Modern pro days serve interests of many

Watching USC's pro day was an eye-opening experience, even for a seasoned scout, writes Gary Horton.

Updated: April 6, 2006, 5:32 PM ET
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
LOS ANGELES -- Attending the USC pro workout day Sunday was like attending a Hollywood premiere, complete with fans in the stands, the top high school recruits in the Los Angeles area and even a catered lunch for the 150 NFL coaches and scouts, not to mention all the media coverage.

USC coach Pete Carroll orchestrated a well-organized and efficient event, and he even threw in a scrimmage on Saturday night, as the Trojans are in their spring football drills right now. As a result, coaches and scouts were able to witness not only this year's draft eligible players but also get a sneak preview of next year's prospects. And it all was done in a very relaxed and professional environment, which certainly doesn't hurt when a scout sits down to write his impressions of the players.

But what I saw on Sunday is a far cry from how it used to be when NFL organizations attended workout days on campus. Today's players are very savvy in the draft preparation process, because they select agents early who walk them through the process and prepare them for every situation they will encounter.


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Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.

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