Temple center Kyle Friend fell short of his personal best in the bench press during the Owls' pro day on Wednesday, but his effort far exceeded what anyone achieved at this year's scouting combine.
Friend was among 17 Temple players who tested in front of 39 scouts representing 26 NFL teams and one Canadian Football League squad.
That is a stark contrast to last year, when about a half dozen scouts came out. Then again, this senior class helped lead Temple to a 10-4 record, tying a single-season school mark for wins.
Friend bench-pressed 225 pounds 41 times. By comparison, the top bench press performer at this year's combine was offensive lineman Christian Westerman of Arizona State, who did 34 reps.
"My best was 46 [reps], but I wanted to make sure I had good, quality reps so I didn't get any docked," Friend said.
Friend, who was measured at 6-foot-1 and 295 pounds, has one negative that he has no control of: his height.
He used another negative and turned it into a positive. Friend was stung when he was not invited to the combine. Temple had three representatives there: linebacker Tyler Matakevich, defensive end Matt Ioannidis, and cornerback Tavon Young.
"At first I was a little upset, as I think anyone would be," Friend said about the snub. "I am a person who won't sit around and mope about it, and I think I used it as motivation and controlled what I can control and moved on."
This season, Friend missed four games with a knee injury but returned for the final two. He says the knee is now 100 percent. In the NFL, he is projected as a center or a guard.
Friend also had an 8-foot, 6-inch broad jump, a 281/2-inch vertical jump, and ran the 40-yard dash in 5.08 seconds.
"Kyle is a tremendous football player, but for people to see how fast he is, how well he jumps and how strong he is, I think opened some eyes," Temple coach Matt Rhule said.
Receiver Robby Anderson, who also worked out at defensive back on pro day, ran the 40 in 4.34 seconds. He also had the best vertical jump (36.5) and broad jump (10-8). . . . When asked if not being invited to the combine was motivation, Anderson said, "It added more fuel to my fire." . . . Safety Will Hayes did 27 repetitions of 225 on the bench press.