Kentucky's High Performance program doesn't need to advertise.
It has a 6-foot-4, 269-pound walking, talking, blitzing, sacking billboard.
Bud Dupree, who had some eye-popping numbers at the NFL Combine, said he didn't think it was necessary to go to a training facility in Arizona or Florida to get ready for his professional career.
He just went down the hall to UK's High Performance coach, Erik Korem.
"We do the same training here that we do at another facility," Dupree said last week after Kentucky's Pro Day, when 18 former players worked out for scouts, which included three NFL head coaches.
Dupree said if he had any doubts, they were erased at the NFL Combine a few weeks ago when his numbers stacked up nicely against guys who paid big money to train away from home.
He finished first among linebackers and third overall in broad jump (11 feet, 6 inches), second among linebackers in vertical leap (42 inches) and third in his position group in the 40-yard dash (4.56 seconds).
"If it was better to go somewhere else, they would've (done) better than me at the combine," Dupree said with a smile.
The defensive end/linebacker, who is projected by most to be the first Kentucky player to go in the first round of the NFL Draft since defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson did it in 2003, even tweeted out before and after pictures of his body after working with Korem.
"I definitely think that's a very big compliment to what we're doing here," Cats Coach Mark Stoops said at Pro Day.
Kentucky's current crop of professional prospects saw how Korem and strength and conditioning coach Corey Edmond helped improve linebacker Avery Williamson's stock last season.
That encouraged all of them to stay and train at Kentucky.
"It opened the eyes of our other guys," Stoops continued. "They can save a lot of money and get better training and stay right here and be with our guys."
Wideout Javess Blue said Korem, who has a background in track and field, "got down to the nitty-gritty with all of us."
His stances, starts and techniques in all of the combine categories were broken down and dissected by Korem, Blue said.
"That's the best of the best," Blue said of Korem. "He knows what he's doing. He's gotten everything broken down to a science. ... He knows exactly what to tell us to do to get our bodies ready and prepared."
The night before Pro Day, Korem even had the participants over to his house for a pre-Pro Day dinner.
While the High Performance program has been a big boost for the players no longer on the roster, seeing the changes in the bodies of players like Dupree, Za'Darius Smith and Blue has driven home a message to current players, too.
The Cats "may not always love all the little nuances and all the details that we do," Stoops said. "We're constantly pulling at them and checking them, working on them whether we're in the weight room or off. We do a lot of things that pull at their time sometimes."
But the payoff is becoming more and more clear with each group of potential professionals.
"I think they realize it's for a good cause and no better way to prove it than watching these guys work out on Pro Day," Stoops said.
Dupree on Combine stats
As NFL Combine commentators drooled over Dupree's numbers a couple of weeks back, the former Kentucky standout still thought a few of them could've been even better.
After the UK Pro Day on Thursday, the linebacker noted that his 40-yard dash time of 4.56 (tied for third in his position group) could have been faster because he had been timed at 4.4 previously.
"I was mad about my 40, but it was electronic time, and electronic time is different because they go for your hip, so that's different," Dupree noted.
As for his vertical jump, Dupree said he'd notched a 43 before and was hoping for more. "So it was kind of iffy," he said of his 42, which was second for his position group.
His broad jump numbers at the combine made Dupree smile, though. He usually gets around an 11.2 or an 11.3.
"But my first one I jumped a 12' and then stick it," he said of his 11.6, which was tops for linebackers and third overall. "So when I did that, I was like, 'Ah, man.' Then I jumped whatever it was, so it was crazy."
'Getting my life started'
The questions haven't stopped for Braylon Heard, people wanting to know why the junior running back with fewer than 150 collegiate carries decided to leave Kentucky a season early and put his name in the NFL Draft mix.
"I'm just getting my life started, trying to make some money," Heard said at Kentucky's Pro Day on Thursday. "I'll be 24 next year. As a running back, we don't have too many years."
Stoops said he is hopeful that Heard will get a look from the professional ranks.
"I think Braylon is going to have a bright future, I really do," the UK head coach said. "I hated to see Braylon go but I certainly understood it. It was really personal reasons for him. He's been through a lot. ... I've known Braylon for a long time and his family and just wish him the best."
In his one season at UK, Heard rushed for 368 yards and four touchdowns, two coming in the first game of the season.
Heard, who has hired an agent, is realistic about his pro opportunities, saying he isn't necessarily expecting to get drafted, but is hopeful to get picked up as a free agent.
"I've gotten a lot of good feedback, just keep doing what I'm doing, just keep working," he said. "I'm praying for the best and looking forward to it."
The Nebraska transfer, who is set to graduate in May with a community and leadership development degree, has other plans if his NFL dreams don't work out.
"I'd love to work with a lot of nonprofit organizations that work with the homeless," he said. "Eventually get my own organization started."
Another big donation
Kentucky football's new practice facility is getting another big bump financially, pending approval of the university's Board of Trustees this week.
A line item on the board's agenda for the meeting on Monday is a $500,000 gift from long-time athletics supporters Wendell and Vickie Bell.
The gift is stipulated to go toward the $45 million practice facility that broke ground this winter and is expected to be finished in 2016.
The Bells have long supported UK athletics, including gifts for soccer, basketball, volleyball and rifle teams. The new UK soccer complex also bears their names.
New players, new numbers
The first spring practice roster was made available to the media on Wednesday. The uniform numbers for the early enrollees and two Nebraska transfers: No. 15 C.J. Conrad; No. 20 Kengera Daniel; No. 34 Jordan Jones; No. 51 Courtney Love; No. 64 George Asafo-Adjei; No. 85 Greg Hart.
Also, a few players changed their digits from a season ago, including wide receiver Garrett Johnson going from No. 19 to No. 9; defensive tackle Adrian Middleton going from No. 59 to No. 99; cornerback Kendall Randolph from No. 29 to No. 5, and defensive end Denzil Ware from No. 55 to No. 35.