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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M’s Pro Day ups and downs

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Graduate linebacker Aaron Hansford led Texas A&M in total tackles during the 2021-22 season.

On Tuesday, March 22, Texas A&M football hosted its annual Pro Day. Eleven Aggies and six players who had played at A&M previous to transferring participated in a series of athletic drills in front of multiple scouts and other professional staff and personnel.
All 32 NFL teams, and even one CFL team, the Edmonton Elks, were represented. Among them were three general managers — belonging to the Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans — as well as 61 professional representatives and one head coach, Lovie Smith of the Texans.
The day started with 6-foot-2, 239-pound graduate linebacker Aaron Hansford’s broad jump, and arguably for the rest of the day, he seemed like the player who gained the most ground. At the NFL Combine, Hansford only tested his bench press, repping an impressive 225 pounds 24 times.
At Pro Day, however, he took part in both the broad jump, vertical jump and 40-yard dash. His results of 9-foot-8, 34.5 inches and 4.6 seconds were all strong performances, testing in the 58th, 72nd and 88th percentiles, respectively, among linebackers since 1987, according to Kent Lee Platte’s Relative Athletic Score website.
Beyond that, he showed off in the positional drills conducted by the Arizona Cardinals’ linebackers coach Bill Davis. Hansford, who likely helped his draft stock, has a meeting with the Indianapolis Colts in College Station scheduled for Monday, March 28, according to Cole Thompson of FanNation.
Another player who impressed was senior kicker Seth Small, who booted multiple field goals from 60-plus yards with ease, including a 63-yarder.
Four players along the defensive line participated, including junior DeMarvin Leal, graduate Micheal Clemons, senior Jayden Peevy and Buffalo graduate Josh Rogers. Among them, Clemons shined the brightest. He improved upon his 9-foot-8 broad jump and 24 bench press reps at the NFL Combine with a 7.2-second three-cone drill and 35-inch vertical at Pro Day, testing in the 72nd and 85th percentile, respectively, among edge rushers.
Rogers, who had spent multiple years with the Aggies before transferring to Buffalo, competed at the Bulls’ Pro Day less than a week ago where he performed well. He didn’t test off the charts in the broad and vertical jumps, but he looked light on his feet during positional drills.
Leal has seen his draft stock fluctuate since the end of the season due to struggles at the NFL Combine and concerns over his size shoeing him in as a “tweener,” or someone who is too big to play outside on the defensive line but too small to play inside. Leal ran a 72nd-percentile, 7.2-second three-cone drill; a 20th-percentile, 5.04-second 40-yard dash; and improved upon his 8-foot-10 combine broad jump with a 9-foot-2 jump, still only in the 35th percentile among edge rushers.
Senior lineman Tyree Johnson, who tied for third in the SEC in sacks in 2021-22, did not test but met with teams in attendance. Peevy had a 29.5-inch vertical and took part in positional drills.
Four defensive backs participated today, including senior safety Leon O’Neal Jr. and three A&M transfers: graduate corners Travon Fuller of Tulsa, Kyle Meyers of Florida State and Tulane and Moses Reynolds of Incarnate Word — younger brother of Josh Reynolds, a three-year A&M receiver from 2014-16 and current Detroit Lion.
O’Neal, who was voted as the top defensive safety at the 2022 Senior Bowl on the American team by the tight ends and wide receivers in attendance, has been drawing a lot of positive attention during the offseason. At Pro Day, he posted a 35.5-inch vertical, a 4.22-second short shuttle, a 6.83 three-cone and a 10-foot-5 broad jump, testing in the 69th, 70th, 88th and 89th percentiles, respectively, among strong safeties.
On the offensive side of the ball, graduate quarterback Nick Starkel made his return to Aggieland after stints with the Arkansas Razorbacks and San José State Spartans. After concluding his sixth season of college football, he threw the ball around for all the offensive and defensive drills.
“This is the greatest university. 100% — hands down. I want my kids to go here,” Starkel said. “I reached out to [associate athletic director] Mark Robinson and I said, ‘Hey, could you ask coach [Jimbo] Fisher if it’d be OK if I came back and threw?’ I knew they didn’t have any quarterbacks that were coming out this year, because they had such young guys this past season.”
Starkel showed off his strong arm during the receiving drills, tossing deep balls to junior tight end Jalen Wydermyer and wide receiver Caleb Eagans of Mary Hardin-Baylor and East Texas Baptist.
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Wydermyer looked good during pitch-and-catch with Starkel, who said the Dickinson product made him “look good.” But, the former 4-star athlete has been consistently sliding down mock drafts and projections with his disappointing results and drop issues on his tape.
Wydermyer’s Pro Day performance didn’t do much to quell his critics, as his 9-foot-1 broad jump, 5.03-second 40-yard dash and 25.5-inch vertical measured in the 25th, 13th and third percentiles, respectively, at the tight end position.
Junior running back Isaiah Spiller also tested below average with a 4.27-second short shuttle, 4.63 40-yard dash, 33-inch vertical and a 9-foot-6 broad jump, rating in the 62nd, 44th, 42nd and 34th percentiles, respectively, at running back. But, Spiller said his game speed and film are better indicators of his athleticism and that he had been recently dealing with a hamstring issue.
On the offensive line, both graduate Jahmir Johnson and junior Kenyon Green attended. Green not only participated in outside-lineman drills, but he also did center drills, getting reps of snapping and blocking. Green, as well as Leal, reportedly has multiple meetings scheduled, including with the Dallas Cowboys, according to Jane Slater of NFL Network.

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