Tahlequah Daily Press

March 13, 2013

Randle impresses at OSU’s pro day

By NICK SNOW
CNHI

— STILLWATER — Any doubts NFL scouts had about former Oklahoma State University running back Joseph Randle after last month’s NFL Combine were quickly put to rest Tuesday during Oklahoma State’s pro day.

Randle, who clocked a 4.64-second 40-yard dash at the combine, bested that with a time of 4.51 seconds.

“I knew I had it in me,” Randle said. “I just hope (the scouts) would watch the film. ... I’m not a big guy on all this stuff. I just like playing football, but I feel like I did good.

“(The scouts) want to see this stuff. This is how they want to steal money from you. ... Perception does matter. He may be a slow guy but he makes plays. It matters to them, so it matters to me too.”

Even a nagging injury to his right hand didn’t seem to be a problem for Randle as he plucked Jase Chilcoat’s passes out of the air without much problem.

“I felt like I would have played in a game if I had that little cast on, so why wouldn’t I go out there and perform?” Randle said. “It was big for me. I don’t like to miss games or nothing like that, so I wasn’t about to miss the opportunity to go out there and compete.”

In fact, the only downside Randle saw to the day was that he couldn’t improve his draft stock even more. Because of the hand injury, Randle was unable to bench press, but did record a 34.5-inch vertical.

“I wish I could have gone on the bench, but I just wasn’t medically cleared,” Randle said. “Believe me, if I could have gone, I would have. It’s tough because you know guys are going to be looking at that and it’s just going to be a big question mark in their books. But maybe I’ll get a call and someone will have me do a private workout for them.”

Randle’s stock may have soared, but he wasn’t the only Cowboy hoping to catch on with an NFL team. Lane Taylor drew some interest putting up 225-pounds 31 times in the bench press.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking when we first started, but I kind of settled in and had a good Pro Day,” Taylor said. “Hitting 31 was where I wanted to start the day. ... I hit 30 the other day and I knew I could at least get one more. I was sore when I hit it, so I was able to get 31.”

Along with Taylor’s bench press — which would have finished behind six others at the Combine — Taylor also ran the 40-yard dash in well enough to place him among the top 15 offensive lineman at the Combine.

“I’m very pleased with the results I had,” Taylor said. “I couldn’t really ask for any much better of a day.”

While Randle and Taylor likely improved their draft stock, Pro Day was not exactly a success for others. Plagued by a light, swirling wind, Quinn Sharp struggled with kickoffs and field goals — shanking two from within 45 yards.

“It wasn’t the best performance I’ve had, for sure,” Sharp said. “I wasn’t too pleased with it. I got good, solid contact. I just kind of strayed away from my eyes back and swinging up at it. I hit the last couple of balls good, so I finished strong, so that was important.”

Among the other leaders for Oklahoma State on Pro Day, Isaiah Anderson set the bar in the vertical leap, recording a jump of 37.5 inches. Anderson also recorded a third-best 40-yard dash time of 4.57 seconds and had a personal best on the bench press.

“Your first time around you always feel like you could do a lot better later on, but I put it all out there today and felt good about it,” Anderson said. “... To go in there and hit a PR on the bench felt good for me, so it got my excitement up a little bit more.”

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Stillwater NewsPress sports editor Jason Elmquist contributed to this report.