NFL COMBINE: 26 players with Georgia ties

Alfonza Dennard is considered one of the top cornerbacks in this year's draft. (Associated Press).

Alfonza Dennard, who played in high school at Wilcox County, is considered one of the top cornerbacks in this year's draft. (Associated Press).

In all, 26 players with Georgia connections are on the official invite list to the NFL scouting combine drills which starts Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Last season there were 31 players with Georgia connections invited to the scouting combine.

Some of the lesser known players with local ties include Yale quarterback Patrick Witt and Samford defensive back Corey White.

Witt played at Parkview before finishing his high school career in Texas. He started his college career at Nebraska before transferring to Yale where he was a three-year starter and now holds most of the school’s major career passing records: 549 completions (first), 913 attempts (first), 6,033 yards (first), 60.1 completion percentage (first) and 37 touchdown passes (second).

White, who played at Dunwoody, prepared for the combine by training in Bradenton, Fla.

White had four interceptions last season. He also had 58 tackles, including 52 solo tackles.

Over his career at Samford, White had seven interceptions and 18 passes defensed. He finished with 140 tackles overall.

Here’s a link to the full schedule for the 2012 NFL scouting combine.

Here’s a quick look at the group of players with Georgia Connections:

1. JUSTIN ANDERSON, GEORGIA, OL, 6-5, 342 (Irwin County High). Earned his undergraduate degree in Housing.

2. BRANDON BOYKIN, GEORGIA, DB, 5-10, 183, (Fayette County).  Suffered a leg injury at the Senior Bowl. Was interviewed by the Falcons in Mobile.


Cyhl Quarles.

Cyhl Quarles played at Meadowcreek High before going on to star at Wake Forest.

3. DREW BUTLER, GEORGIA, P, 6-2, 214 (Peachtree Ridge). Earned undergraduate degree in Telecommunications graduating Cum Laude. Only one punter was selected in the 2011 NFL draft.

4. ORSON CHARLES, GEORGIA,TE, 6-3, 241. “Not much of a blocker,” according to Mel Kiper’s 2012 draft report. “When you bring the type of dimension that he does to passing game, it more than compensates for any deficiencies in that area.” 

5. ALFONZA DENNARD, NEBRASKA, DB, 5-10, 205, (Wilcox County). Suffered a hip injury at the Senior Bowl. Kiper has him as the top rated senior cornerback in the draft. “Dennard is a gifted athlete with superior leaping ability,” according to Kiper. “I’ve also been impressed with his toughness and hard-nosed approach.”

6. CORDY GLENN, GEORGIA, OL, 6-5, 348 (Riverdale). “Glenn has proven to be a [strong] run blocker when he plays with proper leverage and hand placement,”  according to Kiper.

7. DARIUS HANKS, ALABAMA, WR, 6-0, 185 (Norcross).   Caught 26 passes for 328 yards and one touchdown last season for the Crimson Tide.

8. JOSH HARRIS, AUBURN, LS, 6-1, 224 (Carrollton). Participated in the Senior Bowl.

9. CASEY HAYWARD, VANDERBILT, CB, 5-11, 188 (Perry). “Fine all-around CB with the Commodores, making a ton of plays on, around, or behind the line of scrimmage in addition to getting the job done at a high level in pass coverage,” according to Kiper. “Reliable and consistent. Hayward started 37 consecutive games to close out his exceptional career in Nashville, totaling 13 interceptions.”

10. STEPHEN HILL, GEORGIA TECH, WR, 6-5, 205, (Miller Grove). “What is lacking from the equation at the present time in polish,” according to Kiper.

11. BRUCE IRVIN, WEST VIRGINIA, DE, 6-3, 245 (Stephenson). Played wide receiver for Ron Gartrell at Stephenson. Went to junior college before signing with the Mounties. He was number two in the nation with 14 sacks as a junior.  His sacks dropped to seven last season. He’s considered a 3-4 rush linebacker by some teams.

