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Utah State football: Devante Mays and Wyatt Houston among former Aggies vying to extend football careers

First Published      Last Updated May 22 2017 03:05 pm


RB Mays, TE Houston among 16 participating in Utah State Pro Day.

Logan • An injury-marred senior season prevented Utah State senior Devante Mays from fully showing what he can bring to an offense as a running back, but he's now healthy and hoping to make the most of his chances to perform in front of National Football League scouts.

Twenty-one NFL teams were represented Friday morning at the Utah State Pro Day. Mays, a products of Livingston, Texas, was one of 16 now former Aggies who got weighed, measured, timed and scrutinized. The players participated in combine-style testing (bench press, 40-yard dash, vertical leap, broad jump, agility and shuttle drills) as well as position-specific drills.




"It was real tough, just not being able to play and watch the season unfold how it did," Mays said of his senior season. "It was tough. I had worked so hard through the summer. I had big hopes of being the top rusher in the Mountain West and everything like that, but I have a lot of faith in God's plan and I know things happen for a reason."

Mays, who graduates with 1,225 yards rushing and a 6.1 yards per carry average for his collegiate career, played in six games last fall before a bone bruise in his knee and a high ankle sprain curtailed his season. He rushed for a career-high 208 yards with three touchdowns on 18 carries in the season opener against Weber State. He finished the season with 269 yards on 37 carries.

A 5-foot-11, 230-pound bulldog of a runner, Mays posted the best vertical leap of the day (40 1/2 inches), bench pressed 225 pounds 22 times and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds to go along with a standing broad jump of 10 feet, 9 inches. His bench press and broad jump marks were second-best among the group.

"I've talked to some teams," Mays said. "I've got a visit next week, Monday, with the Chiefs. I've got another one after that. I've heard from maybe like eight teams. Everything is coming along."

Tight end Wyatt Houston also represented himself well. A former all-state high school quarterback in Oregon who converted to tight end in college — he passed for almost 2,500 yards and rushed for another 900 yards as a senior in high school — Houston ranked third among the Aggies in receptions (35) and receiving yards (330) and earned honorable mention all-conference honors in 2016.

Houston, who is 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, ranks second all-time among tight ends on USU history in career receptions (86), receiving yards (933) and touchdown receptions (nine). Houston said his agent received positive feedback and interest from NFL teams prior to the pro day, and the main thing he wanted to show in his workout was "explosiveness."

Houston, who also did some long snapping for scouts at the end of the workout, posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.7, a standing broad jump of 9 feet, 10 inches and a vertical leap of 33.5 inches along with 18 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press.

"With how deep this tight end class is, it's just a matter of the better your numbers are the better the better your chances are of getting an opportunity," Houston said. "That's all I want, just an opportunity. I feel like I'm good enough to make a team."

Mays and Houston, like most of the pro day participants, trained on campus under the direction of strength and conditioning coach Dave Scholz.

Wide receiver Devonte Robinson posted the fastest time in the 40 (4.39), while defensive lineman Edmund Faimalo and offensive lineman Jake Simonich were tops in the bench press with 23 reps of 225 pounds and defensive back Jentz Painter's broad jump of 10 feet, 11 inches was the farthest mark.

Former Utah State star quarterback and current Oregon State assistant coach Chuckie Keeton served as quarterback for the position-specific drills; however, he was not auditioning for scouts.

lworthy@sltrib.com

Twitter: @LWorthySports

 

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