I had worked so hard through the summer, and I had big hopes of being the top rusher in the Mountain West. But I have a lot of faith in God's plan, and I know that things happen for a reason. So, I just have to keep having the faith that everything's going to work out. —Devante Mays
LOGAN — While NFL scouts were wondering what could be next year, Utah State fans and former Aggie teammates were left wondering what might have been last year as they watched Devonte Mays perform during USU's Pro Day Friday morning at the Stan Laub Indoor Training Center and the ICON Sports Performance Center.
The former Aggie running back, whose senior season was cut short by injuries, was the standout performer during the four-hour event, looking healthy and strong in front of 21 different NFL scouts.
"I felt pretty good today," Mays declared. " I'm feeling 100 percent. You can tell by the drills that I'm running good, cutting good and everything. I haven't had any pain in my knee or my ankle, and it's been more than a month now since I started training."
A junior college transfer, Mays put together an impressive season in 2015, rushing for 966 yards and nine TDs on 165 carries, and then the 5-foot-11, 230-pound Texas native ran for 208 yards and three touchdowns in USU's 2016 season opener against Weber State.
But Mays suffered an injury to his right knee in USU's second game of the year at USC, and he was never the same afterward, totaling just 259 yards on 37 carries while seeing action in only six games.
"It was real tough last year, not being able to play and watch the season unfold how it did," said Mays, who is scheduled to meet with the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday. Mays also said he has spoken with seven other NFL teams.
"I had worked so hard through the summer, and I had big hopes of being the top rusher in the Mountain West. But I have a lot of faith in God's plan, and I know that things happen for a reason. So, I just have to keep having the faith that everything's going to work out."
Mays recorded the top vertical leap of all the Aggies evaluated on Friday, jumping 40.5 inches — four inches higher than the runner-up, former safety Marquan Ellison. Mays also finished second in the bench press, lifting 225 pounds 22 times — just one behind offensive lineman Jake Simonich and defensive lineman Edmund Faimalo — and second in the broad jump. His jump of 10.9 feet was between the 10.11 of former defensive back Jentz Painter and Ellison's 10.6.
Former wide receiver Devonte Robinson, who last played in 2015, recorded the best time in the 40-yard dash at 4.39, followed by former cornerback Daniel Gray (4.41), Ellison (4.46), Mays (4.47) and Painter (4.51).
In all, 16 different former Aggies participated in Pro Day, including offensive lineman Austin Albrecht, defensive end Ricky Ali'ifua, linebacker Brock Carmen, linebacker LT Filiaga, tight end Wyatt Houston, offensive lineman Jake Simonich, center Austin Stephens, linebacker Anthony Williams and wide receiver Kennedy Williams.
"Overall, I was pretty pleased with how I did today,” said Houston, who caught 35 passes for 330 yards and two TDs last season. “I have really been focusing on technique with all the drills we did today, so now that this is over, I can focus on just football and getting ready for the future.”
Houston wrapped up Pro Day by displaying his new-found ability to serve as a long snapper, something he just started learning how do in order to increase his chances of hanging on with an NFL squad as a member of a special teams unit.
"I've been working on it for about a month or so," Houston explained. "It's something I think I've got a good body type for, and just one more thing I can do to make a roster."