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Pro Day canceled for USD football players

At a time Thursday morning when for months he was scheduled to conduct a job interview with multiple NFL teams, USD quarterback Reid Sinnett instead found himself in line at Trader Joe’s.

“Buying eggs and avocados,” said Sinnett.

At least he’s eating healthy.

Sinnett and seven other Toreros were scheduled to work out for NFL scouts and coaches in the program’s annual Pro Day on Thursday. The event was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Arranged to join Sinnett for the workouts were wide receivers Michael Bandy and Michael Armstead, running backs Jojo Binda and Anthony Ellison, safeties Vic Lopez and Bryan Kelly, plus cornerback David Tolbert.

Sinnett and Bandy played in 2020 all-star games, Sinnett in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and Bandy in the Hula Bowl. While disappointed USD’s Pro Day was canceled, they particularly felt bad for the six teammates who didn’t get a chance to work out in front of NFL personnel.

“It’s unfortunate those guys aren’t going to get their opportunity to at least say they did everything they could in front of the scouts,” said Sinnett. “That leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”

Since USD’s season ended on Nov. 30 with a Football Championship Subdivision loss to Northern Iowa, Sinnett and Bandy in particular have geared themselves up for the all-star games and Pro Day.

Both followed workout plans designed by Mark Lamoreaux, USD’s director of athletic performance. They’ve thrown and caught thousands of passes in workouts. Sinnett made trips to Huntington Beach to train at 3DQB, which specializes in training quarterbacks in four areas: functional strength and conditioning; mechanic and motion analysis; mental approach; and nutrition.

“I’ve been doing this, the same thing, since January,” said Sinnett. “Lifting in the morning, watching film. I had this date, looking to this culmination of all the work I’ve done. And it’s gone.”

He figures NFL scouts are frustrated, too.

“They’re in the same spot we are,” said Sinnett. “Twiddling their thumbs.”

Sinnett and Bandy have been roommates, but Bandy left last week to be with his family in Orange County. Another roommate also returned home, leaving Sinnett alone in a three-bedroom house. Sinnett passed on heading home to Johnston, Iowa.

“I might as well stay here where it’s sunny and 70,” he said. Thursday afternoon it was 48 degrees in Johnston.

“And supposed to rain the whole next week,” he said.

Sinnett and Bandy met Tuesday at an Orange County community college to throw and catch passes.

After being a backup for four years, Sinnett enjoyed a productive redshirt senior season last fall, throwing for 3,528 yards and completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 32 touchdowns while suffering 10 interceptions. He rushed for 174 yards and six TDs.

A two-year starter and two-time All-American, Bandy is the only receiver in USD history to compile back-to-back 1,100-yard receiving seasons.

At 6-feet-4, 225 pounds and after impressing NFL personnel at NFLPA Collegiate Bowl workouts, Sinnett is expected to either be a late-round draft pick or quickly signed as a free agent.

“If scouts like what I’ve put up on film, that’s what’s going to put me in a camp, not what I would run my 40 in (at Pro Day),” said Sinnett.

Bandy thinks his workouts in Hawaii while practicing for the Hula Bowl will land him in an NFL camp.

“I was able to show what I can do among guys at a high level,” said Bandy. “I’m pretty confident I’ll get some opportunity in the NFL. I want to pursue football as long as I can. I’ll play anywhere.”

Like people around the world, Sinnett and Bandy have tried to fill time while staying home because of the coronavirus. Sinnett said he has caught up on shows and movies he missed earlier in his life, like “The Wire,” “Entourage” and “Casablanca.”

Bandy has passed time playing board games with his family.

Said Bandy, “UNO is the go to.”

Norcross is a freelance writer.

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