The NFL Scouting Combine can produce an outlet to solidify young athletes' dreams â yet it can also be the deciding factor in ensuring that a student-athlete becomes just another statistic to fall by the wayside.
In the first day of positional drills, USC had running back Tre Madden and center Tuerk represent the school with the lot of offensive lineman, special teamers and running backs from all across the country.
Tuerk has been an intriguing prospect for many reasons. His versatility and overall athleticism has kept him in the conversation to be drafted in the mid- to late-rounds, yet his injury history and relatively small size at the position are a concern to some teams.
Obviously with any medical red flags, regardless of player ability, teams tend to be wary about drafting a player at all. With a torn ligament in Tuerk's knee causing him to miss the latter part of last season, how teams perceive that the center can both hold up physically and mentally is the top decider in his future.
Notwithstanding the injury, Tuerk has shown effort and his Combine measurables are ideal NFL center numbers:
Measurements: 6'5″ | 298 lbs | 32 1/2″ arms | 10 3/4″ hands
Bench Press (x225 lbs.): 22 reps
The biggest item the jumps out is his weight. Tuerk's weight while at USC was usually around 285 lbs., so it is clear he has worked hard enough to add that weight and have enough girth to withstand the behemoth-sized nose tackles of the NFL.
While his injury only allowing him to perform on the bench press, Tuerk's largest selling point is his ability to successfully move across the interior of the line. If his knee checks out and is able to flash some of his athleticism at USC's pro day, Tuerk has a great shot of hearing his name called om Day 3 of the NFL Draft.