Appalachian State University football defensive lineman Ronald Blair (Greensboro, Ga./Greene County) has received an invitation to participate in the 2016 National Football League Scouting Combine, which will be held Feb. 23-29 in Indianapolis.
Only about 300 of the nation’s top draft-eligible college football players are invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, where they showcase their physical and mental skills for executives, coaches, player-personnel staffers and medical professionals from all 32 NFL teams. The Combine is considered one of the most vital evaluation tools for organizations preparing for May’s NFL Draft.
Blair, the 2015 Sun Belt Defensive Student-Athlete of the Year, led the conference with 19 tackles for loss (tied for 12th nationally) and ranked second in the league with 7.5 sacks as a senior in 2015. He also tallied 71 total tackles (third on team, t-26th in Sun Belt), two quarterback hurries, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception that he returned 30 yards for a touchdown in a 44-41 triple-overtime win over Troy on Oct. 31.
Blair started all 51 games that he suited up for during his Appalachian State career and finished with 53.5 tackles for loss (fifth in school history) and 20.5 sacks (10th in school history). In addition to being named the Sun Belt’s top defensive performer in 2015, he was also a three-time all-conference honoree (Sun Belt – 2014 and 2015, Southern Conference – 2012) and an NCAA Division I FCS freshman all-American in 2011.
Blair is the first Mountaineer invited to participate in the NFL Combine since Demetrius McCray in 2013. McCray went on to be selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft and just completed his third season as a defensive back for the Jaguars.
In addition to participating in next month’s NFL Combine, Blair will also have a chance to impress NFL scouts at this month’s East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. The prestigious East-West Shrine game kicks off at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23 at Tropicana Field and will be televised live on the NFL Network