Former University of Kentucky defensive end Jeremy Jarmon put his skills on display Thursday in front of representatives from 18 NFL teams at Nutter Field House.
Jarmon's UK career was cut short this spring when the NCAA ruled him ineligible for his senior season after testing positive for a banned substance. Jarmon has applied for next Thursday's NFL Supplemental Draft and has been working out in Nashville for the past several weeks.
Jarmon said he weighed in at 278 pounds, which is about six pounds lighter than his playing weight at UK last fall. His 40-yard dash time ranged from a 4.79 to a 4.83.
The Washington Redskins had four staff members on hand to watch Jarmon, including Vinny Cerrato, their executive vice president of football operations.
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"First you evaluate (Jarmon) on film, and if you like what you see on film then it brings you down for the workout," Cerrato said. "It gives you a chance to see him move around and see him athletically, and you get to talk to him, his coaches and trainers and find out all the background information."
Cerrato joked that he had another reason for making the trip to Lexington.
"We just had a baby, so last night was the first good night's sleep I've gotten," he said.
Cerrato said he was impressed with Jarmon.
"I think he worked out well," Cerrato said. "He ran well and was in good shape. He needs to get a little stronger, but he represented himself well. He's a great kid, solid in the locker room. He's smart. He's got all of the intangible things."
Jarmon said it's been a tough road since he held a news conference to announce the suspension, but he said he's ready to begin his NFL career.
"I've been just trying to stay strong and stay focused," Jarmon said. "A few times in my workouts the past five weeks, I've zoned back and my mind has been here (at Kentucky). I had to get myself out of that mind-set and look forward, but it has definitely been a trial. I feel like I'm doing better getting over it, and now I'm ready for the next step in my life."
Jarmon said the NCAA suspension wasn't a major issue among NFL teams.
"Some teams didn't even ask about it," Jarmon said. "The questions they had were answered by Mitch Barnhart (UK's athletics director) and Sandy Bell (UK's compliance director). Some teams just wanted me to explain my mind-set, and throughout the process they've been understanding. All the information is out there, they've seen it all, and now they're ready to move on and find someone to help them on their defensive line."
Another UK defensive lineman, tackle Myron Pryor, was selected in the sixth round of this year's NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, and several other Wildcats signed free-agent contracts. UK head coach for offense Joker Phillips said the NFL often serves as the best recruiting tool.
"When we first got here, we had to sell playing time," Phillips said. "Now we're able to sell the fact that we're putting guys in the NFL. Getting another guy in the league like Jeremy does nothing but help us sell our program."
The supplemental draft is done via e-mail. Each team submits to the league the names of the players they are interested in, as well as the round of the supplemental draft they would like to choose them in. The team that submits the highest bid is awarded rights to the player. If more than one team bids a pick from the same round, the team with the highest pick in the round wins out. If a team uses a pick in the supplemental draft, they must forfeit their choice in the corresponding round of the next year's regular draft.
"I don't know if I should wait for a call or an e-mail or a text message," Jarmon said. "But whichever way it comes, I'm going to be happy when I get it."