Wheeling Football Sends Four to National Scouting Combine
Wheeling, West Virginia – On Wednesday, some of the best players from FBS, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III will travel to Westfield, Indiana for the start of the 2023 National Scouting Combine. Wheeling’s college football team is well represented on the first day of the event, with four players having the opportunity to show off their skills in front of professional scouts. Wide receiver Lowell Patron, running back Sy Alli, wide receiver/return specialist Chris Canaday and defensive lineman Brandon Muñoz are all participating as they continue on their path to a professional football career.
The National Scouting Combine is a four-day event held in Westfield, Indiana where potential 2023 NFL Draft prospects have the opportunity to show off their skills in front of professional scouts from the XFL, NFL, CFL and other professional football leagues. The athletes checked in on Tuesday where they took measurements and were introduced to the media and some of the scouts on site. Wednesday is when testing begins with combination drills including the 40-Yard Dash, 3-Cone Drill, Vertical Plank and other events. Thursday’s drills will be more position-specific and will include 1-on-1 padded drills for players. The event concludes Friday with the Collegiate Showcase where athletes will compete in a series of “mini-games” before exiting the event.
Lowell Patron is no stranger to the playoff bowling circuit, competing in his third different bowling game event. His run began in December with the FCS Bowl in Daytona Beach, where he saw his first action in front of professional scouts. His next postseason event was the Podyum All-Star Bowl in Orlando, Florida. It was there that he set his first playoff stats, catching for 10 yards and setting up what would be a touchdown for Team North. Patron earned his first All-MEC honors this season, being named to the second team, and holds the Wheeling program record for receiving yards in a game (177) and receiving yards in a single season (726).
Another veteran of the playoff circuit is defensive lineman Brandon Muñoz, who will also be in his third playoff tournament of the season. Like Patron, he also competed in the FCS National Dowl and had a big game defensively. He finished with two tackles, one solo and one assisted, while also collecting 0.5 tackles for loss in the game. He then moved on to the Dream Bowl this past weekend, where he once again got the chance to play with some of college football’s best. Additionally, like Patron, Muñoz has held several school records since starting the program, including career sack record and career tackles record for loss.
Sy Alli IV is competing in his second post-season bowl event of the year, after joining Patron at the Podyum All Star Bowl. Alli was the Cardinal’s rushing game leader in his five seasons in a Cardinals uniform and was the first player in program history to rush 3,000 yards for his college career. He continued to show that strong running ability in the Podyum All Star Bowl, carrying the ball seven times for 40 yards on the ground. He had two 10+ yard carries in the game and another 20 yard carry as he showed both consistency and the ability to rip off a big play when his team needs it.
The final entrant to this year’s event is Chris Canaday, who will be competing in his first playoff bowling event of the season. Canaday has done everything for the Cardinals throughout his career, starting as a defensive back before moving to wide receiver while handling returning duties for the past two seasons. 2022 was Canaday’s biggest season as a wide receiver, as he made 32 catches for 523 yards and six touchdowns, setting career highs in every category. In the return game, Canaday averaged 25.74 yards per return on kickoffs, with his longest being a 94-yard return. He added an 8.78 return average on punts to complete a year he was named second-team All-MEC.
The National Scouting Combine is currently taking place in Westfield, Indiana, with combined events starting Wednesday. We wish good luck to all Wheeling participants.