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Utah's 'Pro Day' goes well

Published: Wednesday, March 19 2014 8:25 p.m. MDT

Utah's Keith McGill performs a speed drill as NFL hopefuls work out for pro scouts during Utah pro football day at the University of Utah Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Utah's Keith McGill performs a speed drill as NFL hopefuls work out for pro scouts during Utah pro football day at the University of Utah Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — On the night before Utah’s annual “Pro Day,” NFL prospect Trevor Reilly acknowledged he didn’t get all that much rest. In fact, he admitted to eating some pasta around 2:30 a.m.

“I probably got six or seven hours of sleep,” Reilly said. “But I woke up three of four times nervous.”

Scouts from 24 NFL teams were on hand Wednesday to get a closer look at 17 former Utes, as well as a combination of five players from Dixie State, Southern Utah and Weber State. They were put through measurements and lifts in the Alex Smith Strength and Conditioning Center before being tested in running, agility and position drills at the Spence Eccles Field House.

It capped a stressful period of preparation for the players, who hope to hear their names called when the NFL Draft is held May 8-10.

A crowd watch as NFL hopefuls do drills for pro scouts during Utah pro football day at the University of Utah Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) A crowd watch as NFL hopefuls do drills for pro scouts during Utah pro football day at the University of Utah Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

“Ask my wife. I was a different human being the last three months. This has been kind of freaking me out,” Reilly said. “I had the opportunity to play for three years, and it’s funny how you think all the work may come down to this day. So I was glad to come out and do OK.”

Reilly set personal bests with a 4.66 in the 40, a 34-inch leap in the vertical jump and a broad jump measurement of 9 feet, 9 inches.

The linebacker said he couldn’t be more happy.

“I’m going to rest and then probably go play golf. I’m an addict man,” Reilly said of his plans for the rest of the day. “The weather’s good out here and you’ve got to get out there man and get that handicap better.”

NFL hopefuls do drills for pro scouts during the pro football day at the University of Utah Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) NFL hopefuls do drills for pro scouts during the pro football day at the University of Utah Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

Cornerback Keith McGill, who performed well at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, participated in every test.

“Mostly just to separate myself from any other corner that could have been at the same level — show the coaches that I’m willing to do the extra work that’s needed to make it at the next level,” said McGill, who had a 4.52 time in the 40 and a best-of-the-day 35.5 inch vertical leap.

Tight end Jake Murphy, who gave up his final season of collegiate eligibility to turn pro, participated in the 60-yard shuttle and ran some routes for the scouts.

“I felt like they went well,” he said. “I didn’t do too much, obviously, but I was happy with how things went.”

Murphy added that he just wanted to show the scouts that he could catch the ball and that he could make plays from anywhere on the field.

NFL hopefuls listen for instruction before doing drills for pro scouts during Utah pro football day at the University of Utah Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) NFL hopefuls listen for instruction before doing drills for pro scouts during Utah pro football day at the University of Utah Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

“I had a good chance to interview with some teams and meet some good people and kind of try and sell myself,” Murphy said of the combined experience of the NFL Scouting Combine and Wednesday’s gathering. “So I feel like I did pretty good.”

Fred Whittingham Jr., Utah’s director of player personnel who oversaw the event, said everything went really, really well.

“Overall I think the scouts like to come here,” he said.

The only NFL teams that didn’t send representatives were the Broncos, Browns, 49ers, Packers, Rams, Saints, Steelers and Vikings.

Those who came focused on things such as wide receiver Anthony Denham’s stance. He said they wanted to see him get down low and explode off the line. Defensive tackle Tenny Palepoi concentrated on agility and position drills and is now looking ahead to rookie camp, wherever that may be.

Utah's Trevor Reilly does speed drills as NFL hopefuls workout for pro scouts during Utah pro football day at the University of Utah Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Utah's Trevor Reilly does speed drills as NFL hopefuls workout for pro scouts during Utah pro football day at the University of Utah Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

Running back Karl Williams likely put himself on the NFL radar by running a 4.5 in the 40. He also had a 35-inch vertical and logged 21 reps on the 225-pound bench press.

“I was really excited about today,” said Williams, who mentioned that he had been training with former Ute John Madsen. “I expected to do well, but did really well today.”

Other notable performances were logged by offensive lineman Jeremiah Tofaeono (34 reps, bench press) and safety Quade Chappuis (4.51 in the 40).

Email: dirk@desnews.com Twitter: @DirkFacer

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