At OU's 2010 pro day, NFL head coaches, offensive coordinators and dozens of scouts descended on Norman to watch quarterback Sam Bradford throw for the first time. ESPN even set up a stage to broadcast from the Everest Indoor Training Center.
By comparison, OU's pro day Tuesday had little fanfare.
Running back DeMarco Murray and safety Quinton Carter, the Sooners' top two prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft, participated only in position drills. All-Big 12 defensive end Jeremy Beal didn't run the 40-yard dash either, partaking in only the cone drills.
All of that allowed Army graduate Collin Mooney to steal the show.
Mooney set Army's single-season record by running for 1,339 yards in 2008, but the fullback from Katy, Texas, has been completing his military obligations, most recently spending the last eight months training privates at Fort Sill to be members of howitzer cannon crews. Close to completing his military duties, Mooney will be eligible for the upcoming draft.
Mooney ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds and had the day's most impressive bench press performance, lifting 225 pounds 28 times.
“Today I really just want to spark some interest,” Mooney told The Associated Press. “I've been out of the game for two years. I just want to show that I'm still in shape and I can still run and do everything. That was my main mission.
“For me, it was a good day. It's actually kind of surreal that I'm actually here. I've been waiting so long.”
MURRAY TO MEET WITH SEVERAL NFL TEAMS
Murray is scheduled to hold private meetings with several teams in the coming days.
He will meet with officials from the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos in the next week.
Murray is particularly looking forward to his meeting with Detroit. He grew up a fan of the Lions and of Barry Sanders.
NELSON SITS OUT
Tuesday was supposed to be the day safety Jonathan Nelson showed off his top-end speed to catch the attention of NFL scouts.
But Nelson, who was not invited to the combine, recently tweaked his quad and had to sit out OU's pro day. Nelson said he plans to hold his own private workout in the Dallas area on April 4, the same day scouts will be in town at SMU.
CALEB, KENNEY RUN
Of those that participated, wideout Brandon Caleb had the fastest times in the 40 (4.52 seconds) and three-cone drill (6.81 seconds). Receiver Cameron Kenney had the best broad jump at 10 feet, 9 inches.
Defensive tackle Adrian Taylor attended Tuesday, but did not work. He said pro ball remains in his plans, but his biggest worry is now is healing from a torn right Achilles tendon that ended his 2010 season, and a broken left ankle suffered in the 2009 Sun Bowl that hampered him until the Achilles tear.