It was worth the wait.
After a pulled hamstring prevented him from running at the NFL combine last week, then having to wait for more than an hour as four of his former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga teammates worked out for the 23 pro scouts at the D1 training facility Monday morning, Davis Tull accomplished exactly what he hoped to do once he stepped onto the field.
Although the hamstring again tightened up on him about halfway through his first 40-yard dash, Tull was timed at 4.57 seconds at UTC's pro day. The FCS All-America defensive end is projected as an outside linebacker in the NFL and measured in at 6-foot-2 1/2 and 244 pounds.
He did not make a second 40 attempt but didn't need to. The 4.57 would've tied him for fifth best among all linebackers at the combine and led one scout to turn to another and say, "I've seen enough. He can move."
"It's been a little bit of a crazy process and I didn't run as well as I had before the injury, but I think I may have helped myself today," Tull said. "But my opinion isn't the one that matters. It's what those scouts thought. They're the ones who will help decide whether I get drafted and how high."
Tull, who will have surgery to repair a labrum injury in his right shoulder later this week, had been laser-timed at 4.49 before the injury and tested well in the events he tried at the combine. He had the best vertical jump (42.5 inches) and second-best broad jump (11 feet) among linebackers and completed 26 repetitions at 225 pounds in the bench press, which tied two others players for fifth best among linebackers.
Before running the 40 on Monday, Tull completed a few linebacker drills and chose to stand on his combine performance in the other events.
"He probably helped himself more by showing us how tough he is by running that fast despite the injury," said one scout who asked to remain unidentified.facebook
The 23 scouts were five more than the previous best turnout for a UTC pro day.
Mocs tight end Faysal Shafaat and running back Keon Williams also were impressive, along with receiver Tommy Hudson and defensive back Marquis Green.
Williams, a former Red Bank High School star, caught scouts' attention by weighing in at 238 pounds, about 13 pounds heavier than his season playing weight. Despite the added bulk on his 6-foot frame, Williams ran a 4.69-second 40. He completed 23 reps in the bench press and had a 10-foot broad jump and a 32.5-inch vertical.
"I wasn't trying to get that much bigger. That's just what happened from eating right three times a day and working out twice a day," Williams said. "I did all I could to catch their eye today, so now I'll just keep working out and hopefully wait for my phone to ring.
"I started to feel the butterflies in my stomach yesterday. You only get once chance at this, so there were some nerves for sure."
Shafaat was measured at 6-3, 243 and had 10-inch hands, which are larger than most other prospects at his position. He also did well in the route-running exercises after being timed at 4.79 in the 40, and he completed 22 bench-press reps. His time in the 40 would've put Shafaat among the top six tight ends at the combine.
"I did about what I expected and what I thought I needed to," he said. "I showed how versatile I am as a route runner and caught the ball well with my hands. I put myself in a position to hopefully hear back from a team that will want me to work out for them again."
Hudson (5-10, 169) was clocked at 4.58 and Green (5-7, 168) at 4.6. Those two former Mocs are much longer shots at the next level.
Defensive tackle Derrick Lott, who performed well at the combine, did not participate Monday because he was sick. He already had said he likely wouldn't have done more than a few pass-rush drills even if he had been healthy.
The NFL draft, which has seven rounds, runs April 30-May 2.
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293.