Four Aztecs Invited to NFL Combine

The Aztecs will send four players to the 2018 NFL Combine.
The Aztecs will send four players to the 2018 NFL Combine.
Feb. 6, 2018

SAN DIEGO - San Diego State will send four football players to the NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) in Indianapolis from Feb. 27-March 5, the NFL announced today. Fullback Nick Bawden, defensive back Kameron Kelly, running back Rashaad Penny and tight end David Wells each will attend the camp, which will be scouted by top executives, coaching staffs, player personnel departments and medical personnel from all 32 NFL teams.

It is the second straight year that the Aztecs will send four to the combine. The four combine invitees are tied for most among non-Power 5 program. Additionally, SDSU has move invites than 31 Power 5 programs, including eight from the Big Ten, seven from the Big 12, six from the ACC, and five each from the Pac-12 and SEC.

Bawden and Penny will arrive on Tuesday, Feb. 27, and will test and work out from Feb. 28-March 2. Wells is scheduled to arrive on Feb. 28, and work out from March 1-3, while Kelly has a March 2 arrival date with workouts set from March 3-5.

Last season, Bawden caught 15 passes for 103 yards (6.9 avg.) and a touchdown, while serving as the lead blocker at fullback for consensus All-American running back Rashaad Penny. According to Pro Football Focus, Bawden was the highest-graded fullback blocker in 2016 and the third best last year, despite playing the majority of the season with a club on in hand. His 560 snaps last year were the second most in FBS at fullback, despite missing the UNLV game with an injury.

Kelly put together another fine season last year, moving to cornerback from safety. He finished with 68 tackles (54 solo), three interceptions for 44 yards, eight pass breakups, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a quarterback hurry. Kelly, who earned first-team all-MW honors for his efforts, finished with 10 interceptions for his career, which tied for the 10th most in school history.

Penny, a consensus first-team All-American who finished fifth in the final voting for the Heisman Trophy last year, rushed 289 times for 2,248 yards (7.8 avg.) and 23 touchdowns, while adding 19 catches for 135 yards (7.1 avg.) and two touchdowns, 17 kick returns for 521 yards (30.6 avg.) and two touchdowns, and two punt returns for 70 yards (35.0 avg.) and another score. He ended up leading the country in rushing yards and all-purpose yards (2,974), and ranking second in rushing touchdowns and overall touchdowns (28), fifth in kick return average, tied for fifth in kick return touchdowns and sixth in rushing yards per carry (7.78).

Penny finished with the fifth-most rushing yards in NCAA FBS single-season history (2,248) and the fifth-most all-purpose yards (2,974). Penny ended the season with five straight games with at least 200 rushing yards, joining USC’s Marcus Allen (1981), Oklahoma State’s Barry Sanders (1988) and North Texas’ Jamario Thomas (2004) as the only players in NCAA FBS history to accomplish that feat.

Last year, Wells caught nine passes for 133 yards (14.8 avg.) and two touchdowns en route to being named a second-team all-Mountain West selection for a second straight season. According to Pro Football Focus, Wells caught nine of the 11 passes where he was targeted (81.8 pct.) in 2017 without dropping a pass. Over the past two years according to the website, Wells has not dropped a pass and has caught 34 of the 40 passes (85.0 pct.) he has been targeted.

SDSU finished 2017 with a 10-3 record, its school-record third consecutive year with at least 10 victories. San Diego State is scheduled to return seven starters on offense and seven on defense, along with its kicker and punter. The Aztecs kick off the 2018 campaign Aug. 31 at Stanford.

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