"Tupelo is an attractive location for us because of the abundance of talent in northeast Mississippi," said Steve Robertson, combine organizer. "Throw in the fact that many of the prospects in the area have a tough time traveling to an event in Atlanta, New Orleans or other locations, and it was a natural fit. While we were considering multiple locations, partnerships and enthusiasm of local supporters were ultimately the deciding factor."
Robertson hopes to make this combine an annual event with one in Tupelo and another in south Mississippi in 2009.
"Every year, I help put these events on, but sometimes there are gaps in the coverage, and kids get missed. I am doing what I can to fill in those gaps to give some of the top players in the state of Mississippi a chance to prove themselves worthy of college recruiters' attention."
Tupelo High School Football Coach Eric Collins added, "Having the combine in Tupelo is great for North Mississippi as it allows our students experience and a phenomenal opportunity without having to travel six to eight hours. This will open the doors for many of our students across the state to help secure scholarships and gain avenues for exposure that may otherwise not be achieved."
The Combine will begin with registration at 9 a.m., measurements at 10 a.m. and will be followed with testing and drills such as the vertical jump test, 40-yard dash and three-cone drill. Athletes will be given instructions and advice from trainers based on their positions.
"Tupelo is proud to host the Combine, which will offer our athletes national exposure as they are listed on scout.com," said Neal McCoy, director of sports development for the Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau. "This will also be an exciting time for football enthusiasts as the day's events are open free to the public. We look forward to the continued partnership with combine organizers and hope to grow the event each year."
For more information on the combine, contact Neal McCoy at 662-841-6521.
Founded in 1985, the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau's mission is to promote Tupelo as a viable site to visit in the State of Mississippi; to provide support for tourism-related projects; and to educate and assist the public regarding tourism development, which will result in increased tourism revenue and a positive image for the City of Tupelo. Visit the Tupelo CVB at www.tupelo.net.