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Sategna Athletic Freak Built for Combine-type Atmosphere

Hogs could benefit from focused prep program for combine if permissible

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — When Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks entered his name in the NFL Draft, he found himself strapped with his own personal kryptonite – a lifetime of inexperience in what many refer to as the "Underwear Olympics."

Should incoming Fayetteville wide receiver Isaiah Sategna put together a fraction of the career produced by Burks, it appears clear he has all the skills necessary to become an NFL Combine darling and find himself in the opposite trajectory in the weeks heading into draft day.

Sategna, whose Twitter profile proudly displays his status as the nation's No. 5 track athlete, proved his prowess in every way outside of lifting weights at the Arkansas state track meet this week.

On Wednesday, he'll get one last shot to add to his legend as he competes in the Meet of Champs in Russelville beginning at 1 p.m.

While Sategna appears to be a natural for the NFL combine atmosphere, not every Razorback is. Reports were that Burks didn't spend time in camps and simulated combines during his time at Warren.

No one could blame him. His tape spoke for itself, the schools he wanted to consider knew where to find him, and he needed to make the most of his time with family and friends on the water and in the woods before college obligations took a high percentage those valuable experiences away.

For many of the players Arkansas recruits, not having experience relatable to the NFL combine isn't uncommon.

The Razorbacks have traditionally been a team of hidden gems dug from small towns scattered across the state. 

They come from families that don't have the time, money, or often the knowledge to wade their way through the process of camps and performance days. 

Certain groups around the state have tried to increase visibility and experience for these players.

But, if you take a South Arkansas kid who needs to go work in the tomato fields from before sunup until after sundown beginning before they're old enough to drive, he can't participate if you ran the event in the wide spot between the rows and the tomato shed.

This is a disadvantage for this profile of athlete as they matriculate through the university.

With all the rules put in place by the NCAA it may not be possible, but if so, specific time set aside each year for combine prep by all athletes regardless of classification in sports that have such events to evaluate potential draft picks would be an invaluable investment of time.

Not only would it be a selling point, even for those who do have the luxury of being well prepared for that environment before college, but the increase in draft status for the players departing the program would trickle down to improved recruiting classes.

There may be spots here or there where that is already happening, but based on things that were discussed throughout the draft process this year, more emphasis on preparation in that area couldn't hurt.

Of course, that all depends on how the NCAA rules are set up. I made it a point to sit down and read the entire NCAA manual in regard to men's basketball a couple of months ago, and I cannot advocate enough for the people in charge of NCAA compliance at these universities. 

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They should be the highest paid people on campus. What I found was a tangled, incomprehensible mess that appeared to contradict itself with every turn of a Harry Potter book sized stack of pages.

It's possible that rules regarding time invested in the players don't allow for such focus because it would take away from how long a team can practice plays.

It might say somewhere that it's an impermissible benefit if you provide students with mustard packets for their sandwich, prep for a combine, allow them access to classical music or let them call their moms on the third Sabbath. 

Who knows? I know after how much I hated myself for daring to read the publication for basketball that I'm not going to read the football one also, and don't hate any other humans enough to make them do it either. 

Let's just say the extra time is a need and leave it at that. Not every athlete is a combine freak waiting to happen like Sategna, but they are all deserving of being able to prepare their way into an extra couple of million dollars if possible.

And dollars extra dollars earned on draft day almost always equates to a higher earning potential for the university on game day.


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