Former Vols turn few heads at NFL combine

As the NFL combine continues through Tuesday at Indianapolis, former Tennessee players are having a tough time.

Running back Arian Foster, who had the most on the line as NFL scouts and coaches evaluate talent for the draft, participated only in the bench press and his 23 reps with 225 pounds were about average for running backs here, according to fantasyplayers.com, a Web site tracking the combine.

Guard Anthony Parker had an average 24 reps, hardly eye-popping for an offensive lineman considering Texas Tech’s Louis Vasquez did 39.

Tackle Ramon Foster didn’t help himself with a 5.57 in the 40-yard dash, among the slowest times posted. His 20 reps in the bench likely didn’t impress the scouts either.

Players pick and choose the events they will participate in. There will be a pro day at UT on March 11 at which former Vols will have another chance to impress the scouts.

Defensive tackle Demonte Bolden, defensive end Robert Ayers and punter Britton Colquitt also are at the NFL Combine.

Ayers appears to be the only ex-Vol who has improved his draft status and is projected to go as early as the first round.

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Comments » 83

tums writes:

Wow. Hardly surprising.

utvol2485 writes:

Arian Foster is in luck. I heard the 49ers are in need of a third string jock washer/water boy. Go get'em tiger.

VOLorado writes:

they're still closer to making the nfl than i'll ever be

good luck guys

navyvolinva writes:

What about Ayers?

volnknox writes:

Fulmer's great talent right there boys!!!!

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to IdentityTheftVictim09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

here! here!

kevin151 writes:

hahaha that was funny

navyvolinva writes:

Ayers is going to make some big money!!! Not to get off the subject but whatever happened to Cory Hall?

WarriorVol writes:

I guess now we can see how S&C hurt us last year. It was not a matter of lack of talent as it was a lack of conditioning. In other words coaching.

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

Shocking...NOT!

I imagine AF dropped the weights too.

beef4davols writes:

So we are saying that our fake bench press program where you bench 275 lbs. ten times then call it 400 lbs. really wasn't that affective. WOW, no wonder we haven't been able to run the ball!!

TDTN writes:

in response to NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop:

Shocking...NOT!

I imagine AF dropped the weights too.

Arian lost his balance and the weights hit the floor. Before he could get up a DB from Penn St picked them up and had ran 7 blocks before anyone caught up with him. Arian claims his spotter's hand slipped when he turned the bar loose.

golfballs03 writes:

The combine is way overrated.

volaboard writes:

in response to NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop:

Shocking...NOT!

I imagine AF dropped the weights too.

LMAO!

dvhill100 writes:

in response to IdentityTheftVictim09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Cold, dude. Funny, but cold.

GoVol writes:

in response to IdentityTheftVictim09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe foster should change his name again so he won't be recognized....at least until such time a ball is put into his hands.

What was it he temporarily changed his name to?

adamsck#591720 writes:

I just don't see the point in ripping on former Vols. Keep it to yourself. Its unseemly here on a pro-Vols website.

volroadwarrior writes:

Why do we have to villify our former players? Arian had some bad plays, but he also made some outstanding runs and big first downs. I hope he and the rest of our boys do well in the draft and if they don't, I wish them the best in whatever they do.

Regardless of the hatred a few armchair critcs spew out, these guys chose UT, gave a lot more than you critical yardbirds would have given and are now moving into the next phase of their lives. It is a bad reflection on so called UT fans who hate the former coach enough to take it out on the players. If I were a recruit thinking about coming to UT, I believe I would take note of the poison posted on this board.

Ironcity writes:

You guys are cruel! There is no way I would stick for a forth year if I had a choice with our fan base. Its odd, I think our fans hate you more when you choose to come back. I wonder if other schools treat their athletes in such low regard as we do.

byobbio writes:

Fulmer should have kept all of these guys off the field and played underclassmen. And he should have kept john gotti from getting into trouble.

TDTN writes:

I was a Fulmer supporter but I think this is just an indication that change was really needed. There was a time when we could count on several players going in first or second rounds and we were concerned about underclassman leaving early. It has been a gradual drop off but the talent just has not been there. I also think there has been talent wasted sitting on the bench. I am really looking forward to the new era and hope we return to the top of the SEC soon while keeping a clean program at the same time.

hotrodvol writes:

DANG, that is really sad about our offensive lineman. Maybe someone can do before and after photos of our players from when our new strenth coach started until one year later. Because I was very impressed with pictures of the USC players someone posted before.

