Scouting Combine Research: WRs, Part 2

Cooks (Kelley L. Cox - USA Today Sports)

We continue our most popular series of the year with the first quarter of a bumper crop of wide receiver prospects. Leading off is a prospect with a colorful pregame ritual.

Brandin Cooks, Oregon State: Early entrant. Cooks won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver and was a consensus All-American. During his junior season, he caught 128 passes for 1,730 yards; both were Pac-12 records. Cooks was also an outstanding track athlete at Oregon State, competing in the 60-, 100-, and 200-meter races. Cooks has a quirky pregame tradition: He paints his toe nails the color of that week's opponent. So, when the Beavers faced Wisconsin, he painted the nails red and white. Why? As a reminder to "step on" his opponent, he told Oregon Live early this past season.

Damian Copeland, Louisville: Early entrant. A player who received six years of eligibility out of the University of Louisville, where he played with arguably the top quarterback prospect in the draft, Teddy Bridgewater. Copeland was the team's top receiver, hauling in 52 passes, and five touchdowns. Copeland suffered a season-ending injury early in 2011, basically giving him only two years of playing time at Louisville. Despite the lack of playing time Copeland did not have a lack of production, catching 116 passes in just 35 games.

Mike Davis, Texas: Davis was one of the top receivers in school history with 200 receptions for 2,753 yards and 18 touchdowns. All three figures rank in the top five in school history. He had a streak of 36 consecutive starts snapped due to injury this season. He is a three-time all-conference performer and two-time team offensive MVP. Davis' middle name is "Magic." After a breakout freshman season, there was no magic as a sophomore as he was limited to just one touchdown. Before the 2012 season, he admitted to personal issues that caused him to consider quitting football and taking up basketball.

Bruce Ellington, South Carolina: Early entrant. The 5-foot-9 Ellington is a standout in two sports. Ellington caught 49 passes and eight touchdowns in his final season and averaged 11.4 points per game for his career as the Gamecocks' point guard. He came to South Carolina on a basketball scholarship. Ellington's best game came against SEC runner-up Missouri, when he caught 10 passes and two touchdowns in a double-overtime win. Ellington is cousins with Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington. "It's crazy with Bruce," star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney told USA Today. "The other day he ran 50 gassers. Who runs 50 gassers? Bruce ran his gassers and then there were a few people who were late and had to run so Bruce ran with those guys too. I've never heard of anyone doing something like that. Do you know how much that is? Fifty gassers, that's crazy."

Quincy Enunwa, Nebraska: As one of four co-captains, the 6-foot-2 Enunwa paced the team on and off the field. Enunwa caught 51 passes during his senior season and broke the legendary Johnny Rodgers' school record with 12 touchdown receptions. One of those scores was a 99-yarder in the bowl game against Georgia. In addition to his football exploits, Enunwa was an accomplished high-jumper in high school, finishing with a personal-best jump of 6 feet. 5 inches. Enunwa is a noticeable figure in the Nebraska community. He was named to the Nebraska student-athlete honor roll and Brock Berringer Citizenship Team, volunteered for the Husker Heroes Program and visited hospitals.

Mike Evans, Texas A&M: Early entrant. The 6-foot-5 Evans was part of a dynamic tandem at Texas A&M, where he played with former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Coming off a season in which he caught 82 passes and five touchdowns, Evans recorded 69 receptions for just under 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013, including a 95-yard touchdownagainst Alabama early in the season. Evans was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. Evans is a sports management major, who also excelled in basketball during his time in high school, averaging 18.3 points per game. Basketball, in fact, is the sports he dreamed of playing for Texas A&M. He didn't start playing football until his senior year of high school.

Shaquelle Evans, UCLA: Evans transferred to UCLA, his favorite team growing up, from Notre Dame. He emerged as the team's leading receiver during his junior season with 60 receptions. He followed that up by catching 47 passes with nine touchdowns as a senior. He also averaged about 7 yards per punt return. Shaquelle Michael Evans was named after Shaquille O'Neal and Michel Jordan. He is quiet off the field but brash on it. "I'm nothing like that off the field," Evans told the Los Angeles Daily News. "When I get on the field, I get real competitive. I don't want to lose anything. A sprint, a jump ball, anything. It just makes me mad."

Bennie Fowler, Michigan State: The fifth-year senior ended his career with 36 receptions for 622 yards and six touchdowns. In the Rose Bowl victory over Stanford, he took his two receptions for gains of 60 and 37 yards. Fowler had to sit out his freshman season due to a stress fracture in his foot but elected not to petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility. Fowler was a three-sport star in high school, excelling in basketball and track in addition to football. Fowler was a member of the 2007 state championship team for basketball at Birmingham Detroit Country Day High School. In 2008, Fowler won the 100-meter and high jump state titles.

Austin Franklin, New Mexico State: Early entrant. In 2013, he missed the first four games due to academic issues to catch 52 passes for 670 yards and seven touchdowns, rushed 14 times for 76 yards and completed three passes. Without him, the Aggies scored 15.5 points per game. In the final five games, they scored at least 34 points three times. Franklin's breakout season came in 2012, when he caught 74 passes for 1,245 yards and nine touchdowns. Franklin's biggest game came in a loss against Louisiana-Lafayette, when he caught 13 passes and scored two touchdowns. Franklin was a versatile player in high school, as he was the only one to play both offense and defense during his time at Justin F. Kimball High School.

Jeremy Gallon, Michigan: Gallon, who measured in at just 5-foot-7 at the Shrine Bowl, appeared in 51 games after being recruited by former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez. Gallon burst onto the scene with a monster fifth season, catching a team-high 89 passes for a school-record 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns. Gallon's best game came against Indiana, when he caught 14 passes for a school-record 369 yards. The yardage figure was the second-most in FBS history. Gallon was productive throughout his career and finished strong, catching at least four passes in 17 of his last 18 games. Gallon played quarterback, running back and safety in high school before switching to wide receiver in Rodriguez's spread offense. "Size don't matter, man," he told the Big Ten Network during Shrine Bowl Week. "It's about how tough you are, and it's about the level of your will. I don't want people to pay attention to the size, because it doesn't matter. … I work hard. I've always been the hard worker and I'll continue to do so."

Ryan Grant, Tulane : The fifth-year senior and three-year letterman caught 77 passes for 1,039 yards and nine touchdowns to help the Green Wave to its first bowl game since 2002. He missed most of 2011 with a sports hernia, then caught 76 passes for 1,149 yards and six touchdowns in 2012. The former two-star recruit finished his career with at least one catch in his last 33 games. Grant was a member of the A/B honor roll in high school and the Family Career, and Community Leaders of America.

Matt Hazel, Coastal Carolina: A small-school product with good size (6-foot-3), Hazel finished his career with 183 receptions for 2,253 yards and 28 touchdowns, including 70 receptions for 900 yards and nine scores as a senior. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Hazel was good enough to play for any team in the SEC. Following his strong senior season, Hazel became just the third player from Coastal Carolina to play in the East-West Shrine Game, joining Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson and Josh Norman.

Robert Herron, Wyoming: Herron had a strong senior season with 72 receptions and nine touchdowns and finished his career with 152 receptions for 2,030 yards and 20 scores. Herron was a deep threat for Wyoming, averaging 13.4 yards per reception. Herron is a good all-around athlete, and that was on display during his high school days where he excelled in track as well as football. During his senior year at Dorsey High School, Herron qualified at the state meet in four different events. It's a great story after personal difficulties as a boy growing up in Los Angeles. His father was in prison, his mom was in and out of his life and he dealt with homelessness. Finally, an aunt took in Herron, even though she had never met him, and treated him like a son.

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