Fresno State Football

McMaryion, Bulldogs take next steps toward NFL dream at a productive Pro Day

Pro Day at Fresno State ended about 2:30 p.m. Monday, and then former Bulldogs quarterback Marcus McMaryion went right back to the grind.

After, maybe, a brownie or two.

McMaryion, who led the Bulldogs to 22 wins and a Mountain West Conference championship the past two seasons, had a productive afternoon in front of scouts from 28 NFL teams and three from the Canadian Football League. He ran a good 40-yard dash – 4.69 seconds, which would have ranked in the top five among quarterbacks invited to the NFL combine. He threw deep, intermediate and short routes to wideouts KeeSean Johnson, Jamire Jordan, Delvon Hardaway, Nanami Parker and Brian Burt, to running back Dejonte O’Neal and tight end Gunner Javernick.

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Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion fires a pass for NFL scouts on Pro Day at Bulldog Stadium on Monday, March 18, 2019. CRAIG KOHLRUSS ckohlruss@fresnobee.com

But if there is a point of emphasis for McMaryion leading up to the NFL Draft it is his size, arm strength, durability – which is where the sweets come in … or, go out.

The Dinuba High product has been working at Carr Elite in Bakersfield, training with former Bulldogs wideout Eric Mahanke and on all things football with former Fresno State and NFL quarterback David Carr and his father, Rodger Carr.

“It really has changed everything,” McMaryion said. “Eric’s wife is a dietician and she has been cooking the past two months for me. It’s all whole food, no processed food, no bread. She took out all the gluten in my diet. It has been surreal.

“I joked with them the other day I had a pizza because I like to eat pizza, but I ate about two slices and felt sick to my stomach. That’s how good I’ve been eating. Hopefully I can sneak a brownie in there and not feel too bad about it.”

McMaryion, who in his senior season led the Mountain West Conference in completion percentage and was second in passing efficiency rating and in January participated in the East West Shrine Game, was encouraged after the workout.

“It was good,” he said. “Overall, a good performance. I’m just excited for all the guys myself included just to have an opportunity in front of all the scouts. It was good. There were a couple things here and there I’m sure everyone wishes they had back, but overall we put out our best performance so I’m excited about it.”

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Fresno State safety Mike Bell participates in the field evaluation portion of Fresno State football’s Pro Day at Bulldog Stadium on Monday, March 18, 2019. Bell improved his 40-yard dash time from the NFL Combine, running it in 4.63 seconds on the home turf at Bulldog Stadium. Bell ran a 4.83 at the combine. CRAIG KOHLRUSS ckohlruss@fresnobee.com

Mike Bell: Second chance

It was a productive day for several of the Bulldogs, including safety Mike Bell.

Bell, who opted to bypass his senior season to enter the NFL Draft, did not run well at the NFL Combine, turning in a 4.83-second 40-yard dash. He was much faster on the home turf at Bulldog Stadium, running two 40s with a best time of 4.63.

“I wasn’t too big on my number” at the combine, Bell said. “It is what it is. I can’t go back. I just knew I had a second opportunity to come out here and fix it and I believe I did that today. That’s what the scouts were telling me – as long as you come out here and fix it, it’s cool.

“What happened in Indianapolis, I enjoyed my experience out there and everything. I didn’t run what I wanted to, but I had a second chance and that’s all that mattered.”

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Fresno State wideout KeeSean Johnson participates in the field evaluation portion of Fresno State football’s Pro Day at Bulldog Stadium on Monday, March 18, 2019. CRAIG KOHLRUSS ckohlruss@fresnobee.com

Johnson, the Bulldogs’ all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, also improved his 40-yard dash time from the combine.

In Indianapolis, he ran a 4.60. On Pro Day, a 4.54 and a 4.53.

Linebacker Jeff Allison, who also left school early to enter the draft, opted to not run a 40-yard dash at Pro Day, but went through positional drills.

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NFL scouts keep watch over players participating in the field evaluation portion of Fresno State football’s Pro Day at Bulldog Stadium on Monday, March 18, 2019. CRAIG KOHLRUSS ckohlruss@fresnobee.com

Some other Bulldogs put up solid numbers for the scouts in attendance.

Jordan had a vertical leap of 42 inches and ran a 4.41-second 40. Of the 42 wideouts who went through the combine only two had a higher vertical jump – Miles Boykin (Notre Dame) and Emanuel Hall (Missouri) both were at 43.5.

Cornerback Tank Kelly ran the 40 in 4.42 and 4.44 seconds. Hardaway did 19 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds and ran a 4.47 40. Burt was the fastest of the Bulldogs, running 4.34 and 4.39 in the 40-yard dash.

They all are looking for an opportunity, McMaryion included. At the Shrine Game, he said he spent time talking with several NFL teams including the Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Redskins, doing some extra work, some extra testing and getting on the white board to diagram plays and watching film to run through pass concepts.

“The stuff I went through in Florida was good,” he said. “I did well on the board, scored pretty well on all of my testing. I think it’s more just getting an opportunity somewhere and showing what I can do and I think I can take care of the rest from there.”

Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada
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