ARIZONA FOOTBALL

Gronkowski shows 'the beast is back'

He'll be drafted in 1st round, agent says after workout
2010-03-28T00:00:00Z 2014-09-15T09:03:25Z Gronkowski shows 'the beast is back'Ryan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 28, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Rob Gronkowski put together another eye-popping performance Saturday, ran to the sidelines and preened for the crowd.

"The beast is back, baby!" Gronkowski said, waving his hands above his head.

And how.

Six months removed from major back surgery and facing rumors that he has a career-threatening injury, the Arizona Wildcats tight end wowed the 20 NFL scouts and 100 fans who gathered inside Arizona Stadium for his personal pro timing day.

The 6-foot-6-inch, 258-pound Gronkowski was an unknown quantity before Saturday's performance.

Now, the dreaming can begin.

"Without exaggeration, Rob put on a show," said Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus. "He was spectacular in his times; he was brilliant in his routes. He demonstrated he's healthy, and he's clearly the No. 1 tight end in this draft.

"He's going to be drafted in the first round."

Gronkowski ran back-to-back 40-yard dashes in 4.65 seconds and looked sharp during individual drills.

Cincinnati Bengals assistant Jonathan Hayes put Gronkowski through the paces during an hour-long route-running session. Tyler Graunke, the former Salpointe Catholic High School and University of Hawaii quarterback, zipped passes to Gronkowski and his brother, Chris.

Gronkowski's performance helped quiet concerns about his surgically repaired back, and rumors of something more serious. The NFL Network's Mike Maycock reported this week that Gronkowski has spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine that puts pressure on nerves. Gronkowski missed the entire 2009 season because of a back injury

Gronkowski denied he has stenosis, saying Saturday's performance proved that "my back is no issue."

"I performed every single thing they wanted me to with no problem," he said.

Rosenhaus said Gronkowski is "100 percent clear" medically, citing glowing reports from Dr. James Andrews and Gronkowski's surgeon, Dr. Robert G. Watkins III of the Marina Spine Center.

Gronkowski certainly looked physically fit during Saturday's workout. Wearing compression shorts, cleats and little else, Gronkowski breezed from drill to drill.

He paused only when Rosenhaus, the most vocal of his supporters, stopped by with water and Gatorade.

"He is the premier tight end in the draft, and he's going to be the first player drafted at his position," Rosenhaus said. "He fully demonstrated that today."

FOLES STELLAR IN SCRIMMAGE

Nick Foles didn't feel great, but he played nearly perfectly.

The Arizona Wildcats quarterback completed 15 of 16 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown during Saturday morning's scrimmage inside Arizona Stadium. Foles was questionable to play at all because of an ankle injury suffered in practice last week.

The Wildcats racked up 400 yards of total offense during the 100-play, two-hour scrimmage.

Freshman Daniel Jenkins led all UA backs with 91 yards on 16 carries. West Virginia transfer Gino Crump led all receivers with four catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.

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Pac-12 South football standings

Team W L T PCT
Utah 6 1 0 0.857
Arizona 6 1 0 0.857
ASU 6 1 0 0.857
UCLA 6 2 0 0.750
USC 5 3 0 0.625
Colorado 3 5 0 0.375

Pac-12 North football standings

Team W L T PCT
Oregon 7 1 0 0.875
Stanford 5 3 0 0.625
Washington 5 3 0 0.625
Oregon State 4 3 0 0.571
Cal 4 4 0 0.500
Washington State 2 6 0 0.250
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