NCF Nation: Seyi Ajirotutu

Non-AQs to watch as NFL combine nears

February, 19, 2010
2/19/10
5:45
PM ET
Players from nonautomatic qualifying schools are steadily moving up ESPN Scouts Inc.’s draft board.

With a week before the NFL scouting combine, Idaho offensive guard Mike Iupati leads all non-AQ players as the top prospect. He’s the No. 1 guard in the draft and he and Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson have consistently been projected as first round picks.

But in Todd McShay’s blog Friday, Fresno Sate running back Ryan Mathews appeared as the No. 32 player in the upcoming draft. Mathews is a junior, so the first time scouts will really get to see his speed and agility is during the combine next week. Mathews is on the bubble between the first and second rounds and the combine could definitively move him one way or the other.

McShay also noted that after watching film, he found some players to watch as we head into the combine, and Utah receiver David Reed and Fresno State receiver Seyi Ajirotutu have cracked that list.

According to McShay, Reed “… should develop into a very good No. 3 receiver at the next level and is worth the investment late in Round 3.” McShay also writes that Reed should be taken over, “players such as Danario Alexander (Missouri), Jacoby Ford (Clemson) and Freddie Barnes (Bowling Green).”

For Ajirotutu, McShay writes that he needs some polishing, but could be a steal on Day 3 if some teams aren’t able to get a big-bodied receiver in the first three rounds.

Obviously, both Reed and Ajirotutu will have to impress scouts at the combine, but what they’ve shown on film already has piqued interest.
Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson

The Biletnikoff Award watch list was recently released and 18 players from the nonautomatic qualifying schools made the cut.

The award goes to the nation's best collegiate receiver.

Three players from the non-AQ schools have won the award, but none this decade. Wyoming's Marcus Harris won in 1996, Randy Moss of Marshall won in 1997 and Troy Edwards from Louisiana Tech won in 1998.

Several players have been finalists, though, including Rice's Jarett Dillard in 2006, Ball State's Dante Ridgeway in 2004 and Nevada's Nate Burleson in 2002.

Both Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference lead the non-AQ's with five nominees each.

The winner of the 17th Biletnikoff Award will be announced as part of ESPN's College Football Awards Show on Dec. 10. The award will be officially presented to the winner at the annual Biletnikoff Award dinner, hosted by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club, on Feb. 12, 2010.

2009 BILETNIKOFF AWARD WATCH LIST (From non-AQs)
Kris Adams, UTEP
Seyi Ajirotutu, Fresno State
Antonio Brown, Central Michigan
DeAndre Brown, Southern Miss
Tyron Carrier, Houston
Cortez Gent, Florida Atlantic
Rashaun Greer, Colorado State
T.Y. Hilton, Florida International
Jerrel Jernigan, Troy
Damaris Johnson, Tulsa
Dennis Pitta, BYU
Taylor Price, Ohio
Aldrick Robinson, SMU
Naaman Roosevelt, Buffalo
Greg Salas, Hawaii
Jacory Stone, Eastern Michigan
Stephen Williams, Toledo
Ryan Wolfe, UNLV

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