Burks and Roberts shine on Troy’s Pro Day

Published 3:00 am Saturday, March 5, 2016

Messenger Photo/mike hensley Tyler Roberts attempting to run his forty-yard dash druing Friday morning’s Pro Day at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Messenger Photo/mike hensley
Tyler Roberts attempting to run his forty-yard dash druing Friday morning’s Pro Day at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Seniors football players at Troy University showcased their skills for NFL scouts on Friday as part of the 2016 Pro Day activities.

Among the 15 seniors in attendance during the pro day were Brandon Burks, Tyler Roberts and Teddy Ruben, who were ready to show the scouts what they have to offer ahead of the April 28 draft.

“Since the first of the year I have been working out six days of the week,” said Trojan defensive end Tyler Roberts. “I have been preparing everything for this day. There is a lot of build up, but when you put that much work in you cannot not be prepared.”

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“I have been positive the entire time,” Ruben said. “I keep telling myself to just have a good day. Leading up to it there was a lot of hard work. There was a lot of time spent in the weight room and on the field doing countless drills. Overall I though I had a good day.”

Both Roberts and Burks had impressive performances on the day. Burks, a running back, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds and Roberts ran the shuttle run in 6.88 seconds. If compared to other running backs at this year’s NFL Combine, Burk’s forty time of 4.41 seconds would have ranked second.

“In high school I played all sports,” Burks said. “I was a fast, quick guy. I always ran four fours and four threes. (I) got to college and put on some weight and ran a 4.5 for the first time of my life. Coach Shaughnessy and Coach Horton really pushed me and let me trim up so I can learn the carry the weight.

“I just told myself whatever happens just run. I felt like I did pretty good. The 4.4 made my eyes light up.”

Roberts said he made the most of the opportunity he had. “I felt like I kind of slipped on my second touch and go,” Roberts said. “You got to pray for one opportunity to have an opportunity, so I feel like I made the most of it.”

Roberts also opened eyes in the weight room. Roberts put up 18 reps on the bench press as well as posting a 36.5-inch vertical jump.

Roberts results in the shuttle run, 40-yard dash and vertical jump would have been second best among his position at the Combine.

Perhaps the surprise of the day came when Roberts, known as a defensive player, ran drills as a running back. He took passes from quarterbacks Dallas Tidwell and Dontreal Pruitt near the end of the day.

“They just wanted me to do it,” Roberts said. “I haven’t practiced it or done any of it. I was kind of learning on the fly. It was fun though.”

On whether he thinks his skillset can make a transition to the offensive side of the ball, Roberts said he believes he is capable if given the opportunity.

“I think I am very capable of learning it all,” Roberts said. “I feel like if someone sat down and taught me what to do I’ll adjust to it quick and I’ll learn it pretty easy.”

Roberts’ performance impressed his fellow players.

“Tyler Roberts is an amazing guy,” Burks said. “There aren’t too many guys that play defense all their life … while also trying to play running back too. Tyler is phenomenal. He is one guy that I look up to.”

The Trojans will now wait to either hear their names on draft day or for the opportunity to sign as a non-drafted free agent.

Walking away from this experience, I feel great about it. I have no regrets. I feel like I put everything out there,” Burks said.

When asked which team he would like to play for, Roberts said he would be happy with an opportunity to play regardless of the team.

“I’ll go to any of the 32 teams; I would even go play in the Canadian league if I had the opportunity,” Roberts said. “I just want an opportunity.”