Four Spartans Audition At 2008 NFL Scouting Combine

By: Michigan State University
By: Michigan State University


EAST LANSING, Mich. – Three Michigan State seniors – running back Jehuu Caulcrick, tight end Kellen Davis and safety Nehemiah Warrick – along with junior wide receiver Devin Thomas accepted invitations to participate in the National Football League’s 2008 Scouting Combine, scheduled for Feb. 20-26 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind. The NFL Combine (National Invitational Camp) is organized and operated by National Football Scouting, Inc.

The 6-foot, 255-pound Caulcrick led the Big Ten and ranked 11th in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 9.7 points per game. He also ranked eighth in the league in rushing, averaging 67.1 yards per game. Caulcrick led the Spartans with a school single-season record 21 rushing touchdowns and ranked second in rushing with 872 yards, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. His 21 rushing TDs also ranked as the ninth-best single-season total in Big Ten history (tied with Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne, 1996).

"Jehuu Caulcrick’s best attribute is his ability to run with power," Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio said. "Jehuu is so good with the ball in his hands because he doesn’t fumble. He has soft hands as a pass receiver. He can pass protect and he can contribute on special teams. When Jehuu is in a zone, he’s almost unstoppable because of his ability to break tackles and punish defenders. He’s a big back that has a knack for scoring touchdowns."

In his final home game in Spartan Stadium, Caulcrick rushed 22 times for a season-best 99 yards and scored the game-winning TD on a 1-yard plunge with 4:08 left in the fourth quarter as MSU rallied from a 17-point deficit for a 35-31 victory over Penn State. He produced his biggest run of the game earlier in that scoring drive on a fourth-and-2 play. Caulcrick took the direct snap on the fake punt and tried the right side of the line looking for daylight before reversing the field for a 17-yard gain and a first down at the Spartan 42. He carried the ball seven times for 30 yards during the 12-play, 80-yard drive.

With two TD runs at Purdue, Caulcrick set Spartan single-season records for rushing TDs (20) and scoring (120 points), breaking marks previously held by Blake Ezor (19 TDs and 114 points in 1989). It marked the 10th multiple-TD game of his career. He contributed 77 rushing yards on a career-best 24 carries against the Boilermakers.

Caulcrick rushed 22 times for 84 yards against No. 15 Michigan, scoring on a pair of 1-yard runs in the second half.

He produced three rushing TDs at Iowa, scoring on a pair of 1-yard runs in the first half and a 3-yard run in the first overtime against the Hawkeyes.

With 94 yards on 23 carries against Indiana, Caulcrick became just the 14th player in Spartan history to surpass the 2,000-yard career milestone. He also scored three times against the Hoosiers (on runs of 1, 2 and 3 yards).

Caulcrick gained 73 yards on 17 carries at No. 9 Wisconsin, scoring on a pair of 2-yard runs in the second quarter. He rushed 20 times for 83 yards in MSU’s 31-14 victory at Notre Dame and gained 71 yards on 21 carries against Pittsburgh, including a 2-yard TD run early in the second quarter.

Caulcrick shared Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors (with Wisconsin’s quarterback Tyler Donovan) after rushing 10 times for 93 yards and four touchdowns – all in the first half – to lead MSU to a 55-18 season-opening victory over UAB. His four rushing TDs represent a career high and equal the school record for rushing TDs in a half (Blake Ezor vs. Northwestern, 1989). Caulcrick’s four rushing TDs also marked the second-best single-game total in Spartan history (Ezor scored six rushing TDs vs. Northwestern, 1989).

Against UAB, seven of his 10 carries resulted in either a TD or a first down. Caulcrick finished off MSU’s first three possessions, scoring on runs of 1, 5 and 42 yards. The 42-yarder marked the longest scoring run of his career. He added another 5-yard TD run early in the second quarter as the Spartans jumped out to a 35-0 lead.

The Findley Lake, N.Y., native rushed for 2,395 career yards (No. 10 on MSU’s all-time rushing list) and 39 career rushing TDs. His 39 career rushing TDs represent the second-best total in Spartan history, trailing only two-time All-American Lorenzo White who scored 43 TDs from 1984-87.

The 6-6, 246-pound Davis, who set career highs for receptions (32), receiving yards (513) and touchdowns (6) in 2007, participated in the 2008 Under Armour Senior Bowl.

The Adrian, Mich., native played extremely well down the stretch, with 18 of his 32 catches coming over the last five games (281 yards and 3 TDs during that stretch). His 32 receptions exceeded the combined total from his first three seasons. He caught at least one pass in 15 consecutive games, dating back to the 2006 season.

Davis (No. 9) is ranked among the top 10 tight ends in the 2008 NFL Draft by Scouts, Inc.’s Todd McShay.

