Homan excels before big crowd at OSU’s pro day

With defensive tackle prospect Cameron Heyward sidelined for Ohio State’s pro day on Friday, linebacker Ross Homan made the most of his opportunity to solidify his draft position before a packed house that exceeded Wisconsin’s booming turnout earlier this month.

Homan (6 5/8, 234) isn’t the tallest backer in the draft class, but he’s a well-built, quality football player who performed well at the combine — well enough to hold onto his numbers from the event, save for the 40-yard dash, which we ran again in 4.63. Homan looked sharp in linebacker drills, which took place under ideal conditions on indoor FieldTurf.

Heyward, son of former NFL running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, continues to nurse a left elbow injury in preparation for a separate workout on March 30. He’ll be joined by OT Bryant Browning (6-4 1/8, 316), who’s dealing a hamstring injury but managed a 33-inch vertical and 8.4-foot broad jump, with 24 reps on the bench press.

Another player of note was wideout Dane Sanzenbacher (5-10 3/8, 180), who quelled fears about his speed with a 4.52 40-yard dash and exhibited soft hands in drills. Sanzenbacher caught everything thrown his way and helped his standing.

Of note, Chargers general manager A.J. Smith was among 100-plus onlookers — the room was packed with NFL coordinators — and that suggests San Diego is serious about one or more of these Buckeyes, as Smith doesn’t make this kind of trip unless there’s genuine interest.

Ohio State’s underclassmen were on hand to encourage the 11 players working out Thursday. Additional performances of note:

RB Brandon Saine (5-11 1/4, 220) kept his combine numbers, but ran the 40 again, to the tune of 4.40 seconds. Saine caught the ball extremely well in drills, and you have to wonder if Smith was in attendance to take a look at the back. He also attended Northern Illinois’ pro day, featuring RB Chad Spann, in the Darren Sproles mold.

NT Dexter Larimore (6-2 5/8, 319), the only one of these players not at the combine, ran a 5.11 40-yard dash, along with a 29 1/2-inch vertical jump, 8.4 broad, 4.57 short shuttle, and 7.41 in the three-cone drill. He also rattled off 32 reps in the bench press, and probably got himself drafted with these numbers. I cold see him as a fourth-rounder or below.

DB Chimdi Chekwa (5-11 7/8, 191) kept all his numbers from the combine.

Brian Rolle (5-9 7/8, 229), who projects as an outside linebacker in the pros and a promising special teams player, kept his combine numbers outside of the 40-yard dash, which he ran in 4.50.

DB Devon Torrence (5-11 3/4, 193) ran the 40 in 4.53 and clocked a 4.05 short shuttle and 6.81 in the three-cone drill. He kept the rest of his combine numbers.

DB Jermale Hines (6-1 1/4, 215) registered a 4.55 40-yard dash and 9.6-foot broad jump, while keeping the rest of his combine numbers and participating in position workouts.

OL Justin Boren (6-3 3/8, 311) ran his 40 in 5.21 seconds and added a 32-inch vertical jump and 8-foot long jump. He retained the rest of his combine results.

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