Get caught with 14 players on the field and you’ll get a penalty. But send 14 players to the NFL Scouting Combine, like Alabama, and the result will further solidify the Crimson Tide’s reputation as a factory for future NFL talent.
The NFL released its list of combine invitees Tuesday, and national champion Alabama will have 14 players — the most of any school in the nation — heading to the annual event from February 27 to March 5.
And just how strong was that Alabama secondary? Five Alabama defensive backs are heading to the combine.
The full list of Crimson Tide players: defensive backs Anthony Averett, Tony Brown, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison and Levi Wallace, wide receivers Robert Foster and Calvin Ridley, defensive linemen Joshua Frazier, Da’Shawn Hand and Da’Ron Payne, linebackers Rashaan Evans and Shaun Dion Hamilton, running back Bo Scarbrough and punter J.K. Scott.
In all, 70 players invited to the combine come from the SEC, 21 percent of the total – nearly half of that group from three teams. In addition to Alabama’s 14 players, Georgia and LSU will be represented by 10 each. The only other school nationally with double-figure players is Ohio State, with 11.
Georgia’s group has running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, wide receiver Javon Wims, guard Isaiah Wynn, defensive tackles John Atkins and Trenton Thompson, linebackers Davin Bellamy, Lorenzo Carter and Roquan Smith and defensive back Dominick Sanders.
LSU will be represented by quarterback Danny Etling, running backs Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams, wide receiver D.J. Chark, offensive linemen Will Clapp, K.J. Malone and Toby Weathersby, defensive end Arden Key and defensive backs Donte Jackson and Kevin Toliver.
Kentucky was the only SEC team shut out.
Among other SEC schools, Auburn is sending seven players to the combine. There will be six from Florida, four each from Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas A&M, three from Arkansas, two from Mississippi State and one from Vanderbilt.
The SEC also continued to build its reputation as a league for specialists. Six of the 11 punters and kickers invited are from the conference, including the Florida pair of Eddy Pineiro and Johnny Townsend.
Notable omissions include Vanderbilt running back Ralph Webb, the sixth-leading rusher in SEC history; LSU defensive linemen Christian LaCouture and Greg Gilmore, who both appeared at the Senior Bowl; Auburn safety Tray Matthews and linebacker Tre Williams; Alabama center Bradley Bozeman, who was a three-year starter for the Tide at guard and center; and Missouri edge rusher Marcell Frazier, who had 14.5 sacks in the past two seasons.
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