The NFL Combine has started again, and you have your usual participants: Florida, LSU, Texas, Virginia Tech, etc. Basically, the I-A (I'm sorry "Football Bowl Subdivision") schools and a few stand-outs from the "Football Championship Subdivision" (I-AA) schools. Among those are two outstanding Dukes: DL Arthur Moats and OL Dorian Brooks.
Brooks had his day, and placed as a top performer in the 20-yard shuttle, posting a time of 4.66, just +0.15 behind the leader, Arizona State's Shawn Lauvao.
Dorian also posted one of the better 40-yard dash times. Brooks ran a 5.16, +0.31 behind the leader, Maryland's Bruce Campbell. Really not bad for a guy who's 6'2", 306 lbs.
The comments on Brooks were that he had quick feet and good form. Hopefully that impressed some of the scouts at the combine. I know I was impressed, and it's not just because I am an incredible homer who will root for the home team beyond rational reasoning.
I liked Brooks' speed. He may not jump high or far or bench press 300+ pounds, but with speedy defensive ends in the league, a fast O-linemen can only help.
In fact, if I had Bill Belichick's ear, I'd suggest the Patriots take him. Their line is good, but it is aging, and Brooks will be a late round pick at best. That's the kind of discount talent the Patriots like to pick, and if their most recent high-round drafts are any indication, they need a little help in that department.
With several porous lines in the league, Brooks has a shot at being drafted.
Monday, Arthur Moats takes the field to participate in DE drills. He will be sure to impress, and maybe up the status of JMU's football program, small as it is.
In other news, the Home Stands (not the student section) at Bridgeforth have been completely demolished, and construction is on schedule despite the recent flurry of snow-storms attempting to spit in the face of Global Warming. It marks a final end to the small-school, small-team mentality and a movement upwards and onwards.
Of course, they'll need better prospects. And they'll probably need to upgrade the coaching staff. Hopefully, the stadium will be like that nice, new kitchen, that looks so good, the dining room, living room, and bathrooms all have to be updated to match.
For now, let's go Dukes, and to all I-AA athletes: please kick the collective butts of the I-A guys.