"Kellen Davis is a mismatch tight end," Dantonio said. "He was utilized as both a possession receiver as well as a guy that could go down the field and make plays. Kellen played in a balanced offense, so he played a critical role as a blocker for a power, gap-oriented running team that rushed for nearly 2,600 yards.

"Kellen also impressed me as a student of the game because he was basically a two-way player last year. He was versatile enough to have an impact on defense as a pass-rusher."

Davis led the Spartans with four catches for 38 yards against No. 14 Boston College in the Champs Sports Bowl, including an 18-yard TD reception from Brian Hoyer to open the scoring. He also caught a two-point conversion pass from Hoyer against BC as MSU pulled to within 24-21 with 6:04 left in the fourth quarter.

Davis recorded the first 100-yard receiving game of his career in the regular-season finale against Penn State, with four receptions for 106 yards. His 23-yard grab from Ryan Allison set up a touchdown midway through the third quarter as the Spartans pulled to within 10 at 24-14.

He caught three passes for 47 yards in MSU’s 48-31 victory at Purdue, including a 2-yard TD grab from Hoyer in the second quarter. Davis had four catches for 47 yards against Michigan, including a 5-yard scoring toss from Hoyer early in the fourth quarter. He also had three receptions for 43 yards at Iowa.

His 25-yard reception from Hoyer set up Michigan State’s final touchdown in its 52-27 Homecoming victory over Indiana. Davis also picked up 24 yards on a tight-end around in the third quarter against the Hoosiers.

He had two receptions for 33 yards against Notre Dame, with both catches resulting in TDs. His 3-yard TD grab from Hoyer late in the first quarter gave MSU the lead for good at 14-7. Late in the third quarter, Davis iced the game by scoring on a 30-yard strike from Hoyer on a fourth-and-2 play.

Davis caught two passes for 38 yards in MSU’s 17-13 victory over Pittsburgh, including a career-long 32-yard reception from Hoyer that set up Jehuu Caulcrick’s 2-yard touchdown run. He had three catches for 23 yards in MSU’s 28-17 victory over Bowling Green, including a 7-yard TD grab from Hoyer in the second quarter that tied the game at 14. Davis caught two passes for 44 yards in the 2007 season opener against UAB, including a 25-yard grab from Hoyer that set up MSU’s second TD.

A four-year letterman, Davis appeared in 43 career games, including 22 starting assignments. He had 60 career receptions for 789 yards (13.2 avg.) and nine TDs.

As a senior, Davis also had the opportunity to showcase his athleticism and versatility while seeing limited action at defensive end. He recorded six tackles, including two sacks (12 yards) while being utilized primarily as a designated pass-rusher. Davis recorded a sack in back-to-back games against UAB and Bowling Green. He played double-digit snaps on defense against Pittsburgh (13), Notre Dame (11) and Boston College (20).

The 6-2, 218-pound Thomas, who elected to forgo his senior season, led the Big Ten in kickoff returns (29.1 avg.) and all-purpose yards (199.2 yards per game) in 2007 while ranking second in both receptions (6.08 rpg.) and receiving yards (96.9 ypg.). In addition, Thomas finished among the NCAA leaders in all four of those categories: No. 6 in all-purpose yards, No. 11 in kickoff returns, No. 15 in receiving yards and No. 34 (tied) in receptions.

Thomas set Michigan State single-season records for receptions (79), 100-yard receiving games (7), kickoff return yards (1,135) and all-purpose yards (2,590). His 1,135 kickoff return yards rank as the top single-season total in Big Ten history. His 1,260 receiving yards represent the third-best single-season total in school history.

Fifty-two of his 79 receptions (66 percent) resulted in either a TD or a first down, including 21 gains of 20 yards or more.

Thomas is ranked as the fifth-best receiver in the 2008 NFL Draft by both McShay and ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr. In addition, he is rated among the top 32 overall prospects by Scouts, Inc.

"Devin Thomas had a breakout season, accounting for nearly 2,600 all-purpose yards," Dantonio said. "Devin was a go-to player because he could make plays as a receiver, a runner and a kick returner. He was a physical receiver and a physical blocker, who always gave great effort. Devin was a true gamer, playing his best in the big games. He reminds me a lot of (former Spartan) Muhsin Muhammad."

The Ann Arbor, Mich., native accounted for 220 all-purpose yards against Boston College in the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl. It marked the seventh time this season that Thomas amassed more than 200 all-purpose yards in a game. He returned five kickoffs for a Spartan bowl-record 178 yards. Thomas returned the opening kickoff 79 yards to set the Big Ten single-season record for return yards, breaking the mark previously held by Purdue’s Dorien Bryant (36 returns for 1,007 yards in 2007). He also had four catches for 34 yards against BC, including a 23-yard reception from Brian Hoyer that set up MSU’s fourth-quarter TD.

