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NFL scouts impressed by Commodores

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March 23, 2012camera.gif

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A slew of National Football League scouts, coaches and administrators came away impressed by the workouts of eight former Commodores participating in Vanderbilt's Pro Day activity, held Friday on campus.

Eight seniors from the 2011 Commodore squad that advanced to the 53rd AutoZone Liberty Bowl displayed their talents in a host of activities ranging from official measurements to agility tests, 40-yard sprints and position techniques.

More than 20 NFL franchises were represented at the workouts for tight end Brandon Barden, offensive lineman Kyle Fischer, defensive end/linebacker Tim Fugger, defensive tackle T.J. Greenstone, cornerback Casey Hayward, safety Sean Richardson, quarterback Larry Smith and wide receiver Udom Umoh.

The pro personnel, such as Tennessee Titans' General Manager Ruston Webster, left the John Rich Practice Facility impressed with the former Commodore standouts. "You can quickly tell how hard these young men have been working and how seriously they are taking this opportunity. I've been real impressed with what I have seen here today."

The players impressed from the first activity. Greenstone, Fugger, Fischer and Barden all topped 24 repetitions of 225 pounds on the weight bench, with Greenstone leading the way with 33 repetitions. Smith showed his athleticism by posting a 38-inch vertical jump and 10'9" standing long up. Barden and Fugger both achieved 34" vertical jumps.

With nearly 100 coaches, former teammates and family members watching, Fugger continued to help his pro stock with an unofficial 40-yard dash clocking of 4.57. Barden trailed Fugger closely with an unofficial 4.60 effort.

Hayward and Richardson, coming off impressive performances at the NFL Combine last month, limited their activities to a series of defensive back position drills. Hayward showed superb flexibility and caught every pass thrown his way. Richardson caught all but one pass and showed excellent agility working in tandem with Hayward.

Both defensive back candidates thought they enhanced their NFL stock during the workout.

"I've been getting really good feedback from the coaches and scouts," Richardson said. "Everyone said I looked good out there. I just have to keep working hard."

"Overall, I think I did pretty good. I heard that from a lot of the coaches. I'm just hoping my stock keeps rising as we start the individual workouts," Hayward said.

Most of the eight that participated Friday have been working out intensively with Vanderbilt Director of Performance Enhancement Dwight Galt. Fugger, a potential defensive end in 4-3 schemes and outside linebacker in 3-4 defensive units, was among those who praised Galt's efforts with the players since the Commodore season ended Dec. 31, 2011.

"He has a tremendous program here and he's been taking a lot of time helping us get better and get prepared for today. I appreciate everything he has done for all of us," Fugger added.

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