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March 12, 2013

Warmack ready for Pro Day

TUSCALOOSA | National Football League coaches and scouts have descended upon Tuscaloosa today for the University of Alabama Pro Day workout, and for many of the former Alabama players participating, it will be a chance to perform in drills that they were unable to put on display in February at the NFL Scouting Combine.

For offensive lineman Chance Warmack, considered the top guard prospect available according to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., that will require a strong performance in agility drills such as the vertical leap, the 'L' drill, and the three-cone shuttle.

After spending six weeks working out in Los Angeles, Warmack has spent the last two-plus weeks in Miami trying to reach peak performance in those specific physical tests. A quadriceps injury sustained at the combine in Indianapolis forced Warmack to defer his performance in those drills to Pro Day.

"I ran the 40 (at the combine) and on my second attempt I pulled my quad. The trainers told me they didn't want me to do (other) drills at the combine, but I did anyway," Warmack said. "But it worsened a little and I decided not to do the vertical, the L-drill and the three-cone."

Warmack said his quad feels fine entering the Pro Day workout, and has been humbled to be rated the draft's top available guard.

"I try to stay grounded, but it's an honor to be in the conversation for that," he said. "That's all about what you do on the field."

Nine other former UA players were invited to the combine -- Damion Square, Quinton Dial, Jesse Williams, Nico Johnson, Robert Lester, Eddie Lacy, Barrett Jones, D.J. Fluker and Dee Milliner -- very few of whom participated fully in the workout. A hamstring injury prevented Lacy from combine participation and will preclude him from Pro Day participation as well, forcing him to run for scouts in a pre-draft private workout.

In cases where players were satisfied with their combine performances in a given drill, they may elect not to do the drill on Pro Day. Milliner, for instance, ran one of the best 40-yard dash times at the combine in February (4.37) and is not expected to run the 40 again Wednesday.

Pro Day is also a chance for outgoing Alabama players who weren't invited to the combine to show pro scouts what they are capable of. At the top of that list for Alabama is tight end Michael Williams, who was not among the 300-plus combine invites despite posting the best season of his UA career as a senior.

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0196.


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