Seven Horned Frogs to participate in NFL combine


TCU School of Journalism

Jalen Reagor’s two touchdowns led the way for a TCU offense that has battled injuries all year long. Photo by Jack Wallace

By Noah Parker

Seven players will represent the Horned Frogs in this year’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

TCU’s seven representatives are more than any other school in the Big 12 or Texas, tied with College Football Playoff runner-up Clemson for sixth nationally. National champion LSU received the most combine invites with 16.

Among those invited were wide receiver Jalen Reagor, cornerback Jeff Gladney, defensive tackle Ross Blacklock, offensive tackle Lucas Niang, guard Cordel Iwagwu, and the running back duo of Sewo Olonilua and Darius Anderson.

The combine is essentially an extended job interview for players, according to the NFL Combine’s official website. Entire team staffs will be in attendance, including front-office executives, coaches and medical staff all making the trip for the league’s biggest pre-draft event. 

Over the course of the week, team officials will measure, interview, work out, medically examine and test players to see if they’ll fit into their roster. Players are measured and interviewed Feb. 24-25 and participate in on-field workouts from Feb. 27 through March 1.

Defensive end Ben Banogu, the most recent Horned Frog to impress at the combine, set the combine record for the broad jump by a defensive lineman with an 11-foot-2-inch mark in 2019. Banogu also had the top vertical leap of any defensive lineman with 40 inches.

Wide receiver Josh Doctson also impressed scouts in 2016 on his way to being drafted in the first round by the Washington Redskins by posting the top receiver numbers in the vertical jump (41 inches), broad jump (10 feet 11 inches) 20-yard shuttle (4.08 seconds) and 60-yard shuttle (11.06 seconds).

Defensive end LJ Collier was the only Frog selected in the first round of last year’s draft, taken by the Seattle Seahawks with the 29th overall pick. 

Wide receiver Jalen Reagor: 5 feet 11 inches, 206 pounds

Reagor threatens to be one of the fastest players in the draft. As part of his 2019 college football freaks list, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman said Reagor has previously clocked a 4.29 in the 40-yard dash. Just for reference, the fastest time ever recorded at the combine is 4.22 seconds by former Washington Huskies receiver John Ross.

NFL Draft Analyst Lance Zeirlein said in his scouting report Reagor “has more playmaking talent than receiving talent” and is “a versatile receiver who could spice up the offensive gumbo.” rates Reagor a 6.39 and predicts he will be a starter within two seasons.

Cornerback Jeff Gladney: 6 feet, 183 pounds

Jeff Gladney celebrates an incomplete pass attempt by Ohio State in 2018. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto.

Coming off of a year highlighted by a first-team All-Big 12 selection, the three-time all-conference cornerback is a borderline first-round prospect who could slip into the second round. A strong combine performance could be a massive help in solidifying Gladney’s first-round status.

Zeirlien said in Gladney’s scouting report that he is a “press cover irritant who plays an extremely competitive brand of football from snap to whistle.” Over the past two seasons, Gladney accumulated three interceptions and 26 pass breakups.

Like Reagor, gives him a 6.39 rating and predicts he will be a starter within two seasons.

Defensive tackle Ross Blacklock: 6 feet 4 inches, 305 pounds

Blacklock was a first-year All-American before sitting out his entire sophomore season due to a torn achilles. Blacklock returned as a junior for the 2019 season, in which he recorded nine tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

Zeirlein said Blacklock has “menacing disruptive qualities as a gap seeker.” According to The Ringer draft analyst Danny Kelly, Blacklock’s best trait is his quick-twitch ability to get off the ball at the snap. 

Blacklock received a draft grade of 6.4 and is predicted to be a starter within two seasons.

Right tackle Lucas Niang: 6 feet 6 inches, 315 pounds

Niang earned second-team All-Big 12 in his junior season with the Frogs before sitting out the back half of his senior season due to a hip injury that required surgery.

“Niang is a scheme-diverse run blocker with athleticism for move blocks and technique/leverage to open running lanes with power,” Zeirlein said.

Niang is predicted to be a starter within two seasons with a draft grade of 6.32.

Running back Darius Anderson: 5 feet 10 inches, 208 pounds

Darius Anderson takes a carry against Oklahoma at Amon G. Carter Stadium in 2018. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto.

A two-time TCU rushing season leader, Anderson shared the backfield the majority of his time at TCU with Olonilua. Anderson was a two-time All-Big 12 honorable mention as a Frog and is responsible for one of the most memorable highlights in recent memory — his 93-yard touchdown run against Ohio State. Draft analysts are less favorable on Anderson, as he is projected to go in the 5th round or lower. predicts Anderson has a chance to make the end of a roster or a practice squad with a draft grade of 5.58.

Running back Sewo Olonilua: 6 feet 3 inches, 232 pounds

Olonilua, another member of Feldman’s college football freaks list, spent his TCU career as the go-to in goal-to-go touchdowns. While draft experts say that Olonilua’s athleticism and size could be to his advantage, Zeirlein notes that he lacks many of the “checklist” traits from an NFL scouting point of view.

Like Anderson, Olonilua is predicted to make the end of a roster or a practice squad with a draft grade of 5.65.

Offensive guard Cordel Iwagwu: 6 feet 3 inches, 309 pounds

Iwagwu dealt with injuries for most of his career as a Horned Frog but played in all 12 games his senior year. Iwagwu is listed by most draft analysts as a late-round prospect due to his lack of power and ability to stop an NFL defensive front. His draft grade is 5.4 and is listed as a priority undrafted free agent.

The NFL Scouting Combine workouts begin Feb. 27 with quarterbacks, tight ends and receivers participating in on-field workouts.