Now healthy, Notre Dame TE Rudolph auditions for NFL scouts

Kyle Rudolph, widely seen as the top tight end available in this month's NFL draft, had a chance to showcase his skills -- and prove to scouts that he's finally healthy -- at Notre Dame's pro day, then declared his workout a success.

Rudolph, coming off surgery after a severe hamstring injury forced him to miss the Fighting Irish's final seven games last season, scored well in several on-field tests Thursday and impressed with his ball-catching abilities.

Brandt: Rudolph proves his worth

Gil Brandt points out that Kyle Rudolph's performance at Notre Dame pro day shows two things: He's fully healed from his hamstring injury, and he's the top TE

in the draft. More...

"The main objective for me was to get out there and show everyone that the hamstring is a thing of the past," said Rudolph, who's 6-foot-6 1/8 and 258 pounds. "And I think I did that today.

"The best thing about today was the ability to go out there and compete. The volume of the work, I think that we were out there for three and a half hours, and to be able to go through that and show that I am completely healthy was great."

Running back Armando Allen, who also demonstrated he's healthy after having season-ending hip-flexor surgery last November, was among eight other Notre Dame players who worked out for representatives from all 32 NFL teams. Other who participated were running back Robert Hughes, wide receiver Duval Kamara, linebacker Kerry Neal, linebacker Brian Smith, guard Chris Stewart, cornerback Darrin Walls and nose guard Ian Williams.

Rudolph, who left school a year early to try the NFL, was the biggest attraction. He ran 4.75 and 4.83 seconds in the 40-yard dash, had a 34½-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot, 5-inch broad jump, ran 4.36 in the short shuttle and 7.24 in the three-cone drill, and finished 19 bench presses of 225 pounds.

"I think it went well ...," Rudolph told NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, who's also NBC's color commentator for Notre Dame football broadcasts. "To be back here with the guys I've been here (with) for three years and see them compete, it kind of drives you a little bit. To be able to run around with no problems with the hamstring and just feel like my old self again, it was fun."

Rudolph, who's ranked fourth at Notre Dame in career receptions (90) and receiving yards (1,032) by a tight end, told Mayock his times in the 40 were just "a number. It's not my best. It's not a record. But I've only been doing this for three weeks, and if I get two full months of training like everyone else does for the combine, then, obviously, that's going to drop. But my leg's back to 100 percent and I'm able to run full speed. Now it's just training to get back to my speed before."

Allen also was pleased with his workout.

"It was a good experience for me to get back out here and run today, especially after my surgery," said Allen, who led the Irish in rushing as a sophomore and junior. "The hip felt great. It is finally back to 100 percent. It was tough to stay off it when I really wanted to train, but I did, and for the last month, it has felt good.

"Right now, I'm feeling pretty calm about draft day. After a pro day like this, the only thing you can do is wait. There is not much you can do about it. I'm going to continue training because I have a class to finish out this spring."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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