INDIANAPOLIS — For a metropolis affectionately generally known as “Naptown,” there at all times appears to be one thing occurring in Indianapolis. This week nearly everybody within the skilled soccer world is on the town for the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, which takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium, house to the Indianapolis Colts.
Many of the prospects who’re individuals right here for the mix hail from main faculties and universities, so they’re form of used to the intense lights of a giant stadium and the intense lights of a giant stage. That’s not essentially the case for just a few of the individuals, whose week right here in Indy finally ends up being larger than their Power Five counterparts.
I’m speaking concerning the prospects who hail from the small school ranks, that are FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA packages. These are the fellows who had been the large fish within the small pond, and now get to leap within the ocean with the remainder of the large fish. And whereas nothing trumps “the tape”, performing effectively right here on the mix offers professional scouts the prospect to see in the event that they measure up each bodily and athletically to the prospects who’re of a better subdivision. Answering these questions this week might put the main focus again the place it ought to belong for these prospects, and that is on the 4-5 years of stellar play they put on the market on the sphere.
Here are just a few of the small-college prospects to keep watch over this week on the mix. I wished to focus extra so on just a few of the fellows we hadn’t seen simply but on the all-star recreation circuit
Hunter Luepke, FB, North Dakota State
Luepke has been on my radar for the reason that FCS spring season in 2021.
What actually stands out to me about his recreation is his versatility. And whenever you watch him carry out this week throughout positional drills, I need to discover his footwork, fluidity and talent to catch the soccer down the sphere. He’s received loads of the instruments essential to be a 4-minute offense again, in addition to a conventional fullback. Because I’m a soccer junkie, and never as a result of he wears the identical quantity, his recreation jogs my memory loads of former 49ers nice Tom Rathman.
Noah Gindorff, TE, North Dakota State
Gindorff is a extremely good athlete who constantly finds himself in advantageous conditions on the sphere. He’s a do-it-all kind of a man, who can block and catch, play inside or out as a flex choice. The mission for him this week is to point out how a lot he can maintain his personal on the perimeter by way of route-running, as a result of in my view, that is the place he has a little bit bit extra room to develop and improve his recreation.
Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State
Kraft is likely one of the higher blocking tight ends within the class. He’s extra alongside the strains of your meat-and-potatoes-type receiver, so this week goes to be large for him to point out that he could be extra than simply an outlet- or underneath-type choice. I’m to see him work throughout the pass-catching drills principally, however I additionally need to see what number of instances he throws up 225 kilos on the bench press.
Caleb Murphy, DL, Ferris State
Now Murphy was one of many gamers we spotlighted on the East-West Shrine Bowl as one of many standouts due to his athleticism. Back in January, I noticed him play extra off the ball and in protection, which was one thing fully completely different than he did at Ferris State. He did not look misplaced in any respect. In reality, he seemed like he’d been doing it for fairly a while. It’ll be key to see which drill or drills he will get put by way of this week in Indy, because it’ll provide you with some perception to how the league views his ability set shifting ahead.
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