There were two players that nearly every scout, position coach and higher level executive came to Third Ward to see on Friday. Funny thing happened, though, on our way to watch Marcus Jones and Logan Hall on the University of Houston campus. A rough and rugged transfer center made everyone take notice, if they hadn't already.
The best part of Pro Day for me is seeing a player run or lift or do position workouts so impressively that I have to go back to look at the film and wonder how I missed THAT guy. I missed Houston center Kody Russey and the Louisiana Tech transfer who only played one year at Houston put on a Pro Day show.
A center, John?!? Yes, a stout, athletic and beastly strong center from Burleson, Texas. Russey spent the first five years of his career at Louisiana Tech where he started 46 games over four seasons and was named 1st Team All-CUSA center. He then moved on to Houston where he was named a captain and started 14 games but he wasn't so much as on my radar screen at this time yesterday. That changed fast.
The first event was the vertical jump. Going in alphabetical order, the Coogs were posting some strong verticals. LB Deontay Anderson hit 37-inches. OLB David Anenih (more on him in a bit) nailed 36.5-inches and RB Mulbah Car posted a 37.5-inch vertical. Then, Russey stepped up, didn't do the normal vertical jump gyrations and hit 30-inches. As a basis of comparison, just five interior offensive linemen went above 30-inches at the Combine. Then, we went back inside for the bench press and as soon as Russey brought the bar onto his chest for the first rep, I thought "oh boy, this is going to be good." It wasn't good, it was EXCEPTIONAL. Russey tired out after throwing up a whopping 38 reps on the bench press. Again, as a basis of comparison, that beat the Combine's best mark…BY SIX REPS. He ran a 5.06 40-yard dash and nearly decapitated our own Texans James Liipfert who ran Russey's individual workout.
So, I drove home and did what some scouts do after a workout that has them scratching their heads; I found the film. I had the Houston-SMU game on my Surface and, after watching, I dog cussed myself that I hadn't found/studied him earlier. I could see him getting drafted on day three or being a priority UDFA. Either way, Russey's going to be in some team's training camp and will find a way onto a roster in the near future.
The other prospect that I knew a lot about but was still super curious how he would look, test and run was David Anenih. The OLB had a strong 2021 season out on the edge and when I walked up to the building, I saw him walking in. Man! Long arms, tremendous physique and he most certainly looked the part. At over 250 lb, Anenih posted a 37.5-inch vertical, 25 reps of 225-lb on the bench press, a 10-3 best on the broad jump and a 4.66 on the 40-yard dash. Those are some sick testing numbers and they match how he plays out on the field. I don't know if he can subsist on the edge consistently in the NFL, but he's strong enough to prove he CAN eventually succeed in that role in the future. During his career, he played more up than down, but he's one heck of an athlete who made serious strides on the field. I'd bet he can do more at the next level given the opportunity. He's just outside the Harris 100, but he could easily hear his name early on day three.
CB Marcus Jones did not work out due to previous shoulder surgeries on both shoulders. He's been rehabbing since the end of the Cougars season and has a medical recheck later this month. He's one of the most dynamic college football players this city has ever seen, so hopefully he'll get a shot to show his wares in a work out a few weeks. Even without Jones, the Cougars Pro Day prospects put on a great show, mainly Russey and Anenih.