Five BYU football players to participate in NFL Scouting Combine

Only 13 college programs had more than BYU’s five combine invitees and only three—Alabama, Florida State and Florida—had more defensive players invited to participate. (Photo by BYU Photo/BYU Creative Design)

NFL Network coverage of the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine begins Thursday and runs through Tuesday

PROVO, Utah (Feb. 20, 2014) — An exciting time for many of college football’s best players gets underway this weekend in Indianapolis with the beginning of the annual NFL Scouting Combine.

Five BYU players are among more than 300 top NFL prospects from 124 different college programs invited to this year’s combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Only 13 programs had more than BYU’s five combine invitees and only three—Alabama, Florida State and Florida—had more defensive players invited to participate.

Two-time All-American outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy is joined by inside linebacker Uani ‘Unga, defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna and safety Daniel Sorensen as Cougar defenders at the combine, along with record-setting BYU receiver Cody Hoffman.

“I’m proud of each of these five men for earning the opportunity to be invited to the NFL Combine,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “It also reflects the efforts of our coaching staff in recruiting and developing talented football players and outstanding young men.”

Last year two BYU players participated in the combine, including defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah, who was later selected No. 5 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Ansah went on to record the most sacks by an NFL rookie last season. BYU's five combine participants this year is the most since 2002 when six Cougars were invited to combine.

Combine participants undergo the scrutiny of executives, coaches, scouts and doctors from all 32 NFL teams during an intense four-day schedule of physical and psychological tests, medical examinations and formal and informal interviews. Workout drills, which consist of the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone drill and shuttle run, start on Saturday and run through Tuesday. Additional position-specific drills and interviews also take place as NFL teams assess top professional prospects in advance of the 2014 NFL Draft and free agent signings in May.

The workout schedule starts Saturday with drills for tight ends, offensive linemen and specialists, followed with Sunday workouts for quarterbacks, receivers and running backs. Drills for defensive linemen and linebackers take place on Monday with defensive backs concluding the combine on Tuesday. ‘Unga will be limited in full participation at the combine due to an injury suffered in BYU’s bowl game.

BYU will also host an NFL Pro Day in March, providing additional opportunities for NFL teams to test and evaluate BYU players desiring to play football professionally. The Pro Day in Provo also affords opportunities to players not participating in this weekend’s combine to conduct combine workouts for NFL teams.

“Our focus is to prepare the players in our program in every way we can to help them achieve their goals,” Mendenhall said.

Following the Combine

For the 10th year, NFL Network and NFL.com provide exclusive coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine with more than 60 hours of programming broadcast live from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Coverage begins today and Friday at 2 p.m. ET/noon MT with "NFL Total Access Scouting Combine Press Conferences." Additionally, Thursday-Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/6 p.m. MT, "NFL Total Access" wraps up the day's action. Live coverage of on-field workouts begins Saturday. Coverage of workouts starts each day of the workouts (Saturday-Tuesday) at 9 a.m. ET/7 a.m. MT.

Go to NFL.com/combine to track results, view participant breakdowns by positions and get more information on the NFL Network coverage as well as read more about  Van Noy, Hoffman, Manumaleuna, Sorensen and 'Unga.