STILLWATER —Sporting neon yellow shoes, Joseph Randle lifted his knees as he jumped high into the air. Then he swung his arms back and forth, tucked his necklace under his black T-shirt and put his right hand down at the starting line.
It would be the third — yes, third — time Randle would run the 40-yard dash at Oklahoma State's pro day at Boone Pickens Stadium. And he clocked in with a consensus time of 4.51 seconds, a significant improvement over the time of 4.63 seconds he ran at the NFL Scouting Combine just more than two weeks ago.
“I knew I had it in me,” Randle said. “I just hope (NFL teams) watch the film. I feel like they'd be happy if they watch the film.”
That film will show Randle as one of the Big 12's most dynamic and versatile offensive weapons, amassing 3,085 rushing yards, 917 receiving yards and 43 total touchdowns in his three-year Cowboy career. And that production is largely why he currently stands as a second- or third-round pick in most draft projections after leaving OSU following his junior season.
But Randle also realizes these tests for NFL scouts are important, with the 40-yard dash always being the most publicized and scrutinized.
“Perception does matter — ‘He's a slow guy but he makes plays,'” Randle said. “That stuff matters to them, so it matters to me, too.”
Randle most attributes his improved performance at pro day to the additional time to train following thumb surgery that went mostly under the radar during the early pre-draft process.
He sustained the injury before the Heart of Dallas Bowl yet still played. But the recovery time after surgery limited his pre-combine training to about one month, while the cast he wore in Indianapolis prevented him from participating in the full slate of tests and drills.
The cast came off last week, allowing Randle to complete all aspects of Tuesday's workout except the bench press. That includes the pass-catching portion of the on-field drills, one big strength of Randle's game.
Randle said he enjoyed the combine but also called it a challenge, particularly the interview process largely designed to dig up a player's skeletons. At Boone Pickens Stadium, though, Randle felt more at ease while surrounded by former teammates and coaches.
Next up for Randle will be individual workouts for teams, more training and whole lot of waiting until the draft in late April. But he's happy with how he performed during the pro day step of his road to the NFL.
“I'm not a big guy on all this stuff,” Randle said. “I just like playing football. But I feel like I did good.”