Spartan NFL Combine Report: Friday
Bennie Fowler meets with the media to talk about his NFL Draft preparations, while NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock talks Spartan football in an exclusive interview with msuspartans.com.
Feb. 21, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS - Wide receiver Bennie Fowler was the first Spartan to meet with the media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium. Fowler is one of four Spartans, along with linebacker Max Bullough, cornerback Darqueze Dennard and safety Isaiah Lewis, participating in the 2014 NFL Combine.
"I got a last-minute invite to the Senior Bowl and got a chance to put on a green helmet on one more time with Isaiah (Lewis)," said Fowler. "I really enjoyed that process, and now being at the (NFL Scouting) Combine, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"I've been up since 4 o'clock this morning meeting with teams and doctors and things like that, so it's a mental grind as well as a physical grind."
Fowler led the Spartans in receiving yards (622) and touchdown receptions (6) as a senior in 2013, while also recording 26 catches. He finished his career with 93 receptions for 1,341 yards (14.4 avg.) in 44 career games, including 15 starts, and is tied for 16th in MSU history with 11 touchdown receptions.
The Bloomfield Hills, Mich., native showed his potential to play in the NFL in the Rose Bowl Game against Stanford, leading the team with 97 receiving yards on just two catches. His 37-yard, over-the-shoulder reception late in the second quarter to the Cardinal 3-yard line set up the Spartans' second touchdown of the game, and on the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter, he broke several tackles and raced 60 yards to the Stanford 15-yard line, which set up Michael Geiger's 31-yard field goal that tied the game at 17.
Those two plays undoubtedly got him noticed by scouts at the next level.
"I want to show scouts that I have very consistent hands and run very fast at my weight (217)," said Fowler, who caught two passes for 19 yards at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Fowler will test and work out in front of scouts on Sunday.
NFL NETWORK ANALYST MIKE MAYOCK GIVES HIGH PRAISE TO SPARTANS, DENNARD: On the second day of the NFL Combine, msuspartans.com had a chance to visit with NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock for an exclusive interview. Mayock, who stopped by preseason practice last August and called the MSU-Notre Dame game on NBC, certainly likes what he sees from the Spartan program.
"(Michigan State is) a top-level team," said Mayock. "They're a top-level program, and the facilities are fantastic. Coach (Mark Dantonio) has done a great job.
"One of my favorite games of the year was Michigan State-Stanford. That was two well-coached, tough teams that got after each other. It was a testament to Coach Dantonio and his staff how well they played and how tough they were. I always know when I put a Michigan State tape in I'm going to see a well-coached, disciplined group of kids. I like putting Michigan State tapes on to compare other Big Ten players when I'm getting ready for the draft. I purposely put Michigan State film in there because I want to see how they hang in there for 60 minutes after being grinded on by Michigan State."
Entering the NFL Combine, Mayock rated unanimous All-American and Jim Thorpe Award winner Darqueze Dennard the best cornerback available in the 2014 NFL Draft.
"His toughness (impressed me the most) and a lot of people really don't appreciate that about corners sometimes," Mayock remarked on Dennard. "I know how quick he is. He's a prototype press corner, but when push comes to shove and he's got to be physical and make a play, he does it. To me, that's what separates him from most of the corners in this draft."
WHAT'S NEXT: Live coverage of on-field workouts begins Saturday, Feb. 22 at 9 a.m. with the offensive linemen, tight ends and kickers, and continues with the running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers on Sunday, Feb. 24, linebackers and defensive linemen on Monday, Feb. 24, and defensive backs on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Coverage of workouts begins each day at 9 a.m. on the NFL Network and NFL.com. Linebacker Max Bullough will meet with the media on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.