2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

An NFL-style combine at the high school level? Calhoun is for it

Published: February 25, 2013, 10:10 pm, by Brent Briggeman


Troy Calhoun is no stranger to the NFL Combine, and he’s a fan. So much so that the Air Force coach would like to see another version of it that, instead of highlighting college players for NFL evaluators, would put high school athletes there for college coaches to see.

“It would ensure there’s consistency across the board,” Calhoun said. “Compliance-wise it’s something clearly you can monitor, but at the same time it’s fair to everyone involved in terms of being able to evaluate.”

Calhoun’s suggestion is to hold a large number of high school combines, maybe 70, holding two per day in April and May in large cities and at regional sites.

“I think it makes more sense,” he said.

He’s absolutely right. And it would save major dollars.

Instead of paying for each assistant to travel to dozens of towns and schools each year to verify heights, weights and all other measurables for recruits, that effort could be consolidated. There would still be travel associated with recruiting, but if much of the weeding out process could be done in one organized location it would simplify the process and keep costs down at public institutions across the country.

Calhoun said he hasn’t heard any discussion of his proposed college combine, but he sure seemed to be into the idea.

As a former NFL assistant, Calhoun understands how the combine fits into the overall evaluation process. He was part of a draft for the Texans that included stealing tight end Owen Daniels in the fourth round, so he clearly understands how to use it to his advantage.

It would be interesting to see how a program like Air Force, which recruits nationally, could use a college combine to help identify potential recruits. It would also be interesting to see if players from the Colorado Springs area might be able to use such a platform to elevate their status.

It certainly seems worth pursuing.