Hoos Participate In Pro Day

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Zane Parr impressed some scouts on Thursday at UVa’s Pro Day.

Scouts and coaches from 17 NFL teams descended on Charlottesville on Thursday morning for Virginia football’s annual Pro Day, a chance to evaluate the seniors and juniors on the team who hope to make the step into the NFL.

Unlike past years, Virginia has no single player everyone is clamoring to see, particularly with Ras-I Dowling coming off an injury plagued season. As coaches ran the players through the drills, coach Mike London did his best impression of a politician, talking with every single NFL scout there. London, of course, spent time in NFL coaching circles with the Houston Texans.

Zane Parr , a surprise entrant into the 2011 NFL Draft, received positive reviews for both his performance in the 40-yard dash and in the position specific drills. While he didn’t start on the radar of many scouts, Virginia coaches thought his performance was exactly the kind he needs to “make himself some money.”

Contrasted with Parr’s surprising performance on the strong side was running back Keith Payne ‘s efforts. Consensus among the scouts was that Payne’s 40 time was slow, although times among the scouts varied between 4.6 and 4.9 seconds. After the session, Payne maintained that he could do better.

“This time was the most stressful time of my life because I had everyone wanting to know how it was going, you’re not really sure yourself,” Payne said. “This whole entire experience is just stressful.”

During the position drills, Payne was frequently encouraged by coaches to hustle, a bad sign in drills where scouts are more looking for a player’s approach, drive, and demeanor than actual performance. Still, Payne’s performance last year – 16 touchdowns, leading the entire ACC in scoring – certainly could raise his draft stock considerably. But Payne tries not to pay attention to rumors about his draft position.