Thomas caught seven passes for 139 yards and three scores as MSU rallied from a 17-point third-quarter deficit for a 35-31 victory over Penn State in the regular-season finale. Thomas scored on passes of 12, 33 and 26 yards from Hoyer. His three touchdown grabs tied the school single-game record. He accounted for 236 all-purpose yards against the Nittany Lions.

With 116 receiving yards (10 catches) at Purdue, Thomas became just the fourth 1,000-yard receiver in Spartan history, joining Courtney Hawkins (1989), Plaxico Burress (1998-99) and Charles Rogers (2001-02). His 30-yard reception from Hoyer in the first quarter set up MSU’s first TD. With 111 all-purpose yards against the Boilermakers, Thomas established a Spartan single-season record with 2,134 all-purpose yards, breaking the mark previously held by Lorenzo White (2,094 yards in 1985).

Thomas had a team-high seven receptions for 65 yards against No. 15 Michigan.

He had nine catches for 139 yards in a 34-27 double-overtime loss at Iowa. His 40-yard reception from Hoyer on a third-and-16 play in the final minute of regulation set up Brett Swenson’s 29-yard field goal that sent the game into overtime tied at 20. Thomas accounted for 230 all-purpose yards against the Hawkeyes (2 rushes for 6 yards and 3 kickoff returns for 85 yards). It marked the fifth time of the season that Thomas amassed more than 200 all-purpose yards.

Against top-ranked Ohio State, Thomas caught four passes for 77 yards, including a 40-yard reception from Hoyer late in the fourth quarter that led to a field goal.

Thomas had a career-best 13 receptions for 148 yards and a TD in MSU’s 52-27 Homecoming victory over Indiana. His 13 receptions tied the second-best single-game total in Spartan history (Plaxico Burress, 13 vs. Florida in 2000 Florida Citrus Bowl). Thomas scored on a 34-yard grab from Hoyer early in the third quarter as MSU extended its lead to 31-13. He returned three kickoffs for 92 yards (30.7 avg.), including a 42-yard runback in the first quarter that set up Javon Ringer’s first TD run. Thomas produced 254 all-purpose yards against the Hoosiers.

Thomas accounted for a career-best 266 all-purpose yards in MSU’s 48-41 overtime loss to Northwestern. He returned three kickoffs for 143 yards – the ninth-best single-game total in MSU history. His career-long 70-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter set up a Spartan TD that tied the score at 41. Thomas also had five catches for 61 yards and six rushes for 52 yards.

He caught four passes for 111 yards at ninth-ranked Wisconsin. Midway through the second quarter, Thomas turned a screen pass from Hoyer into an 80-yard scoring play as the Spartans tied the game at 21. He accounted for 230 all-purpose yards against the Badgers, rushing five times for 61 yards and returning three kickoffs for 58 yards.

Thomas accounted for 153 all-purpose yards in Michigan State’s 31-14 victory at Notre Dame. He had a game-high four catches for 55 yards, including a 7-yard TD grab from Hoyer that tied the score at 7 midway through the first quarter. His 25-yard reception on a third-and-7 play kept the Spartans’ first scoring drive alive. Thomas returned the second-half kickoff 52 yards to the Notre Dame 45 to help set up MSU’s third touchdown.

Thomas had four receptions for a career-best 156 yards and a touchdown in MSU’s 28-17 victory over Bowling Green. It marked his second-straight 100-yard receiving game. His 76-yard reception from Hoyer in the first quarter set up MSU’s first touchdown. His 42-yard catch in the third quarter set up Jehuu Caulcrick’s 5-yard TD run, which gave MSU the lead for good at 21-14. Thomas scored on a 17-yard TD grab from Hoyer early in the four quarter. Thomas accounted for 261 all-purpose yards against Bowling Green. In addition to his 156 receiving yards, he returned three kickoffs for 100 yards, including a 39-yard runback, and rushed twice for 5 yards.

Thomas posted the first 100-yard receiving game of his career against UAB, with a career-best five catches for 106 yards including a 44-yard touchdown grab from Hoyer early in the second quarter. Four of his five receptions resulted in either a first down or a TD against the Blazers.

The 6-1, 208-pound Warrick finished sixth on the team in tackles with 61 (29 solos, 32 assists) in 2007. He recorded double-figure tackles in two games, including 12 (8-4) at Wisconsin and 10 (5-5) at Ohio State. Warrick posted nine tackles and a pass break-up against Northwestern.

The Bradenton, Fla., native started 21 of 23 career games at strong safety. Warrick registered 106 tackles and six pass break-ups during his two-year career.

"Nehemiah Warrick has outstanding all-around skills," Dantonio said. "Nemo has the size, speed, ball skills and change of direction to play in the NFL. He’s a big hitter, who provided great run support. I honestly believe that Nemo has enough athletic ability and runs well enough to play cornerback at the next level."

The 2008 NFL Draft will be conducted April 26-27 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and televised by ESPN and NFL Network.


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