Union High School’s Tamah Chestnutt wants to show what he can do on the gridiron, and a surprise invite back to an upcoming Blue-Grey National All-American Super Combine will give him the chance to compete with the best in the country.
Chestnutt recently received the invite to one of five super combines held across the nation.
“I was surprised,” he said. “I didn’t know it was coming. It’s exciting.”
The events will be held at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio; the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium; Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.; Daytona Municipal Stadium in Florida; and Laney College in Oakland, Calif. Chestnutt is going to Daytona, where the combine will begin on June 11.
“Your selection is based on a previous regional combine, or a Red Zone status as well as your outstanding season in 2015. You will be competing with elite prospects from 32 states,” the invite from director Gus Bell reads.
Chestnutt previously went to one of the combines in Philadelphia, but was injured during the 40-yard dash.
“When I went up to Philly, I messed up my hamstring during the 40,” he said. “I tried to do the 40 a second time, but it bothered me again. I had to go through the combine with a messed up hamstring. I was upset because of my leg but I kept on going.”
He thinks his resolve and perseverance got him another combine invite.
“I guess they saw how determined I was,” he remarked.
The 5 foot, 6 inch, 150-pound running back had a solid 2015 campaign as a junior, building on his sophomore season with hopes of having a successful senior outing.
“My season went great. I did a lot more in my junior year than I did in my sophomore year. I’m looking forward to my senior year.”
The Union backfield shared the ball a lot during its 2015 campaign, in which the Spartans went 6-6, 3-4 in conference play. As a junior, Chestnutt rushed just 41 times, but averaged nearly 8 yards per rush, amassing 325 yards and four TDs, three of them on the ground. He is hoping to shoulder a much bigger load in his senior year and knows events like the combine will give him solid reps in the offseason.
Last year, there were 630 prospects who competed at the Blue-Grey super combines and more than 425 of them signed a college football scholarship in their senior year. The two-day event features All-American candidates and will also serve as a pool to select the squads to compete in one of four nationally televised Blue-Grey All American Bowls. Among other locations, the games are played in the home stadiums of NFL teams such as the Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders.
Super combine prospects will comprise 75 percent of each team.
“We are excited for this year’s prospects that will attend, as they move closer to their dream of playing college football,” Bell stated in the combine invite.
Chestnutt and his family are likewise excited at the chance.
“It’s exciting, it’s a blessing. It’s like he’s fulfilling some of the things I didn’t get to do,” his father Marlin Chestnutt stated. “This is an opportunity for him to get some exposure.”
“It’s a good opportunity for colleges to see you,” Tamah added. “I’m keeping my options open (for college), but I wouldn’t mind staying in the state.”
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