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Four Mizzou Tigers invited to NFL Combine in February

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The National Football League announced which players will be invited to this year's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Four Mizzou Tigers were invited to participate

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The following Mizzou Tigers will be attending the NFL Combine on February 17-23, defensive ends Shane Ray and Markus Golden, offensive lineman Mitch Morse and running back Marcus Murphy.

Shane Ray, projected by many to go early in the first round, notched 22.5 tackles for a loss and set the Mizzou single season sack record with 14.5 sacks while playing along side Markus Golden, who recorded 20 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks of his own. They were the first duo in Mizzou history to each record double digit sacks in a single season, per David Morrison.

Mitch Morse was a strong leader for Mizzou on the offensive line while playing both right and left tackles in his 39 career starts and is considered a potential late round pick. Or maybe he surprises everyone like Justin Britt did, who knows?

Marcus Murphy, a first-team All-SEC selection and special teams player of the year, became the career leader in combined returned yards and touchdowns, with 2,837 yards and seven touchdowns, while coming in second behind Jeremy Maclin's 5,112 all-purpose yards. Like Mitch Morse, he projects primarily as a late round pick.

Notably absent invitations to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis are first team All-SEC wide receiver Bud Sasser and his 12 touchdowns on 77 receptions for 1,003 yards at a 13.0 average and safety Braylon Webb, who was a starter for almost four full seasons and recorded a career high four interceptions in 2014.

The schedule sets up to have Mitch Morse run through drills on February 20th, Marcus Murphy on the 21st and Ray and Golden on the 22nd. If you have the NFL Network you should be able to catch most of the action.

Catching up on last year's Tigers

Last year Mizzou had seven players invited. Henry Josey, Marcus Lucas, L'Damian Washington, Justin Britt, Kony Ealy, Michael Sam and E.J. Gaines, the latter four were drafted.

Last I heard, Henry Josey had been picked up by the Minnesota Vikings, Marcus Lucas and Kony Ealy are still grinding for the Carolina Panthers, Justin Britt was the starting right tackle for the Seattle Seahawks most of last year, coming up just short of winning a ring as a rookie. EJ Gaines was drafted by the St. Louis Rams and became a impact contributor while fellow Rams draftee Michael Sam was briefly on the Dallas Cowboys before recently getting engaged to his boyfriend and starring in Coca-Cola's #MakeItHappy campaign.

L'Damian Washington has become a motivational speaker and David Morrison has a great interview with him here:

Q: When did you get your start in motivational speaking?

A: When I was at Mizzou, I was asked to come down to the courthouse and talk to some kids that were from 14 to 17. That was my first time talking to a group. The first time I went up there and talked to them, these kids’ eyes are everywhere but on me. By the time I finished speaking, one girl had to leave the room. She was crying. The reception I got from these kids was so powerful. It not only helped them, it helped me just to kind of share my story. I didn’t realize how much it actually helps me to tell others about my situation. That was the first time. These kids wrote me letters, and I talked to them a little after that. I didn’t think anything of it. Hopefully it turns into something that’s bigger and can expand. I don’t know what path in life I’m going to go down. I just want to make sure I have a lot of avenues and I can kind of give back. I don’t think God takes us through these situations for no reason. It’s all for a reason.

You can find L'Damian Washington's website here: LDamian.com