- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - Defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu reached back slightly for his right hamstring at the start of Georgia Tech’s pro day.

It didn’t take long though for Attaochu to realize his hamstring was healthy and that he could perform without hesitation in front of NFL scouts on Friday.

“I think I did great,” he said. “I surprised myself a little bit. I pushed through and I worked hard. That’s all they want to see - run fast and think fast.”

Attaochu, Georgia Tech’s career sacks leader, has progressed quickly since tearing his hamstring Jan. 25 at the Senior Bowl.


He missed the league’s scouting combine last month in Indianapolis, but went through requisite interviews with several NFL teams, including Tennessee, the New York Jets, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Philadelphia and the New York Jets.

But it wasn’t nearly the same as trying to prove himself on the field.

Scouts watched Attaochu and 13 other former Yellow Jackets do some of the same drills used at the combine each year.

Attaochu, who’s hoping to be drafted in the second or third round next month, said several scouts told him that he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.

He reported no problems with changing directions quickly during shuttle drills.

“Being able to show the scouts my athletic ability today was great,” Attaochu said. “The film shows that, but being able to reassure them out here at pro day.”

Attaochu doesn’t seem to lack confidence in talents.

At 6-foot-3, 242 pounds, he’s not built big like the NFL’s prototypical defensive ends, but Attaochu doesn’t fit the mold of an exclusive third-down pass rusher.

Regardless, Attaochu said he’s as good in coverage as he is in reaching the quarterback, either coming from a three-point stance or from edge as a linebacker.

“The league is getting more versatile,” he said. “They need guys like me that can stand up and put their hand in the ground. That definitely works to my advantage.”

Like Attaochu, defensive backs Jemea Thomas and Louis Young, running backs Robert Godhigh and David Sims and linebacker Brandon Watts also hope to draw NFL interest.

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