12. BEN JONES, GEORGIA, C/G, 6-3, 316. Played in the Senior Bowl. He was a Dave Rimington Trophy Finalist.

13. DeQUAN MENZIE, ALABAMA, CB, 6-0, 198 (Columbus Carver).  He started and moved inside in nickel situations. He’s also a solid blitzer from the slot.

14. JONATHAN MASSAQUOI, TROY, DE, 6-2, 270 (Central Gwinnett). “He had the look of a raising star in the Sun Belt Conference last season, finishing with 20.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks,” according to Kiper. “I saw a player who quickly disengaged from blockers and was capable of making big plays against the run or pass. The results this [past] season haven’t been nearly as impressive [10 tackles for loss/six sacks].”

15. RENNIE MOORE, CLEMSON, DT, 6-3, 265 (Camden County). He received his degree.

Tauren Poole played at Stephens County High before playing at Tennessee. (Associated Press)

Tauren Poole played at Stephens County High before playing at Tennessee. (Associated Press)

16. KELCIE McCRAY, ARKANSAS STATE, SS, 6-2, 195 (Columbus, Ga. – Hardaway High). A hard-hitting safety.

17. BRANDON MOSLEY, AUBURN, OT, 6-6, 310 (Jefferson). Played in the Senior Bowl.  Mosley was a second team All-SEC selection by the league coaches in 2011 after starting all 13 games for the Tigers, one at left tackle and 12 at right tackle. He started 11 games in 2010 as he helped Auburn to the BCS national title.

18. TAUREN POOLE, TENNESSEE, RB, 5-10, 215 (Stephens County). Was the Vols leading rusher with 693 yards in 12 games (57.8 per game) with five touchdowns. He also had 21 catches for 164 yards.

19. SHAWN POWELL, FLORIDA STATE, P, 6-4, 235 (Rome, Ga./Darlington Prep).  Won the CFPA punter of the year award.

20. BRANDON THOMPSON, CLEMSON, DT, 6-2, 310 (Thomasville). “One of the more under-publicized blue chip, first-round prospects on the defensive side of the ball,” according to Kiper. “Thompson is difficult to handle along the interior with his combination of quickness and power. Bench presses 450 pounds and squats 615.”

21. CYHL QUARLES, WAKE FOREST, SS, 6-3, 210 (Meadowcreek). The 12th ranked safety in the draft, according to NFLDraftScout.Com.

22. ROKEVIOUS WATKINS, SOUTH CAROLINA, OT, 6-4, 340 (Creekside). Has played both guard and tackle for the Gamecocks.

23. DeANGELO TYSON, GEORGIA,DE, 6-2, 306 (Statesboro). Played in the East-West Shrine game.

24. BLAIR WALSH, GEORGIA, PK, 5-10, 192. Named to UGA’s team of the decade.

25. COREY WHITE, SAMFORD, DB, 6-1, 210 (Dunwoody). A first-team all-Southern Conference pick.

26. PATRICK WITT, YALE, QB, 6-4, 230 (Parkview). Started his college career at Nebraska, before transferring to Yale.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

27 comments Add your comment

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]


February 20th, 2012
7:20 am

Blue Fender

February 20th, 2012
8:13 am


He’s kind of short, isn’t he?


February 20th, 2012
8:45 am

It is sad that because of the tos more GT kids weren’t invited. I believe Roddy Jones and Peters could make a roster. And maybe Melton and their fast A Back. Hopefully thaey will get a chance.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 20th, 2012
9:03 am

Blue Fender — He just grew nine inches. AMAZING!!! “18. TAUREN POOLE, TENNESSEE, RB, 5-10, 215″

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 20th, 2012
9:04 am

Thoughful — They could get added this week.

D man

February 20th, 2012
9:06 am

Blair Walsh??? He missed too many big kicks this season. Including the game winner in the bowl game. Who will take a chance on this guy… Maybe he can get coached up and do better in the pros…

D man

February 20th, 2012
9:09 am

In fairness to Blair, his overall numbers from 4 years are impressive. Just one bad year. Good luck Blair…


February 20th, 2012
10:03 am

………………and all in alphabetical order! Cool Runnings DLed.


