FCS players hope to impress at NFL Combine

Indianapolis, IN ( - Walter Payton Award-winning quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo headlines the contingent of FCS players who have been invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine from Feb. 19-25 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The NFL released its official list on Thursday, and scouts clearly want to get a closer look at FCS players in the offensive skills positions.

The group starts with Garoppolo, who followed up his record-setting senior season at Eastern Illinois with strong weeks at both the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl last month.

Another NFL quarterback, Cornell's Jeff Mathews, will join Garoppolo at the Combine.

Five running backs - seniors Timothy Flanders of Sam Houston State, Jerick McKinnon of Georgia Southern and Lorenzo Taliaferro of Coastal Carolina, and juniors Isaiah Crowell of Alabama State and Terrance West of Towson - also gained invites. West rushed for 2,509 yards and scored 42 touchdowns - both FCS single-season records - this past season.

The pass catchers include wide receivers Matt Hazel of Coastal Carolina and Walter Powell of Murray State as well as two underclassmen at tight end, Nic Jacobs from McNeese State and A.C. Leonard from Tennessee State.

Offensive tackles Dakota Dozier of Furman and Billy Turner of three-time reigning FCS national champion North Dakota State and guard Kadeem Edwards of Tennessee State will show off their skills as well.

Princeton defensive tackle Caraun Reid is one of the more highly regarded defensive prospects from the FCS. He will be joined by fellow defensive tackles Zach Kerr of Delaware and Kerry Wynn of Richmond.

In addition, outside linebackers Tyler Starr of South Dakota and Jordan Tripp of Montana, and cornerbacks Kendall James of Maine, Todd Washington of Southeastern Louisiana and Lavelle Westbrooks of Georgia Southern hope to impress scouts.

All 32 NFL teams will evaluate over 330 of the nation's top college players at the Combine. The workout schedule is tight ends, offensive linemen and special teams on Feb. 22; quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers on Feb. 23; defensive linemen and linebackers on Feb. 24; and defensive backs on Feb. 25.

The draft will be held May 8-10 in New York.