March 28, 2012
BEAUMONT - Lamar University held its football pro day Wednesday at Provost Umphrey Stadium with scouts from nine National Football League teams evaluating three former Cardinals.
Wide receivers J.J. Hayes and Marcus Jackson and defensive end Darby Jackson all went through a battery of drills in the hopes of getting the approval of at least one of the scouts and making their way into an NFL training camp.
"I felt like it was a great opportunity for me to come out and hopefully catch the eye of one of the scouts," said Jackson who finished his two-year Lamar career with 65 catches for 1,159 yards and 12 touchdowns. "All it takes is one guy to like me and get me into camp, and then I can hopefully take care of the rest."
The day started in the weight room with the 225-pound bench press. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Hayes was able to complete 10 reps, while Marcus Jackson (6-foot-1, 195) finished with five. Darby Jackson did not participate in the bench press due to a shoulder surgery.
The trio then went outside to perform a vertical jump and a standing broad jump. Marcus Jackson posted a 39-inch vertical and added a broad jump of 10'8". Hayes had a 33.5-inch vertical and a broad jump of 9'5", while Darby Jackson added a vertical of 27.5 inches.
All three then ran a pair of 40-yard dashes. Marcus Jackson finished with a best time of 4.45, while Hayes ran a 4.78 and the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Darby Jackson ran an impressive 4.9. They then ran a series of shuttle runs that help scouts evaluate agility and quickness.
Hayes and Marcus Jackson
also ran a several pass routes, catching balls from former LU quarterback Doug Prewitt
. Both showed their ability to run solid routes and go up and catch the ball.
"I was mentally prepared, but when you get out here around these people from these different teams, nerves kicked in," said Hayes. "Doug threw some good balls and I was able to showcase my talents and we were still on the same page (as from the 2011 season).
"It's a blessing to get to showcase my talents in front of these scouts. It's big for Lamar because it shows there is a lot of talent at this level, and it helps recruiting for us to be able to perform out here."
Hayes finished his two-year Lamar career with 105 catches for 1,696 yards and 14 touchdown catches. Darby Jackson led the Cardinals with three and a half sacks as a junior and finished his career with 70 tackles.