Remember those rumors about University of South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery?
You know … the ones that had him ballooning to 250 pounds and running the 40-yard dash in a lethargic 4.8 seconds?
Well, having already put the weight issue to bed (he’s 213 pounds … and holding) Jeffery shredded the speed issue this week – running the 40-yard-dash in 4.47 seconds (an ESPN reporter actually clocked him at 4.38 seconds).
That’s fast … and when you add Jeffery’s 6-foot-3 size, leaping ability and sensational hands it’s easy to see why his once plummeting draft stock is back on the upswing.
Jeffery declared his intention to enter the draft shortly after USC’s 30-13 win over Nebraska in the 2012 Capital One Bowl. In three years as a Gamecock, he caught 183 passes for a school-record 3,042 yards and 23 touchdowns – not bad for a guy who was once told by University of Southern California coach Lane Kiffin that he would wind up “pumping gas” if he came to play at South Carolina (ironically, Jeffery originally committed to play football at Southern Cal).
After being held in check for much of his junior season, Jeffery exploded for a season-high 148 receiving yards in just three quarters of action against the Cornhuskers, including the “Hail Alshon” – a dramatic leaping grab and fully-extended dive into the end zone on the last play of the first half that gave USC a lead it would never relinquish.
Jeffery has been projected as a late first round/ early second round pick in next month’s NFL draft. However based on his performance this week (not only his 40-yard-dash time but the fact that he has kept his weight down for the last month), we suspect Jeffery is now a sure-fire first rounder.
Working out with Jeffery this week, among others, were defensive lineman Melvin Ingram and cornerback Stephon Gilmore – both of whom are also likely to be taken in the first round of the draft.
Pic: Travis Bell, Sideline Carolina