Notebook: Former Notre Dame CB Troy Pride Jr. runs fast, but doesn't hit lofty goal

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

A cornerback managed to record a 40-yard dash time of less than 4.3 seconds Sunday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Unfortunately for former Notre Dame cornerback Troy Pride Jr., it wasn’t him. Utah’s Javelin K. Guidry set the pace for defensive backs with a 4.29 finishing just behind the week’s top time of 4.27 from Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III.

Pride, a former track runner who hadn’t been shy about setting a goal in the 4.2s, wasn’t exactly slow. His official time of 4.4 registered as the fifth-best of all defensive backs Sunday and 13th overall at this year’s combine.

Guidry became just the 14th player to run a sub-4.3 at the combine since 2003.

After an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl, Pride became a popular name with draft analysts identifying rising stocks heading into the NFL Draft in Las Vegas on April 23-25. While a 4.4 shouldn’t kill Pride’s momentum, it won’t add rocket fuel to it like a time in the 4.2s would have.

“It’s obviously a blessing to have people talk about you, but I still have a lot more to prove,” Pride said Friday. “I still have a lot more to do. The fact of the matter is, I’m still disrespected in a lot of conversations. With that it’s just going to be continuing to prove haters wrong, doubters wrong and do the best that I can to show I’m the best in the country.”

Any doubts about Pride didn’t spawn from his speed. Despite playing in 45 games in four seasons at Notre Dame, Pride didn’t make a lot of plays on the ball. He recorded 18 pass breakups and four interceptions throughout his career. Former teammate Julian Love, who was selected in the fourth round of last year’s NFL Draft by the New York Giants, tallied 39 pass breakups and five interceptions in just three seasons with the Irish.

Pride thrived opposite of Love during the 2018 season, in which he allowed just one touchdown catch as the field cornerback. Pride flipped to the boundary side of the field in 2019 and had more complications guarding bigger receivers. He allowed four touchdowns passes against him as a senior.

“I can play in any scheme, any system,” Pride said. “I’m well-versed and very versatile.”

Pride’s second-best showing Sunday came in the three-cone drill. His time of 6.94 seconds put him in a tie for fourth among the 13 cornerbacks to complete the drill. Pride finished seventh out of 13 cornerbacks in the 20-yard shuttle with time of 4.26 seconds, tied for 14th out of 24 with a vertical jump of 35.5 inches and 22nd out of 23 with a broad jump of 9-foot-11.

Any slights that come Pride’s way following the NFL Combine will likely be added as motivation for Pride.

“It’s never left,” Pride said of the proverbial chip on his shoulder. “I’ve never been one to be complacent or one to be average. With that mindset, continuing to compete and grind is what I do.”

Gilman’s quick change

Former Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman showed he can handle quick changes of direction in stride. His 4.08 in the 20-yard shuttle ranked fourth overall regardless of position at this year’s combine. His 6.81 in the three-cone drill put him in a tie for fourth regardless of position too.

Gilman finished near the middle of the pack at his position in the 40-yard dash. Gilman’s 4.6 finished in a tie for 12 among 20 safeties.

Gilman struggled in the jumping events. His vertical of 32 inches registered last among 20 safeties. His 9-foot-11 broad jump finished 16th out of 19.

Gilman also drew praise on the NFL Network broadcast when he was spotted cleaning up plastic bottles and tape left behind on the field at the end of Sunday’s event.

Elliott runs slow

Former Notre Dame safety Jalen Elliott recorded the slowest 40-yard dash of Sunday’s combine workouts. His 4.8 ranked dead last among the 49 defensive backs to complete the sprint.

Three punters — Bucknell’s Alex Pechin (4.69), Florida’s Tommy Townsend (4.75), Arizona State’s Michael Turk (4.79) — finished with faster 40 times than Elliott when they ran on Friday.

Elliott’s draft stock was also thought to be on the rise following a good showing at the Senior Bowl. Elliott will need a much better showing in the 40 at Notre Dame’s Pro Day on April 1 to get things back on track.

Elliott put together a solid showing in the broad jump with a leap of 10-foot-5 and finishing in a tie for seventh among 19 safeties. His vertical jump was as great with 34 inches registering in a tie for 15th of 20.

Elliott logged a 6.87 in the three-cone drill (third of five) and 4.3 in the 20-yard shuttle (fifth of six).

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Former Notre Dame cornerback Troy Pride Jr. ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday in Indianapolis.
Notre Dame defensive back Alohi Gilman prepares to run the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis Sunday.