The NFL released its list of combine participants Wednesday – and it had a distinct Jim Harbaugh flavor, with a heavy dash of players from January’s national championship game.
Harbaugh’s Michigan team is sending 14 players to the combine, scheduled for Feb. 28-March 6 in Indianapolis. The Wolverines’ contingent includes defensive end Taco Charlton, an edge rusher Carolina Panthers coaches and scouts figure to be interested in.
Alabama (10) and Clemson (nine) combined for 19 of the 330 players who were invited to Indy.
North Carolina will have seven players at the combine, including one of the top QB prospects in Mitch Trubisky and three of his wide receivers – Ryan Switzer, Bug Howard and Mack Hollins.
Two Tar Heels running backs were invited – T.J. Logan and Elijah Hood, a Charlotte native whose production slipped as a junior as he shared carries with Logan.
UNC had 12 players at the 2011 combine, more than any that school in the country. The ACC sent 50 players to Indy that year when the conference had 12 teams (the league now has 14).
The ACC’s 60 combine participants this year are the second-most behind the SEC’s 66.
Left off the combine list was Appalachian State running back Marcus Cox, the school’s all-time rushing leader and one of only 22 backs in NCAA history to run for more than 5,000 yards.
Other combine notables with ties to the Carolinas:
▪ DT Larry Ogunjobi, who started every game in Charlotte 49ers’ history, is ranked among the top five interior defensive linemen in the draft by the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock. Ogunjobi was an all-Conference USA selection last season when he finished with 65 tackles (13.5 for loss) and three sacks.
▪ East Carolina WR Zay Jones, the son of former Dallas Cowboys LB Robert Jones and the NCAA-record holder for career receptions (399) and single-season catches (158 in 2016).
▪ Bucknell OT Julie’n Davenport, a 6-7, 310-pounder and cousin of Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
▪ Charleston Southern (OT Erik Austell), Coastal Carolina (RB De’Angelo Henderson) and S.C. State (OL Javarius Leamon) all will have more players at the combine than South Carolina (zero). Just another reminder of how far the Gamecocks’ recruiting and talent level slipped in the last years of Steve Spurrier.
Combine Participants by Conference
Big Ten 51
Big 12 19
Mt. West 11