Auburn, Ala.--Following a perfect 14-0 season in 2010 that culminated in winning the BCS National Championship over Oregon, Auburn will have just five players at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis when it takes place from Feb. 23-March 1.
As expected both Nick Fairley and Cameron Newton have been invited as both are being touted as possible first round selections. Along with them in Indianapolis will be fellow junior Darvin Adams along with seniors Mario Fannin and Lee Ziemba.
While Newton was the unquestionable best player in college football last year and winner of numerous awards including the Heisman Trophy, it’s Fairley that is getting the most hype from NFL scouts.
As a junior the Mobile native finished the season with 60 tackles but it was in the backfield where he made his presence felt. Setting the school record with 11 ½ sacks and 24 tackles for a loss, Fairley was the Lombardi Award as the nation’s top lineman in 2010.
For Newton the NFL Combine is the next step on a journey that has taken him from Florida to Blinn (TX) Community College and then to Auburn. The leader of an Auburn offense that set school records for points and yards, the 6-6, 250 Newton was a man among boys in 2010.
He carried the ball 264 times for 1,473 yards on the ground and a school record 20 rushing touchdowns. Newton also completed 185-280 passes for a school record 30 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. Throw in a touchdown reception against Ole Miss and he accounted for 51 touchdowns in one season. That is more than 86 teams had this season.
Deciding to forego his senior year and turn pro early, Adams will leave Auburn as one of the school’s most productive receivers despite catching just three passes for 18 yards as a redshirt freshman. In 2009 he had a huge year with a school record 60 receptions for 997 yards and 10 touchdowns. He followed that up in 2010 with 52 catches for 963 yards and seven scores.
Bothered by injuries his entire career at Auburn, Fannin was used primarily as a third-down back his senior season on the Plains. A physical player that is versatile enough to be a quality player in the NFL, Fannin ran for 1,466 yards and 11 touchdowns in his career. He added 97 receptions for 985 yards and nine touchdowns as a receiver. Fannin also returned 44 kickoffs for 944 yards in his four years.
Performing well in the Senior Bowl at right tackle after starting all 52 games of his collegiate career at Auburn, Ziemba has a chance to be selected in the first few rounds on the NFL Draft following his impressive senior year.
Ziemba was a consensus first team All-American this season (Walter Camp, AFCA and FWAA) and claimed the Jacobs Blocking Trophy in the SEC this season and was a first team All-SEC selection by both the AP and Coaches. He was also part of an offensive unit that broke school records for points and total offense and paved the way for six consecutive 300-yard rushing efforts against SEC opponents for the first time in school history.