PASADENA - American head coach Jeff Fisher has prepared for the upcoming game as if this was a playoff matchup. Fisher requested additional time with the scouting department to help better understand strengths and weaknesses. He has also stayed on top of his coaching staff to make sure players were working diligently on day one.
The weather was a gorgeous sunny 70-degree day and set the tone for a solid first day of practice. Below are three standout players who stood out on the first day:
# | Player | School | Height | Weight | Hands | Arm | Wingspan
#17 Greg Bell, RB, San Diego State, 5106, 198, 0900, 3100, 7168
A late add to the event, Bell showed up to Pasadena with some pep in his step, while working with American running backs coach Robert Edwards—his footwork was top-notch working through the position drills. After transferring from Nebraska, Bell was provided the opportunity to be the bell-cow for the Aztecs and literally ran with the opportunity. He rushed for a career high 1,098 rushing yards and nine touchdowns this past season, in a very workmanlike fashion. A tough, hard-nosed runner, Bell possesses a sturdy frame and is able to push the pile forward by constantly keeping his legs churning. A handful of scouts have commented that they have slapped a Day Three grade on the California native.
#72 Josh Sills, OL, Oklahoma State, 6050, 330, 0978, 3468, 8268
Blessed with tremendous size, Sills was an astute learner, while working with OL coach Eugene Chung. The versatile mauler has started at every offensive line position except center during his collegiate career, which began at West Virginia and finished in Stillwater. In fact, it was a marvelous day for Sills, who won the weigh-ins and preceded to showcase an overall strong skill-set. Due to his size, strength, smarts and above average footwork, Sills could receive an opportunity to begin his pro career at tackle. Should he struggle on the outside, he could easily slide inside and serve as a very valuable swingman who could step in at a handful of spots. With such a dire need of offensive linemen around the league, it’s hard to envision Sills not hearing his name called during the 2022 NFL Draft.
#23 CJ Holmes, DB, Jackson State, 5105, 180, 0928, 3148, 7568
It is somewhat of a coming out party for the little-known HBCU prospect. Holmes speed and quickness immediately stood out. During the past few seasons, he has moonlighted at the safety position, while handling slot cover duties and flashing lockdown tendencies. Scouts in attendance could be in for a pleasant surprise this week when evaluating the New Orleans native. Playing under head coach Deion Sanders, arguably the greatest cornerback in NFL history, has certainly elevated his game and Holmes appears to look every bit the part.
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- Reese’s Senior Bowl – February 6th, 2022 (Mobile, AL)
- East-West Shrine Bowl – February 3rd, 2022 (Las Vegas, NV)
- NFLPA Collegiate Bowl – January 29th, 2022 (Pasadena, CA)
- Hula Bowl – January 15th, 2022 (Orlando, FL)
- SPIRAL Tropical Bowl – January 17th, 2022 (Orlando, FL)
- Cajun All-Star Bowl – February 12th, 2022 (Beaumont, TX)
- College Gridiron Showcase – January 8th, 2022 (Fort Worth, TX)