LoveTheHaters writes:

For you guys cracking on the o-line, you have to realize that the number is deceptive. If an o-lineman has long arms (i.e. Ramon Foster (34.5"), Herman Johnson (36.5"), Anthony Parker (34"), etc.) that puts them to a disadvantage to those with short arms. Also a lot of the shorter armed linemen dont completely lock their reps out. Clearly most you guys (as well as KNS staff) are non-athletes otherwise you'd know as much. NFL scouts factor in everything when evaluating these players, not just number-watching.

BigT_Chief writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

DANG, that is really sad about our offensive lineman. Maybe someone can do before and after photos of our players from when our new strenth coach started until one year later. Because I was very impressed with pictures of the USC players someone posted before.

That would be nice, but I don't see it happening unless a fan does it because for KNS, that would require someone actually working.

maholt49#632667 writes:

Wow, know wonder we wound up 5 - 7 last year!!!!

hotrodvol writes:

in response to LoveTheHaters:

For you guys cracking on the o-line, you have to realize that the number is deceptive. If an o-lineman has long arms (i.e. Ramon Foster (34.5"), Herman Johnson (36.5"), Anthony Parker (34"), etc.) that puts them to a disadvantage to those with short arms. Also a lot of the shorter armed linemen dont completely lock their reps out. Clearly most you guys (as well as KNS staff) are non-athletes otherwise you'd know as much. NFL scouts factor in everything when evaluating these players, not just number-watching.

You are right, the NFL does look at everything and anything they can about a player. But 5.57 forty, 20 reps. of 225 I'm not sure I would look at anything else, that would be enough.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to IdentityTheftVictim09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Actually, not true. Linemen typically are tall and have long arms, which doesn't transalte all that well to the bench press.

Unless I'm mistaken, aren't UT's records held by Al Wilson and Jamal Lewis?? both are RB-sized guys.

A final note: strength helps, but line play boils down to smarts, footwork, and leverage. You can bench the moon, but if you can't move, and don't know the snapcount....

Bloodrunzorange writes:

Remember Coach John Stuckey? Our guys were going in the draft left and right. Proof that Johnny Strong is not so "Strong". This seals the deal! We needed a change of direction and we got it! Go Vols and Go CLK!

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to IdentityTheftVictim09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

brings to mind something else, rich.

I used to have to explain to soccer parents why little Luis could kick a ball harder than big old Louis. Louis was about 6'2", 220, and Luis was about 5'9", 160.

You see, Luis is very fast, with quick steps. Louis is fast too, but with longer steps. Luis's leg swing is MUCH FASTER than Louis's.....

and energy imparted is all about velocity, in fact, it is the SQUARE of velociy. The mass behind the strike is somewhat marginal...and now you know why James Berry hits 'harder' than Demonte Bolden EVER could.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Timed_vol:

Actually, not true. Linemen typically are tall and have long arms, which doesn't transalte all that well to the bench press.

Unless I'm mistaken, aren't UT's records held by Al Wilson and Jamal Lewis?? both are RB-sized guys.

A final note: strength helps, but line play boils down to smarts, footwork, and leverage. You can bench the moon, but if you can't move, and don't know the snapcount....

Jacque (sp?) McClendon has the record at 645 lb, set last summer.

volfan54 writes:

in response to IdentityTheftVictim09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

obviously you dont know anything about weight lifting. lifting for max is much different than reps. also, the shorter the arms, the better lifter, especially in reps. many OL who are 6-4 + have a long reach, which the scouts want, but it is tough to have both long reach and great bench press numbers. i am not taking up for Foster. he did not even run the 40.

Moaninglikeheck writes:

in response to maholt49#632667:

Wow, know wonder we wound up 5 - 7 last year!!!!

Know wonder? So you are just KNOW wondering, or did you mean NO wonder?

gbeejr#1354500 writes:

in response to Bloodrunzorange:

Remember Coach John Stuckey? Our guys were going in the draft left and right. Proof that Johnny Strong is not so "Strong". This seals the deal! We needed a change of direction and we got it! Go Vols and Go CLK!

Absolutely. It has been obvious that following Stuckey's departure that our line play was never physical again. If we hadn't kicked out Fulmer we would still have Johnny Long as out S&C coach.

volfan54 writes:

in response to hotrodvol:

You are right, the NFL does look at everything and anything they can about a player. But 5.57 forty, 20 reps. of 225 I'm not sure I would look at anything else, that would be enough.

hot-

when is the last time an OL 40 time mattered? the 10yd dash matters. as someone said, being a dominant OL is all about foot work and leverage. i bet Orlando Pace did not blaze a trail at the combine, but was one heck of a tackle.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Timed_vol:

brings to mind something else, rich.

