USU football: Aggies prep for NFL Draft at pro day

Published: Thursday, March 7 2013 3:30 p.m. MST

Utah State Aggies running back and game MVP Kerwynn Williams (25) runs for a touchdown as Utah State University defeatsToledo 41-15 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in Boise, Idaho.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

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LOGAN — The NFL Draft is still almost two months away, but for Aggie NFL hopefuls the hard part is over.

Utah State held its annual pro day Thursday morning in front of scouts from the Broncos, Browns, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles, 49ers, Panthers, Raiders, Seahawks and the CFL's BC Lions. USU’s Kerwynn Williams and Will Davis headlined the group and participated in a few field drills, but mostly let their work at the NFL Scouting Combine speak for itself.

“Right now, it’s pretty (clear) you’ve reached the top of the hill with this whole process,” Williams said. “I’m pretty much coasting on the other side right now. All I can do is stay in shape and if anyone calls me for workouts or anything like that, then I have to be ready to go out there and perform.”

Williams has seen his stock improve since returning from the combine thanks in part to a 4.48 40-yard dash time, the third best time for a running back.

“I think the workout went well,” Williams said of his performance at pro day. “I’m just trying to take what I can from these drills that I did today and keep on pushing.”

While Williams and Davis established themselves for scouts at the combine, the rest of the Aggies at pro day were looking to make names for themselves.

Matt Austin, the Aggies' leading wide receiver last year, is on the fringe of being drafted and is hoping that he proved himself worthy of a roster spot in the NFL on Thursday.

Scouts had told Austin they thought his 40-yard dash time would be in the 4.6 seconds range; a little slow for a pro wide receiver. Austin proved that wrong by posting the best time of the day at 4.50.

“I feel like I accomplished my goals,” Austin said. “One of the main focuses was that 40-yard dash. I was blessed to have the fastest time today. It felt great. It was a great opportunity. I know for sure people didn’t think I could run that fast.”

Defensive lineman Al Lapuaho didn’t show the straight line speed that Austin did, but was happy with his results. His 33 reps of 225 on the bench press were the best for the day.

“I’m not really a long distance guy, I’m a short spurt guy,” Lapuaho said with a laugh. “I’m happy with it. I’m glad it’s over. I’m going to go have some fries.”

The big man checked in on the scales at 305 two weeks ago, but had cut his weight down to 292 for pro day.

Much like Austin, Lapuaho is on the edge of being drafted and is hopeful that his performance will be enough to earn a roster invite this fall, but also acknowledged that pro day is just a small part of what will go into that decision.

“The good scouts don’t judge on a pro day,” he said. “It either solidifies what they thought about a guy or raises questions. … It’s only 10 percent; I’d say 90 percent is what I’ve already put on film.”

Kraig is a 2010 Utah State University graduate and regular Deseret News sports blogger. He can be followed on Twitter at DesNewsKraig.

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