George Farmer felt relieved.
The former USC receiver clocked an electronic-timed 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash on Wednesday at the Trojans’ pro day workout, showing NFL scouts elite speed that could make Farmer an intriguing draft-day decision.
“It took a bunch of weight off my shoulders,” Farmer said of his time, “to know that I am back to my speed.”
Farmer, 21, surprised USC coaches and fans when he declared for the draft.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Farmer, who had a season of eligibility remaining, caught only 25 passes last season – 30 in his career.
Farmer displayed his deep-threat capability against California and Notre Dame last season, but coaches otherwise did not appear to take advantage of his speed.
Farmer said he opted to turn pro because he was close to earning his degree in sociology and because he felt physically sound. Farmer was sidelined for the 2013 season while recovering from knee surgery.
“I’ve been through a lot of adversity, a lot of coaching changes here, so I just felt like the NFL was a great opportunity for me,” he said.
Farmer was not invited to the NFL scouting combine in February so he set his sights on USC’s pro day.
He ran the 40 and also went through other drills.
Farmer said his character and mental toughness would be among his selling points with NFL teams. He said he could play special teams, and anywhere he was needed.
“All I need is opportunity,” he said, “and getting to somewhere and showcasing what I can do.”