On the heels of a historic season, three University of Memphis football players will have the chance to turn some front-office executive heads this weekend when the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine commences at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The record-setting duo of quarterback Riley Ferguson and wide receiver Anthony Miller will get the first crack Saturday, when quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends are put through workouts. Linebacker Gerard Avery will take the field with the other defensive front-seven prospects in the draft.
Ferguson threw 36 touchdown passes in 2017, eclipsing his previous school record of 32 from 2016. He also broke the school record for single-season passing yardage, with 4,257 in 2017.
During his two years as a Tiger, Ferguson’s 7,955 career passing yards places him third on Memphis’ all-time list, behind Danny Wimprine and Paxton Lynch. Ferguson’s 70 career passing touchdowns are second to Wimprine’s 81. During Ferguson’s record-setting 2017, he garnered first-team all-American Athletic Conference honors and semifinalist selections for the Davey O’Brien and Campbell Trophy awards.
Miller, a walk-on from Christian Brothers High School, tops all of the major receiving categories at Memphis after a highly decorated tenure that places him firmly in the conversation for the greatest player in program history. These categories include career receptions (238), career receiving yardage (3,590), career receiving touchdowns (37), single-season receptions (96), single-season yardage (1,462), single-season receiving touchdowns (18), single-game receptions (15), single-game receiving yardage (250) and single-game receiving touchdowns (4). Miller is only the third NCAA consensus All-American in school history (named by the AFCA, Associated Press, ESPN and The Athletic). Miller was also chosen as the winner of the 2017 Touchdown Club of Columbus’ Paul Warfield Award and a finalist for the 2017 Burlsworth Trophy, an award given to the most outstanding FBS football player who began his career as a walk-on.
Avery, a two-time first-team all-AAC selection at linebacker, was a versatile chess piece for head coach Mike Norvell during his Memphis career. The tenacious defender finished his career second in career tackles-for-loss, with 45.5. His 21.5 career sacks are third in school history, including 8.5 in 2017. Avery also participated at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January.
Ferguson, Miller and Avery will undergo a battery of physical and mental tests during their time at the NFL Combine. These include measurements, extensive medical exams and team interviews. Ferguson and Miller will meet with the NFLPA Friday, followed by a short media roundtable and bench press workouts. Avery will interview and undergo pre-exams and x-rays. Avery and the linebackers will try their hand at the bench press Saturday, followed by other on-field testing on Sunday.
Shortly after the combine, Ferguson, Miller and Avery will get an opportunity to strut their stuff during Memphis’ Pro Day on April 6.
Memphis linebacker Genard Avery (6) runs an interception back for a Tiger touchdown. The Tigers rallied from 13 down to win the game.
Riley Ferguson throws a pass. He completed nine passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns in the game.
Tigers' wide receiver, Anthony Miller, stretches over the goal line for a touchdown. Miller had one touchdown and 55 yards in his final game for Memphis.