March 21, 2014
On campus in Nashville - More than a dozen senior standouts from the Commodores' 9-4 BBVA Compass Bowl championship squad spent Friday impressing an array of NFL scouts and front office personnel.
Thirteen seniors led by All-Southeastern Conference recipients Jordan Matthews, Kenny Ladler, Andre Hal and Wesley Johnson, worked out for two hours at Vanderbilt's Pro Day in front of more than 45 scouts representing 29 NFL teams. The audience included a pair of NFL head coaches and at least one general manager.
For the first time ever, the entire Pro Day activity was staged indoors on the Vanderbilt campus. After using the football weight room for official measurements and the 225-pound bench press test, the players and scouts moved into Vanderbilt's new indoor practice facility to stage the standing broad jump and vertical jump, 40-yard dash, agility tests and position drills.
Former Commodores participating in Pro Day besides Matthews, Ladler, Hal and Johnson were linebackers Karl Butler and Chase Garnham, wide receiver Jonathan Krause, cornerback Steven Clarke, safety Javon Marshall, defensive end Walker May, defensive tackle Jared Morse, placekicker Carey Spear and quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels. Running back Wesley Tate did not participate due to an injury.
One month after attending the NFL Scouting Combine, Matthews, Hal and Johnson limited their participation. All three impressed in a variety of position drills. Ladler, the fourth Commodore attendee at the combine, used Pro Day to lower his 40-yard dash best to 4.64.
Arguably, Krause, Garnham and Spear were the most impressive former Commodores on Friday. Krause blazed 40-yard dash efforts of 4.37 and 4.36, posted a vertical jump of 37.5 inches, leapt 10'8" in the standing broad jump and caught all but one pass thrown from Carta-Samuels in position drills. Garnham did 30 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press, sprinted 4.61 in the 40 and had a 10'6" standing broad jump. Spear showed excellent strength and accuracy as a kicker, making all but two field goal attempts, including a 55-yarder.
Other top efforts included Marshall in the vertical jump (39.5 inches) and standing broad jump (10'4"), Butler in the standing broad jump (10'4"), Clarke in the vertical (35 inches), Morse in the bench press (28 reps) and May in the bench press (23 reps) and standing broad jump (10').
A pair of other former Commodores, cornerback Trey Wilson and running back Warren Norman, also participated in the event.
Two prominent former Vanderbilt standouts now playing in the NFL, running back Zac Stacy of the St. Louis Rams and cornerback Casey Hayward of the Green Bay Packers, were among scouts, family members and current Commodore student-athletes watching the festivities.