JSU football teaser

JACKSONVILLE — Three Jacksonville State draft-eligible players have received invitations to the NFL Scouting Combine.

Darius Jackson, Siran Neal and Roc Thomas were includes on the list, which was released Tuesday morning. Only one other player from the OVC got an invitation — Murray State defensive back D’Montre Wade, who had an interception against the Gamecocks this past season.

No other FCS school put more than two players on the list.

The combine will be Feb. 27-March 5 inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. The NFL extended invitations to 336 players.

Jackson, a two-time OVC Defensive Player of the Year, is the school’s all-time leader in tackles for loss and sacks. He set the JSU single-season tackle-for-loss mark at 20.5 to cap a stellar senior season in which he was a repeat first-team Associated Press All-American. He was named the Buck Buchanan Award winner as the top defensive player in FCS.

Neal, who played in last month’s Senior Bowl, is drawing comparisons to former Utah and current New England Patriot Eric Rowe. Some mock drafts project Neal to go in the fourth or fifth round. After making the switch from linebacker to cornerback for his senior season, he led the Gamecocks with 11 pass break-ups. He finished his JSU career with three interceptions and 21 pass break-ups.

Thomas, who started his collegiate career at Auburn after winning Mr. Football at Oxford High, rushed for 1,065 yards and 13 touchdowns on just 178 carries during his second year as a Gamecock. The performance helped him earn second-team AP All-American honors as well as be named the OVC Offensive Player of the Year.

Thomas is one of only two FCS running backs selected (Fordham’s Chase Edmonds. Neal is the only player listed as a safety who is from an FCS school. Jackson is listed as a linebacker, and is one of three FCS players at that position. North Dakota State's Nick Deluca and South Carolina State’s Darius Leonard are the others.

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