Combine gives local players big opportunity

Published 12:29 am Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Don’t be skeptical. This will benefit high school football players.

What is it? It’s the Tri-State Rehab High School Football Combine schedule for Saturday, July 9, at Ironton High School.

Football combines have been growing in popularity across the country, especially with college coaches who use the combine results to help in their recruiting plans.

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College coaches are not permitted to attend combines. However, results are made available to the players as well as colleges.

“I’ve talked to the coaches at Marshall and they assured me that they look at all these numbers (combine scores) sent to them,” said Dave Coburn who works in the facility and is the combine director.

“When we got the idea, we wanted to give local players a chance to participate in a combine like other players across the country, but we wanted to make it affordable to everyone. Most of these combines are between $90 and $120 and you pay your travel expenses.”

The combine is being offered to area schools in Lawrence and Scioto counties as well as Kentucky. The fee is just $25 by May 23 and $50 after that until June 1. There is no registration after the June 1.

Players will be treated to lunch and it will include former Ironton standout and Ohio State starting fullback Tyler Whaley as the midday speaker.

Whaley was a player who didn’t catch the eye of the big-time recruiters but would have benefited from a combine. He walked on at Ohio State, earned a scholarship and played in a BCS national championship game.

A big key in recruiting is catching the eye of the recruiters. A lot of smaller colleges rely on combines because of the program’s limited recruiting resources.

The combine is conducted much like the ones used by the NFL for testing college players before the draft.

Combine tests and drills include: measurements, 40-yard dash, broad jump, flexibility test, 3-cone drill, L-drill, vertical jump, power throw, and bench press.

The bench press will test players on the number of repetitions they can do. Freshmen and sophomores will bench press 155 pounds while juniors and seniors use 185 pounds.

Freshmen and sophomores will be tested beginning at 9 a.m. Lunch will be available to all grades at noon and include Whaley’s informational speech. The juniors and seniors will begin testing at 1 p.m.

This year’s combine has been somewhat limited to area schools in order to get a handle on conducting a combine. Coburn hopes to make the event available to anyone who is interested in the future.

“We’re hoping to make this an annual function. We’ve got some great sponsors who are making this possible at a minimal cost. The response and support has been unbelievable,” said Coburn.

For more information, contact Coburn at

— Sinatra —

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.