By Luke Johnson:
A fullback stole the show at San Jose State in front of NFL scouts yesterday.
Shane Smith surpassed two SJSU Pro Day records, shattering one of them. He put up 36 bench press reps of 225 pounds — succeeding Nicholas Kasper’s previous mark of 30 in 2014.
Although he set the bar high for future Spartans on Pro Day, he was disappointed he did not do more.
”I was actually hoping to get 40,” Smith said. “But [I had] a little adrenaline rush and anxiety build up. Hit 36, but I still did pretty well I think.”
After the bench press, the 244-pound fullback completed a 10-foot, 6-inch standing long jump, landing one inch past the marks set by Manu Ngatikaura and Peyton Thompson in 2012.
Smith also had the highest standing vertical leap yesterday at 37 inches — followed by defensive end Isaiah Irving at 36 inches and wide receiver Tim Crawley at 35 inches.
Scouts from 14 NFL teams and two Canadian Football League teams attended yesterday’s event to see three-time All-Mountain West linebacker Christian Tago, who had the highest draft stock heading into Pro Day. His agent Marco Marciano of Reign Sports Management Group believes Tago is a potential fifth round pick.
“After his junior season and watching him his junior year, who wouldn’t be attracted to him?” Marciano said. “I’ve called friends that are scouts in the NFL and they had him as one of the top linebackers and top 10 ranked after his junior year.”
An injury kept Tago from participating in the first three game of his senior season — which may have affected his draft stock Marciano said. His Pro Day measurables were as followed: 26 bench reps (second best), 7.18-second 3-cone (second best), 30-inch vertical, 4.78-second 40-yard dash, 6-feet tall and 237 pounds.
Another top prospect from this senior class tight end Billy Freeman was proud of his bench press performance — which improved by a drastic numer in a short period of time. He said he was only pressing 13 reps two months ago, but recorded 22 yesterday.
“We worked hard every day. I mean six days a week, twice a day,” Freeman said. “It was not an easy process, but it was definitely worth it… Bumped it up nine reps, so that was well worked for.”
The fastest 40-yard dash was ran by wide receiver Dontonio Jordan who only had one reception for five yards in his four-year college career. Most of his on-field duties regarded special teams.
The NFL Draft is on April 27-29 and Spartans to keep an eye on are Tago, Smith, Freeman and Crawley according to SJSU athletic performance coach Gary Uribe.