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the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Record-breaking recruits

The 2024 NFL Scouting Combine

There is only one place across the nation where you can admire some of the most impressive feats of organized athleticism on an annual basis: the National Football League (NFL) Scouting Combine. 

Beginning on Feb. 29, a total of 321 NFL prospects and over 27,200 visitors traversed the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. The NFL Combine is one of the ultimate showcases of talent, work ethic, speed, and strength; in fact, this year, a new combine record was set in the 40-yard dash. 

“The NFL Scouting Combine, presented by NOBULL is a unique and pivotal step in the prospect journey from amateur athlete to NFL Pro. At Combine, 300+ of the best college football players are given the stage to showcase their skills in front of coaches, GMs, and scouts. This key stop before the NFL Draft is a chance for players to elevate their football profiles and showcase their talents to clubs and fans across the country before finding their new teams. Their performances at Combine could directly impact their Draft positions,” the NFL website explained. 

In order to participate, an individual/athlete must be officially invited to the event, and as a result, it brings together the top, most promising, draft-eligible, crème de la crème, upcoming football prospects. At the combine, the invited members get the opportunity to perform a series of intently measured physical assessments, participate in interviews, and compete in various football drills for the likes of NFL scouts, coaches, general managers (GM), executives, and fans to see, scrutinize, and enjoy. 

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“How does the NFL Combine work? The roughly 300 prospects who participate in the Combine will run through multiple individual drills that involve every player participating. Here are the drills that every player participates in: 40-yard dash, Bench press, Vertical jump, Broad jump, Three-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle, and 60-yard shuttle. There are position-specific drills that take place during the Combine as well. Players will participate in interviews with teams that are interested in them,” the Pro Football Network website clarified. “For players’ health, there are physical evaluations to see where players are at with weight and height, as well as tests for any injuries. There are drug screenings for each player and a test called the Cybex that tests the players’ physical bodies.”

Out of all the incredible feats that were seen at this year’s combine, a few notable candidates — and their assessment results — stood out from the crowd…

For the bench press physical assessment, Beaux Limmer, a center from Arkansas, was the top performer with a total of 39 repetitions (reps), followed by Jordan Jefferson from Louisiana State University (LSU) and Jarret Kingston from the University of Southern California (USC) with rep values of 34 and 32 respectively. 

Myles Harden, a cornerback from South Dakota, was credited with the top performance of the year for his efforts in the 20-yard shuttle drill, where he clocked a time of 3.98 seconds. 

Kamari Lassiter, Ricky Pearsall, and Luke McCaffrey — a cornerback and two wide receivers — took home the top times for the notorious three-cone drill, with times of 6.62 seconds, 6.64 seconds, and 6.70 seconds respectively. 

The top performer for the broad jump exercise was Tyler Owens, a safety from Texas Tech, who nearly out-jumped all of his competitors by a whole foot with his jump measurement of twelve feet and two inches. 

“Texas Tech safety Tyler Owens doesn’t believe in space or planets, so it’s ironic that his broad jump at the combine was literally out of this world impressive. He posted a broad jump of 12-foot-2, which ranks as the second-best in the history of the combine,” CBS Sports contributors, Kyle Stackpole and Jordan Dajani, reported. 

As for the vertical jump assessment, Jalen Coker, Daequan Hardy, Elijah Jones, and Malik Washington each had the same top measurement at 42.50 inches. 

Deantre Prince, a cornerback from Mississippi, left the combine having been victorious with the fastest 10-yard split time at an impressive 1.47 seconds. 

The 40-yard dash — which is arguably the most well-known and popular combine assessment — gave many athletes the chance to display all of the work that they have been doing behind the scenes in preparation for the combine and the upcoming draft. Xavier Worthy, a wide receiver from the University of Texas at Austin, not only had the top performance for the 40-yard dash at a remarkable 4.21 seconds, yet he also managed to set an all-time new combine record with his time as well. 

“As Worthy got into his stance, the crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium began to chant, knowing that history was on the line. The 5-11 pass-catcher crossed the line and continued to sprint downfield as the time read 4.22 on the big screen. After further review, the clock was a tenth of a second off. Worthy beat the record as the crowd erupted and other prospects corralled the speeds demon on the turf,” MSN web portal reporter, Cole Thompson, explained. “Since breaking the record, players across the league have congratulated Worthy on making history, including former All-Pro receiver DeSean Jackson, Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis and three-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes. Worthy emulates his game after former Kansas City Chiefs and current Miami Dolphins speedster Tyreek Hill.”

Immediately following his allstar performance, the Pro Football Hall of Fame requested Worthy’s jersey and cleats from his record setting 40-yard dash time. Without hesitation, Worthy has since then obliged to their request, and will soon be donating his combine uniform and cleats so that they may be memorialized in Canton, Ohio along with the array of various football exhibits and memorabilia. 

All values considered, these measurements and scores fail to take into account the plethora of factors that each individual athlete has to offer, especially those who do not need to be the fastest or strongest for the specific role/position that they play on a given football squad. 

According to many sources — mainly those seen on “X” (formally Twitter) — this year’s offensive and defensive linemen participants had highly impressive results overall. 

“As I said on @nflnetwork just now, a GM told me this morning this is the best OL group he’s ever seen at the Combine. Very good news for Jets, Giants, and countless other teams at the top of the Draft with O-Line needs,” NFL insider and reporter for FOX Sports, Peter Schrager, announced on “X.”

To assist with factor variability among the athlete prospects, the NFL has devised a highly sophisticated algorithm by the name of “NFL Next Gen Stats,” which uses modern technological advances to analyze historical NFL data to predict a prospects’ chances at being successful in the NFL. 

“NFL player tracking, also known as Next Gen Stats, is the capture of real time location data, speed and acceleration for every player, every play on every inch of the field. Sensors throughout the stadium track tags placed on players’ shoulder pads, charting individual movements within inches,” the NFL Next Gen Stats website elucidated. 

In essence, this model helps form composite scores which combine factors such as athleticism, college performance, speed, etc. to construct an overall profile for a given athlete. Moreover, one of the top athlete prospects — as a result from the combined Next Gen Stats data — is Brock Bowers, a tight end from Georgia College; the other top prospect being Caleb Williams, a quarterback from USC. Both of these aforementioned top prospects had “elite” Next Gen Stats scores of 96. 

In addition, a fan favorite participant at the combine was found in Sam Hartman, a quarterback from Notre Dame who stole the show not only with his athleticism, but also because of his seemingly perfect locks of shoulder-length hair. 

“While BYU’s Kedon Slovis ran the fastest time of any QB at 4.56, Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman posted the dash most likely to show up on a Hallmark Channel fancam. A respectable 4.80 is nice, but the slow motion version is the stuff dreams are made of. Forget the NFL, this guy needs to teach a young woman from the big city who just inherited her family’s tree farm the true meaning of Christmas,” The Big Lead (TBL) website contributor, Stephen Douglas, comically asserted. “Not only is he faster than Tom Brady and the owner of a beard that Al Borland would kill for, but it’s all natural, baby. Yeah, he just wakes up like this.”

Needless to say, many of the athletes who embodied their talents at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine showed up with something to prove, and they followed through with their intentions. Many of these athletes can have the confidence and high hopes that they will be receiving that life-changing NFL Draft phone call this upcoming April. 

For information regarding the NFL Scouting Combine, please visit,, and

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Campbell Burnett
Campbell Burnett, Content Editor

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