Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Former University of South Florida tight end Mitchell Wilcox said he plans to bounce back after being hit in the face with a football during the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.
Wilcox was participating in the combine's gauntlet drill Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis when he took the hit. The 6-foot-3, 247-pound prospect was tasked with running vertically while turning his body to catch passes from different directions during the exercise.
Wilcox caught a pass from his right before turning and catching another pass to his left. He then sprinted up the field, but had his head down. A football came flying in from his right before he could get his head up to look for the pass. The football drilled Wilcox, prompting a series of "oohs" from the crowd.
He continued with the drill after taking the hit. Wilcox caught a pass from his left before catching one from the right side. He then dropped the final two passes.
"Rough day at the office for sure," Wilcox tweeted Thursday. "Couldn't see well out of my left eye and was disoriented after that ball. I'll bounce back."
Wilcox ranked 15th out of 17 tight ends with a 4.88-second 40-yard dash. His 31-inch vertical leap ranked 14th out of 15 tight ends. His 4.43-second time in the 20-yard shuttle run was ninth out of 13 tight ends.
Wilcox had 28 catches for 350 yards and five touchdowns in 11 games last season at South Florida. He had 100 catches for 1,326 yards and 11 touchdowns in 39 games during his collegiate career with the Bulls. Wilcox is South Florida's all-time leader in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns for a tight end.
Wilcox had 43 catches for 540 yards and two scores during his junior season, before a slight regression in statistics in 2019.
"A dip in production is never good for anyone, but I think I always tried to go in there and affect the game the best I could no matter what I was doing," Wilcox told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine Tuesday at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.
Wilcox is projected to be picked in the later rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft.