Rivals.com some big name college stars not invited to combine, might slip through cra

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboyjoe, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    Mike Huguenin
    Rivals.com College Football

    NFL Scouting Combine invitations went out last week, and while 333 players received good news, there were more than a few big-name college stars who didn't.

    A selection committee decides who gets invitations, and as the official Web site of the event puts it, "the goal of the committee is to invite every player that will be drafted in the ensuing NFL draft."

    Trimane Goddard tied for the national lead this past season with seven interceptions.
    Last year, 252 players were drafted, and that means not getting an invitation might not be a harbinger of good things. Still, prospects fall through the cracks, and there are numerous players in the NFL who didn't get Combine invitations.

    Among the big names not getting them this season are Oregon defensive end Nick Reed, who was tied for fourth in the nation with 13 sacks this past season and had 25 in the past two seasons; Penn State safety Anthony Scirrotto, who finished his career with 184 tackles, 11 interceptions and 16 pass breakups; North Carolina safety Trimane Goddard, who tied for the national lead this past season with seven picks and finished with 166 career tackles, 12 interceptions, 15 pass breakups and five forced fumbles; West Virginia kicker/punter Pat McAfee, who made 58 career field goals and was eighth in the nation in punting this season at 44.7 yards per punt; and offensive linemen Phil Trautwein of Florida, Robert Conley of Utah, Cliff Ramsey of Boston College, Rylan Reed of Texas Tech, Ben Muth of Stanford, Adam Speer of Oregon State and Rich Ohrnberger of Penn State. All those players were either first- or second-team all-league performers, and some garnered All-America mention.

    As for the school with the most invitees, 26 have at least five, led by USC with 12. Second-most is LSU with 10, followed by Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Penn State with eight apiece; and Oregon and Wisconsin with seven each. Tennessee, which had six, was the only team in that group of 26 to finish with a losing record.

    USC led the Pac-10, LSU led the SEC, Oklahoma led the Big 12, Ohio State and Penn State led the Big Ten, Clemson and Maryland tied with six to lead the ACC and Cincinnati had six to lead the Big East.

    Every "Big Six" member school had at least one invitee except Colorado, Duke, Iowa State, Kansas and Minnesota.

    National champ Florida had four – as many as San Jose State – and there were just 10 players total from Florida schools. Florida State and USF had two each and Miami and UCF one apiece. By comparison, Oregon and Oregon State combined for 13 invitees, while Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas and Central Washington each had two. (What's weird: One of the Abilene Christian players, running back Bernard Scott, began his career at Central Arkansas.)

    Some other notables: Utah had three; ACC champ Virginia Tech had two; Boise State had two; and Notre Dame, UCLA and Washington each had one.

    Former Virginia Tech back Branden Ore got an invite to the Combine.
    Former Virginia Tech tailback Branden Ore will be there; he finished up his career at West Liberty (W.Va.) State. The other transfers from big-time programs are Hampton defensive tackle Chris Baker (who began his career at Penn State), Sam Houston State quarterback Rhett Bomar (Oklahoma), Central Washington tight end Jared Bronson (Washington State), Stillman (Ala.) safety Dre-Mail Hardin (a former walk-on at Mississippi State), Liberty running back Rashad Jennings (Pittsburgh), Jackson State cornerback Domonique Johnson (Missouri), Tennessee State guard Cornelius Lewis (Florida State), Central Washington quarterback Mike Reilly (Washington State) and Nicholls State cornerback Lardarius Webb (Southern Miss).

    Perhaps the most intriguing prospect at the Combine is a Division III player, Hartwick (N.Y.) quarterback Jason Boltus, who has excellent size (6 feet 3/225 pounds) and supposedly possesses an absolute cannon for an arm. Boltus threw for 3,934 yards and 46 TDs (against 10 interceptions) this season – in just 10 games. Boltus also punted for Hartwick, a school of 1,480 students located in Oneonta, N.Y., in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains.

    Boltus finished his career with 13,276 passing yards and 134 TD passes; he is second all-time in Division III history in yardage and third in TD passes. Across all of NCAA football, he is sixth in career TD passes and 10th in career passing yards.

    Boltus would be the first Division III quarterback drafted since 1991, and the last one made news when he was picked. That's because the New York Giants selected Larry Wanke, of John Carroll (Ohio), with the final pick of that draft, in the 13th round. That made him "Mr. Irrelevant," and the Web site devoted to Mr. Irrelevants says Wanke currently owns a real estate firm in the Cleveland area.

    Fun times on Rocky Top

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