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Nine MAC stars receive invite to NFL combine

Western Michigan players dominate combine with nearly half of MAC invites

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 24 Western Michigan at Toledo Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It's almost the season for testing verticals, 40 times, running around cones, and proving your athleticism to NFL talent evaluators. Nine MAC players received sought-after invitations to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Four of the nine players from the league hail from Western Michigan, the latest MAC program to represent the conference in a New Year's Six bowl. Here is a full list of the invitees, per MAC Sports' Twitter account:

Ola Adeniyi, DE, Toledo

Adeniyi was a key piece on Toledo's defense during the Rockets' quest to their first MAC Championship in over a decade. The defensive end tallied team highs in both tackles for loss (20) and sacks (8.5), establishing himself as one of the league's best pass rushers.

CBS Rankings: Overall #163, Position #17


Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan

One of the best receiving tight ends in the conference, Conklin boosted Central Michigan's offense midseason after returning from injury. His 10-catch, 136-yard, 2-touchdown game in an upset over Ohio stands as one of the best individual offensive performances in the MAC in 2017. Conklin recorded a touchdown on two catches in the Senior Bowl back in January.

CBS Rankings: Unranked


Joseph Davidson, P, Bowling Green

The First Team All-MAC punter dazzled scouts at the East-West Shrine Game with seven punts for 339 yards (48.4 average). Davidson averaged 45.2 yards per punt in his three years as Bowling Green's top special teamer.

CBS Rankings: Unranked


Donnie Ernsberger, TE, Western Michigan

Ernsberger produced such incredible touchdowns in 2017 that he incited fans to run on the field to celebrate with him. The tight end experienced a breakout year with the Broncos by earning a career-best 394 yards. At 6'3", 255, Ernsberger also excelled as a blocker in Western Michigan's prolific rushing offense.

CBS Rankings: Unranked


Jarvion Franklin, RB, Western Michigan

Franklin assembled three phenomenal seasons during his long tenure as one of the Broncos' feature backs. He surpassed the 1,200-yard and 10-touchdown mark in three separate seasons, vaulting himself into 33rd in the all-time FBS rushing yards list. The strong, physical back will hope to translate this success to the next level, in attempts to replicate former MAC halfback Kareem Hunt and his immediate stardom.

CBS Rankings: Unranked


Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan

Okorafor was elected to First Team All-MAC each of the past two seasons for anchoring Western Michigan's offensive line. Likely the first MAC prospect off the board, "Chukes" will supply an NFL team with impressive size and quick feet for a left tackle. Okorafor is a bona fide starter as a rookie on most rosters and will be heavily focused on during the combine.

CBS Rankings: Overall #20, Position #3


Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan

Phillips made plenty of his highlights in college as a return man, but the Detroit native also excelled as a cornerback during his four years in Kalamazoo. Phillips cashed in 14 career touchdowns in a myriad of ways (receiving, punt returns, kick returns, fumble recovery, interceptions) and has all the makings of a star all-purpose player, like Devin Hester, at the next level.

CBS Rankings: Overall #144, Position #20


Anthony Winbush, DE, Ball State

Winbush was one of the few bright spots in Ball State's 2-10 season. The defensive end finished fourth nationally in sacks with 11.5 and tied for first in the FBS with five forced fumbles. He's a monster on the defensive line, and MAC quarterbacks can breathe easier now that he is transitioning to the next level.

CBS Rankings: Unranked


Logan Woodside, QB, Toledo

Woodside finished his career at Toledo as the program's all-time leading passer and one of the best quarterbacks the conference has seen in the 21st century. He was the 2016 passing touchdowns leader in all of college football and built on that success with a 28-touchdown season in 2017 — the most crucial piece to Toledo claiming the MAC title.

CBS Rankings: Overall #151, Position #7


The 2018 NFL Draft Combine runs from February 27 to March 5, and the NFL Draft begins two months later on April 26, prolonging until the 28th. MAC players received a total of 11 invitations to the combine in 2017.