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January 2, 2013

VSU's Kugbila invited to NFL Combine

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State offensive lineman Edmund Kugbila has accepted an invitation to the upcoming NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

The 6-foot-5 guard announced the news via his Twitter account last week, saying that he wasn’t returning to Valdosta this spring semester so he could follow his dream of playing professional football.

At the NFL Combine, Kugbila will get an opportunity to meet with various teams and workout for all 32 NFL coaches and general managers. Currently, Kugbila is rated as the 22nd best guard prospect in this year’s NFL Draft, according to CBS Sports.

While Kugbila has been invited to the NFL Combine, senior tackle Ryan Schraeder plans on working out for various NFL teams this offseason, in hopes of being drafted.

All 32 NFL teams attended at least one practice this season to watch Schraeder and other draft-worthy seniors on the Valdosta State roster.

The 6-foot-7 Schraeder is rated as the 34th best tackle prospect and the 443rd overall prospect fort his year’s draft by CBS Sports.

Along with the linemen, defensive backs Greg Reid and Matt Pierce could get opportunities to play in the NFL.

Reid, a two-time Region 1-AAAAA Player of the Year with the Lowndes Vikings that was dismissed from Florida State’s football team in July, never played a down for the Blazers this season after tearing ligaments in his knee.

A projected second or third round pick in 2012 that opted to return to Florida State before being dismissed, Reid is now rated as the 41st best cornerback and the 365th best overall prospect.

Pierce is currently not listed in any pre-draft prospect rankings, but could still receive interest from teams after recording four interceptions this season for the Blazers, and recording a 96-yard kickoff return for touchdown in the national championship game, which aired on live national television.

Larry Dean, the Blazers' all-time leader in tackles, is the only former Valdosta State player on an active NFL roster. Dean is a member of the Minnesota Vikings, who visit the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card playoffs this weekend.

— Follow me on Twitter at @Ed_Hooper.

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