Top district college football players get chance to impress in Cheswick
Two weeks after the NFL Combine wrapped up in Indianapolis, the Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena will host a similar event for local college football players pursuing a professional career.
Cal (Pa.)’s Pro Football Combine, sanctioned by the NFL, is 9 a.m. Monday at PISA in Cheswick.
About 60 players from the Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III levels will participate in the event, PISA spokeswoman Jenna Plummer said. The represented schools are Allegheny, Bloomsburg, Cal, Clarion, Delaware Valley, Duquesne, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Gannon, IUP, Kutztown, Mercyhurst, Millersville, Robert Morris, Shippensburg, St. Francis (Pa.), Ursinus, West Chester and Westminster.
The event, directed by Mark Gorsack of the Pittsburgh Steelers, will mirror the NFL Combine, including drills such as the 40-yard dash. All 32 NFL teams, as well as Canadian Football League teams, are invited.
“The really cool thing about this particular combine is they have to be recommended from their head coach,” Plummer said. “Because of course you don’t want to waste anybody’s time. These are the top guys from the smaller schools that might not get an opportunity. We really believe that everybody deserves an opportunity, so we’re really happy to give that to these athletes.”
This marks the second consecutive year for this combine, which was the brainchild of former Cal coach John Luckhardt. Plummer said a handful of NFL teams attended last year, when 40 players competed. The combine organizers also send drill results to all NFL teams.
“It was excellent,” Plummer said. “We didn’t really have expectations, since we’d never done it before, but those individuals that were here said it exceeded their expectations. It was very well-received.”