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Cunningham at the NFL Combine

photo courtesy | southernctowls.com Cunningham accumulated 29 receptions for 337 yards last year.

Josh Falcone – General Assignment Reporter

Southern tight end Jerome Cunningham was invited to participate in the 2013 NFL Super Regional Combine at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX on April 7 and 8.

Cunningham, who completed his senior season with the Owls recently, was one of 215 athletes that were invited to this year’s NFL Super Regional Combine.

Those athletes that are invited are made up of participants of the eight NFL Regional Combines held at various locations throughout the country earlier this year.

Cunningham attended the NFL Regional Combine held at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, MD the practice facility of the world champion Baltimore Ravens on March 23 and 24 and made a big enough splash to receive the invite to Arlington.

The NFL Super Regional Combine gives athletes who attend smaller schools the same opportunity given to those invited to the National Scouting Combine in Indianapolis which usually consist of athletes from the nation’s big name universities.

This includes the chance  to showcase their talents and workout in front of NFL team scouts and team player personnel staff.

According to NFL.com, more than 25 percent of the 2012 NFL Super Regional Combine attendees earned NFL contracts. According to the National Football Post, 83 players that attended the 2012 Super Regional were signed by teams as college-free agents and four were drafted in the sixth round.

Two of these participants were St. Louis Rams punter Johnny Hekker and kicker Greg Zuerlein. The two were among the best specialist in the league last season.

Zuerlein racked up numerous NFL records and honors including being named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week in weeks 4 and 13 of the season.

Long-time NFL executive, John Beake, helped the scouts shape the Super Regional participants. He told SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Alex Marvez that he believes the Super Regional is a worthwhile endeavor for the league.

“This puts players on a platform where they can be seen by all,” Beake said. “It gives teams a chance where they can bring a kid in for an interview and take another look at him before the draft.”

Beake told Marvez that he liked what he saw at this year’s Super Regional in Arlington.

“We had kids from all different schools,” he said. “They would have never had that chance to show their skill and ability without this Super Regional.”

For Cunningham, the Waterbury native was selected as an All-State and All-League selection at Crosby High School before attending Southern.

In his four-year career as part of the Owls, three starting at tight end Cunningham recorded 61 catches for 690 yards and seven touchdowns.

Cunningham’s teammate senior Willie Epps said he was a great teammate to line-up with on the field.

“He is someone who always worked out in the weight room and on the field,” Epps said. “You could count on him to make his blocks on each play. He was just a good solid overall player.”

Photo Courtesy | sportingnewsct.com SCSU football will play their annual spring game Saturday, April 20 at Jess Dow Field.
Photo Courtesy | sportingnewsct.com
SCSU football will play their annual spring game Saturday, April 20 at Jess Dow Field.

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