BOONE — Senior defensive lineman Ronald Blair has received an invitation to take part in the annual NFL Scouting Combine, held each year for the top college football players in the country to show off their athleticism for NFL General Managers and scouts.
The 2016 NFL Combine is set for Feb. 23-29 in Indianapolis and will be televised on NFL Network.
On average, about 300 college players are invited to the NFL Scouting Combine to be evaluated by scouts that will test everything from speed and agility to strength and conditioning.
Blair finished a strong senior season by ranking 12th in the country in tackles for loss with 19 and was second in the Sun Belt Conference with 7.5 quarterback sacks. Overall, Blair had 71 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and an interception that he returned for a touchdown on Halloween against Troy.
The senior from Greensboro, Georgia will also get a chance to let scouts see him in action at the East-West Shrine Game in Florida on Jan. 23. Some of the top senior players in the country will be in action against each other. The game will be televised live on NFL Network at 4 p.m.
Blair is the second Mountaineer player in the last three seasons to be invited to the NFL Combine. Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Demetrius McCray participated in the NFL Combine in 2013 and was later drafted by the Jaguars in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
During his career, Blair will be remembered as one of the most disruptive defensive lineman the Mountaineers have ever had. Blair finished 10th in school history in sacks with 20.5 and fifth in school history in tackles for loss with 53.5. He was also a three-time all-conference performer, once in the Southern Conference (2012) and twice in the Sun Belt (2014, 2015), and an FCS Freshman All-American in 2011.
The only season he did not receive any postseason award recognition was in 2013 when he suffered a thumb injury that sidelined him for all but two games. Blair was granted a medical redshirt for that season.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87