By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - Chaz Hine looked spent after running, lifting, jumping and grinding in near 90-degree temperatures Tuesday afternoon.
The USF graduate and now former Bulls offensive lineman was all smiles, however, after a few hours of torture because he and the rest of his senior teammates know what it's all for.
"This is one of the most important days of our lives. This is the beginning of a career path, or at least hopefully," Hine said after USF's pro day was in the books.
Famous eyes were on hand with scouts from at least 10 NFL teams in attendance and a couple of faces were quite notable. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichik joined his scouts to see what USF had to offer firsthand along with Arizona Cardinals assistant head coach Russ Grimm, a former Hall of Famer for the Washington Redskins.
"There are a lot of great names that have done a lot of great things for football. It's an honor just to be able to show off my talent, my craft in front of them," offensive lineman Jeremiah Warren said.
There was no shortage of motivation or preparation for 14 Bulls who became the second-most successful senior class in USF history. For college graduate Quenton Washington, Tuesday was a lot like turning back the clock to his school days.
"I felt like it was a test that you studied for weeks for," the cornerback said. "You feel like you're prepared. You just want to go out and take the test. I've been training since Jan. 2 to get to this day. I'm relieved it came and I performed the way I wanted to. I'm ready to see where that takes me."
Going out and showing off physical talents was just half the battle for the Bulls. Scouts headed back to USF headquarters after workouts were finished to see what USF players have to offer from a mental standpoint. Notable names on Belichik's chat list were Washington and safety Jerrell Young.
"Probably the most important part of pro day is the individual period that they do at the end," USF head coach Skip Holtz said. "I think that's where they really have the opportunity to show what kind of football players they are."
Players, coaches and even the NFL representatives will tell you nothing is certain once an athlete decides to shoot for the highest level in football. That in mind, Holtz was eager to throw out the best statistic of the day and it had nothing to do with bench press reps or 40-yard dash times.
"I'm hopeful that these guys are getting the opportunity that they're looking for," he said. "What I'm most proud of is 13 of the 15 of them already have their degree in their hand if the NFL doesn't work out."
NFL Draft Details
Round 1: Thursday, April 26
Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 27
Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 28
WHERE: Radio City Music Hall, New York City