Untitled photo

by: Ran DeBord



updated 02/23/2017

HOUSTON,TX. - The dream of playing in the NFL ends for most football players after their final college game ends. Three-hundred and thirty, five-star players from major Division I programs begin preparation for the NFL National Combine while those from smaller schools are often overlooked.

Each year, NFL teams are paying more attention to the combines, hoping to uncover hidden gems on draft day and as undrafted free agents.

Players que-up in front of the Houston Texan's Methodist training center prior to the start of the NFL's regional combine in Houston, Tx. on Saturday. (Photo/Ran DeBord-AASNSports)

Untitled photo
Untitled photo

For most college football players, the coveted invite to the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis has come and gone. They may have an opportunity at their school's pro-day, but for most, It's the end of the line.

Maybe it's the competitor in them, or maybe it's their best chance to change their situation, but letting go of their dream of playing in the NFL is not something these men are ready to do. That's why we're in Houston. To attend the NFL regional combine at the Houston Texan's practice facility located adjacent to NRG stadium, home of the Houston Texans football team. Every NFL team had at least one scout in attendance.

They arrived from as far away as Rhode Island, Colorado, Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida, New York, Tennessee, and all across Texas. They're athletes who believe they have the skills to play, and   players who refuse to give up on themselves.

Players complete registration with the NFL's Tyisha Smith in control. (Photo/Ran DeBord-AASNSports)

Untitled photo

This is a serious route into the NFL where a rookie free-agent will earn the rookie minimum $465,000.00 this season, if they stay with the team. 

In Houston, there are a lot of dedicated, hard-working, men and women helping and encouraging these athletes, but no parents, and no fans. I watched as a father, who drove from Colorado with his son, was not allowed to enter.  It's a well-oiled machine with little wasted time, certainly no time for a pep-talk from mom or dad. They are on their on for the next three hours in the biggest job interview they'll likely ever have.

The idea: Give every deserving player the opportunity to have his talent assessed by pro scouts, while making it easier and more efficient for scouts from all 32 clubs to evaluate that talent. In the 2014 season, 63 players earned positions on NFL rosters after participating in the regional combines. And 36 of them — 57 percent — were on clubs that made the playoffs or were in playoff contention at the regular season’s end. At the start of the 2016 season, 73 regional combine players were on NFL rosters.

Players receive instructions prior to the start of the regional combine in Houston. (Photo/Ran DeBord-AASNSports)

Untitled photo

The NFL began the Regional/Super Regional Combine series in 2012 as a supplement to the National Scouting Combine, where scouts assess the top 300 or so college players who are eligible for that year’s draft to see if they have what it takes to play at the sport’s highest level. The remaining draft-eligible players — roughly 800 of them — may not get an invitation to the national combine, but they’ll still get a chance to pursue their dream by attending one of the five Regional Combines, where they’ll show off their skills for pro scouts and try to catch on to an NFL roster.

Samuel Benjamin, WR from the University of Rhode Island going through the physical measurements station. (Photo/Ran DeBord-AASNSports)

Untitled photo

Defensive Drills

DB - Receiving Line Drill

DB - Back Pedal, Turn and Catch

DB - “W” Drill

DB - Back Pedal, Weave, 90 Degree and Catch

DB - Back Pedal and Transition 45 Degree Reaction

DB - Close and Speed Turn Drill

DB - Back Pedal, Break Forward, Speed Turn and Catch

LB - 4-Bag Agility Drill

LB - Wave Drill

LB - 90 Degree Catch Drill

LB - Pass Rush L & R

LB - Back Pedal

LB- Back Pedal and React

DL - Punch, Hand, Shiver Drill

DL - Body Control Drill

DL - 4-Bag COD Drill

DL - Pass Rush L & R

DL - Front Wave Drill and Lateral Reaction

Offensive Drills

QB - Pocket Movement

QB - 3-5-5-7 Step Drops/Throws

QB - 7 Step Roll Out, Right and Left

QB - Throw Routes to Receivers

RB/FB - Off-tackle Reaction

RB/FB - Change of Direction (COD) Pitch Drill

RB/FB - Blast Read

RB/FB - Find the Ball Drill

RB/FB - Pass Routes

WR/TE - Sideline Tap-Tap Drill

WR/TE - Over Shoulder Catch Drill

WR/TE - Multiple Catch/Gauntlet Drill

WR/TE - Pass Routes

TE - Block Explosion

OL - COD Wave Drill

OL - Long Pull

OL - Short Pull Power

OL - Pass Pro Mirror

OL - Pass Pro Rush L & R

OL - Drop and Flip Drill

Quarterbacks: Justin Dorval #80 (Colorado Mines), Bart Houston #82 (Wisconsin), and Stephen Dane Evans #81(Tulsa), get ready to throw. (Photo/Ran DeBord-AASNSports)

