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NDSU players shine on pro day

FARGO — Tenths of a second mattered to former North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jensen on Wednesday morning at Gate City Bank Field. A couple months of training were tested in drills that take seconds to complete.

“You want to hit your times,” Jensen said. “It matters.”

Jensen was particularly pleased with his 40-yard dash time at NDSU’s annual pro day. He said pro scouts clocked him anywhere from 4.65 to 4.7 seconds.

“My 40 was probably the most important,” Jensen said. “I wanted to hit 4.6, and most of the scouts clocked me at that. Some had me at 4.7.”

Jensen was part of the 14 players who participated in the pro day, including 10 NDSU players.

“You want to do your best on pro day,” said Jensen, who also recorded a 34-inch vertical. “I take it very seriously, along with a lot of the other guys, too.”

Former Bison offensive tackle Billy Turner was limited in his participation. Turner did his drill work at the NFL Scouting Combine last month in Indianapolis. He benched 224 pounds 25 times at the combine.

“I should have a chance to go in the mid-rounds,” Turner said of the upcoming NFL Draft. “All I want is an opportunity.”

For Bison players like wide receiver Ryan Smith and running back Sam Ojuri, Wednesday was their chance to work out in front of NFL scouts and coaches. At least 12 NFL teams were represented at the pro day.

Smith said he was timed around 4.46 seconds in the 40, while Ojuri was timed in the low 4.5s.

“I just wanted to perform well,” said Smith, from Wahpeton. “We’ve been working hard for a couple months now, training, getting all these drills to perfection. I’m really happy with the day and how it went.”

Former NDSU defensive back Marcus Williams was taking part in his second pro day. Williams also was at the University of Minnesota’s pro day earlier this month.

Williams said he ran from a 4.53 to a 4.55 on Wednesday. His vertical jump was 35 inches.

“They want to see how you move,” Williams said. “I feel like that’s when I do my best, getting in and out of breaks and covering guys.”

Long snapper Michael Murphy, defensive tackle Leevon Perry, safety Bryan Shepherd and defensive end Jeremy Gordon were the other Bison players at the pro day. Andre Martin, who played for NDSU two seasons ago, also took part in the drills.

Three former University of North Dakota players, including wide receiver Greg Hardin, were also part of the pro day along with defensive lineman John Oyloe, who is from the University of Mary.

Perry had the best day in the bench press with 20 reps at 225 pounds.

Shepherd and Hardin had among the top times in the 40 with both running in the low 4.4s.

Eric Peterson
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.

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