Lots of personal bests were established in front of the big crowd, just a few of which included (unofficial times):
Bud Sasser -- 40-yard dash (4.5 seconds) & broad jump (10-0 feet)...
Markus Golden -- 40-yard dash (4.66 seconds) & 225-pound bench press (17 reps)...
Lucas Vincent -- broad jump (9-3 feet)...
Marcus Murphy -- 225-pound bench press (14 reps)...
Bud Sasser said he got over the surprise of not being invited to the combine and focused all his energy on pro day. The 1,003-yard receiver and All-SEC performer from last season turned in a 10-foot broad jump and 34.5-inch vertical, second only to Darius White's 37.5 inches. White also broad jumped 10-4: "I just knew today was the day for me to showcase what I have and let everybody know it’s not a fluke. I’m really just getting started. It was a good day."
The 6-3, 219-pound Sasser also threw down an impressive 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Not bad for a receiver with supposed speed questions: "It’s been that way since I’ve gotten here. Since I got recruited out of high school. I’ve always been kind of the sleeper. Then everybody’s always been shocked when I did something."
Vincent’s had to work overtime the last few months to regain weight he lost while dealing with a kidney stone. Not that there’s any good place to have a kidney stone attack, but Vincent might have been in the worst place at the worst time a few months ago: on an airplane. Vincent was flying from Miami to Kansas City when the pain kicked into high gear.
"I knew it was coming and it was still terrible," he said. "Attempting to pass it on a plane was not fun. People thought I was crazy. I got up and went to the bathroom about 20 times during the flight."
Vincent’s weight got down to 268 for a while but once healthy he started to eat "all day every day," he said. He got up to 284 for the NFL regional combine in Chicago two weeks ago. On Thursday, he was back near his playing weight at 295. Vincent, pleased with his 40 time and jumps on Thursday, said he’s talked most with the Rams and Titans.
Marcus Murphy was a jack of all trades for the Tigers. He was a running back, he lined up at wide receiver and he set the school record for combined kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns. It is that last piece that Murphy knows will get his foot in the door at the next level.
"Special teams is gonna be big for me," he said. "A lot of teams are looking at me for the primary return guy. I'll just have to work my way in on a lot of different offensive schemes, but special teams is gonna play a big role in getting into the NFL."
Murphy posted a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash, a tenth of a second faster than he ran at the combine in Indianapolis. He also added five pounds and increased his bench press reps from 11 to 14.
Ray has been bulking up between the Combine and his pro day. He weighed in at 249 pounds on Wednesday, four pounds more than his weight at the Combine, and he's put on 15 pounds of muscle since the end of the season, he said. Ray is trying to develop a more versatile frame so he can fit into either a 4-3 style defense or a 3-4.
"I put on this weight, and I felt like I could still be explosive, athletic and still be me," Ray said. "I don’t feel like I really lost a step; I just feel like I’m at a better playing weight."
Ray's injured foot is back to about 90 to 95 percent, and he said he's ready for more workouts and visits. He said he had talked with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers, but didn't elaborate about the other teams he had been in contact with.
Ray simply said, "my April is packed."
There had been talk that Ray would challenge the incredible workout that fellow star pass rusher Vic Beasley enjoyed at the Combine. The 6-3, 246 pound Beasley enjoyed one of the great workouts in recent Combine history, leading all pass rushers in the 40-yard dash (4.53 seconds), bench press (35 reps) and vertical jump (41 inches).
Ray fell short of Beasley's numbers Thursday but his production on the field speaks loudest.
The projected top 12 pick led the SEC with 14½ sacks in his first season as a starter after coming off the bench in support of eventual second round pick Kony Ealy and the SEC's Co-Defensive MVP Michael Sam. Ray demonstrated his versatility on Thursday by participating in defensive line and linebacker drills.
Sounds like Pro Day went about as well as possible, especially for players like Lucas Vincent and Bud Sasser. Curious where they end up. Though, of course, the major star of the day was Leaping Christian Brinser...
Pro day numbers from #Mizzou lost players' career bests. Punter Christian Brinser has a 39 inch vertical. That's nuts.— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) March 19, 2015
We weren't using Brinser on kick blocks???— Rock M Nation (@rockmnation) March 19, 2015
Christian Brinser appears to be refuting Christian Brinser's 39-inch vertical jump PR.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) March 19, 2015
Survive and advance
Next up: Kansas State.
.@BringOnTheCats LET'S GET HEATED ABOUT THE WNIT— Rock M Nation (@rockmnation) March 20, 2015
Big weekend at Taylor Stadium
Softball goes to Knoxville
MUTIGERS.COM: Mizzou Softball Travels to Tennessee to Continue SEC Play
A well-deserved distinction for BYU
DON'T BET ON IT!