Travis Bright laid on his back, lifting the 225-pound weights over and over again in front of NFL representatives at the combine last month.

Strong as an ox, Bright toiled with strict guidelines or he'd get knocked down. He lifted it 34 times, the second best among offensive linemen.

But it wasn't his best. Not by far.

"I've done it 40 times, that's my personal best," Bright said.

Hoisting that weight again is something Bright might not do on Wednesday when BYU holds its Pro Day and more than a dozen NFL teams will have scouts milling around testing college players who are anxious to put on a show.

Bright's 34 should do.

His agent, Michael Hoffman of Premier Sports & Entertainment in Santa Monica, said Bright's performance at the combine was as good as any offensive linemen at the camp. He told Bright not to bother doing reps again.

"If I did 39, it wouldn't be that big a 'wow' factor and wouldn't change how I'm evaluated that much after the combine. If I did, it would be for personal pride," Bright said.

Bright was second in reps only to Louis Vasquez, who had 39.

Bright posted the best vertical jump in the group of linemen at 35.5 inches.

His vertical left scouts buzzing. By way of comparison, his vertical is the best for an offensive lineman since Alex Barron in 2005 (36 inches).

Bright's time of 5.27 in the 40-yard dash was the second best among offensive guards. Seth Olsen of Iowa finished first among guards at 5.23.

"His performance at the combine has greatly improved his stock and should garner more attention as we get closer to the draft," Hoffman said.

"I was disappointed in 34 reps because I'd done 40. It was good but I wanted to do more at the combine," Bright said.

"It was really strict. A couple of times I bounced it and the second time I paused a little. It just wasn't the same as when I did 40 and we were working on strength and speed drills."

Bright said he's always been good with his vertical and he's been training hard. "I was told if I did really good on the vertical, I wouldn't have to do it again, so I just busted my butt at it."

The amazing thing, according to BYU trainer Kevin Morris, is Bright made that leap with a metal rod in his tibia which surgeons inserted just over a year ago after he went down in the bowl game against UCLA.

"Imagine what he'd have done without the rod," Morris said.

His former coach, former Colorado assistant head coach Jeff Grimes, now at Auburn, once called Bright a man among boys, a physically dominating player.

In coming months, scouts will be picking over Bright's resume that includes his school record 540-pound bench press. That effort is impressive. If scouts compared it with other bench presses of collegians across the country, it would rank among the highest they can find anywhere, certainly the best in the MWC and likely the Pac-10.

Bright also holds BYU's football team record for the hang clean (434 pounds).

For the past couple of years, Bright won the BYU football program's title of strongest man after a competition conducted each summer. Some of the events included strapping on giant concrete rocks and lifting them onto a platform while being timed. Other events included flipping a giant truck tire that weighed nearly 900 pounds and turning an atlas rock around a pivot while supervised by Van Hatfield, a former top 10 finisher at the World Strong Man competition in Korea in 2007.

This title has gone to former Cougar strength freaks like Eddie Keele, Scott Young and John Denney.

When an injury sidelined Bright after the 2007 Las Vegas Bowl, his quick return to the team "inspired" the squad last year, according to head coach Bronco Mendenhall. Last year Mendenhall said the return of Bright "simply change(d) the identity of our team."

It had to do with Bright's physical presence and strength.

Now, its crunch time, if he is to take it to the next level.

Humble, soft-spoken, Bright is approaching it like he always does, with a good attitude, patience and hope.

After all, this time last year, Bright's leg was in a non-weight bearing cast.

The guy rebounds well.

E-MAIL: dharmon@desnews.com