Eight is enough? Sam Mustipher snubbed by NFL Combine

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

Perhaps Sam Mustipher can take solace in that fact that recently anointed Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman not only was an NFL Combine snub once upon a time, the current New England Patriots wide receiver got drafted that same year (2009, seventh round).

Mustipher, a three-year starter at Notre Dame, will be looking for a similar back door this spring.

Eight of his former Irish teammates did crack an invite to the invitation-only run-jump-lift fest Feb. 26 to March 4 in Indianapolis, as did 330 other college players for essentially an audition/job interview for an eventual spot in the NFL.

That’s two off the coach Brian Kelly Era high of 10 Irish invitees in 2016. Last year ND sent five. Three ND players were invited in 2017.

Consensus All-America cornerback Julian Love and defensive tackle Jerry Tillery are considered ND’s top pro prospects in this draft class. Also invited from ND are offensive guard Alex Bars, wide receiver Miles Boykin, tight end Alizé Mack, running back Dexter Williams, and linebackers Te’von Coney and Drue Tranquill.

Bars, scheduled to be a guest on Friday’s “Pod of Gold” podcast, is coming back from two torn ligaments in his left knee suffered on Sept. 29 against Stanford. The draft will be staged this year in his hometown — Nashville, Tenn. — April 25-27.

Mustipher’s next opportunity to impress will be Notre Dame’s Pro Day, tentatively penciled in for March 20.

National champion Clemson had 11 invitees as did runner-up Alabama. Only four other teams had more than ND’s eight: Ohio State (10), Georgia (9), Ole Miss (9) and Washington (9).

The other playoff team, Oklahoma, will send eight, including Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray.

Notre Dame center Sam Mustipher did not receive an invite to the NFL Combine on Thursday. Eight of his former Irish teammates did make the invite list.