Three East Texans invited to the 2018 NFL Combine

Three East Texans invited to the 2018 NFL Combine
Source: Texas Tech Athletics
Source: Texas Tech Athletics

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Three East Texans have been invited to the premiere NFL scouting event.

Lufkin's Keke Coutee and Whitehouse's Dylan Cantrell from Texas Tech and Lonview's Zaycoven Henderson from Texas A&M have made the final list of combine participants according to NFL.com. In preparation for the combine, the NFL has written analysis on all the participants. The combine takes place Indianapolis, Indiana from March 2-5. Cantrell and Coutee will have their scouting session on March 3. Henderson will be scouted on March 4.

On Keke:

Key'vantanie Coutee, who goes by his nickname "Keke," hopes to be the next Texas Tech receiver to make an impact in the NFL, following in the footsteps of Michael Crabtree and Wes Welker. He earned second-team All-Big 12 honors in 2017, ranking fourth in the FBS with 1,429 receiving yards on 93 catches (ranked sixth in FBS) with 10 touchdowns. He finished his career with an 11-reception, 187-yard, one-score effort against South Florida in the Birmingham Bowl. Coutee (pronounced cue-TEE) showed some versatility by returning 10 kickoffs for 315 yards, including a 92-yard touchdown. As a sophomore, he showed great promise, starting two of 12 games played and covering 890 yards and scoring seven touchdowns on 55 receptions. Coutee earned honorable mention all-conference recognition with that production. The four-star recruit from Lufkin, Texas stayed in-state to play ball in the Red Raiders' wide-open offense. His choice was rewarded as he played in all 13 games, starting two, posting 11 receptions for 105 yards.

On Cantrell:

Texas Tech's offense has produced some prolific receivers over the past decade, and Cantrell's the next pass-catcher trying to continue that success at the next level. He was a four-star recruit from Whitehouse, Texas, before joining Tech, and receiving playing time right away, playing in 11 games as a back-up and catching nine passes for 70 yards and a score. Cantrell started six games the following year (20 receptions, 312 yards, two touchdowns in 12 games), but then had to redshirt the 2015 season due to a back injury. He missed two games with an injury in 2016, as well, but was still one of the team's top receivers (58 receptions, 675 yards, eight touchdowns in 10 starts). Cantrell received honorable mention All-Big 12 notice from league coaches in 2017, starting all 13 games and catching 71 passes for 816 yards and seven scores.

On Henderson:

Henderson was an all-district player from Longview, Texas and a four-star recruit before arriving in College Station a semester early to take part in spring practice. That experience earned him playing time as a true freshman on the Wrecking Crew, lining up for 11 games (one start) and posting 13 tackles. Henderson came off the bench again as a sophomore in 2015, playing 11 games (one start) after being suspended for the first two games of the year for violating athletic department rules. He recorded 28 tackles, 6.5 for loss, and three sacks as an active defender in the rotation. Henderson continued that active play as a junior starter in 2016 (40 tackles, 10 for loss, three sacks) before a foot injury removed him early on from the team's bowl game. Henderson was arrested in December of 2017 for allegedly pointing a rifle at several people and was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence. The team suspended him indefinitely.

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