Four Fighting Illini Impress Scouts at NFL Combine
Feb. 26, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - Four former Illinois players showcased their talents over the last several days at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Illini defensive end Michael Buchanan, defensive back Terry Hawthorne, defensive tackle Akeem Spence and offensive lineman Hugh Thornton all had strong performances in front of hundreds of NFL scouts, coaches and general managers in preparation for the 2013 NFL Draft, which will take place April 25-27 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Spence, an early entrant, put up a whopping 37 bench press reps of 225 pounds, the third-best performance of the entire combine behind only SMU DE Margus Hunt and Missouri Southern State DT Brandon Williams, who both put up 38 reps. Spence also posted a 5.15 40-yard dash, a 30.0 inch vertical jump and an 8' 11" broad jump. Russ Lande of the National Football Post named Spence of the players that impressed on day three of the combine.
Thornton was among the top offensive line performers in in four drills - 3-cone (7.45, sixth among OL), 20-yard shuttle (4.63, eighth among OL), 40-yard dash (5.11, 15th among OL) and bench press (27 reps of 225 pounds, 16th among OL).
Buchanan was a top performer in both the 40-yard dash (4.78, ninth among DL) and vertical jump (33.0 inches, 11th among DL). He also posted solid numbers in the bench press (22 reps of 225) and the broad jump (9' 5").
Hawthorne ran a blazing 4.41 in the 40-yard dash (12th among DB) and posted an impressive vertical leap of 35.5 inches (13th among DB). He also did 13 bench press reps of 225 pounds and a broad jump of 9' 8".
Michael Buchanan, DE, 6-5, 255
Terry Hawthorne, DB, 6-0, 195
Akeem Spence, DT, 6-1, 307
Hugh Thornton, OL, 6-3, 320