Untitled photo


Short Shuttle

40 Yard Dash

Vertical Jump

Standing Broad Jump

To participate in a Regional Combine, players must have played college football in their senior season and have used all of their NCAA college eligibility the fall prior to the upcoming NFL Draft. Players who go undrafted become free agents and can sign with any team.

“We want players to have every opportunity to showcase their talent. The guys at these events will always be able to say, ‘I may not have made it to the pros, but I left everything I’ve got out on the field.’ And those who do make it get to live out their childhood dream. It's a win-win” said Matt Birk, the NFL's football development consultant.

Jakhari Gore #133, a running back from Marian, Ind. is a cousin of Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore (sitting, below) who was in attendance. (Photo/Ran DeBord-AASNSports)

Untitled photo
Untitled photo

In previous years, Regional Combines were “open call”; prospective players who were eligible for the NFL draft for the first time worked out alongside players who had been out of school for two, three or four years. Some at these combines even had previous professional experience. That made it difficult for scouts to focus on the players who were eligible for that year’s draft, so for 2015 the NFL made some revisions.

Doug Webb #76, defensive tackle (Harvard), was a stand-out at the combine. A native of Richmond, Texas, Webb played in a 4-3 set in college but is talented enough to fit any scheme. He's 6-2', 280 lbs, and ran an unofficial 4.89. This young man will be playing in the NFL soon. (Photo/Ran DeBord-AASNSports)

Untitled photo

By restricting the participants in the Regional Combines to those eligible for the current draft, the league enabled teams to focus only on the players who could end up on their draft board. It benefited the players by giving them an environment where they get greater attention from scouts in the only year they can be drafted by an NFL team.

Nigel Harris (below), an OLB from South Florida, loses his glasses but still performed well. (Photo/Ran DeBord-AASNSports)

Untitled photo

Tiyun Avery (below), CB from Henderson State appears to make an incredible catch. (Photo/Ran DeBord-AASNSports)

Untitled photo

 Between the National and the Regional Combines, the NFL will work out about 1,000 draft-eligible guys.

Ryan Shakeir (below), WR out of Northwestern State, climbs the ladder during the vertical jump portion of the combine. The speedy wide receiver, at 5'-8"/170lbs, ran an official 4.36, and 4.39. (Photo/Ran DeBord-AASNSports)

ryan shakeir 2017-36947255

Devlon Wortham (142), a running back out of Southeastern Oklahoma, ran an un-official 4.3 on both of his attempts, and is said to have jumped a 38.5" vert. Times are unofficial until confirmed by the NFL, but that's what we clocked him at. (Photo/Ran DeBord-AASNSports)

Untitled photo

Quentin Parks, OLB Texas A&M Kingsville, runs the 4 bag agility drill. (Photo/Ran DeBord-AASNSports)

Untitled photo

Check back soon as we'll  have times posted when they become available. Follow us on Twitter@AASNSports

Players who are no longer in their draft year that have signed a contract and have recent experience on a NFL team still have a venue to display their talent — the new Pro Personnel Combine. This option is available to players who were on a training camp roster during the previous preseason but were not on a 53-man roster following the 75-man roster reductions or whose contracts expire at the end of the current league year.

Memo from NFLCombine: To register for NFL Regional Combines players must register online at

If you would like to speak to an NFL representative, please call 212-450 2434 or email us at A registration fee of $160.00 will be charged for each position player combine. Players may only attend one (1) combine location.

Payment must be made by credit card; no walk-ups are permitted. The deadline to complete registration for a Combine is 12:00 AM EST, on the Monday prior to the Combine that they have selected to attend. Please understand that registration will not be complete or spot reserved until a background check has been completed and payment has been received.

There are only 150 spots available at each position combine. We encourage players to register early to guarantee the combine location of choice. If any of your players would like to try out as a long snapper they would need to register for a position player combine.

