By MICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Cornerback DJ Turner II posted an eye-popping 4.26-second 40-yard dash in Friday’s workouts at the NFL’s annual scouting combine.
It didn’t break the all-time record. John Ross still holds that with a 4.22 in 2017.
But it was the fastest time of the early on-field session. Workouts continue Friday night for cornerbacks, safeties, and special teams players. Quarterbacks, receivers, and tight ends will take the field Saturday.
Turner, of Michigan, was just a few ticks ahead of former Maryland cornerback Jakorian Bennett, who had a 4.30. Deonta Banks, Bennett’s college teammate, was third at 4.35.
Turner had a 38 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot, 11-inch broad and tied safety Jartavius Martin of Illinois for the fastest time in the split drill (1.57 seconds). Martin’s broad jump of 11-1 was the best of any safety.
Banks also had a strong day with the third-best vertical, 42 inches, and the second-best broad jump at 11-4.
Tyson Bagent’s first scheduled podium appearance came and went without a spoken word. The second featured his father, Travis, and a rare comedy routine at the NFL’s annual scouting combine.
The scheduled interview for the record-setting quarterback from Division II Shepherd College in West Virginia was delayed for nearly an hour by medical testing, giving international arm wrestling star Travis Bagent, a chance to work the room.
He joked about his favorite foods, NFL paychecks, whether his son would be the No. 1 overall draft pick, even provided entertainment by answering a question about being compared to Lavar Ball, the father of two NBA players and co-founder of Big Baller Brand.
Eventually, the 2021 Harlon Hill Award winner arrived and answered a question about the family sport.
“Me and my brother kind of thought arm wrestling was super whack, but basketball was a little more fun, especially after I took my first loss,” Tyson Bagent said. “It was a little too personal.”
Former Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett IV will work out Saturday on the same field where he won the first of his two national championship.
But it hasn’t been quite the reunion he expected.
While Bennett and 13 other Bulldogs who won back-to-back national titles are among the 319 invitees to Indianapolis, Bennett faced a tough crowd. He was asked about the fatal crash that killed a teammate and led to this week’s arrest of defensive tackle Jalen Carter, the culture of Georgia’s football program and his own arrest in Dallas for public intoxication.
“These were individual mistakes, they’re responsible for them, it’s not the culture,” Bennett said in response to the first question regarding the most recent missteps within the program.
Next up, the next question was about his January arrest.
“It was a mistake,” he said. “Everybody’s aware of it, I know why they can’t happen. I talked to my the coaches about it, I apologized to my family because that’s who I felt worse about. I felt like I let them down.”
When asked about the crash, Bennett rubbed his chin, stared into the throng of reporters and said: “There’s not much to say about that.”
He also said he was “sorry” for playing music on his mobile phone during the team’s championship parade.
PEYTON THE MENTOR
Former Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker embraces having a mentor, especially when it’s Hall of Fame quarterback and Volunteers alum Peyton Manning.
The 25-year-old Hooker will be inside Lucas Oil Stadium, with the quarterbacks who are working out in what has been dubbed the house Manning built. But Hooker will not be participating because he’s still recovering from the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He suffered the injury in November and said Friday he hopes to be ready by the start of training camp.
But he’ll also enjoy spending time in another one of Manning’s adopted hometowns.
“Peyton is one of my mentors. I talked to him before and after every game,” Hooker said. “He’s just extremely cerebral on the football side and a great guy as well, whether that comes from leadership advice to football.”
Photo Credit Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports