Sunday, February 24, 2013

Former Huskies off to strong starts at NFL combine

While tomorrow is the chance for Sio Moore and Trevardo Williams to show what they can do in front of the NFL scouts (although Williams' bum ankle figures to limit his work), the two former UConn stars got a head start with strong showings in the bench press.

Former UConn defensive stars Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Sio Moore and Trevardo
Williams (shown during UConn's media day in August) are all hoping to
impress during NFL combine.  (Photo by AP's Jessica Hill)
Williams, who is working out with the defensive linemen even though he figures to be an outside linebacker at the next level, had 30 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press which ties him for the fifth most among defensive linemen. Southern Methodist's Margus Hunt and Missouri Southern's Brandon Williams led the way with 38 reps. They were followed Illinois' Akeem Spence (37) and Mississippi State's Josh Boyd (32). Williams was one of eight defensive linemen to do the 225 pounds 30 times. Meriden's John Jenkins, out of the University of Georgia, was included in that group. What makes the performance of UConn's career sack leader all the more impressive is that he weighed in at 241 points and the four people ahead of him go 277, 335, 307 and 310 pounds.

Moore has 29 reps, the second most among the linebackers trailing only Georgia's Cornelius Washington. Moore weighed in at 245 pounds and coming off strong showings at the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl (where he ironically replaced an injured Williams) has him moving up the draft boards.

Cornerbacks Dwayne Gratz (who measured in at 5-11, 201 pounds) and Blidi Wreh-Wilson (6-1. 195) will be part of the final group of athletes who do through drills on Tuesday.

A pair of other Connecticut natives have done pretty well at the combine as well.

Former Bunnell High and Rutgers star Mark Harrison opened some eyes with
 his performance at the NFL combine (photo courtesy of Associated Press)
Stratford's Mark Harrison out of Rutgers had the fourth best vertical jump of 38.5 inches out of the wide receivers, was fifth in the broad jump (10 feet, 9 inches), was seventh with 17 reps on the bench press and 11th with a 40-yard time of 4.46. He also is one of the bigger receivers as he measured in at 6-3 and 231 pounds. Florida tight end Jordan Reed out of New London didn't do too many drills but his 40 time of 4.72 was the seventh best out of the tight end group.

The NFL Network's live coverage of the combine begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

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