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Pro Day Prowess
March 29, 2018
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ORLANDO ( - Thursday was a job interview for many UCF Football alumni.

Thirteen Knights from the 13-0 2017 National Championship team were joined by a number of Knight alums from previous years at Nicholson Fieldhouse for UCF Pro Day presented by KnightPass. That group of former Knights put on a show for scouts and team executives from 31 National Football League teams, as well as scouts from the Canadian Football League.

In addition to 60-plus scouts and executives from around professional football, nearly 70 members of the media were credentialed to cover the event. That media contingent included two crews from ESPN and one from NFL Network, in addition to coverage from Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! Sports and every local outlet that usually covers UCF Football.

Of course the star of the show was Shaquem Griffin. Grifin took part in the vertical jump, L-drills and also went through defensive back drills. He was happy with his performance and is now looking forward to the NFL Draft.

"Today was a pretty good day," Griffin said. "I was able to show the vertical today and I think I jumped pretty high. I'm pretty good with that. I was able to do DB drills and show that I can get out of good breaks, backpedal well and show good hips. Overall, I think I had a really good day."
While Griffin has garnered tons of coverage since his attention-grabbing performance at the NFL Combine, cornerback Mike Hughes is likely the first Knight to hear his name called in Dallas at the NFL Draft at the end of April.

Hughes only took part in the defensive back drills on Thursday. He was happy to be back on campus at UCF, despite being a Knight for just a few months.

"I miss being here," Hughes said. "It was the best four months of my life in the short amount of time I've been here. This is a dream come true. It's something you grow up wanting to do. For me to finally be in this position, I can't do anything but embrace the moment and just try to have fun with it."

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Another potential early pick on NFL draft boards is wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith, who said he was happy with his performance at Pro Day. Smith also took part just in wide receiver drills, allowing the results in testing that he compiled at the NFL Combine speak for themselves.

"I felt like I did really well today," Smith said. "I caught everything thrown to me, except for maybe one pass. Coaches were saying I look (good) out there, so I'm very confident with today."

Jordan Akins was also invited to the NFL Combine, but missed all the workouts due to a tight hamstring. While he didn't run the 40 at UCF Pro Day, he took part in all the other testing. After missing the opportunity to perform in Indianapolis, he was grateful for another chance to shine at Pro Day.

"It was a pretty bad strain, but I just rehabbed it and got ready for Pro Day," Akins said. "I'm almost fully recovered. I did what I could (today) and felt like I did well."

In addition to those four, 2017 team members Chequan Burkett, Aaron Evans, Jordan Franks, Tony Guerad, Case Harrison, Cedric Jordan-Williams, Seyvon Lowry, Josh Odigie and Jamiyus Pittman all took part in workouts.

Burkett hit 36 inches in the vertical leap, which would have put him in seventh place at the Combine. His broad jump of 121 inches would have landed him in a tie for eighth in Indianapolis.

Pittman's 25 reps on the bench press would have tied him for 19th among defensive linemen at the Combine. Evans pushed the 225-pound weight up 27 times, which would have tied for eighth among offensive linemen at the Combine.

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