Mark Thomas

NFL Combine Welcomes 12 Triangle Players

Posted February 16, 2013

Fifteen years ago, I got an invitation from the NFL to attend their combine in Indianapolis. It was an exciting time. I had been watching the NFL my entire life, and now they wanted me - at least they wanted me to come and work out for them.

I went with four of my teammates. Five of our seniors off our team the NFL identified as prospects.

This year’s NFL combine will welcome 333 prospects to Lucas Oil Stadium Feb. 23-26. It’s become a spectacle now that the NFL Network will cover everything from the bench press to the 40-yard dash. Of those 333, 12 will be coming from RDU.

Duke will send two guys, quarterback Sean Renfree and wide out Conner Vernon. NC State is sending  four: guard Zach Allen, corner back David Amerson, safety Earl Wolff and quarterback Mike Glennon – one of the prospects at the position. North Carolina has the most with  six: guards Travis Bond and Jonathan Cooper, linebacker Kevin Reddick, tackle Brennan Williams, and Giovani Bernard – one of the top running back prospects.

Over the past 10 drafts 99.8 percent of the players taken were invited to the NFL combine but going to the combine doesn’t mean that a player is going to get drafted or that he is NFL quality.  It does mean however that these are the players where the NFL will begin its evaluations of prospects.

Most college fans lose their minds over the “star” ratings of recruiting classes. But in reality, this list of players is a better indicator of how you’ve been able to recruit as a college coach. It doesn’t always translate into wins, but it does show your talent.

As for other area schools, East Carolina will not have any representatives and Wake Forest had one invitee - fullback Tommy Bohanon.

To put some perspective on the 12 players from the three triangle schools, Florida State is sending 13. That’s two more than Georgia and Florida with 11 apiece and three more than the National Champs, Alabama.

You can get a pretty good idea of how teams performed this season based off of the upperclassman that are considered the best in country. Texas and Michigan, who usually have 8-to-10 guys drafted a year, are only sending three and one respectively. And the one for Michigan is their quarterback Denard Robinson who will work out as a wide receiver.

College coaches get judged on how they are as a recruiter. And while recruiting is the life blood of your football team, you shouldn't put as much weight into the high school “recruiting experts” at the beginning of February. Instead, pay more attention to the professional scouts at the end of February.

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  • VT1994Hokie Feb 16, 2013

    Happy for the Triad players. I really think all have a solid chance.

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