An 11-3 football season. A Mountain West Conference championship. A dominating win over Oregon State in the Jimmy Kimmel Live LA Bowl. NFL Scouts should be eager to invite you to the NFL Combine, right? Nope. Not one? Zilch. Nobody. But the Aggies turned heads at Utah State Aggie Pro Day inside the Stan Laub Indoor Complex.
Utah State brought out 15 former Aggies to their pro day to show off to 17 NFL Scouts to see if there was any proof in the pudding of if this team was actually “that good.”
The answer? Absolutely.
“What we heard was — it’s kind of funny because everybody thought we were underdogs all year, right?” Nick Heninger said during his opening statement. “But (the scouts) were like ‘wow, this is one of the most talented groups we’ve had.’ And it’s like wow, I wonder why we won the championship?”
Heninger, a defensive end, drew shouts and raised some excitement on Twitter after his 225 pound bench reps hit the 30 mark, which would have been the most of any DE or DL at the NFL Combine and would have been the most of the Aggie group, if Marcus Moore would not have participated. But the 6’2 281-pound defensive lineman did, and he put on a show of his own. His 32 reps on the bench were the best of the entire group, but his unofficial 4.72 40-yard time made scouts turn their heads at each other, one whispering, “Was that Marcus Moore? Holy [expletive]!”
Others who stood out included Deven Thompkins and Derek Wright of the wide receivers group. “DT” had a 38.5 vertical – 2nd best of the Aggies – while his 6.98 in the 3-cone run, 4.18 in the short shuttle would have ranked 3rd among all WRs at this year’s NFL Combine. Wright, also known as “8-ball,” drew loud applause from the spectators in the skills workout as he made two spectacular catches, one on a corner route chasing down a ball thrown from a scout that looked out of reach until Derek made a great finger tip catch while tip-toeing into the endzone.
When it was time for the media to talk with Heninger, Thompkins, Wright and Moore they all had the same message in their own way: we may not have had a single Combine invitation, but we all turned the scouts’ heads today and surprised them.
Surprise they did, and it won’t be a surprise to see some of them hear their name in the 2022 NFL Draft.