MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 14: Step Durham #8 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets reacts to a play during a game against the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Life Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Photo: 2017 Getty Images
Photo: 2017 Getty Images

Step Durham’s trainer has high hopes for his pro day

Chip Smith has a prediction for Georgia Tech’s pro day, which is Friday morning at the Brock Indoor Practice Facility. It has to do with former Yellow Jackets cornerback Step Durham, who has been training with Smith in Norcross in anticipation of the event.

“I think he’ll test extremely well,” Smith said.

Smith said that Durham is “really explosive,” just the sort that could impress scouts with test results in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and the like. Smith predicted a hand-timed 40-yard dash time for Durham that could be in the 4.4-second range, which would be attention-getting. Durham also has been working with former Falcons cornerback Ray Buchanan on position drills, and Smith was hopeful that Durham would perform well there, too.

“Great change of direction,” he said.

Smith has also trained defensive end KeShun Freeman and wide receiver Ricky Jeune. Freeman has been learning the rush linebacker position with someone already familiar with him – Buddy Curry, the former Falcons linebacker and 1980 defensive rookie of the year who also is the father of Tech linebacker David Curry.

Smith said that Freeman had a standing broad jump of 10 feet, 6 inches, which would have been third at the NFL draft combine among defensive linemen and rush linebackers. Smith expects him to test well, too.

Like most others who have spent time around Freeman, Smith was blown away by Freeman’s character, calling him “one of the finest young men I’ve ever been around.” Smith said that Freeman was the first one to the workout facility in the morning and the last to leave.

“He comes up every day and shakes your hand and says, ‘Thank you, Coach,’ and it’s very sincere,” Smith said. “He’s not putting on a front. That’s who he is.”

Smith called Jeune “a great kid, very coachable.” You can read more about Jeune’s preparations here.

Another intriguing pro-day participant is former A-back J.J. Green, who has a trimmed down physique to test out. Green said his weight has remained at 190 pounds, but that he’s lost fat and gained muscle.

“I’m a guy that can come in and contribute to any team, special teams and catching the ball out of the backfield,” Green said.

Green wants to show that he can play out of the slot, too.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about being a football player,” he said.

Green played in the Tropical Bowl and had a highlight play you can see here.


“Usually, games like that, you don’t want to get hurt because you’re still training, but it’s nice to show on film you’re finishing your runs,” Green said.

There will be 14 former Tech players working out for scouts Friday: Lance Austin, Lawrence Austin, Freddie Burden, P.J. Davis, Shamire Devine, Step Durham, Corey Griffin, Francis Kallon, Terrell Lewis, Antonio Messick, Antonio Simmons, Durham, Freeman, Green and Jeune. Burden, Davis and Kallon will be working out as free agents, having been draft eligible last season.

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