Nine Irish players invited to NFL combine

By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email

Nine former University of Notre Dame players have been officially invited to the National Football League Combine, held from February 22-25, 2013 in Indianapolis, Ind. at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Graduate students OT Zack Martin and OG Chris Watt, seniors WR TJ Jones, OLB Prince Shembo, DL Louis Nix III and CB Bennett Jackson, and juniors RB George Atkinson III, TE Troy Niklas and DL Stephon Tuitt have each received an invitation to the prestigious event.

Last season, C Braxston Cave, TE Tyler Eifert, DL Kapron Lewis-Moore, S Zeke Motta, RB Theo Riddick, S Jamoris Slaughter, ILB Manti Te’o and RB Cierre Wood were invited to the event. Eifert, Lewis-Moore, Motta, Riddick, Slaughter and Te’o were selected in the 2013 NFL Draft and all six players were on NFL rosters this season (as were Cave and Wood).

Year, Participants (Names)

2014 9 (George Atkinson III, Bennett Jackson, TJ Jones, Zack Martin, Troy Niklas, Louis Nix III, Prince Shembo, Stephon Tuitt and Chris Watt)

2013 8 (Braxston Cave, Tyler Eifert, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Zeke Motta, Theo Riddick, Jamoris Slaughter, Manti Te’o and Cierre Wood)

2012 6 (Robert Blanton, Taylor Dever, Darius Fleming, Michael Floyd, Jonas Gray and Harrison Smith)

2011 3 (Armando Allen, Kyle Rudolph and Ian Williams)

2010 5 (Jimmy Clausen, Kyle McCarthy, Eric Olsen, Golden Tate, Sam Young)

2009 1 (David Bruton)

2008 4 (John Carlson, Trevor Laws, John Sullivan and Tom Zbikowski

Notre Dame 2014 NFL Combine Notes
• The nine Notre Dame participants in the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine are the third most of any school in the country. Alabama (12) and LSU (11) are the only programs with more invites.

• Notre Dame has had 17 combined participants in the 2013 and 2014 NFL Scouting Combines. Only LSU (24), Alabama (22), Florida State (22) and Florida (18) have combined for more in the last two years.

• Notre Dame’s 17 combined participants in the 2013 and 2014 NFL Scouting Combines nearly equal the entire Irish output (19) over the previous five NFL combines (2008-12).

• Notre Dame’s nine participants in the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine are more than Georgia (two), Texas A&M (three) and Nebraska (three) combined.

• Notre Dame’s nine participants in the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine are three more than the best team from the Big Ten conference as Ohio State and Wisconsin each had six. The Big Ten’s 12 members combined for a total of just 36 invites (3.0 per school).

• Nine schools have at least seven participants in the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine. Notre Dame will have played five of those nine between 2012-14 a total of seven times (Alabama, Florida State, Stanford-twice, North Carolina and USC-twice).

• Twenty-five schools have had at least eight combined participants in the 2013 and 2014 NFL Scouting Combines. Notre Dame will have played eight of them a total of 12 times between 2012-14 (Alabama, Florida State, Stanford-twice, Oklahoma-twice, North Carolina, USC-twice, Boston College and Michigan State-twice).

• Eleven of Notre Dame’s 12 regular-season foes in 2014 have at least one participant in the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine. The 11 opponents have a combined 48 players participating in this year’s event.

• Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand has a long history of developing players for the NFL. Two of his Irish pupils, Zack Martin and Chris Watt, will participate in the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine. Even more impressive, Tennessee will send five players to the combine and four are offensive lineman – all of which were tutored under Heistand during his time with the Volunteers. In all, Hiestand has mentored six of the 50 offensive line participants in the combine.


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