Upset after not being invited to the NFL scouting combine last month, Frank Summers used the snub as motivation during UNLV’s pro day workout before 13 teams Thursday.
Weighing in at 230 pounds, the former Rebels running back ran the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds, faster than four backs invited to the Indianapolis combine.
Summers, known as “The Tank,” also benched-pressed 225 pounds 30 times, tying Syracuse’s Tony Fiametta for the top combine total among halfbacks and fullbacks.
Summers’ 341/2-inch vertical leap was a bit off the pace.
“That was my goal, to out-do the guys who went to the combine,” Summers said. “I was able to see their numbers. I think I put myself in that category of the best of the best.”
He began making positive impressions before pro day, however.
During the week leading up to the Texas vs. The Nation all-star game Jan. 31 at El Paso, Summer practiced well enough to earn a starting spot. On game day he caught four passes for 54 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown, and carried once for 3 yards.
Summers also put to rest any questions about the right knee he injured in the season finale. He rushed for 740 yards last season and 928 the year before, and he had a combined 20 touchdowns rushing and receiving.
“The scouts were here to see what I could do,” Summers said. “I wanted to keep the momentum going from the Texas vs. The Nation game. I wanted that to translate to here in the weight room and out on the field as far as running. I think I did a great job of that.”
The Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers sent two scouts and running backs coach Kirby Wilson, who worked personally with Summers on some drills.
Pittsburgh could use a short-yardage back, and Wilson said Summers looks like the type of player who can move the line of scrimmage.
“The guys that I’ve talked to — the other running back coaches — have all said he might be one of the more difficult guys to tackle that they’ve seen on film this year,” Wilson said.
He was most surprised by Summers’ catching ability.
“He really is rare,” Wilson said. “You don’t see that out of a big man much.”
Players who aren’t invited to the combine aren’t likely to get drafted, but Summers hopes to be the exception.
“I can come in and take up three positions on one roster spot,” Summers said. “I think it’s huge. I can play fullback, I can play tailback, obviously special teams. I’m sure I could play defense if they needed me there, too.”
The Steelers were the only club to send more than one representative. Summers said the Indianapolis Colts’ scout praised his preparation.
Other UNLV players trying to impress scouts were offensive lineman Johan Asiata, defensive back Lorenzo Bursey Jr., defensive lineman George Fa’avae, wide receiver Casey Flair, defensive back Geoffery Howard, punter Dack Ishii, offensive lineman Sifa Moala, tailback David Peeples, defensive end Thor Pili and tight end Ryan Worthen.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at email@example.com or 702-387-2914.