COLUMBIA, SC (March 18, 2022) — Decobie Durant was in Columbia Thursday taking part in the Pro Day held at the University of South Carolina.

Durant recently participated at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis where he ran a 4.3 40-yard dash, and participated in defensive back drills. Thursday was Durant’s opportunity to finish what he started at the combine.

“My feelings are through the roof right now,” Durant said Thursday. “I’m here with my guys now. It’s a blessing to be able to show our talent to any professional team here.”

Durant participated in the vertical jump, bench press, and did a number of running drills.

Eleven NFL teams were represented Thursday along with representatives from teams in the CFL, USFL and XFL. Durant was joined by four former SC State teammates who also took part in the Pro Day.

“It’s a blessing to be this far,” former SC State linebacker Chad Gilchrist said. “I’ve been waiting on this moment since I was six-years-old. I’m looking to show what I’m capable of.”

Gilchrist, who participated in the HBCU Combine and HBCU Legacy Bowl, admitted there were some nerves Thursday.

“I’ve been thinking about (this) for weeks, counting down the days,” Gilchrist said. “I expect to have some jitters, but once we get started, that will go away. I just have to prove to one person, get one invite, to show what I can do.”

Another former Bulldog, receiver Will Vereen, looked to make improvements after competing in the HBCU Combine and Legacy Bowl.

“(The Legacy Bowl) was a top tier event, once in a lifetime,” Vereen said. “My goal is beat the number that are already out there. I want to run a 4.3 (40-yard dash) and put up a few more reps on the bench press. I received some interest earlier, we’ll just let the cards fall where they may.”

Former SC State defensive back Zafir Kelly said the Legacy Bowl was a great opportunity, but he wanted a chance to solidify what he started at the HBCU Combine.

“I thought I turned some heads (at the Legacy Bowl),” Kelly said. “I had some scouts writing down my name. They liked my size, and length, but said I needed to work on finishing tackles. Today just gives me another chance to turn some heads.”

Offensive lineman Tison Gray said he wasn’t worried about impressing scouts.

“I expect to give it my all, do my best, and hope for the best,” Gray said. “My mom’s proud of what I’ve done, and at the end of the day, it’s all about momma.”

South Carolina State players had a large contingent of fans Thursday including family, friends, coaches, and current and former players.

“Having that (SCSU) support system is just an energy boost,” Durant said. “Seeing (Indianapolis Colts linebacker) Darius Leonard here…I want to follow in his footsteps. He’s the highest paid linebacker in the NFL, and I want to eventually become the highest paid corner.”

After Thursday’s Pro Day, Durant said he will get back to training. He had been working out in Tampa, but said he is back in Orangeburg where he plans to stay until the NFL Draft.

“I’m not even thinking about the Draft right now,” Durant said. “I told my agent not to say anything about it until after Pro Day.”

After the combine, some had Durant as a sixth or seventh round pick in the upcoming April draft. The NFL Draft will begin Thursday, April 28 and conclude Saturday, April 30.