Former Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall is now 15 years away from his scouting combination experience in the NFL, but those days of audition and interview for his dream job remain etched in his memory.
So when he learned that the NFL, for the sake of COVID-19, would abandon the 2021 combine – which was said to have taken place last week in Indianapolis – Marshall took action.
He wanted to make sure that the more than 20 athletes who prepared for the combine through his training facility, House of Athlete in Weston, Fla., Still had an experience and an opportunity before the draft as he did. had done so in 2006, before he was drafted by Denver in the fourth round.
“It was an interesting process; it was a difficult process – a lot of tension and stress, because that’s what you’ve been dreaming of since you were 6 or 7, ”recalls Marshall, the founder and CEO of HOA this week. “I wanted these guys to be able to go through this … to show the scouts and the NFL what they got.” It’s the biggest stage, and if you take that away, what opportunity do they have? “
So this week, Marshall and House of Athlete are hosting their own combine-style event for the draft prospects. He’s also doing his part to make sure the draft junkies get their combine fix – the event will air live on FoxSports.com at 10 a.m. on Friday. The footage will be shown in the House of Athlete’s “Path to the Draft” series on Fox Sports.
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond, Clemson running back Travis Etienne Jr., Georgian defensive back Eric Stokes Jr. and former UCF kicker Donald De La Haye are among the expected prospects.
Under the guidance of Facility Professional Performance Manager Mo Wells, prospects will go through the measurable portion of the pre-assessment process on Thursday, performing the 225-pound press test just as they would on a combine. .
On Friday’s show, athletes will perform the 40-yard scorecard, vertical jump, width jump, three-cone exercise, short shuttle exercise and positioning work at Inter. Miami CF Stadium. House of Athlete is bringing in former NFL head coach Hue Jackson and retired NFL players Chad Johnson, Fred Taylor, Channing Crowder and Ryan Clark to lead the positional drills.
Marshall even hired Zybek, the company that typically handles timed drills for the NFL combine, to do the same for the House of Athlete showcase.
“We go through third parties to make sure everyone understands these numbers aren’t cooked,” Marshall told USA TODAY Sports.
“It just doesn’t make sense for us to go through all this live broadcast and this great production to help these guys take it to the next level and then for the Boy Scouts and GMs and owners to say, ‘What? is it? This is not what you sold us.
“We’re trying to keep this stuff going for years to come, and we’ve gone over it and want to make sure that when Boy Scouts and CEOs go online, they get the real one, the real one.
Images of the day, shot by a professional camera crew, will be sent to all NFL teams.
“The most important thing we heard from the teams (during the planning stages) was knowing that the production is going well, that the results are legitimate, that it is well produced, organized and that it is can get something out of it, ”Wells said.
“We are not using an iPhone camera, a digital recorder. We are hosting a large-scale event that even the NFL Network would be proud of. “
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Jones on Twitter @ByMikeJones and listen to the Football Jones podcast on iTunes.