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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Owls' Plummer to attend national combine

Friday, June 22, 2012

Marshall senior Marc Plummer hopes to draw to eye of college recruiters with his performance at the Blue-Grey National Super Combine.
(Chris Allen/Democrat-News)
Marc Plummer isn't putting his future on hold while waiting for the Marshall School Board to select a new head football coach.

The senior-to-be will be in Canton, Ohio, this weekend as one of 200 athletes from 36 states to take part in the Blue-Grey National Super Combine. This after Plummer performed well enough at a regional event at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph on April 28-29 to receive an invitation.

"I thought it was a good opportunity because there were going to be a lot of people there," Plummer described the program's appeal. "I could get somebody to look at me, like college coaches."

Although he missed two full games and parts of two others last season due to a nagging ankle injury, Plummer led the 0-10 Owls in rushing with 353 yards and a touchdown on 145 attempts.

The format is similar to the National Invitation Camp -- commonly known as the NFL Combine, even though the league doesn't actually operate it -- held every February at Indianapolis, with tests in several key skill areas. Pro-Motion Sports USA, which runs the prep combine, claims that 150 participants have advanced to the NFL over the program's 20 years.

Plummer, a 5-foot-10, 175-pounder, competed among two dozen running backs at the Chiefs' deluxe training facility, and had very good numbers in a couple of categories. He ranked second at his position in the bench press, with 18 repetitions of 225 pounds, and with a 4.18-second time in the shuttle -- a test of quickness and agility in changing directions.

"I was a little surprised" at how he stacked up, Plummer said. "There were so many people there, and all the competition made me better."

Plummer was in the middle of the pack with a 4.69-second 40-yard dash split, 26-inch vertical leap and broad jump of 8 feet, 4 inches. He beat his previous bests of 4.7 seconds in the 40 and 4.3 seconds in the shuttle.

The results caused Plummer to rethink his conditioning program, and tweak it over the next two months.

"I was more about weight-lifting and getting big, but I found that they're concerned about the 40 and shuttle," he noted. "Now my training is about footwork and getting faster."

Since the resignation of head coach Jay Eilers in late May, Plummer credits former Marshall assistant Jon Stockman for helping in his preparation.

"He's been there every day for weightlifting," Plummer said. "He's caring all about the kids, wanting us to get better."

Plummer is looking forward to the event in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Stadium, since being around so many elite athletes "will be pretty exciting to see."

Top performers at the Canton combine will be invited to play in the Blue-Grey National All-Star Game, to be held Jan. 12, 2013, at Tampa Bay's Raymond James Stadium and televised by Fox Sports. Plummer hopes he's among the chosen few.

"I would be stoked," he declared. "It would be crazy being on TV with all the all-stars."

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