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Football: Former Notre Dame players work out for scouts at Pro Day

Laura Myers | Wednesday, March 24, 2010

National Football League scouts converged on the Loftus Sports Center Tuesday afternoon as 14 former Irish players worked out on Notre Dame’s Pro Day.

Former Irish wide receiver Golden Tate drew plenty of attention during his workouts. Tate, wearing golden shoes, performed the 60-yard shuttle in 11.67 seconds and ran a wide variety of routes during position-specific drills. He made most catches without incident, but had to dive for one ball and bobbled it twice, catching it before it hit the ground.
Tate said after the event that he was happy with his performance.

“It was good to get out there and show the scouts that I can catch and run a little bit,” Tate said.

Former Irish safeties Sergio Brown and Kyle McCarthy showed off their speed at the event, recording 40-yard dash times of 4.44 seconds and 4.52 seconds, respectively.
The day began with players performing the 40-yard dash, various cone and agility drills and the 60-yard shuttle for scouts.

Wideouts and running backs performed position-specific drills first, as Tate, Robby Parris and James Aldridge, as well as 2008 players David Grimes and Asaph Schwapp ran reps for the scouts.

Next up were linebackers Scott Smith and Toryan Smith, followed by defensive back drills featuring Brown and McCarthy. Former safety Raeshon McNiel was also present, but injured his hamstring during the 40-yard dash and did not participate in the drills.

Offensive linemen Paul Duncan, Sam Young and Eric Olsen and defensive lineman Morrice Richardson followed.

After the workouts, several players lifted weights for scouts. Duncan, Richardson an Schwapp each recorded at least 30 repetitions at the bench press, with Schwapp recording the most at 34.

Former Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who had surgery in January on his injured toe, was on hand for the workouts but did not participate. He will hold a separate Pro Day and throw for scouts on April 9.

Also present were several current Notre Dame players, including sophomore quarterback Dayne Crist and sophomore wide receiver Michael Floyd, among others. They shouted encouragement to their former teammates throughout the workouts.

Kelly speaks at Hall of Fame

Kelly spoke Tuesday at the College Football Hall of Fame Gridiron Luncheon series and answered several questions about the team’s spring practices. Kelly said there are a number of things the team needs to learn.

“Their attention to detail is not where it needs to be,” Kelly said. “Their discipline is not where it needs to be. They need to care about themselves and their football players a lot more. I’m tired of hearing about the next NFL player to come out of Notre Dame, quite frankly. They need to understand who we are. We’re the Fighting Irish. We’re creating an atmosphere that’s a little bit different than what they’re used to, so we’ve got those things to work on.”

Kelly also confirmed several position changes, including freshman Theo Riddick’s move from running back to slot wide receiver. Other changes include sophomore offensive lineman Lane Clelland moving to defensive end and junior fullback Steve Paskorz moving to inside linebacker.

According to Kelly said sophomore quarterback Dayne Crist has continued to make good progress recovering from knee surgery after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) last fall.

“We’d be really close to playing with him. Obviously we’re going to be smart. He’ll play all of our seven-on-seven routines, he’ll be in all of our one-on-ones,” Kelly said.  
“We’ll put a big funnel around him to make sure that nobody gets near him but he’s got to get out there and take snaps. He’s got to learn the offense. He’s got to earn the starting job. He’s done a great job of putting himself in position to do all that.”