The soft-spoken receiver let his workout do the talking.
"I'm real excited," former Tennessee receiver Lucas Taylor said following UT's Pro Day at Neyland-Thompson Sports Center on Wednesday. "I was very nervous. I feel pretty good about my times."
Taylor's nerves didn't show. The 5-foot-11, 189-pounder posted a 4.36-second time in the 40-yard dash, a 36-inch vertical jump and 14 bench-press repetitions of 225 pounds.
"I think he just got himself drafted," said Kurt Hester of D-1 Sports Training. "I'm hoping. He deserves it."
In the seven weeks that Taylor has been working with Hester, the receiver gained 11 pounds while dropping his 40-time an all-important 1/10 of a second, adding seven inches to his vertical jump and increasing his bench press repetitions from two to 14.
"That is by far one of the best athletes I've ever worked with," said Hester, who has trained and consulted with several college football programs.
Taylor began the day on bench press, then ran the 40-yard dash. It was just the start he was looking for.
"Really fired up," Taylor said when asked about the beginning of his day, "When I first came here, my mindset was 4.3 and that's what I did today."
If there was one slight blemish on Taylor's workout, it was a dropped pass that was thrown behind him.
"But I got my hands on it, still supposed to catch it," Taylor said with his trademark smile.
Hester said attitude played a huge role in Taylor's training.
"I don't think there's one person in Knoxville that doesn't like him," Hester said. "He's just a great, great kid."
One More Time: By all accounts, Robert Ayers would be a high draft pick whether or not he worked out Wednesday. He'd done enough thanks to his combine workout and his performance at the Senior Bowl, where he was named defensive MVP.
Yet Ayers had something to prove - especially for those teams that are considering him as a pass-rushing linebacker in a 3-4 defensive scheme.
"I wanted to come out here and compete and challenge myself," the former UT defensive end said.
Ayers only participated in two timed events: the 20-yard shuttle and the three-cone drill.
Scouts, however, asked Ayers to do much more. The 6-3, 272-pounder was run through a battery of tests to determine his ability and determination.
"I just wanted to come out and show that I'm athletic enough to play in space, that I have good hips and flexibility," Ayers said.
Former UT defensive end Chuck Smith has been training Ayers. Smith didn't seem surprised by Ayers' fast ascension up the list of NFL draftees.
"He was always pretty known to me," Smith said. "When you see what happened with the university last year, the big-name guys obviously didn't live up to expectations."
Smith didn't blame such shortcomings on individual players. Instead, he pointed to the collective group as a reason that Ayers had only three sacks last season.
"Everybody is connected," Smith said.
More Players: Three other former Vols trained with D-I, which is owned by former UT quarterback Peyton Manning and managed by former UT fullback Will Bartholomew, who is the company's CEO.
D-1 client Josh Briscoe was ecstatic with his 4.39 time in the 40.
"I want a cheeseburger," the receiver exclaimed afterward. "I'm going to get a cheeseburger."
Briscoe said he actually benefitted from an illness earlier this month that cost him seven pounds. When recovered, he ran a 4.36 and decided to stay at his new "running" weight of 181.
Linebacker Ellix Wilson ran a 4.61 in the 40, posted a 32-inch vertical jump and bench pressed 225 pounds for 23 repetitions.
"I'm not ready to give up this football thing so I just hope someone gives me a chance," Wilson said.
Wilson said he's not worried about getting drafted and is willing to prove himself on an NFL practice squad if need be.
"Free agents have come in and done their thing," Wilson said.
Linebacker Adam Myers -White is hoping for the same opportunity and trained for that chance.
"Stopped partying and everything," Myers-White said. "Held everything back. Started focusing."
Myers-White bench pressed 225 pounds 15 times, posted 32 inches on the vertical jump and ran a 4.58 in the 40.
"It's gone and over with. Whatever happens today - calls or no calls (from the NFL) - I know I did the best what I can do. I'm proud of that."
McKenzie Missteps: Former UT safety/linebacker Nevin McKenzie lamented some missteps in his training that caused some missteps Wednesday.
"I just wish I would have been better prepared but I feel I did good for the situation," McKenzie said.
McKenzie, who trained in Texas, said he believed he could use his hands during the shuttle drill to balance himself and was confused about the start on another drill.
"When it came back to the football stuff, I feel like I did pretty good," McKenzie said.
It's unclear if scouts think of McKenzie as a linebacker or a safety.
"I talked to a couple of them," he said. "They've just been talking about me as an athlete, not a position."
Roll Call: Former players Jamal Lewis and Todd Kelley were on hand.
Bartholomew and Smith were there to support their clients.
Tailback Arian Foster didn't work out and is thought to be planning a workout in California.