State hopefuls among invitees as NFL Scouting Combine returns to Indy

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Chase Claypool #83 and Chris Finke #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrate after Claypool scored a touchdown in the first quarter against the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium on November 16, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The NFL Scouting Combine takes over Lucas Oil Stadium and a portion of downtown starting Feb. 23, and again will have a local flavor.

Among the 300-plus draft-eligible players invited are 13 who attended state universities:

  • Notre Dame: WR Chase Claypool, S Jalen Elliott, WR Chris Finke, S Alohi Gilman, RB Tony Jones, DL Khalid Kareem, TE Cole Kmet, DL Julian Okwara, CB Troy Pride.
  • Indiana: OL Simon Stepaniak.
  • Purdue: LB Markus Bailey, TE Brycen Hopkins.
  • Ball State: OL Danny Pinter.

Syracuse defensive lineman Kendall Coleman attended Cathedral High School.

Quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends begin arriving in town Feb. 23, and brace for an evaluation regimen that includes exhaustive medical exams, psychological testing, interviews with teams and the media, and on-field drills.

The NFL Combine has developed into one of the league’s premier events since settling in Indy in 1987. It issued approximately 1,400 media credentials last year, second only to the Super Bowl in terms of a credentialed event.

That increased interest has threatened the city’s grip on the NFL Combine. It is tied to Indy through 2021, but there’s a strong push by the league to relocate the event to Los Angeles.

Last year, ESPN and ABC televised a portion of the quarterbacks-receivers workouts live from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. on a Saturday.

This year? More,  more, more.

For the first time, on-field workouts will unfold and be aired in prime time on NFL Network. The schedule consists 4 p.m.-11 p.m. broadcasts Thursday (quarterbacks, wideouts, tight ends), Friday (running backs, offensive linemen and special teams) and Saturday (defensive linemen, linebackers), and 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Sunday (defensive backs).

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51

And be sure to catch the Colts Blue Zone Podcast:

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