Notebook: Clemson Pro Day

Notebook: Clemson Pro Day

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Notebook: Clemson Pro Day

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Clemson held its NFL Pro Day in the Poe Indoor Practice Facility on Thursday morning.

Among the players that participated were Deon Cain, Ray-Ray McCloud, Dorian O’Daniel, Van Smith, Taylor Hearn, Tyrone Crowder, Ryan Carter, Marcus Edmond, D.J. Greenlee, Jay Guillermo, Jadar Johnson, Tyshon Dye, Korrin Wiggins and Adrian Baker.

The players started by going through drills, including the broad jump, vertical jump, 40-yard dash, bench press, three-cone drill and shuttle run. Cain and McCloud did not participate in the bench press, while Cain elected not to run the 40-yard dash.

The Clemson Insider was on hand for the Pro Day. Here are some news and notes from what we saw and heard:

— Some of the notable bench-press marks (225 pounds) include an impressive 36 reps by Guillermo, Crowder’s 32 reps, Dye’s 19 reps, Greenlee’s 19 reps and Carter’s 16 reps. Guillermo’s 36 reps would have ranked second among all of the offensive linemen that participated in the NFL Combine this year, while Crowder would have tied for fourth. Greenlee’s 19 reps would have ranked fifth among tight ends at the combine.

As for the 40-yard dash, we clocked McCloud at an unofficial 4.40 seconds on his second attempt. He recorded an official time of 4.53 at the combine, and said he entered the Pro Day with something to prove in the 40.

— McCloud showed very well at the Pro Day overall. Along with flashing his speed in the 40, he flew through the three-cone drill and impressed as he ran routes and caught passes during the on-field workouts. He went through DB drills in addition to WR drills and also caught punts in front of a lot of scouts at the end.

McCloud made it clear he would prefer to play receiver at the next level, but would welcome an opportunity to play in the secondary as well.

“100 percent as a wide receiver of course,” he said. “But if a team needs me to play defense, I’m willing to do that and I’m going to be great at it.”

— Crowder tweaked his calf muscle during the shuttle run, walked off and received attention from trainer Danny Poole. “I just tweaked my calf,” Crowder said afterward. “I kind of stayed away from the rest of it to make sure it healed up, so we’ll see how it goes.”

— Former Clemson greats C.J. Spiller and Brian Dawkins were on hand to take in the Pro Day. Former Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware was also in attendance.

— Some of the NFL teams represented at the Pro Day were the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets.

Cain spent a good bit of time talking to a scout from the Cardinals before the on-field workouts.

— Jadar Johnson abruptly retired from football in July 2017. Three days into his first NFL training camp with the New York Giants, Johnson called it quits before his career could even begin.

At the time, Johnson’s reasons for retiring were the value he placed on mental health as well as wanting to pursue other interests.

But Johnson missed the game during his time away, and now in a better place mentally, he decided that he wanted to give football another shot.

“I just feel like I’m back to a good state mentally where I could get back into football,” he said. “I actually decided this a few months back … This time around, I feel like I’m more mature and more equipped to handle off-the-field problems that come with it. My problem was I couldn’t balance what was going on off the field and on the field at the same time.”

Johnson emphasized he’s the same player that was an anchor in Clemson’s secondary as a senior safety in 2016.

“I’ve been working out for a little minute now, just kind of waiting on this day,” he said. “I just feel like I’m ready to get back in it.”

— Carter had a chip on his shoulder going into the Pro Day after not getting invited to the NFL Combine.

“Definitely a motivating factor, but it just goes back to what coach Swinney always says — that you can control what you can control,” Carter said. “This is my combine. This is my way to try to show scouts that I’ve been preparing just as much as the next guy.”

Carter believes he made the most of his opportunity to open the eyes of NFL scouts.

“I feel really good about today,” he said. “I thought I came out here and just tried to show them everything I can as far as letting them know that I’ve been a guy that’s been working even though I didn’t invited to the combine. I feel good, though. I feel like I had a really good day.”

— Guillermo expressed his gratitude to head coach Dabo Swinney for allowing him to come back and compete at the Pro Day for the second straight year.

“That’s the kind of guy he is,” Guillermo said. “Once you’re here, you’re a Tiger, and you’re one of his. I can’t thank him enough. He loves us from the time we come here to the time way after we leave. It’s huge, and it just shows you how much he truly cares about us and wants us to do well, no matter if you do leave here and go somewhere else or whatever. He wants the best for you.”

Guillermo came in with the goal of improving upon his Pro Day performance last year, and felt he accomplished that.

“I felt good,” he said. “I’ve added some weight. I weighed in at 313 and ran a little better than I did last year, so I felt good. It was good to be back out there on the field.”

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