Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sharp steals show at KU Pro Day

KU running back runs best 40 and lifts most weight

Kansas running back Jake Sharp watches the action from the bench during the fourth quarter against Duke Saturday  at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas running back Jake Sharp watches the action from the bench during the fourth quarter against Duke Saturday at Memorial Stadium.


Jayhawk Pro Day stats

Unofficial 40-yard dash times

  • Kayl Anderson 5.18, 5.10
  • Caleb Blakesley 5.35, 5.37
  • Dezmon Briscoe 4.48, 4.50
  • Kerry Meier 4.53, 4.57
  • Maxwell Onyegbule 4.9, 4.81
  • Raimond Pendleton 4.78, 4.75
  • Todd Reesing 4.89, 4.82
  • Jake Sharp 4.34, 4.37
  • Justin Thornton 4.7, 4.61
  • Arist Wright 4.65, 4.61

Bench press reps at 225 pounds

  • Kayl Anderson 10
  • Caleb Blakesley 15
  • Dezmon Briscoe 11
  • Maxwell Onyegbule 18
  • Raimond Pendleton 10
  • Jake Sharp 19
  • Justin Thornton 5
  • Arist Wright 18
  • Todd Reesing Did Not Lift
  • Kerry Meier Did Not Lift

The Kansas University football team’s Pro Timing Day at Anschutz Pavilion on Wednesday easily could have been renamed Jake Sharp Day.

Of all the Jayhawks who participated — 10 players from the 2009 team plus KU alums Joe Mortensen (2008) and Jason Swanson (2005) — the former KU running back ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.34 seconds), recorded the most reps in the bench press (19) and had two of the best leaps in the vertical and broad jump tests.


Running back Jake Sharp sprints to the finish during the 40-yard-dash portion of Pro Day, Wednesday, March 10, 2010 in Anschutz Pavilion.


Running back Jake Sharp gets up during the vertical leap portion of the Pro Day workout, Wednesday, March 10, 2010 in Anschutz Pavilion.

“His work ethic is phenomenal,” former KU receiver Dezmon Briscoe said of Sharp. “He’s one of the hardest-working players on the team, and his speed, I think he deserves a chance.”

Sharp, who was not invited to the NFL combine last month in Indianapolis, made the most of his day in front of the scouts. In all, 11 NFL teams were represented on Wednesday. They included: Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

In addition to testing well in the timing and measurement portion of the event, Sharp caught every ball thrown his way during the on-field drills and flashed his speed whenever he was given the chance.

“You can run as fast as you want,” Sharp said. “But if you can’t catch a football, you’re going to be in trouble. Everything holds weight and you just want to be the most complete player you can be.”

For Sharp, that includes returning kicks, a position he said would be his most likely avenue to take when pursuing the NFL dream.

“If I play at the next level, that’s always what I’ve thought I would be,” he said.

Sharp was not the only player to perform well at KU’s Pro Day. Briscoe, who underachieved at the NFL combine, came back with a vengeance, improving in four major areas. He dropped his 40 time by more than a tenth of a second (from 4.63 to 4.48), improved his vertical by an inch (from 33 to 34), topped his combine broad jump by nearly a foot (10 feet, 5 inches vs. 9-7) and recorded 11 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press, two more than he was credited with at the combine.

“I feel like I helped myself a whole lot,” Briscoe said. “I feel like I bettered myself in everything I did today. Being around my teammates again, the adrenaline just got pumping. I wasn’t going to do everything, but after I got going I just felt like going ahead.”

Other KU seniors who joined Briscoe and Sharp on Wednesday were: long snapper Kayl Anderson, defensive tackle Caleb Blakesley, wide receiver Kerry Meier, defensive end Maxwell Onyegbule, wide receiver Raimond Pendleton, quarterback Todd Reesing, safety Justin Thornton and linebacker Arist Wright. Safety Darrell Stuckey also attended but did not participate in drills, instead deferring to his stellar effort at the NFL combine.

Notable performances from that group included: Reesing’s 4.82 in the 40, Wright and Onyegbule recording 18 reps in the bench press and Meier running his 40 a tenth of a second faster than at the NFL combine (4.53).

All times recorded from Wednesday’s Pro Day were unofficial, hand times. Official times were not released by the scouts.

Next up, these Jayhawks will continue to prepare for the NFL Draft, which is scheduled for April 22-24 in New York.

