Pro Day recap: McCarthy, Sergio, and Aldridge boost stock

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With plenty of NFL teams in attendance, 14 former Irish football players strutted their stuff for potential employers.

See below for all the raw numbers from the athletes that worked out, courtesy of ND’s Sports Information Department, but here are a few thoughts…

* Looking at James Aldridge’s numbers, you can’t help but think of what might have been. James never seemed to be completely healthy since arriving on campus with a five-star rating and prep offers that match up with any recruit in the country. At 225 pounds with low 4.5 speed, and a 60-yard shuttle time that beat Golden Tate, you’ve got to feel for a kid that by all reports is a great guy.

* I wouldn’t be surprised if Sergio Brown is on an NFL roster next year. Regardless of what you say about him, Sergio made some big plays on defense and running in the 4.4s at his size and with decent cover skills could make for an intriguing developmental player. Sergio is a guy that really would’ve benefited from a redshirt year, but instead he spent his first season at ND covering punts and kickoffs. If I have a major complaint with the Weis era, its the misuse of freshman seasons by the coaching staff.

* Kyle McCarthy getting his forty time into the 4.5s should help a team that already likes K-Mac pull the trigger on him in the late rounds on next month’s draft. While his size isn’t great and he’ll never be a burner, he could definitely be a great special teams guy and situational defender.

* I feel bad for Raeshon McNeil, who had to have wanted to put up some great numbers and hope that the film from his junior season was enough to get him an invitation to a training camp. I also wish Robby Parris would’ve put together a high-4.5 / low-4.6 forty to go along with his very good agility and shuttle times. Parris strikes me as one of those guys that is probably just a great all-around athlete playing football.

COMPLETE LIST OF PRO DAY TESTING RESULTS

James Aldridge
Vertical: 31.5″
Broad Jump: 9’4″
Bench Press: 14
40-Yard Dash: 4.53, 4.52
Pro Agility: 4.40
3-Cone Drill: 7.00
60-Yard Shuttle: 11.38

Sergio Brown
Vertical: 35″
Broad Jump: 10’3″
Bench Press: 15
40-Yard Dash: 4.53, 4.46, 4.44
Pro Agility: 4.06
3-Cone Drill: 6.67
60-Yard Shuttle: 11.15

Paul Duncan
Vertical: 29.5″
Broad Jump: 9′
Bench Press: 30
40-Yard Dash: 5.21, 5.30
Pro Agility: 4.36
3-Cone Drill: 7.47
60-Yard Shuttle: Did not attempt

Kyle McCarthy
Only participated in 40-yard dash and position-specific drills 40-Yard
Dash: 4.56, 4.55

Raeshon McNeil
Vertical: 33″
Broad Jump: 10’1″
Bench Press: 13
40-Yard Dash: 4.61 (injured hamstring)
Pro Agility: Did not attempt
3-Cone Drill: Did not attempt
60-Yard Shuttle: Did not attempt

Eric Olsen
Only participated in position-specific drills

Robby Parris
Vertical: 38.5″
Broad Jump: 10’4″
Bench Press: Did not attempt
40-Yard Dash: 4.74, 4.69
Pro Agility: 4.30
3-Cone Drill:6.72
60-Yard Shuttle: 11.50

Morrice Richardson
Vertical: 31.5″
Broad Jump: 9’11”
Bench Press: 31
40-Yard Dash: 4.70 (injured hamstring)
Pro Agility: Did not attempt
3-Cone Drill: Did not attempt
60-Yard Shuttle: Did not attempt

Scott Smith
Vertical: 28″
Broad Jump: 8’10”
Bench Press: Did not attempt
40-Yard Dash: 4.86
Pro Agility: 4.44
3-Cone Drill: 7.09
60-Yard Shuttle: 13.00

Toryan Smith
Vertical: 27.5″
Broad Jump: 8’3″
Bench Press: 22
40-Yard Dash: 5.03
Pro Agility: 4.53
3-Cone Drill: 7.16
60-Yard Shuttle: 12.50

Golden Tate
Only participated in 60-yard shuttle and position-specific drills
60-Yard Shuttle: 11.67

Sam Young
Only participated in broad jump and position-specific drills Broad Jump:
9’1″

David Grimes
Vertical: 33.5″
Broad Jump: 10’3″
Bench Press: 19
40-Yard Dash: 4.62
Pro Agility: 4.26
60-Yard Shuttle: Did not attempt

Asaph Schwapp
Vertical: 28″
Broad Jump: 9’7″
Bench Press: 34
40-Yard Dash: 5.03
Pro Agility: 4.56
3-Cone Drill: 7.21
60-Yard Shuttle: Did not attempt

Five Irish players sign UFA contracts

Matthias Farley
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Notre Dame had seven players selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, trailing only Ohio State, Clemson and UCLA on the weekend tally. But after the draft finished, the Irish had five more players get their shot at playing on Sundays.

