Former Olathe North star Lucas Vincent did not receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine in late February, so you can bet the 6-foot-2, 296-pound defensive tackle was fired up for Missouri's pro day on Thursday.
“I love football,” Vincent said. “I've never had anything in my life make me feel like football does. I wake up, think about football. Go to bed, think about football.”
Vincent said he believes he had a really good day, all around. According to unofficial numbers recorded by Missouri, Vincent benched 225 pounds 23 times and broad jumped 111 inches in the drills that matter the most for defensive linemen.
Vincent's bench would have tied for 26th among the 36 participants at the combine, while his broad jump — a personal best — would have tied for 16th out of 39 participants that day.
He says he's as determined as ever to chase his NFL dream.
“I've heard anything from day three to drafted free agent,” Vincent said, when asked where he's been told he could go in the draft. “I'm going to ride it out as long as I can.”
Mitch Morse rests on strong combine performance
One player who didn't have the typical pressure on him to perform was offensive lineman Mitch Morse.
Thanks to a dynamite performance at the combine in late February, in which he was among the top performers in the bench press (36 reps), broad jump (112 inches) and 20-yard shuttle (4.50 seconds) and stood out in movement drills, Morse didn’t need to re-test in any drill.
Morse went out of his way to thank his trainers at CESperformance in Atlanta, which is run by Chip Smith and counts former Tigers (and current NFL players) like linebacker Zaviar Gooden and Ziggy Hood as former clients.
“Honestly, the conditioning we did where I was, we didn't go farther than 40 yards — everything we did was o-line conditioning,” Morse said. “So I feel like I was put in a good position (at the combine) and I was able to not be so nervous.”
Morse, who played tackle his last two seasons at Missouri, had 15 formal interviews at the combine — including one with the Chiefs — and at least eight informal interviews.
During those interviews, he said teams have been talking to him about playing guard and center, and have repeatedly brought up former Missouri offensive tackle Justin Britt, a second-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2014 who became a starter as a rookie.
“You all should have been at the combine,” Morse said. “Every team I met with was like 'JustinBritt, Justin Britt.' He really helped me out and paved the way. At the combine, he left such an impression and I was hoping to do the exact same. I kind of owe it to him to do that.”
And with other young draft prospects on the horizon — rising senior Evan Boehm could be among the top centers in his class — Morse hopes it's the beginning of a new Missouri-to-NFL tradition
on the o-line.
“I hope we're able to establish a tradition of offensive linemen, and hopefully I can be the next step in that,” Morse said.
Bud Sasser has nice pro day
One Tiger who had a nice pro day performance was receiver Bud Sasser.
Sasser, who checked in at nearly 6 feet 3 and 219 pounds, ran a 4.52 40-yard dash and posted a 34 1/2-inch vertical jump. He also set a personal record with a 10-foot broad jump. His 40-yard dash time would have ranked 22nd out of 39 participants in this year's combine, while his vertical jump would have tied for 26th out of 38.
To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @TerezPaylor.