COLUMBIA - With only five weeks remaining until the NFL draft, time is running out on South Carolina's stars of yesteryear to make their impressions on pro scouts.
The calendar will provide plenty of pressure when former Gamecocks reunite Wednesday at Williams-Brice Stadium for Pro Timing Day. Gates open to the public with free admission at 10 a.m., and field drills will begin at 11.
Drills will include jumping, bench press, the 40-yard dash and position-specific activities.
Quarterback Connor Shaw, defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles, cornerback Victor Hampton and receiver Bruce Ellington, a Moncks Corner native, will be among the 10 participants. Of course, all eyes will be on defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who has the most to gain.
Clowney, universally considered the top prospect in the draft, is in the running to be the No. 1 pick by the Houston Texans. He's a virtual lock to be taken in the top five, but Clowney said there's a big difference to him between No. 1 and No. 5.
"I think it's just a pride thing," Clowney said of being drafted No. 1. "I came in South Carolina as the No. 1 player in the country. One of my goals was to be the No. 1 pick in the draft. So I'm working toward that goal, just keep pushing forward. Working hard every day, getting better - technique, strength-wise, getting my body right.
"Wherever I end up, I'm going to make the most of it."
Clowney may have some work to do if he wants to be the first play selected in the draft.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had Clowney going No. 3 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in his latest mock draft. Kiper predicted the Texans would draft University at Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, with the St. Louis Rams taking Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson.
Clowney won't be the only Gamecock drafted next month. Quarles, Ellington and Hampton are all expected to be selected in the middle rounds, while Shaw is expected to be a late-round pick.
All five Gamecocks traveled to Indianapolis for the NFL Combine in late February. Now, as the draft nears, they'll have their last best chance to impress NFL scouts on their home turf.
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