Ex-Moc Skrine a hot NFL topic

Ex-Moc Skrine a hot NFL topic

March 8th, 2011 by John Frierson in Sports

Former Chattanooga Mocs defensive back Buster Skrine runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Moments after running the 40-yard dash in 4.29 seconds, at least according to the NFL Network's timer, Buster Skrine became a hot trending topic on Twitter and analysts started projecting him higher on the draft board.

The former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga cornerback's future in professional football got a boost last Tuesday during his workout at the NFL combine, though just how much remains to be seen.

Skrine said the Twitter buzz was "pretty cool" but he was trying not to pay much attention to the projections, which mostly have him being picked from rounds four to six.

"Everything's pretty much back to normal now, but I've probably gotten more than 300 friend requests [on Facebook since the combine]," Skrine said.

Just what exactly Skrine ran in the 40 at the combine remains a subject for debate. The NFL's electronic timer had him at 4.48 seconds, but those timing him with stopwatches on the field clocked him at much faster times, from "the high 4.2s to the low 4.3s," Skrine said.

"A 4.27 was the lowest, so I don't know where the 4.48 possibly came from because I haven't run that since 12th grade," he said.

Numerous NFL writers listed Skrine among the players whose stock was on the rise after the combine.

Mocs strength coach Scott Brincks said the confusion over just how fast Skrine ran the 40 will draw more scouts than normal to UTC's March 23 pro day. The past two have drawn just one scout, who records the players' performances and measurements and then distributes them to all the teams in the league.

"I've already gotten four calls today from scouts saying that they're going to be here," Brincks said last week.

Skrine, a two-time All-Southern Conference player, set a combine record in the 60-yard shuttle and was second in the 20-yard shuttle and the three-cone drill. All the attention on him will help the other seniors participating in the pro day, such as two-time All-SoCon left tackle Chris Harr.

"I think that it's huge for all the kids that are trying to get looked at," UTC offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield said. "There's going to be a lot of exposure out there to be had thanks to Buster doing that."

Skrine said he hadn't decided if he will run the 40 during the pro day. He said he's waiting for a report to come out that will include all the information from the combine.

"Once that comes out, then that's when I will decide if I will run the 40," he said.

Brincks said players at smaller schools, even those who attended the combine, typically do everything at the pro day because it is another chance to show scouts what they can do.

Skrine said participating in the combine, from the drills to the interviews to the physicals from all 32 teams, was a very interesting experience.

Because he suffered a dislocated elbow against Appalachian State in the season opener and missed the Jacksonville State game, Skrine had an MRI at the combine and it came back fine.

"It looked just like my other one, so that was a good thing," he said.

After training for the combine at the Parisi Speed School in New Jersey, Skrine said he will stay home in Woodstock Ga., and train for the Mocs' pro day.

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.