For­mer Hogs set for NFL Com­bine

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL - TOM MUR­PHY

FAYET­TEVILLE — Punter Toby Baker and of­fen­sive line­man Dan Skip­per lead the first wave of for­mer Arkansas Ra­zor­backs head­ing to the an­nual NFL Scout­ing Com­bine over the next four days.

Eight for­mer play­ers from the Univer­sity of Arkansas at Fayet­teville have re­ceived in­vi­ta­tions to the week-long event, which be­gins to­day at Lu­cas Oil Sta­dium in In­di­anapo­lis.

Baker and Skip­per are sched­uled to ar­rive to­day for ori­en­ta­tion, med­i­cal ex­ams and in­ter­views, along with run­ning backs, kick­ers and other spe­cial­ists.

Ex- Arkansas re­ceivers Keon Hatcher and Drew Mor­gan and tight end Jeremy Sprin­kle are sched­uled to ar­rive on Wed­nes­day. De­fen­sive line­men Jeremiah Led­bet­ter and Deatrich Wise, and line­backer Brooks El­lis round out the group of ex-Ra­zor­backs ar­riv­ing Thurs­day.

It is be­lieved to be tied for largest con­tin­gent of Ra­zor­backs at the com­bine. Arkansas had eight for­mer play­ers in­vited in 2004, led by line­man Shawn An­drews, re­ceiver Ge­orge Wil­son, and de­fen­sive backs Ah­mad Car­roll and Lawrence Richard­son. In 2008, run­ning backs

Dar­ren McFad­den, Felix Jones and Pey­ton Hil­lis led a group of eight ex-Hogs, which also in­cluded re­ceiver Mar­cus Monk and de­fen­sive line­man Mar­cus Harrison.

Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema in­di­cated sev­eral Ra­zor­backs had been on a wait­ing list, Led­bet­ter and Mor­gan among them, be­fore be­ing ac­cepted by NFL of­fi­cials.

“Since I got that orig­i­nal list in De­cem­ber, we had like three or four guys who were on the wait­ing list and now for them all to get through. It’s been fun for me,” Bielema said last week.

“I was sit­ting here yes­ter­day and I got a text from a [NFL gen­eral man­ager] that they’re work­ing wide re­ceivers, and they were call­ing and ask­ing about sev­eral guys.

“It’s a good group of guys, with eight guys go­ing in there. I think there are a cou­ple of free agent-type guys that aren’t get­ting in­vited to the com­bine that have a niche that might be able to jump in there as well.”

The Ra­zor­backs are tied with Florida for fourth-most in the SEC for the num­ber of in­vited play­ers to the com­bine. Alabama and LSU have 10 play­ers each sched­uled to par­tic­i­pate, and Texas A&M has nine.

On- the- field work­outs start Fri­day for the group in­clud­ing Baker and Skip­per, and they con­tinue through next Mon­day, when the de­fen­sive backs go through the paces on the field.

NWA Demo­crat-Gazette file photo

For­mer Arkansas of­fen­sive line­man Dan Skip­per (left), along with for­mer punter Toby Baker, are set to ar­rive in In­di­anapo­lis to­day for the NFL Scout­ing Com­bine.

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