Tennessee Athletics photo / Former Coffee County and University of Tennessee cornerback Alontae Taylor was announced Wednesday among the 324 invitees to next month's NFL combine in Indianapolis.

The National Football League on Wednesday released the names of 324 players who have been invited to this year's scouting combine, which will be held March 1-7 in Indianapolis.

Not shockingly, the Southeastern Conference has more than 25% of the representation with 82 invitees. Georgia and Alabama, the two teams that played for this past season's national championship, led the way with 14 and 11 selections, respectively.

Tennessee will have four players at the combine: receiver Velus Jones Jr., offensive lineman Cade Mays, defensive lineman Matthew Butler and cornerback Alontae Taylor. Jones, Mays and Taylor participated in last Saturday's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, with Jones amassing a game-high four receptions for 53 yards and Taylor intercepting a pass.

"Granny, we made it to the big show," Taylor, who's from Coffee County, posted Wednesday night on Twitter. "I hope you're proud of ya baby!"

Butler competed in the East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas last week.

Georgia's 14 combine invitations went to running backs James Cook and Zamir White, receiver George Pickens, offensive linemen Jamaree Salyer and Justin Shaffer, defensive linemen Jordan Davis, Travon Walker and Devonte Wyatt, linebackers Nakobe Dean, Channing Tindall and Quay Walker, defensive backs Lewis Cine and Derion Kendrick, and punter Jake Camarda.

The 11 Alabama representatives give the Crimson Tide at least 10 invitees to the NFL combine for the fifth straight year. This year's Indy-bound Alabama contingent is made up of running back Brian Robinson, receivers Slade Bolden, John Metchie and Jameson Williams, offensive tackle Evan Neal, defensive linemen Phidarian Mathis and LaBryan Ray, linebackers Christopher Allen and Christian Harris, and defensive backs Jalyn Armour-Davis and Josh Jobe.

Also receiving a combine invite was University of Tennessee at Chattanooga left guard Cole Strange.

The NFL did not stage its combine last year due to the coronavirus pandemic but released the names of those who would have been invited. Alabama and Georgia each had 11 who would have made the journey, with Ohio State leading the way with 14.

Tennessee had three players who would have been invited a year ago: receiver Josh Palmer, offensive lineman Trey Smith and cornerback Bryce Thompson, who went undrafted and spent most of this past season on the New Orleans Saints practice squad before getting activated in the 16th week against the Miami Dolphins. Palmer played in all 17 games for the Los Angeles Chargers, racking up 33 receptions for 353 yards (10.7 yards per catch) and four touchdowns, while Smith has made various all-rookie teams as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

This year's NFL draft will begin April 28 and take place in Las Vegas.


The number of NFL combine invitations by SEC school:

Georgia 14

Alabama 11


Texas A&M 9

Ole Miss 8

Kentucky 7

Arkansas 5

Florida 4

Tennessee 4

Auburn 3

Mississippi State 3

South Carolina 3

Missouri 2

Vanderbilt 0

Spring schedule

Georgia announced Wednesday afternoon that spring practice will begin March 15, with the G-Day game set for April 16.

Tennessee has not announced its spring dates yet but likely will start a few days after Georgia. The Volunteers also have yet to reveal the location of their Orange & White contest, with Nashville a possibility due to Neyland Stadium renovations.

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.