Berry cuts short his UT pro day

Berry cuts short his UT pro day

Montario Hardesty, Dan Williams, Jonathan Crompton and other Vols work out for scouts in Knoxville.

March 18th, 2010 by Wes Rucker in Sports - College

KNOXVILLE -- Eric Berry, unlike most first-round NFL draft prospects, hoped to take part in most of the University of Tennessee's pro day on Wednesday.

But the two-time, All-America defensive back's plans changed in mere minutes.

"I stepped in a little divot that was in the turf during the first drill, and my toe kind of got stuck in there," Berry said.

Relax, UT fans.

Berry avoided serious injury.

"It's feeling better now, but they told me they didn't want me to risk anything, so I just shut it down," he said.

Berry, fellow first-round hopeful Dan Williams, tailback Montario Hardesty and quarterback Jonathan Crompton headlined a full day of interviews and workouts before the usual hoard of NFL scouts lining the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center turf.

Williams claimed to do "every drill they asked me to do," but that still wasn't much.

"I didn't do as many drills as I thought I'd do, but I did everything they asked, and I did it to the best of my ability," the defensive tackle said. "They really wanted to see how I could bend my hips and flip my hips, and I think that showed them what they wanted to see.

"We'll just wait and see now. Hopefully I'll go in the first round, but you never know until the commissioner calls your name."

Hardesty, who was one of the combine's most impressive all-around backs, was put through a series of pass-catching drills on Wednesday. He drastically improved that aspect of his game last offseason and felt confident about his pro day performance

"I ran pretty much every route a back can run," Hardesty said. "I showed them my ball skills."

Crompton, former Baylor School offensive guard Jacques McClendon and other Vols who weren't invited to the NFL combine worked out more intensely Wednesday.

The quarterback, who has crept up most analysts' draft boards the past month, was cautiously optimistic about his performance.

"I've worked really hard," Crompton said. "All you can do is put yourself in position to do your best and go out there and give it your best shot. At the end of the day, it's just about knowing you did everything you could do, and I've done that so far."

Wide receivers Quintin Hancock and Austin Rogers, who don't figure to be drafted but could sign free agent contracts, also worked out Wednesday.

"I hope to keep playing football, but my wife and I like to consider ourselves smart people, and we have our education to fall back on if this doesn't work out," Rogers said. "Obviously, I'm not going to play football forever, but I love the game and hope to keep playing for as long as I can."

Added Hancock: "I don't have my times or results back yet, but I think I ran pretty well and caught everything thrown my way today. We'll just have to wait and see what (scouts) thought about it."

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