Players who will exhaust their eligibility at the conclusion of the 2016 college football season cannot register until after the completion of their college season; however, once your season has concluded we encourage all players to register as early as possible to guarantee the combine location of their choice.

Please note that you should advise your players to register for a Combine that does not conflict with their school's Pro Day. A Regional Combine workout should not be viewed as a replacement for a pro day, but an additional opportunity to be noticed by scouts.

If any of your players register for an NFL Regional Combine and are subsequently invited to the National Scouting Combine, they will receive a full registration fee refund if they decide to cancel their NFL Regional Combine registration.

On behalf of the National Football League, we would like to thank you for making your players aware of this valuable opportunity to participate in the NFL Regional Combines.

houston nfl regional combine news

Defensive Backs

Andre Adams – Arkansas-Monticello

DeSean Anderson – Eastern New Mexico

Tiyun Avery – Henderson State

Isaiah Brown – New Mexico

Jalen Champagne – Colorado Mines

Clarence Counts – Graceland University

Tevin Creeks – West Texas A&M

Jamal Ellis – Fresno State

Duane Elmore – Bethel, Tenn.

Cortland Fort – Sam Houston State

Tavares Garner – Henderson State

Ricky Green – Missouri Southern

Marcus Harris – Southeastern Oklahoma

Deadrick Jones – Morgan State

Forrest Jones – Texas A&M-Kingsville

Jordan Norris – Northwestern Oklahoma State

De’Aundre Sanders – Eastern New Mexico University

Teddy Spann – Houston Baptist -

Donovan Starks – Kansas State

David Stevenson – Fayetteville State

Justin Thomas – Utah

Will Watson – Bowling Green

Kevin Wharry – Angelo State

Raheem Wilson – Southeastern Oklahoma

Aaron Young – Old Dominion

Chris Brockman – Colorado Mines

Robert Gardner – Southeastern Oklahoma

Christopher Goss III – Missouri Southern

Khyle Jackson – North Alabama

DeAndre James – Fort Hays State

Kevin Jones – Southeastern Oklahoma

Dikingson Juste – Florida Atlantic

Will Lacy – Lane

Michael Mathis – Emporia State

Ari Nelson – Houston Baptist

Chad Nolan – Missouri Southern

Ryan Stantos – New Mexico

Evan Scott – Langston

Darius Thomas – Henderson State

Gary Vines – Henderson State

Dondre Wright – Henderson State


Brandon Berry – Buffalo

Justin Dixon – Valdosta State

Willie Duncan III – Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Javonte’ Kelly – Lane

Shawn Petty – Marshall

George Stone III – Stephen F. Austin

Okezie Adim-Madumere – Northwestern State, La

Selwyn Carroll, Jr. – Valdosta State

Teron Fitzgerald – Texas State

Nigel Harris – South Florida

Thomas Hoskins – Colorado Mines

Quentin parks – Texas A&M-Kingsville

KyRandall Smith – Saint Mary

Teidrick Smith – Mary Hardin-Baylor

Thaurean Trahan – Texas College

Logan Troutman – Wisconsin Lutheran

Defensive Line

DE Siupeli Anau – Northern Arizona

DE De’Andre Glover – Emporia State

DE Brian Madunezim – Texas-El Paso

DE Ashton McKenzie – Miles

DE Steven Rhodes – Middle Tennessee

DT Daniel Awoleke – South Florida

DT Darian Childers-Brown – Midwestern State

DT Ja’Michael Edwards-Lott – Nicholls State

DT Dallas Fields – Colorado Mines

DT Kerry Holiday – Midwestern State

DT Calvin Lyons – Southern Arkansas

DT Motekiai Maile – Oklahoma State

DT Jordan Toliver – Central Arkansas

DT Dean Tsopanides – New Haven

DT Doug Webb – Harvard

DT Kevin Williams – Michigan State

NT Glen Antoine – Idaho

All Access Sporting News will be live from the NFL National Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Follow us on Twitter for the latest.


Sports, Adventure, Health, Fitness, Travel, and even more news for Texans, right here!  Follow us @AASNSports on all social media platforms. 


Untitled photo
Consider becoming a VIP Patron. Support local journalism. Any amount matters. Donations are processed through PayPal. We're in this together.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In