Former Trojans invited to NFL Combine
Seven former USC football players have been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, the Los Angeles Times reports. The players are defensive end Nick Perry, offensive tackle Matt Kalil, defensive tackle DaJohn Harris, linebacker Chris Galippo, defensive tackle Christian Tupou, running back Marc Tyler and tight end Rhett Ellison.
The combine will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis from Feb. 22-28. It serves as a testing ground for players who have declared their draft eligibility. Participants will be tested in their 40-yard dash times, bench press, agility, vertical jump and intelligence by way of the Wonderlic Test. Players also participate in positional drills. Depending on their success, the participantâs draft position could rise or slide harshly after the combine takes place.
General managers from all 32 teams will attend the event to see the 300-plus players in action. The biggest draw from the Trojans will likely be Kalil, the six-foot-seven, 295-pound tackle from Corona, Calif. Kalil was a first team All-American last season, and most analysts have him projected as a top-five overall pick. His brother Ryan was an All-American at USC as well and is now a Pro Bowler for the Carolina Panthers.
Scouts will also be taking a close look at Perry, who, like Kalil, left school with a year left in his eligibility. Perry measures in at six-foot-three, 250 pounds. He was first team all-conference last season, registering a conference-high 9.5 sacks. He set a state record in his hometown of Detroit by collecting 36 sacks his senior year. He is a projected first-round pick.
Harris started his last two seasons at USC, collecting 72 tackles in his career. Tupou was a team captain in 2011 and collected 16 tackles on the year. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament as a junior and was unable to play the 2010 season. He started 33 games during his USC career.
Tyler, the son of former St. Louis Rams runningback Wendell Tyler, led the team in rushing in the 2010 season, accumulating 913 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. He was suspended for the first game of 2011 but still had more than 500 yards rushing on the season, finishing second on the team behind junior Curtis McNeal.
Ellison was also a team captain in 2011, moving from his customary tight end position to fullback to compensate for a lack of depth. Ellison caught 22 passes in 2011 and scored two touchdowns. In his career, he caught 53 passes for 471 yards and six touchdowns. His versatility will likely be appealing to many general managers.
Galippo started 30 games in his career at USC. The six-foot-two, 250-pound linebacker collected 47 tackles in his senior season, along with an interception. He also registered one and a half sacks.
After the combine, former USC players will have the opportunity to participate in the schoolâs Pro Day, which is supplemental testing for players who wish to improve upon their combine numbers. USCâs Pro Day will take place March 7 at Brian Kennedy Field.