Tulane’s Grant, Santos invited to combine
The Tulane football senior duo of receiver Ryan Grant and kicker Cairo Santos have received an invitation to participate in the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine Feb. 19-24 in Indianapolis, while Santos and senior defensive tackle Chris Davenport will each play in the 2014 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Jan. 18 in Carson, Calif.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Grant and Santos will join more than 300 of the top collegiate football prospects at Lucas Oil Stadium and spend four days under the evaluation of the NFL’s top executives, coaching staffs, player personnel departments and medical personnel from all 32 teams in preparation for the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft.
The event is closed to the public, and participants may attend by invitation only.
Santos will be among the first groups to arrive and will spend Feb. 19-22 undergoing exams, medical testing, meetings, media interviews and workouts, while Grant will be in the second group and will undergo the same regiment Feb. 20-23.
The four-day combine will be televised live on the NFL Network.
Grant and Santos are Tulane’s first NFL Scouting Combine selections since receiver Jeremy Williams in 2010.
The 2014 NFL Draft will take place May 8-10 at Radio Music Hall in New York and will be broadcast live on ESPN and the NFL Network.
All three players will don the Olive & Blue one more time before their collegiate careers come to a close.
Santos and Davenport will each play in the third edition of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Jan. 18 at the StubHub Center on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills. The game will kick off at 5 p.m. and will be broadcast live on both ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
The two competing squads will be divided into the American and National teams and both practices on Jan. 15 and Jan. 16 will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Santos and Davenport are the first Tulane players to participate in the event.
Head Coach Dick Vermeil will return to defend the National Team’s title from 2012 and 2013. Denny Green will make his first appearance as a NFLPA Collegiate Bowl head coach as he takes the reigns of the American Team.
For more information, visit the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl website at http://collegiate.nflpa.com/.
Grant will play in the 2014 Reese’s Senior Bowl Jan. 25 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
Kickoff of the 64th annual event is slated for 3 p.m. and will be carried live on the NFL Network.
A native of Beaumont, Texas, Grant started 31 of 47 career games and completed his career with 196 receptions for 2,769 yards (14.13 avg.) and 21 touchdowns. In the Tulane career record book, he finished in fifth-place in school history in career receptions and career receiving yards with 2,769, moved to third in 100-yard games (12), tied for sixth in touchdown receptions (21) and 10th in yards per reception (14.13 avg.).
This past season, he started 12 of 13 contests and earned Conference USA first-team honors for the second straight season after leading the team in receptions (77), receiving yards (1,039), receiving touchdowns (9), all-purpose yards (1,039), and he ranked third on the team in points (54). He logged three 100-plus yards receiving games and finished with a career-best 14 receptions for 187 yards and added two touchdowns in the season opener against Jackson State.
Grant caught at least one pass in his final 33 games and produced multiple catch outings in his final 18 contests.
Along with his 2013 receiving total, he also finished with 1,149 yards in 2012 and became the first Tulane player to record consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since All-American Marc Zeno pulled off the feat three straight times from 1985-87.
Santos, who hails from Brasilia, Brazil and prepped at St. Augustine, Fla.’s St. Joseph’s Academy, was a first-team All-Conference USA and All-Louisiana selection during his final season and was also a semifinalist for the 2013 Lou Groza Award and a candidate for the Weurffel Award. He was twice named the C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week (Nov. 25 and Oct. 14) and was named the Lou Groza Star of the Week and College Football Performance Award National Placekicker of the Week on Oct. 14.
This season, he knocked down 16-of-23 field goal attempts and all 38 of his PAT attempts for a team-best 86 points. He notched two game-winners (North Texas, East Carolina) and tied for the longest field goal in the nation this season with a 56-yarder at ULM. Santos also tied the school single game record with five field goals against the Pirates.
Santos owns the second longest streak for made field goals in NCAA history with 26. He also handled kickoff duties and has sent 47 of 62 attempts into the back of the end zone and only allowed 13 returns this season.
In his lone season in a Tulane uniform, Davenport was an instant impact player who proved to be a force on the Green Wave’s defensive line.
The Mansfield native transferred to Tulane from LSU prior to the 2013 season and started all 12 games he played in. He logged 20 tackles, including 4.5 stops for lost yardage and 1.5 sacks despite being constantly double-teamed on each play. His efforts helped him earn honorable mention All C-USA honors.
Davenport’s best day was at Rice in the regular season finale when he posted four tackles and a half tackle for loss. He notched two pass break-ups on the year, including one against North Texas that led to a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown by teammate Lorenzo Doss.