FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State continues to prepare players for the National Football League and with five Bulldogs already among the 256 players invited to the 2010 NFL combine, there will likely be more Dogs on NFL rosters next season.
Five seniors earned invitations to the upcoming NFL combine, which will be held Feb. 24-March 2 in Indianapolis. The Dogs sent 30 players to NFL training camps last season, more than any non-BCS school and more than half of the schools in the Pac-10 Conference.
The players invited to the combine are receiver Seyi Ajirotutu, cornerback A.J. Jefferson, punter Robert Malone, running back Lonyae Miller and receiver Chastin West. Three of those seniors - Ajirotutu, Malone and Miller - have been selected to play in the 2010 East-West Shrine All-Star Game Jan. 23 in Orlando, Fla. That game will be on ESPN2.
Malone, a second-team Academic All-American and first-team All-WAC punter, was one of three punters selected.
Ryan Mathews, Fresno State's outstanding junior running back, is likely to receive an invitation. Mathews has already declared his intentions to be eligible for the 2010 NFL draft but combine invitations to juniors have not been extended yet.
Fresno State was among the leaders of teams sending players to the NFL combine. Only six schools had more than Fresno State. LSU led the list with 11 invitees. The other schools with more than five players selected were Alabama (8), Iowa (6), Mississippi (6), USC (8) and Texas (6).
Under head coach Pat Hill, the Dogs produced 23 players drafted into the NFL and many others who earned jobs as free agents. Fresno State has three quarterbacks in the NFL and has produced recent All-Pro picks Logan Mankins and Clifton Smith.