published Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Productive pro day

13 NFL teams present; Skrine, Harr like results

  • photo
    UTC cornerback Buster Skrine performs drills Wednesday as over a dozen NFL scouts watch at Scrappy Moore Field in Chattanooga.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Audio clip

Coach Russ Huesman

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program’s pro day hasn’t historically drawn much of a crowd. In recent years only one or two NFL scouts have shown up to work out the previous season’s seniors.

It was a different story Wednesday due in large part to cornerback Buster Skrine, who performed very well at the NFL combine last month and is projected by many to be selected in the middle rounds of next month’s draft.

Thirteen NFL teams had at least one representative at the pro day, during which Skrine did position drills and five other former Mocs went through the full array of measurements and exercises.

“We probably got more [scouts] out here today because of him, but that’s the way it happens everywhere,” UTC coach Russ Huesman said. “You’ve got one that people are looking at, and the rest of these guys, it helps all of them.”

Content with the numbers he posted at the combine, Skrine didn’t do any of the running. Instead, defensive backs coaches from the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars had him do individual drills for about 20 minutes.

Skrine, who will work out for the Baltimore Ravens today, said he felt more relaxed than he did at the combine.

“I feel like I did really well footwork-wise because they were really pushing me to run as fast as I could to get a real look,” the 5-foot-10, 186-pound Skrine said. “I could have been more consistent catching the ball, I dropped like three out of 20, but other than that I feel like it went well.”

One representative from an NFC team said Skrine performed well, just as he did at the combine.

“He obviously moves well and there’s a lot to like about him,” he said.

Left tackle Chris Harr, like Skrine a two-time All-Southern Conference selection, is hoping to line up some workouts after his pro day performance.

Harr was measured at 6-4, 299 pounds. He did 27 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press, and his time of 5.12 seconds (with the wind) in the 40-yard dash was better than the combine average for any of the offensive line positions.

“This will definitely help,” Harr said of his performance. “I know possibly a couple of teams want me to come [visit], but we haven’t really scheduled anything. We’ll just see what happens, and I’ll keep working to get ready for that.”

During previous pro days, the scouts would put the participants through all of the workouts and then leave. Wednesday, the scouts also did position drills with the players, something All-SoCon tight end Garrett Hughes said he wasn’t expecting.

“I didn’t anticipate all of doing the individual workouts at the end,” Hughes said. “That was a surprise, but luckily I’ve been training hard and was in shape and ready for it.”

The other former Mocs who participated were wide receivers Chris Pitchford and Christopher Marshall and running back Erroll Wynn. Marshall had the fastest 40 time of the Mocs who ran, a 4.45.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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