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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Conard stands out at Tupelo combine

Those in attendance at last weekend’s Scout.com football combine at Tupelo High saw first hand what the Water Valley coaching staff has been saying for years: Chris Conard is a legit talent.

In his writeup of the event, Scout.com’s Steve Robertson wrote that several players proved they were D1 talents.
Conard must have been among them, because he was named to the All-Combine team as one of four defensive backs.

“For me it went pretty good,” said the 5-foot-11, 158-pound Conard following Tuesday’s summer league baseball game at South Panola. “I think I ran a good 40 (yard dash), a high 4.6, and I competed good against the other guys.

“There was some pretty good talent.”

Like Robertson wrote, several players could use the combine as a jumping-off spot for earning scholarship offers.

For Conard, he has schools like Memphis, UAB, Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern Miss and Arkansas State presently showing interest. The Tigers, according to Conard, like him at cornerback and want him to participate in a camp later this summer.

Conard isn’t going to rush into any commitments, however.

“I want to wait and see how my season goes,” he said. “I got the talent, I just have to keep my grades up to go D1.”

With the loss of Eric Buckley to graduation, the Blue Devils will be leaning heavily on Conard to anchor the defense and provide senior leadership.
Both are tasks Conard feels he can more than handle.

“They want me to hit the weight room hard. They named me a lifetime captain so they want me to be a leader,” he said. “The majority of time I’ll be at corner. Third-and-long they want me at safety.”

Conard will also play receiver on offense.

Last season, Conard was eighth on the Blue Devils with 75 total tackles. He also led the team with four interceptions and had 12 pass breakups and 2.0 sacks.

As a team
Conard wasn’t the only Blue Devil in Tupelo.

Outside linebacker C.J. Jackson and safety Kenon Kirkwood were also among the 155 athletes that were tested in the 40-yard dash, the 5-10-5 shuttle, the L-cone drill and the standing broad jump.

Those in attendance then were given instruction from area coaches, including Water Valley’s Richard Russo, participated in 1-on-1 drills and then competed in 7-on-7 drills to complete the weekend.

“I was pleased with the performance of our three,” Russo said in a statement. “They definitely belonged with the best of the best in the state.

“These three will have to be leaders for us this Fall for us to accomplish our lofty goals.”

Water Valley began its summer workout program this morning at 7. (June 1, 2011, Page 6)

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