For young collegiate football players who aspire to play on the professional level, the NFL Combine is the biggest job interview that they will ever have to participate in. Every February in Indianapolis, Indiana’s Lucas Oil Stadium, home to the Indianapolis Colts, representatives from every NFL franchise fly out to the city to scout college football’s brightest star’s minds, bodies, and abilities in an attempt to find the next face of the league. This year, a few Bloomsburg Huskies were invited to participate in the Combine, in an attempt to make their dream come true.
This past football season for the Huskies was one of the most successful years the program has ever seen. The team lost just one regular season game on their way to winning the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference title, their first since 1985. The team did not miss a beat in their first season without hall of fame head coach Danny Hale who retired prior to the 2013 season. Defensive coordinator and interim head coach Paul Darragh, was named the official head man of the program just a few short weeks following the Huskies playoff exit at the hands of West Chester University.
A lot of the Husky’s success in 2013 had to do with a few specific athletes. Senior Running Back Franklyn Quiteh is historically the schools best back accumulating over 2,100 yard on the ground and 29 touchdowns in 2013. He then went on his way to win the Harlon Hill Trophy for the nation’s best Division II player. Quiteh’s eye popping numbers can be accredited to Bloomsburg’s outstanding offensive line which is anchored by two All- Americans. One of those All- Americans is Senior Tackle Matt Feiler, one of the most respected lineman in Division II. On the defensive side of the ball, Larry Webster, has been an unstoppable force for the Huskies since he made his transition from the basketball court to the gridiron. He leads the school all time in blocked shots and his athleticism has given offensive coordinators headaches these past two seasons. He has racked up 26 sacks in 24 games including 12.5 this past season.
While Quiteh chose to wait until his pro- day to work out for NFL scouts, Feiler and Webster headed to Indy this past weekend to participate in the 2014 NFL Combine. The workouts that the athletes participated in during the NFL Combine were the three cone drill, the high jump, long jump, bench press, 20 yard shuttle, 40 yard dash, and an assortment of different positional drills that test your fluidity for your specific position. The offensive line was the first to take the field and Feiler was out their running with the big- time four and five star college recruits trying to make a name for himself. He weighed in at 6’6 ” 330 pounds and posted a very impressive 36 reps on the bench press at 225 pounds, good for the upper percentile of combine athletes. His 5.37 40 yard dash was about average for offensive linemen. In order for him to stick on an NFL roster, he will most likely have to move inside to guard like fellow Bloomsburg Alumni Jahri Evans who was just selected to his fifth Pro- Bowl this year.
Only eight players from Bloomsburg University have ever suited up for an NFL team, this year, Feiler, Webster, and Quiteh look to follow in the footsteps of those eight players. All three competed in the East- West Shrine Game among some of the nation’s best professional prospects and two of them have now worked out for the NFL’s decision makers at the Combine. Bloomsburg was the only Division II team to send multiple players to the Combine and is making its case as one of the strongest programs in Division II. The 2014 NFL Draft will kick-off on May 8, at Radio City Music Hall and for over 200 of the country’s best collegian football players, their dream will be made. Only time will tell if our Huskies will be among them.