Blue and Gold Illustrated

BGI April 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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6 APRIL 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY BRYAN DRISKELL T he NFL Scouting Combine is often the greatest showcase for aspir- ing pro prospects to make a lasting impression on executives, coaches and scouts prior to the NFL Draft in late April. Notre Dame had eight players se- lected for this year 's NFL Combine Feb. 26-March 4 at Indianapolis, and the former Fighting Irish leaders made quite the impact, with many significantly helping their future bank accounts. Offensive lineman Alex Bars, wide receiver Miles Boykin, linebacker Te'von Coney, cornerback Julian Love, tight end Alizé Mack, defen- sive tackle Jerry Tillery, linebacker Drue Tranquill and running back Dexter Williams all were invited to the event and participated in some capacity. Bars, who is still recover- ing from a torn ACL suffered during the Sept. 29 victory versus Stanford, went through medical testing and team interviews, while Coney went through only on-field drills. The results were exceptional for the individual players in regards to their draft stocks, and for the Notre Dame program as a whole. Fellow College Football Playoff teams Alabama (11), Clemson (11) and Oklahoma (eight) all matched or exceeded the number of former players at the combine that Notre Dame had. Ohio State (10) and Georgia (nine) were CFP teams in 2017, and both had more combine participants as well. • Notre Dame had six players participate in the testing portion of the combine, and they combined for 19 top-five finishes in one of the six testing categories that included the bench press, the vertical jump, the broad jump, the three-cone drill, the 20-yard shuttle and the 40-yard dash (see results in those events in Irish In The Pros on pages 50-51). • Those 19 top-five placements were best among all programs that were represented. Ohio State was next with 18 and Iowa came in third with 15. • Notre Dame's participants had six "wins" in a testing category. The Buckeyes had only two No. 1 finishes and Iowa had four. Michigan was the only other program with four No. 1 placements. Clemson had eight top- five results, but just one No. 1 rank. Georgia had two top-five finishes while Oklahoma had one, and nei- ther had a player earn the top spot in any category. Alabama had four top-five efforts, but just one was No. 1. That means Notre Dame had more No. 1 finishes than Alabama had top-five place- ments despite the fact the Crimson Tide had nine players go through testing while Notre Dame had just six. For context purposes, take a look at the previous four combines from 2015-18. Alabama players had four best results in a drill, Oklahoma and Clemson had a combined six first- place finishes, and Ohio State never had more than four. Those numbers make Notre Dame's six No. 1 place- ments at the 2019 combine even more impressive. It was one of Notre Dame's best all- time performances in combine his- tory, where public records go back UNDER THE DOME COMBINE FORCES Notre Dame players perform superbly at NFL event Miles Boykin put together arguably the best performance of any wide receiver at the NFL Combine, post- ing two No. 1 finishes and five top-five efforts in the seven testing categories he competed in. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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