything. I’m going to show them that I’m willing to come out here and do whatever they want me to do.”

Even with the rain and the waterlogged field, Addison showcased some runs, confident that his skills might help him get drafted in the right team.

“I know I’m the best wide receiver in this draft,” Addison said. “I can come into a new set, perform really well early, I can play any position on the field … run any route, intermediate, shallow, deep.”

Addison also scored the best time on the shuttle run clocking in at 4.15 seconds, ahead of Bynum with 4.19. The roles were reversed with the 3-cone with Bynum taking the best at 6.97 seconds, over Addison’s 7.05.

Even after a difficult session due to the weather, a lot of the USC coaches were seen congratulating their players and hoping they’ll see them in the NFL.

“They prepared me very well. Shout out to Coach Helton and Coach Lincoln for all the ways they’ve helped us,” Tuipulotu said. “I’m just excited to get to the next level.”