Jarrett make his dash for the pros

Times Staff Writer

Dwayne Jarrett came to USC’s pro day on Wednesday intending to shock skeptics with his 40-yard-dash speed, a barometer that could potentially earn or cost the All-American receiver millions of dollars in the NFL draft.

On a clear and breezy afternoon devoid of the thousands of spectators that attended last year’s evaluation event, Jarrett’s best time in front of the assembled scouts was 4.62 seconds.

“A lot of people were saying I was going to run like a 4.7, 4.8 and I think I surprised a lot of people,” said Jarrett, who, like Reggie Bush last year, wore a sleek track suit designed by a shoe company. “My body of work talks for itself.”


Jarrett put off running the 40 last month at the NFL scouting combine at Indianapolis because of a groin strain. His time was slower than the reported 4.4 seconds that teammate Steve Smith ran in Indianapolis and also slower than the 4.58 that linebacker Dallas Sartz clocked Wednesday.

One scout said Jarrett’s time probably would not severely affect the draft status of a player who turned pro after his junior season. Jarrett, who completed his career by catching 11 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the Rose Bowl, is regarded as a potential first-round pick. “It might not move him up but it won’t blow him out of the water,” the scout said. “It all depends on who likes him.”

Said Jarrett, who was measured at 6 feet 4 and 214 pounds: “We’re not looking or pinpointing any certain spot.”

Smith kept his draft stock on the rise with an impressive route-running and pass-catching workout. Rocky Butler, a friend of Jarrett’s who plays quarterback for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League, threw passes to Smith, Jarrett, Chris McFoy and Ryan Powdrell.

Smith said he was happy that he ran at Indianapolis in front of NFL general managers and head coaches rather than only scouts at USC’s pro day.

“I didn’t want any doubt,” he said. “I wanted to show everybody I’m confident in my abilities.”


Ten players from last season’s team and two former players -- running back Sultan McCullough and linebacker Mike Pollard -- participated in the event which featured interviews, strength and jumping tests, the 40-yard dash and individual position workouts.

Center Ryan Kalil, who is regarded as a potential first-round pick, did not run the 40 after performing well at Indianapolis.

Scouts were happy that USC closed Wednesday’s event to the public. One remembered last year’s pro day as “a production.”