Former USF football players perform in front of NFL scouts during Pro Day

Former Bulls offensive lineman Donovan Jennings prepares to complete an agility drill at USF’s Pro Day on Wednesday. ORACLE PHOTO / NOAH VINSKY

Many college football players have their sights set on the NFL. It’s arguably the ultimate realization of a lifelong dream. 

For former Bulls offensive tackle Donovan Jennings – who completed his final season with the team in 2023 –  his NFL Pro Day marked another step toward achieving his dream. 

“It’s kind of a surreal feeling,” he said after the workout. “I’m that much closer to achieving one of the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”

Jennings is one of nine former Bulls to be featured in USF football’s Pro Day Wednesday morning, hoping to impress one of the 51 NFL scouts in attendance.

Scouts from 31 of the 32 professional teams were present, with the exception of the Los Angeles Rams. 

The number of NFL teams represented increased for a second consecutive year. 11 teams were present in 2022, which jumped to 27 in 2023. 

The morning began around 10:15 in the weight room. Scouts measured the players, followed by a bench press and vertical testing. 

Players moved to the Indoor Performance Facility for the next portion of the Pro Day – running a 40-yard dash as well as various agility and positional drills.

Jennings notably received a collective applause after running a 4.95 second 40-yard dash – unusually fast for a 330-pound offensive lineman. 

“It felt really good,” he said. “I prepared the right way. I felt like I came here and did what I needed to do.” 

Senior defensive back Daquan Evans – another long-tenured Bull – attempted to catch the eye of NFL scouts after a breakout season that ended with a defensive MVP honor in the Boca Raton Bowl. 

Related: USF football’s defense looks to build on ‘established roots’

He said his preparation for the workout was modified because of a postseason shoulder surgery. 

“I’ve been preparing for the last two months,” Evans said. “Every day was like a game day, fixing nicks and bruises and just making sure I’m as complete as I can be.” 

Seeing USF ascend to unprecedented heights in his final season is what Evans called a “blessing.” 

“I’ve been here since day one,” he said. “I came in 2019, we weren’t as good as a program. Now to see 51 scouts come out here, it shows that the program is going in the right direction.” 

A USF player hasn’t been drafted into the NFL since 2018 – when wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling and defensive tackle Deadrin Senat were selected. 

Some mock drafts have Jennings and Evans being selected in the later rounds. Other analytics project them to fall undrafted

The two prospects – along with seven other departing USF seniors – will wait until they hopefully hear their name called in next month’s NFL Draft. The draft will take place from April 25 to 27. 

Football will play its annual Spring Game April 13 at Corbett Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.