February 20th, 2012
10:06 am

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 20th, 2012
9:03 am
Blue Fender — He just grew nine inches. AMAZING!!! “18. TAUREN POOLE, TENNESSEE, RB, 5-10, 215″
Must be Native American Indian.


February 20th, 2012
10:06 am

If anyone were to be taken from this list, I would like Boykins, Heyward, Massoqui, or B. Irvin to fit area(s) of need, pending free agency. I don’t have the home-town bias to grab someone who played in-state …. just get somebody to put opposing QBs on the ground or snag his passes from the opposing WRs.

disgruntled GT alumnus

February 20th, 2012
10:26 am

Kiper’s comment about Stephen Hill will further kill CPJ’s recruiting. I recall when the Steelers’ running backs coach told the media that they Jonathan Dwyer had fallen to them in the late rounds because of “the system he played in.”

I don’t see how you can expect to recruit well enough to compete regularly when your system means most kids who want a shot at the NFL will go elsewhere. Before you give me the “or academics mean we can’t get great recruits anyway” argument answer me how the schools listed below (all of which are on par with GT or better, frankly) do get the recruits to compete at the highest levels in football (or have in the recent past)?

Stanford, Cal-Berkeley, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, Penn State, Southern Cal, Wisconsin, Notre Dame

News about NFL Preseason Games issue #1 |

February 20th, 2012
10:28 am


February 20th, 2012
11:09 am

That’s all you got on Ronnie Moore – that he received his degree? Is that unusual for Clemson players?

Delbert D.

February 20th, 2012
11:20 am

I’m still wondering about the revamped strength and conditioning program and the decline in performance from Walsh and Butler.


February 20th, 2012
12:09 pm

Disgruntled GT, none of what you just said is correct. BeBe got drafted high and for a long time Dwyer was projected to be a first 2-3 round pick even in our offense.


February 20th, 2012
12:09 pm

Alfonzo Dennard top rated CB in the draft
very strange:
he was not a 5 star recruit (3 stars)
he did not play in SEC
he did not have offers from SEC

yet when Tech signs kids ranked like him they get bad recruiting rankings.


February 20th, 2012
12:13 pm

@disgruntled GT alumnus

The reason Dwyer fell late was because he showed up out of shape for NFL Combine and health reasons that were related to his being out of shape. His medications.

before all this when he was being evaluated in CPJ system he was projected 1st round or early 2nd round pick. Had nothing to do with system.


February 20th, 2012
2:19 pm

“BigTimeTECHFan”? Is that an oxymoron? Or a moron?

Left Coast Dawg

February 20th, 2012
4:47 pm

So BigTimeTECHFan, you’re saying that GT is a pipeline to the NFL….or should be viewed as such by recruits?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

February 20th, 2012
7:20 pm

JONATHAN MASSAQUOI, TROY, DE,……any relation to Mohammed from UGA??

GA Buckeye

February 20th, 2012
7:25 pm

Dled, I would have thought Neiko Thorpe of Tucker/auburn would have received a Combine invite?


February 20th, 2012
8:22 pm

Alfonzo is one of those talented Wilcox county kids that has an unbelievable amount athletic ability. Similar to Outlaw and, Nick Marshal in fact he could be one of their relatives

[...] NFL scouting combine will feature 26 players from Georgia [...]

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 21st, 2012
8:53 am

GA Buckeye — Thorpe wasn’t on the list. I’ll be on the lookout to see if he’s a late add.


February 21st, 2012
8:17 pm

JONATHAN MASSAQUOI, TROY, DE,……any relation to Mohammed from UGA??

Twins…one caught everything thrown his way while the other ate everything thrown his way!


February 22nd, 2012
7:19 pm

I’ll take Brandon Boykin, Orson Charles, Cordy Glenn, Ben Jones, Jonathan Massaquoi and Brandon Thompson. Thanks. This should shore up most of our problems.