Ohio Football Players Show Their Skills at Pro Day< < Back to
For some Bobcats, Wednesday was another stepping stone in their pursuit to getting their name called in this year’s NFL draft.
Unofficially, there were 27 NFL scouts in attendance for Ohio’s pro day, and many had their eyes set on defensive lineman Tarell Basham, who is relishing the moment as the draft nears.
“You know It’s hard to explain,” Basham said. “When you’re a little kid and you know Christmas is next week, but then you wake up and realize today’s actually Christmas, you’re full of excitement. Somedays you just can’t sleep because this is an exciting moment in my life and I’m enjoying every minute of it.”
Basham hopes that one team can be his Christmas miracle, potentially even the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Reports surfaced last week that Patriots coach Bill Belichick made a visit to Athens and conducted a private workout with Basham.
“[Belichick] is a cool guy to talk to,” Basham said. “We had a really good workout and is a great guy to work with.”
Not only did Basham raise some eyebrows in the Patriots organization, his performance again showed why he is projected as an early round pick.
According to The Post’s Andrew Gillis, he ran an unofficial 4.65 40-yard dash time with a vertical of 32 ½ inches. In comparison, receiver Sebastian Smith’s best time was a 4.51 with a 30 ½ vertical.
Smith, who also had a fair amount of scouts looking at him at the next level, talked about the process of pro day and what it meant to him.
“Just hard work and a lot of patience,” Smith said. “I’m just glad to be here with my teammates and it’s a blessing to have scouts out here looking at us.”
Smith was not thrown off by the high amount of scouts at the pro day today, as it was something he had been anticipating because of the talent of this year’s draft class at Ohio. He has been in contact with the Rams, Patriots and Buccaneers in regards to his draft stock.
A player’s stock who may be on the rise is linebacker Blair Brown, who made a name for himself at the combine after putting together a solid workout.
“I think I surprised a lot of scouts,” Brown said. “I heard an announcer on the TV said he had no idea who I was before the combine and saw my tape and thought I was pretty physical.”
For Brown and all the other Bobcats working out at the combine, the ultimate goal is to hear their names get called on one of the three draft days. Basham, in particular, said he wouldn’t hold back the emotions when the moment comes.
“The target I chased was getting drafted into the NFL, so honestly on that day I might cry because it’s going to be an emotional day.”
For Basham and the rest of the Bobcats, that emotional day will come in less than a month, as the draft takes place over the course of three days, April 27-29 on ESPN.