Baton Rouge, La. -- Highlighting the 40-yard dash at LSU's Pro Day were wide receiver Russell Gage with a 4.42, and then also track stand out Aaron Ernest and defensive back Donte Jackson-- both clocking a 4.31. Jackson, who also performed well at the combine with a 4.32 there, explained it was just his competitive nature that made him want to run again.
"I just wanted to beat my time from the combine," Jackson said. "It was successful so that's really what it was. There was no reason why I wanted to run today. I just wanted to beat the time I ran at the combine. I felt like I ran good. I felt like I ran a 4.2. When I didn't see 4.2, I was like it's all I had in the tank so it was OK."
"I'm happy for it at the end of the day," Gage said. "I wanted to run it a little faster. I set my expectations high. I was hoping for possibly getting a 4.3 or late 4.3s, somewhere in there. But like I said, I'm happy for it. I'm thankful for the opportunity that I have."
Derrius Guice and DJ Chark participated in individual workouts, but were among a few LSU players who didn't run the 40, after impressing at the combine-- Guice as the 4th-fastest running back with a 4.49 and Chark as the fastest wide-out with a 4.34.
"I'm not gonna lie-- I was tempted (to run the 40)," Chark said. "One coach told me once you get under 4.4 and get into the 4.3s, we know you're fast. Even if I were to come and run faster than I did, I would still be fast."
Along with a packed house of NFL scouts, Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin was on-hand, as well as some of the Saints staff-- including General Manager Mickey Loomis. As expected, questions arose about if this would be the year that the Saints draft somebody from LSU. If they did, it appears linebacker Arden Key could be at the top of the list.
"Crazy interest (from the Saints)," Key said.
When asked if that was a good thing, Key responded, "Oh yeah, that's good. Who dat? I met with them at the combine and then I just met with them yesterday at a dinner. I meet with them Thursday. They come out here for a private workout then I fly down the 18th."
"He's a talented player," Loomis said. "This is part of that process and we'll see what happens."