By: Barry Barnes, Founder
Chicago, Ill – Sunday was the last time for the participants of the 2015 NFL Regional Combine to preach to the NFL scouts a sermon about their walk with football – through their performance. The offensive players were on stage to close out the workouts and to help finalize the list of players who will be invited to the NFL Super Regional Combine in Arizona on Mar. 21.
The list of attendees was thin due to the unexpected additional day for the Combine, but it was thick with talented players who left a great impression.
The pass catchers wasted no time.
Louisiana-Lafayette standout wide receiver James Butler did not appear big from a distance, until he was seen up close. The 6-3, 217-pound receiver is not only big, but he plays bigger. Butler displayed great balance and control in their Short Shuttle Drill and did well in the Broad Jump.
Catching the ball was not difficult for Butler as he nabbed many of his attempts.
Wide receiver Author Williams of Maine was the freak of the day. He had the fastest 40-Yard Dash, cleared nearly an 11-foot Broad Jump and had jumped over 40 inches for his Vertical attempt. The soft spoken kid from Springfield, Massachusetts ran his routes well. If given the chance, the 5-11, 185-pound Williams would be a solid project.
Rugby players are football players at heart as their toughness is never questioned. However, the ability to play a skilled position, outside of being a kicker, can be another challenge. Hawaii wide receiver Scott Harding may have defined that theory.
Harding never played football until he attended Hawaii. The 28-year old from Brisbane, Australia played three positions for the Rainbow Warriors, a punter, wide receiver and return specialist.
Prior to his collegiate career in Hawaii, Harding played six seasons in the Australian Football League. Clearly, Harding is ready for his next challenge to be a NFL wide receiver, and after a successful showing Sunday, he may have stated his case.
Among the tight ends, Brock DeCicco of Indiana, PA was the cream of the crop, athletically. He killed his Broad Jump, and other players took notice. In fact, other competitors would stop warming up to witness the 6-5, 247-pound tight end’s drill exercises.
DeCicco played quarterback, defensive end and linebacker positions, but locked down to become a full-time tight end. The Pennsylvania native bounced around a couple of solid programs like Pittsburgh and Wisconsin before making his home at Indiana, PA.
Hopefully, DeCicco can make the NFL his permanent home.
Kevin Parks, running back from Virginia, did well and tested highly for his Broad Jump, Short Shuttle and 40-Yard Dash. What may have separated him from the other backs was his ability of running routes and pass catching.
Parks is committed to his training and prides himself as a student of the game, in hopes to be a teacher from the NFL level to other ball carriers in the near future, if given the opportunity.
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