Chris Brown signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Romeo Okwara will begin his career with the New York Giants. Matthias Farley and Amir Carlisle signed contracts with the Arizona Cardinal. Elijah Shumate agreed to a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After missing two seasons, Ishaq Williams will be at Giants rookie camp next weekend as well, working as a tryout player. Expect Jarrett Grace to receive similar opportunities.

Count me among those that thought both Brown and Okwara would hear their names called. Brown’s senior season, not to mention his intriguing measureables, had some projecting him as early as the fifth round.

Okwara, still 20 years old and fresh off leading Notre Dame in sacks in back-to-back seasons, intrigued a lot of teams with his ability to play both defensive end and outside linebacker. He’ll get a chance to make the Giants—the team didn’t draft a defensive end after selecting just one last year, and they’re in desperate need of pass rushers.

Both Shumate and Farley feel like contenders to earn a spot on rosters, both because of their versatility and special teams skills. Shumate played nickel back as a freshman and improved greatly at safety during 2015. Farley bounced around everywhere and was Notre Dame’s special teams captain.

Carlisle might fit a similar mold. He played running back, receiver and returned kicks and punts throughout his college career. With a 4.4 during Notre Dame’s Pro Day, he likely showed the Cardinals enough to take a shot, and now he’ll join an offense with Michael Floyd and Troy Niklas.

 

Robertson picks Cal over Notre Dame, UGA

Demetris Robertson
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Demetris Robertson‘s decision wasn’t trending in Notre Dame’s direction. But those that expected the Savannah star athlete to pick the in-state Bulldogs were in for a surprise when Robertson chose Cal on Sunday afternoon.

Notre Dame’s pursuit of the five-star athlete, recruited to play outside receiver and hopefully replace Will Fuller, likely ended Sunday afternoon with Robertson making the surprise decision to take his substantial talents to Berkeley. And give credit to Robertson for doing what he said all along—picking a school that’ll give him the chance to earn an exceptional education and likely contribute from Day One.

“I am excited to take my talents to the University of California, Berkeley. The first reason is that the education was a big part of my decision. I wanted to keep that foundation,” Robertson said, per CFT. “When I went there, it felt like home. Me and the coaching staff have a great relationship. That’s where I felt were the best of all things for me.”

Adding one final twist in all of this is that Robertson has no letter-of-intent to sign. Because he’s blown three months through Signing Day, Robertson merely enrolls at a college when the time comes. That means until then, Kirby Smart and the Georgia staff will continue to sell Robertson on staying home and helping the Dawgs rebuild. Smart visited with Robertson Saturday night and had multiple assistant coaches at his track meet this weekend.

Summer school begins in June for Notre Dame. Their freshman receiving class looks complete with early enrollee Kevin Stepherson and soon-to-arrive pass-catchers Javon McKinley and Chase Claypool.

Sheldon Day drafted in 4th round by Jaguars

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Former Notre Dame captain Sheldon Day didn’t have to wait long on Saturday to hear his name called. The Indianapolis native, All-American, and the Irish’s two-time defensive lineman of the year was pick number 103, the fourth pick of the fourth round on Saturday afternoon.

Day was the seventh Irish player drafted, following first rounders Ronnie Stanley and Will Fuller, second round selections Jaylon Smith and Nick Martin, and third rounders KeiVarae Russell and C.J. Prosise.

Day has a chance to contribute as he joins the 24th-ranked defense in the league. Joining a draft class heavy on defensive players—Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack and Yannick Ngakoue already picked ahead of him—the front seven will also include last year’s No. 3 overall pick Dante Fowler, who missed the entire season with a knee injury.

Scouted by the Jaguars at the Senior Bowl, Day doesn’t necessarily have the size to be a traditional defensive tackle. But under Gus Bradley’s attacking system (Bradley coordinated the Seahawks defense for four seasons), Day will find a niche and a role in a young defense that’s seen a heavy investment the past two years.

Smith, Martin, Russell and Prosise all drafted Friday night

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 13: William Fuller #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Nick Martin #72 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrate a touchdown during the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
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Jaylon Smith, Nick Martin, KeiVarae Russell and C.J. Prosise were all selected on Friday, with four Irish teammates taken on the second night of the NFL Draft. As mentioned, Smith came off the board at pick 34, with the Cowboys gambling on the injured knee of the Butkus Award winner. Nick Martin was selected at pick 50, joining former teammate Will Fuller in Houston.

The third round saw Russell and Prosise come off the board, with Kansas City jumping on the confident cornerback and the Seahawks taking Notre Dame’s breakout running back. It capped off a huge night for the Irish with Sheldon Day, one of the more productive football players in college football, still on the board for teams to pick.

Here’s a smattering of instant reactions from the immediate aftermath.