I used to have to explain to soccer parents why little Luis could kick a ball harder than big old Louis. Louis was about 6'2", 220, and Luis was about 5'9", 160.

You see, Luis is very fast, with quick steps. Louis is fast too, but with longer steps. Luis's leg swing is MUCH FASTER than Louis's.....

and energy imparted is all about velocity, in fact, it is the SQUARE of velociy. The mass behind the strike is somewhat marginal...and now you know why James Berry hits 'harder' than Demonte Bolden EVER could.

Are you sure? James Berry is like, what, 50 now?

F=ma. What you are saying is it is hard for a big guy to be strong enough to accelerate his mass to the same instantaneous velociy as a little guy.

Major_Magilicutty writes:

in response to maholt49#632667:

Wow, know wonder we wound up 5 - 7 last year!!!!

The grossest generalization ever made. There are far greater reasons for our record (and performance during past seasons) than the bench reps of a single o-lineman, or 4 players posting low scores in the combine. Geez, you guys kill me with your summer soldier mentalities. I am in no way standing in defense of Fulmer, so dont even say it. I am pointing out that you guys have no loyalty to former Volunteers. Such a fickle group of fans.

volroadwarrior writes:

in response to cgreer#227330:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree that some light hearted bantering, criticism and discussion is appropriate. It does make me wonder about the class and intelligence of those whose so hated the coach blindly takes it out on the players who chose UT to play football. I agree that a change was needed, but unfortunately these players didn't have a chance to succeed with the new staff.

By the way, our super athletes on the basketball team also need to master the relatively non athletic activity of shooting their foul shots. It doesn't make ESPN highlights, but it sure would help to win some games.

ktownvol writes:

in response to volroadwarrior:

Why do we have to villify our former players? Arian had some bad plays, but he also made some outstanding runs and big first downs. I hope he and the rest of our boys do well in the draft and if they don't, I wish them the best in whatever they do.

Regardless of the hatred a few armchair critcs spew out, these guys chose UT, gave a lot more than you critical yardbirds would have given and are now moving into the next phase of their lives. It is a bad reflection on so called UT fans who hate the former coach enough to take it out on the players. If I were a recruit thinking about coming to UT, I believe I would take note of the poison posted on this board.

You are soooooo right on -- I am AMAZED at people that call themselves fans, even use Vol in their screen name, yet have absolutely NOTHING positive to say about any of them! We have too many fans that are "fair weather" fans, when it's good they're all about it but when it starts rolling down hill they're the first to jump off! There is no way that the negativity found here doesn't impact recruiting, our current players morale, and our coaches attitudes toward their fan base and their employer! We should be SUPPORTIVE -- after all, it's ONLY A GAME and these are really just a bunch of really talented kids giving their all for our entertainment!! Do you really think they WANT to LOSE?!?! Bottom line -- cut them some slack, be encouraging or keep your mouth shut! We don't want to lose good recruits, players, and coaches because so called "fans" do nothing but criticize. And they DO read these message boards! GO VOLS!!!!!

invisiblekid writes:

in response to Timed_vol:

Actually, not true. Linemen typically are tall and have long arms, which doesn't transalte all that well to the bench press.

Unless I'm mistaken, aren't UT's records held by Al Wilson and Jamal Lewis?? both are RB-sized guys.

A final note: strength helps, but line play boils down to smarts, footwork, and leverage. You can bench the moon, but if you can't move, and don't know the snapcount....

Not looking to be argumentative, but I have seen several people use that "arms are too long" defense which is accurate to a point.

However, I think it is a cop out when you look at the numbers that the other offensive linemen put up.

http://www.nfl.com/combine/top-perfor...

R. Foster, A. Foster, and Parker were all out-benched by USC's KICKER. That says all I need to know about Johnny Long's S & C program.

invisiblekid writes:

in response to Timed_vol:

Actually, not true. Linemen typically are tall and have long arms, which doesn't transalte all that well to the bench press.

Unless I'm mistaken, aren't UT's records held by Al Wilson and Jamal Lewis?? both are RB-sized guys.

A final note: strength helps, but line play boils down to smarts, footwork, and leverage. You can bench the moon, but if you can't move, and don't know the snapcount....