“We’ll do private workouts (for NFL teams) the next two to three weeks and then we’ll kind of shift gears to get him ready for training camp, football stuff,” said Erik Burkhardt, Briscoe’s agent. “This is underwear Olympics training that he’s been doing.”


d_prowess 8 years, 3 months ago

Hey Matt, were there representatives from all NFL teams, or just some of them?

KGphoto 8 years, 3 months ago

I was always most impressed with Jake's acceleration from 2nd to 4th gear. He has the incredible ability to regain top speed after a shifty move in traffic. It only takes him a couple of steps. That's exactly what a kick returner needs.

Good luck Jake. Here's hoping K.C. takes a chance on you.

Matt Tait 8 years, 3 months ago

d_prowess... I just updated that and added it into the story.

In all, 11 NFL teams were represented on Wednesday. They included: Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Not quite as many as I expected, but still... That's more than a third of the league.

Tribehawk 8 years, 3 months ago

If all those 40 times listed match what the scouts clocked, all of our guys helped themselves immensely. Especially Meier. 6'3, 4.53 possession-receiver with velcro hands. I think there's no question he will hear his name called now.

Matt Tait 8 years, 3 months ago

It was actually pretty funny... I had my cell phone out and was using the stopwatch function to get those times. I was standing at the finish line with about 8 other guys — current and former KU players — who were also timing.

As soon as a guy would cross the finish line, everyone would look around and ask the guy next to him, "What did you get?"

For the most part, we were all within a tenth of a second. But almost all of the times were different each time.

After the 40s were finished, the 11 scouts got together on the field and came up with consensus times. They threw out the fastest and the slowest and basically averaged out the rest. Like I said, they wouldn't release the times but that was the process.

Pretty interesting.

jhokfan 8 years, 3 months ago

Not surprised at his 40 times but 19 reps. OMG!

Rivethead 8 years, 3 months ago

A long snapper attending Pro day? That's awesome....guess I never thought about that, but those dudes have to try out too.

jayhawkinATL 8 years, 3 months ago

Is Thornton's reps a misprint??? Maybe 15???

Dyrk Dugan 8 years, 3 months ago

If only Sharp hadn't gotten hurt....if and buts man, but dang, what speed he has!

he would have made a BIG difference in our season this year.

Matt Tait 8 years, 3 months ago

Nope. It was five. Rumor has it he's injured. Probably should've just skipped it altogether and went for it in the 40 and the agility drills.

Not a great day for JT but it wasn't for lack of effort. Dude worked his butt off out there today.

Mike Kendall 8 years, 3 months ago

Good for Jake Sharp! Prove everybody wrong, Jake. Best Wishes and continued good luck.

Jonathan Briles 8 years, 3 months ago

Wow, a lot of surprising statistics in there. Jake, Dezmon, and Kerry helped their stock a lot today. One thing I was surprised about though was that Jake had the most reps at 225. The fact that none of our lineman could put up more than our running back does not show much for our team strength. I'm not trying to be a downer at all, but that was a very disheartening statistic. On the other hand I wish all of our guys the best of luck, whether that be in the NFL or on to other careers.

skc47 8 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the coverage Matt! Looking forward to lots of spring ball coverage.

Luan Do 8 years, 3 months ago

the bench press is overrated. when i was 125lbs i was able to do 250lbs. as long as they have the speed and size to hold down somebody.

Kman_blue 8 years, 3 months ago

I agree, great to see this covered so well! So far so good Matt. So far your football coverage just blows away the last guy's. No contest!

I'm thinking, Stuckey, Meier, Briscoe, and Sharp all get drafter or picked up as free agents. Todd has a shot too. If he's back to 100% healthy someone ought to pick him up as well. Good luck to all our guys, come what may.

Matt Tait 8 years, 3 months ago

Nice find, Jhawk59... thanks for passing it along. - Matt

brianharold9 8 years, 3 months ago

Sharp is a statistical freak and a workout machine, but the thing I always questioned about him was not his work ethic or his speed, but his "shiftability". It would be awesome to hear what the scouts consider pros and cons for each of these guys. Also, despite his stature, Sharp is one tough SOB so that should also play into his favor. I don't expect to hear his name during the draft but I hope that some teams will give him a shot at free agency. Good luck to each and every Jayhawk! Rock Chalk!

-- Lytle

MitchumMan 8 years, 3 months ago

According to the site that JHawk59 posted, "Sharp ran 4.46 and 4.43,.. Wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe (6-2, 208) ran 4.53 and 4.51... and Kerry Meier (6-2 1/8, 215) ran 4.52 and 4.51 in the 40."

Either way, they all helped themselves a ton yesterday! Great article Matt!

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