East Lansing – After sending just one player to the NFL Combine a year ago, Michigan State will have four taking part in this year’s event.
Running back LJ Scott, cornerback Justin Layne, safety Khari Willis and wide receiver Felton Davis III have all been invited to this year’s combine, which will run from Feb. 26-March 4 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Scott will perform on-field testing March 1. Layne and Willis will work with the defensive backs on March 4 while Davis is still rehabbing from the ruptured Achilles he suffered during his senior season but can attend the event and meet with NFL personnel.
Michigan, meanwhile, is sending six: linebacker Devin Bush, defensive lineman Rashan Gary, tight end Zach Gentry, running back Karan Higdon, cornerback David Long and defensive end Chase Winovich.
Scott was Michigan State’s leading rusher in each of his first three seasons before injuries derailed his senior year. He appeared in just five games and after first saying he would return for a fifth season, he opted to play in the Redbox Bowl and enter the NFL Draft. He ranks ninth in Michigan State history in rushing yards (2,855) and carries (610) and is tied for 12th in rushing touchdowns (25).
Layne had 15 pass breakups and one interception as a junior, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors. He opted to leave MSU a year early and not play in the bowl game. He’s listed as the No. 9 cornerback in the draft by ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.
Willis was a captain as a senior and finished with 84 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and 10 pass break-ups. He earned third-team All-Big Ten honors from the media.
Davis was in the midst of another solid season when he suffered his injury against Michigan on Oct. 20. He had 31 catches for 474 yards and four touchdowns in seven games as a senior after making 55 catches for 776 yards and nine TDs as a junior.
Michigan State has sent 48 participants to the NFL Combine during coach Mark Dantonio's tenure. Last season, offensive lineman Brian Allen attended. It was the only time during Dantonio’s tenure the Spartans did not send multiple players to the Combine. In 2016, a record seven players took part.
Local NFL Combine participants
►Devin Bush, LB
►Rashan Gary, DL
►Zach Gentry, TE
►Karan Higdon, RB
►David Long, CB
►Chase Winovich, DE
►Felton Davis, WR
►Justin Layne, CB
►LJ Scott, RB
►Khari Willis, S
►Sean Bunting, CB
►Xavier Crawford, CB
►Maxx Crosby, DL
►Devon Johnson, OT
OTHERS WITH LOCAL TIES
►Tyree Jackson, QB, Buffalo (Muskegon Mona Shores)
►Michael Jordan, OG, Ohio State (Plymouth)
►Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State (Detroit Cass Tech)