Illinois coach Ron Zook used to coach at Florida, and the Illini’s pro day was like Florida north due to the amount of teams on hand and the attention paid to it by personnel evaluators.
While Illinois may not have produced a good record last season (3-9), it still managed to develop several elite prospects. The best of those players is WR Arrelious Benn (6-foot 7/8, 218 pounds), who performed for wide receiver coaches from the Bengals, Jets, Patriots, Browns and Dolphins. Benn was put through intense position drills after the workout, running routes and catching balls for an extra hour and 15 minutes.
As for the workout, Benn had a sensational outing. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 and 4.40 seconds, had a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump, a 4.32-second short shuttle and a 6.79-second three-cone drill.
Three other notable prospects worked out for the 30 team representatives in attendance indoors on FieldTurf.
TE Michael Hoomanawanui (6-3 1/2, 263) ran 4.77 and 4.78 in the 40, had a 32 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 9-2 broad jump, a 4.52 short shuttle, a 7.70 three-cone drill and did position drills.
QB Juice Williams (6-1 3/8, 226) ran 4.91 and 4.95 in the 40, had a 33 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 9-4 broad jump, a 4.33 short shuttle, a 6.80 three-cone drill and threw passes all day long, as he stayed the hour and 15 minutes later to run drills with Benn.
WR Jeff Cumberland (6-4, 249) ran 4.45 and 4.46 in the 40, had a 35 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 9-10 broad jump, a 4.39 short shuttle, a 6.89 three-cone drill and did 20 bench press repetitions at 225 pounds.
G Jon Asamoah (6-4 1/8, 307) is injured and will work out April 8.
– Gil Brandt