Notebook: Reagan Nails Pro Dayby Zac Ellis
Bruno Reagan's stint at Vanderbilt's Pro Day got off to the wrong, well, foot. On Monday night, the evening before his workout for NFL scouts at Vanderbilt, Reagan was at home getting ready for bed. Suddenly, the Commodores' offensive lineman felt a sharp pain in his foot.
A shot of adversity didn’t stop Reagan from showing off his skills at Vanderbilt’s Pro Day on Tuesday. More than 50 NFL personnel were in attendance at Vanderbilt’s Multipurpose Facility as Reagan and more than a dozen Commodores worked out under the spotlight. Only two participants — quarterback Kyle Shurmur and cornerback Joejuan Williams — had been invited to last week’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis, so for many Dores, Pro Day served as their biggest shot to turn heads among NFL scouts.
I was walking on the floor where the kitchen meets the bathroom, and I stepped on a big nail and it went through my foot. I texted my parents a picture and said, 'Well, we have to fix this.'
Bruno Reagan, recalling the moment he injured his foot.
That’s why Reagan wasn’t going to let an injured foot slow him down.
“I taped it up — there was blood all over the tape this morning when I came in — we patched it up and decided we’d deal with it later,” he said. “Regardless, it was still a good Pro Day.”
In particular, Reagan showed off his strength at Pro Day. He bested all players with 23 reps on the bench press and put his agility on display in on-field drills. Reagan’s toughness needed no extra evidence; he ended his Vanderbilt career having started 40 straight games bouncing between guard and center. The Clarksville, Tennessee, native played more than 98 percent of the Commodores’ 950 offensive plays in 2018 and paved the way for a pair of 1,000-yard rushers during his career in Ralph Webb and Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
Now Reagan said he knows he has what it takes to play in the NFL.
I think teams saw what they wanted out of me. I might not run a 4.8 [40-yard dash], but they wanted to see me move, wanted to see my hips, wanted to see the intangibles. I'm a smart player and I can fit into a system. I feel like I belong and I can play in that league. Not just contribute here and there, but play.
Williams raised eyebrows during his stint at the NFL Combine last week with his measurements, as the 6-3 Nashville native stands tall among other cornerbacks. But Williams also saw Pro Day as a chance to show off his speed for NFL scouts.
Last week, Williams ran a 4.65 in the 40 at the combine. Draft experts surmised his stock would rise if he dipped into the 4.5s. On Tuesday, Williams responded, clocking in at 4.55 in the 40.
That time should serve Williams well as he continues draft preparation.
“I wanted to prove to them that I can move, and that I’m one of the best DBs in the nation,” he said.
That's something I wanted to come out and prove, my speed. I didn't have a great showing at the combine in the 40, but I got another week out and did well. It shows NFL teams I can run. I tell all NFL teams that I have the full package: I can run, cover and hit.
Return of Shurmur
The ins and outs of pro football are nothing knew to Shurmur. His father, Pat, is head coach of the NFL’s New York Giants and has coached in the league for 20 years. Thus, the younger Shurmur recognized plenty of familiar faces among scouts and executives at Vanderbilt’s Pro Day.
“I definitely know a few guys,” Shurmur said. “It’s pretty cool to see all them. I feel like I was in high school seeing them in my dad’s office. It’s funny how this whole thing circles back.”
Shurmur didn’t take part in many drills on Tuesday, as he said he felt comfortable with his performance at the combine. But he did air it out with passing drills at the end of the workout. The former four-year starter at Vanderbilt and the program’s all-time leader in touchdown passes said he got what he wanted out of his Pro Day stint.
I mean, completions, right? That's what you need. Obviously they weren't all perfect, but for the most part, I just try to go out there and do what I've been coached to do here at Vandy. It's just putting my best foot forward and helping the guys around me, too.
Blasingame shows out
Running back Khari Blasingame might have been the surprise of Vanderbilt’s Pro Day. The two-time Vanderbilt graduate and former converted linebacker recorded a 38-inch vertical jump and a 10′ 11” broad jump. He also clocked in the mid-4.5s in the 40.
Vanderbilt hosted representatives of 30 NFL teams, one Canadian team and more than 50 personnel for Pro Day. Those in attendance included Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel and Titans general manager Jon Robinson.
Pro Day is often a chance for former Commodores in the NFL to swing by West End, and Tuesday was no exception. Spotted among attendees were Oren Burks (Green Bay Packers), Caleb Scott (Seattle Seahawks), Casey Hayward (Los Angeles Chargers), Trent Sherfield (Arizona Cardinals), Emmanuel Smith (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Jonathan Wynn (Detroit Lions).
Zac Ellis is the Writer and Digital Media Editor for Vanderbilt Athletics.