No stone is left unturned in the world of football scouting. Not only do teams file in for marquee matchups like Clemson-Florida State, but three NFL teams are attending Saturday’s Connecticut-East Carolina game as well.
Those teams are the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers.
While the two schools have a combined record of just 7-10, each has had their fair share of gems to join the NFL ranks. Most recently, UConn produced Dallas Cowboys’ safety and workout warrior Byron Jones. East Carolina’s greatest claim to fame being 2,000-yard rusher Chris Johnson and now Minnesota Vikings’ defensive tackle Linval Joseph.
It won’t be until the NFL Combine and pro days that a good understanding of each team’s prospects emerge as was the case of Jones being selected in the first-round after setting a world-record broad jump. However, as it stands, Connecticut’s main attraction is another defensive back in Obi Melifonwu.
He not only leads the Huskies with two interceptions but also has notched 64 tackles in eight games. His junior season he had 88 tackles and a pair of interceptions in a full 13 games. Standing at 6-3 makes him a particularly attractive NFL investment.
On offense, it is a one-man show with wide receiver Noel Thomas averaging over 100 yards per game. Any concerns his stats are padded against poor opponents are laid to rest after having a career outing against Houston with 135 yards and one touchdown on six receptions.
East Carolina’s prospects are much more limited but should offer a nice receiving comparison with wide out Jimmy Williams. Through seven games he has 599 yards and five touchdowns on 27 receptions, proving to be a nice deep threat any of the teams in attendance could use.