Early Invites to NFL Combine

Five Gator seniors are among the first group of players invited to the NFL Scouting Combine February 24 through March 2 in Indianapolis. Tim Tebow headlines the group which includes Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, Brandon James and Riley Cooper. James probably will not be healthy enough to participate, but the other four should be ready to go and have plenty to gain by a strong showing.

NFL personnel directors, general managers and coaches will watch to see how Tebow throws the ball, how Cooper gets open, how Spies goes sideline to sideline and how Cunningham fares against larger, physical blockers.

The early invitees are just a portion of the total players invited with more seniors and underclassmen getting their invitations later this month. Four of the five Gators who declared for the draft will almost certainly get a trip to Indianapolis. Joe Haden, Carlos Dunlap, Aaron Hernandez and Maurkice Pouncey would seem to be locks while Major Wright will have to wait and see. The combine is a major factor in players moving up or down when the draft actually takes place April 22-24 in New York.


Former Gator receiver Nyan Boateng was also invited to the combine. The wide receiver finished his career at California. Boateng had a solid junior season catching 29 passes for 439 yards and 5 TD. He dropped off this past season and caught just 13 passes for 191 yards and 2 scores.


If NFL caliber talent and experience are the keys to a great team then LSU gets the award for the underachievers of 2009. Eleven Tigers players received invitations to the event, which is three more than Alabama and six more than the Gators. Interestingly Ole Miss has one more senior getting an invitation than UF as well.

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