Trinity standout football players Matthew Kennemer and Conner Cox have been invited to one of five NFL Regional Combines.
The NFL developed the Regional Combines in 2012 as a way to provide an opportunity for participants to display their professional league potential.
Kennemer and Cox will be attending the Regional Combine at the Houston Texans’s practice facility Saturday, Feb. 14. The other Regional Combines will be held in Denver, Miami, Baltimore and Chicago this year.
The NFL Regional Combines are structured somewhat differently than NFL Scouting Combines.
First, participation in the Regional Combines is exclusive to players who are eligible for the 2015 Draft and who played collegiate-level football during the 2014 season. Second, players must have completed all college eligibility prior to attending the Regional Combine and are only permitted to register for one Regional Combine.
Another interesting aspect of the Regional Combines is that they are limited to position players only, and exclude any kickers or punters from the event.
Interested players must pay a $150 registration fee. The athletes who perform well enough will then be invited to the Super Regional Combine at the Arizona Cardinals’s training facility March 21.
“Pursuing an NFL career has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid and to already be going to a Combine is surreal,” Cox said. “I’ve had a lot of support from my family, friends, teammates and coaches so I can’t wait to give it my all at this great opportunity.”
As with Cox, the word “excited” does not do justice to Kennemer’s feelings towards the combine.
“It’s a great opportunity; it’s an opportunity that I’ve dreamed about ever since I started playing football, and now that the dream is getting closer, I am more motivated than ever to push towards that dream,” Kennemer said. In their time at Trinity, both Cox and Kennemer have established quite impressive resumes.
Cox is a powerful offensive lineman who was named a First Team USA College Football All-American this year. He was elected in both 2013 and 2014 as a Pre-Season All-American and is a four-time All-SCAC honoree.
Kennemer dominated the field throughout his Trinity career as well. He was a wide receiver and special teams phenom for the football program, and was named a Pre-Season All-American back-to-back years like Cox. He worked his way to Second Team All-American this season and received the title of All-SCAC three times.
On special teams, Kennemer led the conference in kick returns last season with 21 for 517 yards, averaging 24.6 yards per return. He also showed he had a solid kicking-leg, punting the ball on 11 occasions for 442 yards, averaging 40.2 yards per punt.
Kennemer was named the SCAC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013. Kennemer also flourished at receiver, catching 22 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns.
“I definitely have high expectations for the combine. If I didn’t have high expectations for it then I wouldn’t deserve to have this great opportunity. My hard work and dedication, along with the support of my teammates, family and friends has gotten me this far, and as far as I can tell, there are no limits as to where else that may take me,” Kennemer said.
At present, there are seven NFL Regional Combine players on the Pittsburgh Steelers and five with the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills.
Twenty seven of the 32 teams in the NFL have at least one player on their team who came from a Regional Combine.