The Washington Times - February 9, 2009, 10:53PM

The NFL Draft combine is just around the corner.

A frightening thought, no?

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Well, no more frightening than the fact people will actually watch hours upon hours of this stuff.

Of course, I’d be willing to watch a dozen hours of mid-majors during Bracket Buster Saturday, so maybe I’m a little messed up, too.

Anyway, here’s the list of players from local schools who earned invitations to Indianapolis later this month:

MARYLAND

CB Kevin Barnes
LB Moise Fokou
TE Dan Gronkowski
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
G Jaimie Thomas
C Edwin Williams

NAVY

FB Eric Kettani

VIRGINIA

T Eugene Monroe
WR Kevin Ogletree
TB Cedric Peerman
TE John Phillips
LB Clint Sintim

VIRGINIA TECH

CB Victor “Macho” Harris
DE Orion Martin

Some quick thoughts on that list…

* The combine invite list is sort of an initial assessment on the draftability of a player. So it was interesting that a few guys who were considered among Maryland’s best players entering the season (Scott Burley, Jeremy Navarre, Dave Philistin) didn’t make the list.

* A not-so-bold prediction: Eric Kettani will be one of the best interviews at the combine, should any reporters go seeking out a fullback to talk to.

* That’s a whole lot of talent departing a 5-7 team in Charlottesville. Monroe, Ogletree and Sintim in particular won’t be easy to replace.

* That’s not a ton of talent departing a 10-4 team in Blacksburg. Your 2009 ACC favorites happen to be the same guys who won the league the last two seasons.