Houston's Own

Local products look to shine at NFL Combine

Duke Ejiofor of Alief Taylor made name for himself at Wake Forest. vype.com

Originally appeared on Vype.com

 

Football never sleeps in Houston.

It’s offseason at the high school and college levels, but for the professionals, it’s time to train and position themselves for the NFL Draft.

The city of Houston has several athletes trying to navigate their way through the stressful and exciting time of finally getting to make financial gains for the work their hard work over the past decade.

Looking closer at the NFL Draft, it’s fascinating where the top prospects come from. Three former Alief Taylor Lions make up a third of the HTown kids invited to the NFL combine.

How is that possible? Kudos to the Alief Taylor staff for getting their guys ready for college, and all play on the defensive side of the ball.

Just five miles down the road is FB Bush, the home of Toledo DE Aneniyi Olasunkanmi. Staying in Fort Bend is Elkins’ WR J’Mon Moore, who balled out at Missouri.

Defensive backs Holton Hill (Lamar) and Jordan Thomas (Klein Collins) are likely Day 3 or free agent prospects, but got the coveted invite to the combine.

North Shore’s Dorance Armstrong is another rangy DE who played at Kansas of all places.

Joining Moore on the offensive side of the ball is LSU OL Toby Weathersby, formerly of Westfield.

 

NFL COMBINE INVITES

 

ADENIYI OLASUNKANMI, FB BUSH

Toledo, DE

He was a second-team, All-MAC with 66 tackles and 20 tackles for loss. He projects anywhere from 3rd to 6th round status. He could help himself with a great combine, but his size at 6-foot-1 could hurt him.

 

DORANCE ARMSTRONG, NORTH SHORE

Kansas, DE

Explosive edge-rusher who balled out at Kansas. But Kansas? He will need to gain some weight entering the NFL and will need to show that at the combine. He can run and has a great motor and work ethic. Projected in the late second to fifth round.

 

DUKE EJIOFOR, ALIEF TAYLOR

Wake Forest, DL

Was a stud at an improved Wake Forest team. Had 6.5 sacks and is athletic enough to play on the edge and even help on the inside. Had a great junior season as well. At 6-foot-4, 270-pounds, he has the NFL body.

 

HOLTON HILL, LAMAR

Texas, DB

He was suspended the last three games of the year at UT. At 6-foot-3, he has great size for the NFL but the sample size of him on the field is small. Someone will take a flier on Hill but not likely until the 5th round or as a free agent.

 

JOSHUA KALU, ALIEF TAYLOR

Nebraska, DB

Kalu is a good-sized safety, but needs to work on his speed. He’s physical and is a tackling machine. He needs a good time at the combine. Kalu will likely be in the 5-7 rounds. He played four years at Nebraska and tallied 215 tackles with 7 picks.

 

J’MON MOORE, ELKINS

Missouri, WR

Moore had 1,000 yards receiving in 2018 and 10 scores as Mizzou’s top wide out. At 6-foot-2, he is a nice-sized target but must improve his 4.54 time. It’s not a great receiver class so he has a shot to get drafted, but it will be late.

 

OGBONNIA OKORONKWO, ALIEF TAYLOR

Oklahoma, OLB

Had 8 sacks and 76 tackles on one of the top teams in the country. He is needing more athleticism to play on the edge, but will make a team. It’s going to be a late selection like 3rd-5th rounds.

 

JORDAN THOMAS, KLEIN COLLINS

Oklahoma, DB

Being a four-year starter at OU is saying something. He had 8 career INTs but didn’t have a great senior season. He played in the pass-happy Big 12 and will need to tighten up his cover skills. He’s a projected free agent pick up.

 

TOBY WEATHERSBY, WESTFIELD

LSU, OL

Played a ton for a solid LSU offensive line. He will likely play guard at the next level and is a good run-blocker. Pretty good athleticism and strength. He will be a 5th rounder to free agent.

 

OTHERS OF NOTE

 

Jeremiah Briscoe, Stratford

Sam Houston, QB

The Two-Time Payton Award winner for FCS Player of the Year. Basically the Heisman Trophy winner in FCS.

 

Jarrett Johnson, Seven Lakes

Texas A&M, DE

Had a solid career at Texas A&M, which is not known for defense. He as upside as he continues to grow.

 

Du’Vonta Lampkin, Cy Falls

Oklahoma, DT

Lampkin had a solid season but most pundits say he should have returned to the Sooners. Due to his size and upside, someone will take a chance on him in free-agency.

 

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Framber Valdez was dominant on Thursday. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

The Astros came into this game against the Rangers looking to take the finale of the 3-game series, and they did exactly that.

Framber Valdez had another classic performance, pitching seven innings while allowing zero runs and four hits. Valdez also recorded 8Ks and 1BB.

On offense, it was a big day for Yuli Gurriel who bounced back with 3 hits after going 0-5 the previous night. Alex Bregman and Martin Maldonado both went yard, hitting 2 and 3-run bombs respectively.

Maldonado's came in the bottom of the second inning, giving the Astros a 3-0 lead.

Bregman's put the Astros on top 5-0 in the bottom of the 5th.

The Astros added two more runs in the 7th after Bregman singled to drive in a run, and a sac fly from Aledmys Diaz.

Heading into the 8th inning, Seth Martinez took over for Valdez protecting a 7-0 lead. That lead wouldn't last long after Martinez allowed a couple of base runners and gave up 2 runs off a pair of singles from Nathaniel Lowe and Leody Taveras.

The Astros headed to the bottom of the 8th up 7-2.

After a scoreless bottom of the 8th, Rafael Montero came in to close the game out in the 9th.

Montero gave up a solo homer to Marcus Semien with 2 outs in the 9th before shutting the door.

Final: Astros 7, Rangers 3

Next up: Oakland comes to Minute Maid to play the Astros Friday night at 7:10PM.



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