Brandon Thompson arrived at Clemson with potential. But not much strength.
As a true freshman, Thompson was asked to perform a strength test -- pushing up 225 pounds on the bench press. He completed 13, with some degree of strain to get there.
"His development strength-wise is incredible," said coach Dabo Swinney.
Thompson, a standout defensive tackle in the ACC, is considered a fringe first-round pick as he leaves Clemson four years later. In his most recent strength test at the Scouting Combine, he did 35 reps. He also had a 9-feet, 7-inch broad jump at 6-2, 315 pounds on Thursday before he posted an unofficial time of 5.0 and 5.12 in the 40-yard dash.
"He's a great football player, a great individual," Swinney said. "As a player -- you can't move him. He loves to practice. He does it the right way. He's going to have a great NFL career."
Clemson has had 25 players make NFL rosters since Swinney arrived. Defensive end Andre Branch and Thompson could be first-round picks in 2012.
Swinney said several teams have asked him about Branch's ability to play the traditional defensive end spot and if he could cover as an outside linebacker in 3-4 and 4-3 defenses.
Of the teams represented at Clemson's Thursday Pro Day, the New York Jets sent head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
At least 29 NFL teams were accounted for, according to Clemson.
Marc Ross, the New York Giants' director of college scouting, was also in attendance.
We'll be posting more on Clemson's Pro Day as we get updates. Keep the blog refreshed as today is a busy one for Pro Day workouts with Miami, Mississippi State, Nebraska and Washington among the universities with prominent NFL prospects expected to work out today. Keeping track of all of this year's Pro Days? Check out this link.