The NFL scouting combine is underway in Indianapolis. More than 300 players were invited this season, including guys from Azusa Pacific, Alabama A&M, William & Mary and Southeast Louisiana.
It’s not all guys from Alabama at Texas at the combine, and yet, UNT was shut out again this year.
Teams have up-and-down years when it comes to producing NFL talent.
Florida International has two players headed to the combine, while Western Kentucky defensive end Quanterus Smith was invited. That was just about it for the Sun Belt, the league UNT is leaving. Tulsa was one of the best teams last year in Conference USA, the league UNT is joining, and was shut out.
Rice won a bowl game and had just one player invited.
What UNT head coach Dan McCarney has said bothers him is that when it comes to the combine and the draft, being left out is becoming too common a theme for the Mean Green.
Cody Spencer was the last UNT player to be drafted, and that was in 2005, after he helped lead UNT to the glory days of the bowl era.
Patrick Cobbs (another bowl era player) made as it in the NFL as a free agent. So did Lance Dunbar.
It’s all about having top players and having something to sell as a program to get those top players to campus. Sending guys on to the NFL is a big part of the equation.
UNT will host a junior day tomorrow, the first of several events — camps, et cetera — that will help the Mean Green’s staff build its recruiting board. UNT will try to sell players on the idea of playing for the Mean Green.
McCarney has called it ridiculous that a school like UNT — located in the heart of one of the better talent bases in the country — has gone so long without having a player drafted, or land an invitation to the combine for that matter.
A big part of the process of ending that drought will take place tomorrow.
UNT will look to begin upgrading its talent during its junior day.
The better talent UNT attracts, the better chance the program will have to send a few players to the combine in the future.