John Boyett, one of the top defensive backs in University of Oregon history, has been invited to attend the 2013 NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis this month.
Boyett, a free safety from Napa who is doing rehab and training six days a week following surgeries last fall on both knees, will be at Lucas Oil Stadium from Feb. 20-26. The Napa High School graduate won’t be evaluated in any running drills, but will be tested in the bench press and will have interviews with NFL coaches, general managers, player personnel executives and scouts.
Over 300 players from colleges around the country, who are eligible for the upcoming NFL Draft, will undergo physical and mental tests. There are also medical examinations.
Boyett is eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft. He is not returning to Oregon.
“I’m going to do all the meetings with the coaches and do all the medical exams,” Boyett said Monday. “I just want try to show them what I have to offer and what I can bring to their program, show them my knowledge of the game and let them figure out who I am.
“Hopefully they’ll like what they see.”
Boyett played in Oregon’s opener this past year, but missed the remainder of his senior season due to injuries. He went into the 2012 season having made 276 total tackles in 39 games for Oregon.
“I’m just trying to continue to keep working,” said Boyett, a starter each of his four years for Oregon. “I’m looking forward to getting back on the field soon. I’m doing a lot of leg exercises to build up my strength — that’s stuff that will make me a better player when I get back on to the field. It should make the transition go well and then hopefully it will help me become a better player once I’m back.
“It’s just a matter of time until I’m back on the field running around full speed. My main thing is I just want to be 100 percent and ready to compete for a position next season. I’m taking it week by week and whenever I get back, then I get back.
“It’s just a process. I’m just letting the process work itself out. And when next season comes around, I’d love to do some good things.”
Players are tested in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone drill and shuttle run during on-field workouts. There is also the bench press.
Boyett had two tackles and an interception in the Ducks’ win over Arkansas State in the 2012 opener.
He was named to watch lists for the Bednarik Award (defense), Bronko Nagurski Trophy (defense) and Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back) last year. He finished his Oregon career with nine interceptions.
Reed joins Buffaloes
In a letter-of-intent signing day press conference, new University of Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre welcomed the addition of Markeis Reed, a linebacker from Napa. Reed graduated from Vintage High in December and signed with the Buffaloes in January.
“We needed linebackers,” MacIntyre said on the CU website. “We were thin in that spot on the depth chart. We did not sign any linebackers a year ago and we needed some young men.
“Markeis is a big young man that has played linebacker and defensive end. He’s one of those that is in between. We’ll see how his body grows and figure out whether he’ll stay at linebacker or defensive end. He’s already 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds as a 17-year-old.”
Reed was a two-way starter for Vintage, earning All-Monticello Empire League and All-Napa County honors while receiving a coach’s award and Golden Helmet award at the Crushers’ year-end banquet.
Reed, a fullback-defensive end for Vintage, was first-team defense and second-team offense on the All-MEL team.
He was Vintage’s top ball carrier with 730 yards rushing, a 5.84-yard per carry average, and nine touchdowns in the Crushers’ flexbone offense. He also had 69 total tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery. Vintage was 4-6 last year.
Reed elected to graduate early so that he could get a jump on college football, getting adjusted to a new program, new coaches and a new way of doing things.
Legendary Fresno State coach passes away
Jim Sweeney, who retired with a school-record 143 wins in 19 years as Fresno State’s head football coach, died on Feb. 8. He was 83.
Sweeney started at Fresno State in 1976 and retired after the 1996 season. The field at Bulldog Stadium was renamed in his honor.
He also coached Montana State and Washington State and finished with 200 wins in 32 seasons as a head coach.
“Jim Sweeney is a Bulldog legend who will be deeply missed in our community,” Fresno State president John D. Welty said on the school’s website. “Not only was he one of Fresno State’s most successful football coaches, but he was also a man who loved his student-athletes, first as individuals, and second as athletes, making their well-being a priority. Jim was devoted to Fresno and to our university — he embodied the true Bulldog spirit.”
Thirty-five players, including Trent Dilfer and Henry Ellard, were selected in the NFL Draft during Sweeney’s years with the Bulldogs.
He won eight conference championships and five bowl games at Fresno State. The Bulldogs were ranked in the Top 25 in seven of Sweeney’s seasons.
He was also an assistant with the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Cardinals.
“Most of what our football program has accomplished in recent years was clearly made possible by the path that Coach Sweeney blazed for Fresno State football throughout his two decades of leadership,” said Fresno State director of athletics Thomas Boeh. “He was a man of vision, toughness and character who led the Bulldogs to new heights and went on to become a national icon.”
Sweeney ranks 19th all-time in collegiate victories. He was inducted into the Fresno Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.