Former Canes showcase talent for NFL scouts

Former Canes Tavares Gooden, Kyle Wright, Darnell Jenkins and Calais Campbell said they improved certain drills Friday at the University of Miami Pro Timing Day in front of NFL coaches and scouts.

“Everybody I’m used to here in sunny South Florida, you know, all nice and warm, I think that helped me out with my running,” linebacker Tavares Gooden said.

Gooden improved his vertical jump to 39.5 inches, 4.5 inches higher than his jump in Indianapolis earlier this week at the NFL Scouting Combine. He also recorded 40-yard dash times of 4.52 and 4.48 seconds, down from 4.6 seconds in Indy, despite what he called a tweaked hamstring.

Quarterback Kyle Wright said he thought he threw well enough to warrant being drafted and that he received “a lot of good feedback” on how he threw.

Receiver Darnell Jenkins ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash, an improvement over his time at the Combine, which he described simply as “slow.” He also called the drill overrated because it doesn’t measure football speed.

“When [teams] watch my film, it’s much faster than that,” Jenkins said.

Defensive lineman Calais Campbell said of his draft stock: “It all depends on the coach you ask. I think I’m anywhere from early-mid all the way to the end of the first [round].”

Campbell said he felt he impressed coaches in the position drills and by improving his vertical from 29.5 to 34.5 inches. He said he will spend draft day in April at home with his family in Colorado.

Safety Kenny Phillips, who only worked out in defensive back drills, said he wanted to extend the Hurricanes’ streak of producing a first rounder in 13 straight drafts.

“It’d feel real good,” he said. “If I don’t do it, Calais is going to do it anyway, so we’ll be all right.”

Gooden added, “[Teams] want to draft Hurricanes, but there’s only so many picks you get.”

Jenkins and Gooden both said they were impressed by cornerback Glenn Sharpe, who competed in drills despite lingering leg injuries.

“Glenn showed toughness,” Jenkins said. “He was hurt and he still ran a 4.4 [40-yard dash] hurt.”

The event was attended by current NFL players and former Canes Antrel Rolle and Frank Gore, as well as many players on the current UM roster.

Other athletes working out for the NFL scouts included offensive linemen Andrew Bain, Derrick Morse, John Rochford and Cyrim Wimbs; defensive linemen Vegas Franklin and Teraz McCray; defensive back Willie Cooper; receiver Lance Leggett; and long snapper Ross Abramson.

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