Scouting talent at the NFL Combine

Published 10:59 am Monday, March 2, 2015

For us in this part of the country, it’s always football season in the deep south.

We all have much more than a passing interest in college recruiting. Then it’s on to following our favorite college players to see how they fare in the National Football League’s annual scouting combine at Indianapolis.

The combine finished up on Feb. 23. Many of those players certainly made some nice seed money if they performed well enough at the workouts. Probably more than a few hurt their chances of ever playing in the NFL by not performing well or answering the countless question with the wrong answer. Or what NFL teams perceive as the wrong answer. Truly the Combine is a crapshoot when it comes to identifying professional football talent. Outstanding college football players don’t always pan out at the next level. Tim Tebow immediately comes to mind. Tebow is a good college football analyst mind you, but for some reason he never could make it in the NFL. It was said it was something about his mechanics. That is NFL talk for not exactly doing things the right, or their way.

From what I read and saw from television reports, Mississippi State running back and former Franklinton High School standout Josh Robinson did not have a good workout at the combine. That could be a blessing in disguise, however, since he could indeed sign a free agent contract with any NFL team.

He always seemed to get the tough yards at State when they were needed. He reminds me of former Baltimore Colts running back Tom Matte, who was 6-foot, 214 pounds. The 5-9, 215-pound Robinson is similar in size.

Robinson was joined at the combine by fellow 2011 Franklinton High graduate Terrence Magee.

It was always pleasing to see high school football players I covered during my time as a sports editor in Mississippi go on and play collegiately. A lucky few even made it in the NFL. Those that did play in the NFL had extraordinary talent.

While in McComb, offensive lineman Cooper Carlisle went on to play at the University of Florida before he moved on and started for the Denver Broncos. He finished his career with the Oakland Raiders.

Current Detroit Lions defensive back Glover Quinn is about as soft-spoken as they come. He definitely has the ability to put his game face on when he steps on the field. Amite County, Miss., offensive lineman Gabe Jackson played at Mississippi State and just completed his first season with the Raiders.

My first year in Laurel we had four prep players from the area make the Jackson Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen Preseason Football Team. They were Sylva-Bay Academy’s Cody Prewitt, who participated in the just-completed combine and represented Ole Miss, current Indianapolis Colts receiver Donte Moncrief, who played at Raleigh, Miss., High School and Ole Miss, Taylorsville, Miss., linebacker Marcus Mayers and Heidelberg, Miss., High School quarterback/defensive back Zach Jackson. Jackson signed to play at Mississippi State. Mayers signed with Ole Miss, but grades did him in.

The three-day NFL Draft begins on April 30. We’ll have to wait and see who struck it rich and who must scramble to find a team.

Randy Hammons is a Daily News staff writer. He can be contacted by calling 985-732-2565 or by email at