Arizona football: Grigsby's stock rises by leaps and bounds

2011-03-13T00:00:00Z 2014-09-15T09:45:10Z Arizona football: Grigsby's stock rises by leaps and boundsRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 13, 2011 12:00 am  • 

The veteran scout looked at Nicolas Grigsby skeptically, then put his hand on the 10-foot metal pole used to measure vertical leap. Something didn't compute.

"Do it again," he said.

The Arizona Wildcats' running back crouched, leapt and touched the highest point he could reach. His point made, Grigsby moved on to the next scouting station.

"They said it was bent; they said it was on a hill. I don't know, was there wind?" Grigsby said with a chuckle. "They lifted it even higher and I still got it."

Grigsby was a blur during Saturday's pro day in front of scouts from about 20 NFL teams at the Jimenez Practice Facility.

The Wildcat ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 and 4.4 seconds, tops of any player scouted. He was a beast in the bench press, putting up 225 pounds 21 times, and measured 11 feet 1 inch in the broad jump.

Impressive numbers, to be sure, but Grigsby's standing vertical leap defied explanation. He jumped 43.5 inches, best among all UA players by a full 6 inches.

Had Grigsby participated in last month's NFL Combine - he was initially invited, then told not to come - his leap would have been best among all running backs by a full inch.

"It's just ridiculous. It's insane," defensive end Ricky Elmore said. "Nic helped himself out a lot today."

Grigsby wasn't the only one. A half-dozen Wildcats improved their NFL stock at timing day, the annual minicombine for players looking for a do-over - or, simply, a chance.

Brooks Reed continued to prove why ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. considers him a first-round pick; though the hybrid linebacker-defensive end didn't run the 40-yard dash, he wowed scouts during position drills.

"Stuff I've done for years," he said.

Elmore was sick during last month's combine, resulting in a slow 40-yard dash time. Sporting a Mohawk and black-and-lime-green shoes for Saturday's workout, Elmore said he "felt 10 times better" on his home turf.

Elmore's twin brother, Cory, worked out for scouts as a longsnapper. Cory Elmore came to the UA on scholarship four years ago, but left the team as a sophomore after undergoing heart surgery. Cory Elmore, who took up bodybuilding when he left the team, said he's healthy enough to play at the next level. Though he lacked Ricky's polish on Saturday, he could be an intriguing undrafted free agent.

"It was crazy to see somebody who hasn't played football in three years do as well as he did," Ricky Elmore said. "It was good to see him back out here competing."

And then there was Grigsby, who - bulkier at 202 pounds - looked and acted like a new man.

Grigsby spent 10 weeks training at Zona Fitness, a pre-draft training center in Phoenix, before coming to Tucson for pro day. He credited his trainers for boosting his confidence - and his speed.

Nearly every scout present praised the tailback's impressive numbers.

"It's a statement," Grigsby said. "You've got to come in saying, 'I'm going to go open everybody's eyes.'

"When I weighed in, they even said, 'Step on the scale again.' I was a little guy when I played here."

Grigsby, who projects as a late-round pick, won't know for another month just how much Saturday helped his NFL chances. They probably jumped.

"I'm going to keep training, and wait," he said. "I feel much better waiting now."

Up next

• What: NFL draft

• When: April 28-30

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Free Wildcats Sports Newsletter

University of Arizona sports news and blog headlines, delivered daily


Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...