Football

At Texas’ pro day, defensive backs Antwuan Davis and Jason Hall earn a chance to make an impression

Posted March 29th, 2018

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While NFL scouts were looking at DeShon Elliott and Holton Hill on Wednesday, fellow defensive backs Antwuan Davis and Jason Hall attempted to turn a few heads.

Davis and Hall were two of the 16 participants at UT’s pro timing day, and both seniors had solid showings. Unlike Elliott and Hill, Davis and Hall were not invited to the NFL Combine earlier this month. Neither Davis or Hall is appearing in any mock drafts.

So, Davis and Hall both attended their biggest job interviews on Wednesday. UT’s pro day drew representatives from all 32 NFL teams.

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“We didn’t get much attention (ahead of the pro day), so we ain’t tripping about that,” Hall said. “Our work is going to show for us.”

Read more: NFL combine snub behind him, Texas’ Poona Ford shows 32 teams what they missed in Indy

That work included the impressive numbers that were posted in UT’s indoor practice facility. Texas did not release official results from the event, but Hall said he leaped 10 feet, 10 inches in the broad jump. Davis claimed 28 reps on the bench press. A family member said Davis was timed at 4.36 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Hall’s broad jump would have ranked seventh among the 70 defensive backs who were invited to the NFL Combine. Davis would have beaten Arizona’s Dane Cruikshank and Wisconsin’s Natrell Jamerson, the top defensive backs in the bench press, by three reps. Davis’ 40-yard dash would have been tied for the sixth-fastest.

“Twenty-two years of my life, I trained for this day,” Davis said. “This day is here. All I can do is come out here and give my best.”

Jason Hall grabs the football during a position drill at Texas’ pro timing day on March 28, 2018. (Ricardo Brazziell/American-Statesman)

On Wednesday, Tom Herman warned against reading too much in any prospect’s performance in agility drills. Texas’ head coach said a few scouts told him they were more interested in watching film and seeing players go through interviews and position drills. Herman, though, said he’d vouch for either Davis or Hall if asked.

“(They’re) guys that love football, I think that was very evident in how hard and fast and physical they played,” Herman said. “When it comes to talking to guys like myself and Coach (Yancy) McKnight and the position coaches, they’re going to get A-pluses all across the board for what great teammates they are.”

When asked what he’d bring to a NFL team, Hall described himself as energetic and a “straight savage.” Since he’d played cornerback, safety and nickelback at Texas, Davis thought his versatility and competitiveness should be attractive.

The 6-3, 220-pound Hall started 32 times at Texas. As a hard-hitting senior, he was used primarily on special teams and as the extra defensive back in UT’s lightning package. In the lead-up to his pro day, Hall trained both in Los Angeles and with trainers he’s worked with since he attended South Grand Prairie High.

Davis was UT’s starting nickelback for the final five games of the 2017 season. In a 42-27 win over Kansas, Davis intercepted two passes, recovered a fumble and scored on a 16-yard return. The 6-1, 200-pound Davis, a Bastrop native who has been training in the Dallas area and with his father, appeared in 44 games during his collegiate career.

Both Davis and Hall were optimistic about their chances of reaching the NFL. Davis, who told reporters that his agent had heard from a few teams, doesn’t mind if he is drafted or signed as a free agent.

“I’m going to shoot for the stars, of course I want to get drafted,” Davis said. “That’s what you want to do, you want to be able to compete at the highest level. Wherever I land, I know I’m going to be a competitor. That’s all I know.”

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