NFL hopefuls prepare for Pro Day


Tamir Kalifa

Linebacker Emmanuel Acho, who led Texas with 131 tackles last season, injured his quadricep while running the 40-yard dash at last month’s NFL Combine. Acho will be joined by many of his teammates at Tuesday’s Pro Timing Day.

Lauren Giudice

Earlier this month, four Texas players had the opportunity to show NFL teams their potential at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. But now they, along with more Longhorn NFL hopefuls, will be able to show their athletic potential at Texas’ annual pro timing day.

Today Emmanuel Acho, Kheeston Randall and Keenan Robinson will be able to continue their journey to the draft as they participate in drills. But players who weren’t invited to the combine will be able to show scouts what they can do. Running back Fozzy Whittaker was also at the combine, but due to his season-ending injury that he suffered while playing Missouri, he was not able to participate in many of the events. He is still recovering from the injury and will be limited in today’s events.

Today, players will participate in the 40-yard dash, the bench press, the vertical jump and drills that will display their finesse for their specific positions. In addition, they will be measured and weighed. Although the environment at pro days is intense, many alumni and current players will come to support those participating.

Along with that, representatives from NFL teams will be watching the pro hopefuls intently. All 32 NFL teams had representatives at Texas’ pro day last year. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz were two of the many people attending.

Linebacker Emmanuel Acho was one of the top linebacker performers in the 40-yard dash and broad jump at the combine. But, he pulled a muscle in his quad during his second attempt at the 40-yard dash and was unable to compete in the rest of the drills.

“My initial plan was to come back to Austin and prepare for pro day in Austin, but since I did pull my quad muscle, I will stay here in Arizona until I am 100 percent, or until pro day,” Acho said last week. “Then I will go to Austin for pro day, compete at pro day, and then stay in Austin and travel from there to different team visits until the draft.”

At the NFL Combine, Randall had a vertical jump of 34 inches — which tied him for 11th-best overall among defensive linemen. He ran the 40-yard dash in five seconds.

There will likely be between 13 and 19 Texas players participating in pro day. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M already had their pro days.

Printed on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 as: Former Horns hope to impress NFL teams at this year's Pro Day