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February 22, 2013

Draft-Hopefuls Ready For NFL Combine

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Over 300 former college players have been training nonstop over the last two months in order to stand out at the NFL Combine this weekend in Indianapolis. With this being their last chance to impress scouts and general managers, five former Virginia Tech players who received an invite are ready to prove to an NFL team that each is worthy of a selection.

During the four-day workout period that begins Saturday on NFL Network, wide receivers Corey Fuller and Marcus Davis, linebacker Bruce Taylor, and offensive linemen Nick Becton and Vinston Painter will all seek to catch the eyes of scouts in their own unique way. For Fuller and Davis, both expect to showcase their speed and are confident in their own ways.

"It's through the roof right now," Davis told HokieHaven.com about his confidence. "I just can't wait to be able to go out and perform. This is what I've been doing my whole life. I would bring a lot to the table (for an NFL team). I'm big, athletic, fast, and have strong hands. And I can make a big play when needed. "

Davis (who was nine yards shy of Andre Davis' school season-record) mentioned that the interview process will also play a big part in the week, and that interviewing with 15-20 NFL teams at the East-West Shrine game prepared him well for the off-field aspect of the combine. Still, Davis knows that the best way to impress is to surprise scouts with superior athleticism.

"A lot of people are expecting me to run a little slower [in the 40-yard dash] than what I will, so I think I'm gonna open up some eyes," Davis said.

Like Davis, Fuller has the belief that he's ready to solidify a spot in the April draft. He also mentioned that he's focused on running a fast 40-yard dash in order to surprise some scouts. But unlike Davis, the track-star-turned-wide-receiver has only played football for a couple of years. And that's something the scouts love about Fuller.

"One of the biggest things I've been hearing is I have a lot of potential," Fuller told HokieHaven.com. "I've only played football for two years, so I have a lot to improve on. A lot of scouts like that they can develop me. I'm a speed guy, but I like to run the simple routes. And I'm not afraid to put myself in the middle of the field to make catches. I'm a humble guy that wants to learn to get better."

That selfless attitude will surely (or already has) be noticed in Fuller's interviews with NFL teams. Fuller and Davis will both do their on-field workouts on Sunday along with the quarterbacks and running backs. They will be the second Hokie duo to work out this weekend, as offensive linemen Vinston Painter and Nick Becton will do their on-field workouts Saturday. However, the two tackles are completing their bench press station today, and both appear primed to put up a gaudy number.

While Painter and Becton couldn't be reached before they began their portion of the combine, Taylor gave his thoughts before leaving this morning for Indianapolis. More than anything, the former Hokies defensive leader is ready to enjoy the moment.

"We've been working for this for the last four, five years," Taylor said. "Now it's time to put all that work to use and just enjoy being a part of it all. I'm very confident that I'll be able to impress some people- on and off the field."

According to the NFL.com combine website, Davis, Fuller, Taylor, and Becton are all projected as mid-to-late round draft picks. Although it will be the first time in six years Virginia Tech won't have a defensive back taken in the draft, it appears that the five aforementioned former Hokies will continue a legacy of sending players to the next level.




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