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March 7, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Fifteen former Fighting Illini football players took part in Illinois' annual NFL Pro Day Thursday morning, March 7, at the Illinois Football Performance Center and Irwin Indoor Practice Center. Thirty-nine scouts from 18 NFL teams were on hand to watch recent alums Michael Buchanan, Tommy Davis, Glenn Foster, Justin Green, Terry Hawthorne, Patrick Nixon-Youman, Zak Pedersen, Graham Pocic, Jack Ramsey, Supo Sanni, Akeem Spence, Justin Staples, Hugh Thornton, Eddie Viliunas and Ashante Williams, plus a handful of older alums and players from area schools, participate in several drills and workouts.
Defensive lineman Glenn Foster stole the show in the weight room with a 39.5-inch vertical leap and 29 bench press reps of 225 pounds, both the top totals of the day. The 6'4", 286-pound Foster also posted impressive numbers in the board jump (10' 9"), 40-yard dash (4.79), 20-yard shuttle (4.46) and 3-cone drill (7.09). For comparison, all six of Foster's measurements would have ranked in the top-15 among defensive linemen at this year's NFL combine, with his vertical jump and broad jump marks ranking first among his peers at the combine.
Cornerback Justin Green ran the best 40-yard dash on the day, clocking in at a blazing 4.40 seconds, a time that would have ranked 13th overall at last month's NFL combine. Defensive back Tommy Davis had the top board jump of the day with a leap of 10'11", a mark that would have placed 11th overall at the combine. Defensive back Ashante Williams also had an impressive day, posting a 38.5-inch vertical leap (2nd best of the day) and a 6.96 3-cone time (2nd best of the day).
NFL Combine participants Michael Buchanan, Terry Hawthorne, Akeem Spence and Hugh Thornton did not take part in the vertical jump, broad jump, bench press or 40-yard dash, instead opting to use their results from last month's NFL combine. Hawthorne did participate in the 20-yard shuttle (4.26) and 3-cone drill (6.88), posting the best time of the day on each drill. Spence also competed in the 20-yard shuttle, posting a time of 4.63.
After the speed drills, the Fighting Illini - including all four combine participants - took part in position-specific drills on the turf at the Irwin Practice Facility. Many were also interviewed by some of the scouts on hand. Center Graham Pocic (shoulder) and defensive back Supo Sanni (knee) are both recovering from injuries and were only able to participate in position drills.
The 2013 NFL Draft will take place April 25-27 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.