McClendon actually set the record for UT last season:

http://www.govolsxtra.com/news/2008/j...

Also agree with your final note as well. Bench press doesn't mean anything if the D lineman can run circles around a guy.

BigT_Chief writes:

in response to invisiblekid:

Not looking to be argumentative, but I have seen several people use that "arms are too long" defense which is accurate to a point.

However, I think it is a cop out when you look at the numbers that the other offensive linemen put up.

http://www.nfl.com/combine/top-perfor...

R. Foster, A. Foster, and Parker were all out-benched by USC's KICKER. That says all I need to know about Johnny Long's S & C program.

Yeah, the long arms excuse only holds water for so long. It is pretty sad that a kicker is out benching linemen and running backs.

utvol2485 writes:

in response to VineVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow! Sounds like someone needs a tampon and quick. Remember, Tylenol for headaches and Midol for the bloating and cramps.

I guess I'd be screwed if he took my job. If that were the case I'd probably just file for unemployment and go back to banging your mom until something else better came along.

kman29 writes:

in response to IdentityTheftVictim09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is pretty bad, especially considering I read that Percy Harvin did 19 reps of 225. So a Offensive Guard can only do 5 more reps than a WR? How did he ever start in the SEC?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to WarriorVol:

I guess now we can see how S&C hurt us last year. It was not a matter of lack of talent as it was a lack of conditioning. In other words coaching.

Amen! Still kinda shocking. The worst of it is that these guys have had since the end of November to train for the combine. If they didn't take their opportunity of a lifetime any more seriously than that, who could be surprised that everybody pushed them all over the field in games last fall?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to golfballs03:

The combine is way overrated.

Maybe so for the obvious top picks, but it can be VITAL for marginal guys, which is what most of this year's ex-Vols are. The NFL is full of virtual unknowns who first really turned heads in the combine.

Ironcity writes:

in response to cgreer#227330:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good post. I agree about shooting the three. I just wish it wasn't always Chism and Smith. Its odd but when our post players are down low, even when we miss the three we usually score.

jkleno#393970 writes:

I wonder why we could not run the ball this past year? Looks like some offensive lineman are being exposed for what they are-SOFT!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to LoveTheHaters:

For you guys cracking on the o-line, you have to realize that the number is deceptive. If an o-lineman has long arms (i.e. Ramon Foster (34.5"), Herman Johnson (36.5"), Anthony Parker (34"), etc.) that puts them to a disadvantage to those with short arms. Also a lot of the shorter armed linemen dont completely lock their reps out. Clearly most you guys (as well as KNS staff) are non-athletes otherwise you'd know as much. NFL scouts factor in everything when evaluating these players, not just number-watching.

I agree completely that almost any set of statistics can be misinterpreted. It would have been a lot more informative if the article would have said how our guys stacked up against other O-linemen. Still, those numbers were not impressive for guys who presumably are the strongest on the team. It would be even worse if they really WERE the strongest on the UT squad.

volroadwarrior writes:

Blah, Blah, Blah. Weightlifters can out lift all of the football players. That doesn't mean they can play football. You guys look for anything negative about our players. Yes, they had a bad season last year, but these are the same guys in 2007 on the OL that had the 4th fewest sacks in the country and Arian Foster is one of the top backs in UT history in yards gained. They also won the SECE with long arms, short arms or whatever else you can blast them on. Cmon guys, get real and stop cackling like a flock on old hens.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Major_Magilicutty:

The grossest generalization ever made. There are far greater reasons for our record (and performance during past seasons) than the bench reps of a single o-lineman, or 4 players posting low scores in the combine. Geez, you guys kill me with your summer soldier mentalities. I am in no way standing in defense of Fulmer, so dont even say it. I am pointing out that you guys have no loyalty to former Volunteers. Such a fickle group of fans.

With perhaps a few exceptions, this is not about judging these guys, it is evaluating their results. All that has been said about arm length, timing, foot work, and all the rest is relevant, but it seems to me that in many past years, our guys kicked butt in those areas, and not coincidentally a good number of them are still playing in the NFL. I'm not a football expert, just a fan, but our O-line wasn't very good on the field last year and it surely seems to my uninformed eye that they didn't distinguish themselves in the combine, either. They might all be nice guys and I'm glad they came here and all that. I will be thrilled if they all sign and play 10 years in the NFL. It just doesn't seem very likely to me. Hope I'm wrong.

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