Idaho profiles propel, plummet at Pro Day

Mar. 28—MOSCOW — There were bodies all over the place at the P1FCU Kibbie Dome in Moscow on Wednesday for Pro Day.

Departing players from the Idaho football team weren't the only ones taking part in the annual showcase event; its neighbors nine miles away, Washington State, also participated due to its new indoor practice facility being under construction. A couple of Eastern Washington players and a Central Washington Wildcat were also present.

The melting pot of schools, talent and scouts, mixed with the event being open to the public, created a raucous and supportive environment for the NFL hopefuls.

The Vandals not competing watched from a section of the stands sanctioned off and were overjoyed when one of their former teammates recorded a stellar mark.

Some current players got in the mix, such as redshirt sophomore quarterback Jack Layne, who worked with the receivers.

The Vandals had 10 players compete at Pro Day: defensive lineman Ben Bertram, defensive end Tylen Coleman, wide receiver Hayden Hatten, long snapper Hogan Hatten, tight end TJ Ivy Jr., wide receiver Jermaine Jackson, kicker Logan Prescott, linebacker Tre Thomas, kicker/punter Ricardo Chavez and defensive end Juliano Falaniko.

There were 22 NFL teams represented, including the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles.

Here's a look at UI's standout performers:

One last time in the Dome for a Vandal legend

Hayden Hatten compared getting ready for Pro Day to preparing for a heptathlon.

The Phoenix native has practiced the showcase's marquee events for the last three months at Landow Performance in Centennial, Colo.

Hatten left the field pleased with most of his results.

"I'm really satisfied with most of my numbers," Hatten said. "They're about what I thought. ... When you're going through this process, you test every week, and I'm starting to get an idea of what I'm going to do, and all of my numbers were right there."

The only event the Vandals' all-time touchdown reception leader didn't feel good about was the three-cone drill. He finished with a time of 7.17 seconds after a slip.

Idaho's second-all-time leading receiver recorded a 40-yard dash time of 4.63 seconds, leaped 39 inches in the vertical jump and had a 10-2 broad jump.

Hatten's 40 would've tied for last at the NFL combine. But his vertical would've ranked just outside the top 10, and his broad jump would've been middle of the pack.

"There's only so much of this that translates to real football," Hatten said. "You just have to pass the test. I trained really hard, and it's tough for me to be disappointed in myself after a long, rigorous two-and-a-half-month training camp where every day is for today and you want today to go perfectly, and sometimes it doesn't go as perfectly as you think.

"But I'm not disappointed in myself because I gave everything I had, and I'm just ready to go try to make a team and play real football because that's what I'm good at."

The 6-foot-2, 207-pounder excelled during the route-running portion of the event. He ran several concepts that were reminiscent of the 33 times he found the end zone during his career in Moscow.

"It was awesome," Hatten said. "I think I'm going to be 60 years old running routes in here, reminiscing like, 'Yeah, I used to do this in here, guys, trust me. I promise I was good.' "

Although Hatten has aspirations of coming back to the historic Moscow landmark to run routes at retirement age, for now, Layne is the last QB to throw to the legendary receiver on the AstroTurf.

The Vandals' expected starting quarterback got a glowing review from the NFL hopeful.

"If there's a guy to lead my offense, I'm glad it's Jack Layne doing it," Hatten said. "I'm sad that guys like JJ (Jermaine Jackson) and I are gone, but we'll have some people filling in big time — a guy like Jack Layne is a guy people just buy into, and I think that's the most important characteristic in a quarterback."

Following his final route of the day, Hatten showed off his arm to scouts on a toss to Layne. The receiver has two passing touchdowns to his credit. The righty overthrew his former teammate.

"I was just like, 'dude, let's show the arm,' " Hatten said. "I've thrown two touchdowns; let's bomb it away. I told him to get running because I'm not going to underthrow it. I had to at least air it out there. I don't even know how far it was. Disappointed he didn't get to it, disappointed I overthrew it. But I wasn't going to underthrow it or throw a duck and make it look like I couldn't get it there."

Not a bad day for Jermaine

Jackson, who is known as a speedster, showcased elite-level strength on Wednesday.

The receiver recorded 17 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, which ranks top-10 for his position group.

The rest of his Pro Day was pretty underwhelming. Jackson ran a 4.59 40, which is near the bottom for receivers who competed at the combine.

The rest of his results were comparable to his 40.

"I thought I could've had a better day," Jackson said. "I'm excited for what I did, and we'll see what happens next."

Jackson also had a hard time catching the ball. His routes were solid; he just struggled to haul it in at times.

"It's just little things," Jackson said. "I could've caught the ball better. But it's all good. My routes were clean, and I had a good day with my routes, and I feel like I was moving good, so that's all that matters."

A good day for defense

Thomas and Coleman made a case for themselves on Wednesday.

Coleman, who had a team-high five sacks, busted out 32 reps on the bench. His ludicrous demonstration of iron pumping would've ranked No. 1 at this year's combine for his position group and tied for No. 3 overall.

In addition to his strength, he showed agility and finished the three-cone drill with a time of 7.28, which would've tied for second at the combine.

"I worked really hard for this," Coleman said. "It really wasn't about the numbers for me; it was about doing the best I could for as long as I could. We've worked three months, and it's kind of hard working out by yourself, and I just wanted to give it all I could, and I feel like I did that today."

Thomas also had an all-around showing for the Vandals, posting a 39-0 vertical, putting him among the top linebackers in that category.

The South Dakota transfer also leaped 11-0 in the broad jump, which tops all LBs that competed at the combine.

Thomas' 4.53 40 also puts him in elite company within his position group.

Pixley may be contacted at (208) 848-2290, or on Twitter @TreebTalks