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MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 2: Damien Berry #20 of the Miami Hurricanes dives into the end zone to score a touchdown against the Florida A&M Rattlers in the second quarter on September 2, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
The University of Miami Hurricanes may have suffered a down year in 2010, but nine outgoing players from that team have been invited to the annual NFL scouting combine, which starts Thursday in Indianapolis.
Only the University of North Carolina is sending more players (12) to the combine.
With so much NFL talent coming out of the U this year, you would forgive Canes fans for their disappointment over the team's lackluster 7-6 season.
Running backs Graig Cooper and Damien Berry, defensive backs Brandon Harris and DeMarcus Van Dyke, defensive end Allen Bailey, kicker Matt Bosher, offensive tackle Orlando Franklin, wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, and linebacker Colin McCarthy have all been invited to participate in the combine. Harris and Bailey have both been projected as potential 1st round picks by various draft experts, though their stock has dropped since the beginning of the 2010 season.
UM has long held a reputation as "NFL U" among pro scouts and executives. According to Draftmetrics.com, former Canes amassed 4,568 starts at the pro level from 1991-2010, sending 117 draftees to the NFL during that time. Both numbers were tops among all college football programs.
Additionally, a Miami player was drafted in the first round every year from 1995 to 2008. While a first-round selection is not guaranteed in 2011, Harris and Bailey could sneak their way into the first round of the draft with good combine workouts this week.
The combine will last through March 1. The NFL Draft begins April 28.
David Hill is a Miami native who spent most of his childhood at the Orange Bowl.