Texas A&M Aggies

Texas A&M alum Carson makes healthy run at NFL on Aggies Pro Day

Texas A&M running back Tra Carson rushed for more than 1,100 yards last season.
Texas A&M running back Tra Carson rushed for more than 1,100 yards last season. AP

Texas A&M held its Pro Day a month later than usual. Coach Kevin Sumlin revealed why after 14 Aggies worked out for scouts, breaking the news that Tra Carson needed time to rehab from toe surgery.

“I think it speaks to his toughness to go through a season last year and rush for over 1,100 yards, and people don’t know he had a really severe toe injury and had to have surgery on that toe,” Sumlin said.

After the surgery and his rehab, we pushed [Pro Day] back, so he could be able to show his skill set today, and I think he did a very nice job of that.

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, on moving Aggies Pro Day back in the calendar to accommodate Tra Carson’s return

“We sat down with Tra before the bowl game, and the decision was made he wanted to play in the bowl game. If he had the surgery right after the season, he would have missed the bowl game and the [NFL] combine, and obviously playing in the bowl game was to his benefit since he was up over 100 yards and played very well.

“We’re always looking out for our guys, so after the surgery and his rehab, we pushed it back, so he could be able to show his skill set today, and I think he did a very nice job of that.”

A&M’s Pro Day was devoid of rap music, a former president, the school mascot and big media crowds. It didn’t draw many big names from the NFL, either.

A&M’s Pro Day didn’t draw many big names from the NFL. No general managers or head coaches showed up.

The Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins were the only teams not to scout the Aggies prospects, but no general managers or head coaches showed up at the McFerrin Athletic Center.

A&M’s three offensive line prospects — center Mike Matthews, guard Joe Cheek and tackle Germain Ifedi — worked out for offensive line coaches from the Colts, Saints, Jets, Seahawks and Bears.

Ifedi, expected to be the school’s top choice as a second-round pick, stood on his NFL Scouting Combine numbers and only took part in position drills. Matthews had 30 reps on the 225-pound bench press and ran a 5.41 in the 40-yard dash, while Cheek did 24 reps and ran a 5.41.

Cornerbacks De’Vante Harris and Brandon Williams had defensive back coaches from the Colts, Raiders and Lions watching them.

He did a good job of showing his foot is healthy today.

A scout from an AFL team on Tra Carson’s performance at Aggies Pro Day

Scouts wanted to see Carson perform four months after surgery and left satisfied he is fully healthy. He weighed 226 pounds, 10 pounds lighter than his playing weight last season, ran a 4.54, had a 37-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot, 7-inch broad jump.

“He did a good job of showing his foot is healthy today,” a scout from an AFC team said. “He planted firmly on it and didn’t show any hold up from the surgery. He seemed a little out of shape, but that is expected from a guy coming off foot surgery.”

Carson answered questions at the combine Thursday.

Carson said his big toe hurt all season, guessing the injury cost him 400 yards. He still rushed for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns on 242 carries.

“I had it all season,” Carson said. “It was something that was very painful, but the coaches did a good job of monitoring me and kind of taking it easy on me sometimes in practice when I needed it, when it would flare up really bad. So I really thank them for that, and pushing the Pro Day back for my foot.”

400 Yards that Tra Carson figured his toe injury cost him last season, when he played through the injury. He finished with 1,165 yards in 13 games.

Carson dropped two passes in position drills, but showed he can catch the ball out of the backfield with 29 receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown last season.

“I’m a football player that brings everything to the table, a guy that can play special teams and be an every-down back,” he said. “I think I proved that by going over 1,000 yards in the SEC. That’s a big challenge. That’s the closest level to the NFL you can get without being paid. I think I answered a lot of questions today.”

Joe Cheek's father Louis played at A&M and four seasons in the NFL with four teams, including the Cowboys.

Ifedi was at A&M for two seasons with Johnny Football.

Charean Williams: 817-390-7760, @NFLCharean

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