Wheeling Football Sends Four to National Scouting Combine

Wheeling, W.Va. – On Wednesday, some of the top players from FBS, NCAA Division II, and NCAA Division III make their way to Westfield, Indiana for the start of the 2023 National Scouting Combine. The Wheeling University Football team is well represented on day one of the event, with four players getting the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of professional scouts. Wide receiver Lowell Patronrunning back Sy Alli, wide receiver/return specialist Chris Canadayand defensive lineman Brandon Muñoz are all participating as they continue their road towards 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 showcase 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 had measurements taken and were introduced to the media and some of the scouts on hand. Wednesday is when the testing begins with combine drills including the 40-Yard Dash, 3-cone drill, vertical board, and other events. On Thursday, the drills will be more position specific and will include 1 on 1 padded drills for the players. The event wraps up on Friday with the collegiate showcase where the athletes will participate in a series of “mini games” before leaving the event.

Lowell Patron is no stranger to the postseason bowl circuit, participating in his third different bowl game event. His run began back in December with the FCS Bowl in Daytona Beach, where he saw his first action in front of pro scouts. His next postseason event was the Podium All-Star Bowl in Orlando, Florida. This is where he put up his first postseason stats, pulling in one catch for 10 yards and setting up what would be a touchdown drive for the North team. 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 single season receiving yards (726).

Another veteran to the postseason bowl circuit is defensive lineman Brandon Muñoz, who will also be participating in his third postseason bowl event of the season. Like Patron, he also participated in the FCS National Bowl and had a big game defensively. He finished with two tackles, one solo and one assisted, while also picking up 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 the best in college football. Also, like Patron, Muñoz holds several school records since the program began, including the career sack record and the career tackles for loss record.

Sy Alli IV is participating in his second postseason bowl event of the year, after joining Patron at the Podium All Star Bowl. Alli has been the leader of the Cardinal’s ground game over his five seasons in a Cardinals uniform and was the first player in program history to go over the 3,000-yard rushing mark for his collegiate career. He continued to show that strong running ability in the Podium All Star Bowl, carrying the ball seven times for 40 yards on the ground. He had two carries of 10+ yards in the game and another carry that went for 20 yards as he showed both consistency and the ability to rip off a big play when his team needed it.

The final participant in this year’s event is Chris Canaday, who will be competing in his first postseason bowl event of the season. Canaday did it all for the Cardinals throughout his career, starting as a defensive back before transitioning to wide receiver while also handling the return duties over 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 each 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 round out a year where he was named Second Team All-MEC.

The National Scouting Combine is going on now in Westfield, Indiana with combine events starting Wednesday. We wish the best of luck to all of Wheeling’s participants.

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