Suggs, Burnell lead way on Pro Timing Day
By Jimmy Robertson
February 23, 2001

Mike Gentry, Tech's assistant AD for athletic performance, held the annual Pro Timing Day on Feb. 22 on the indoor track at Rector Field House. NFL scouts use the day as an opportunity to time Tech's rising seniors in the 40-yard dash, while Gentry and his staff test the underclassmen to see how fast the group runs.

Tech running backs Lee Suggs and Keith Burnell finished with the fastest times. Both recorded 4.28 40 times. Last February, Michael Vick recorded the fastest 40 time, running a 4.25, with Larry Austin coming in second with a 4.26. Austin did not run this time because of his recovery from a torn ACL suffered early in the football season.

Tech's players get the benefit of running on the Mondo surface of the Hokies' indoor track, one of the fastest in America. But Gentry uses that track every year, so he certainly is consistent.

And Gentry tries his best to insure accuracy when recording 40 times. A player runs the 40 three separate times. On each run, three coaches time that player and a manager records all three of the 40 times shouted out by the coaches for that run. The average of the three different times counts as the 40 time for that particular run.

The player then runs the 40 a second time and then a third time. And again, the average of each run is calculated. In the end, Gentry takes the best time out of the three averages and uses that time as the 40 time for that player.

Tech receiver Ron Moody was the third-fastest player with a 40 time of 4.32, with punter Vinnie Burns coming in fourth by running a 4.35. Emmett Johnson, another receiver, ran a 4.36, and receiver Richard Johnson ran a 4.37. Defensive end Cols Colas ran a 4.41, while whip Deon Provitt ran a 4.42.

Several players ran a 4.43. That list includes whip T.J. Jackson, rover Sam Fatherly, cornerback Eric Green and safety Kevin McCadam.

Several prominent players did not run because of injuries. That group included linebacker Ben Taylor, receiver André Davis, cornerback Garnell Wilds, linebacker Jake Housright, tight end Browning Wynn, safety Willie Pile and defensive tackles Chad Beasley and David Pugh.