Blog Entry

Stars sit out USC ProDay; Armstead makes NFL jump

Posted on: March 7, 2012 7:04 pm
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LOS ANGELES -- USC's biggest stars did not do a lot of work at Pro Day on Wednesday but there was no lack of drama.

Offensive tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry, ranked in NFLDraftScout.com's top 32 with Kalil in the top five of Rob Rang's Big Board, did some position drills but did not replicate any of their NFL combine work because they were pleased with their initial results.

"These drills come easy to me," said Kalil, who is projected to be the third pick in the NFL draft. "It's cool to look at (mock drafts). But anything can happen on draft day."

Kalil (6-foot-6 5/8, 308 pounds) said he would take USC coach Lane Kiffin to New York as a guest for the NFL draft in April, when he'll be one of the dozen or so prospects in attendance at the Thursday primetime event.

"Coach Kiffin did a lot for me," he said. "He will be in the green room with me."

Perry, who weighed 270 pounds, said he "could have done better" on some of his position drills but was pleased overall, especially combined with his combine results. He is projected to be a first-round pick.

"I get asked a lot by NFL teams about certain schemes because everyone wants to know if I can also play in a 3-4 (defense)," Perry said. "It's good to be in the conversation (for the first round)."

USC defensive tackle Armond Armstead was not as fortunate.

He was informed by the school Tuesday night that university attorneys would not allow him to participate in Pro Day because of liability issues.

USC would not clear Armstead to play last season because of an unspecified medical condition that was discovered last spring. Armstead experienced chest pains last year but neither he nor school officials ever disclosed any medical problems.

He was expected to transfer to another school for his senior year but recently decided instead to turn pro.

"One of my main reasons to transfer was to play with brother (Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead)," Armond said. "But I wasn't allowed (by USC) to transfer to another Pac-12 school."

Armond Armstead said he was "perfectly healthy" and would have his own Pro Day on April 9. He underwent an NFL evaluation following the 2010 season and said was projected as a second-round pick. He looked noticeably slimmer and weighed 285 pounds at USC on Wednesday.

"I'm in good shape," Armstead said. "I'm not combine ready. I'm just looking for an opportunity to play football. "

Defensive tackle DaJohn Harris, who mysteriously did not work out at the NFL combine after arriving in Indianapolis, said he was medically excluded because a Cleveland Browns doctor discovered he had a natural heart defect known as patent foramen ovale.
A "PFO" is a flap or valve-like opening present in everyone before birth but seals shut for 80 percent of the population. It does have symptoms. Harris said his personal cardiologist emailed all NFL teams to assure them he was OK.

"I hope teams realize I was fine," Harris said. "I feel I did pretty good."Harris (6-3, 304) ran the 40-yard dash in 5.07 seconds.

Tailback Marc Tyler, who experienced a disappointing combine, redeemed himself with a time of 4.64 in the 40. He said he pulled a hamstring in Indianapolis and was nervous throughout his workouts.

"It was way better (Wednesday)," Tyler said.

Tyler said NFL teams asked him about a possible drinking problem after his famous video on TMZ.com last summer that resulted in a one-game suspension.

"I've gotten a lot of questions," he said. "I just told the truth. I made mistakes and drank too much."
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