Independence Bowl Alum Shine at 2023 NFL Scouting Combine


SHREVEPORT, La. (March 6, 2023) – The 2023 NFL Scouting Combine was hosted in Indianapolis, Ind. this past weekend, and nine former Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl players were among the 319 players invited to the premier NFL scouting showcase. 

As is common practice today, some players did not participate in some or all of the testing. Six of the nine Independence Bowl alum invited to the Combine participated – with wide receiver Puka Nacua (BYU), wide receiver Jake Bobo (Duke) and running back DeWayne McBride (UAB) opting not to participate in drills. Of the six players that showed off their skills, a few were among the top performers in their position groups.

BYU offensive lineman Blake Freeland ranked atop all offensive linemen in three categories and ranked among the top five in two more. Freeland led the way in the vertical jump (37 inches), broad jump (10 feet) and 10-yard split during the 40-yard dash (1.68 seconds). He ranked third amongst offensive linemen in the 40-yard dash (4.98 seconds) and fourth in the three-cone drill (7.46 seconds).

Another top performer was Miami tight end Will Mallory. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash amongst tight ends (4.54 seconds). He also ranked top five in the 10-yard split, vertical jump and broad jump. 

Among the quarterbacks that participated in testing drills, Houston’s Clayton Tune ranked in the top five in the 40-yard dash, 10-yard split, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill and short shuttle. His Houston teammate, wide receiver Nathaniel “Tank” Dell was third amongst wide receivers in the 10-yard split, which helps judge players on their short-area burst. 

Listed below are the full testing results for each player:

Nathaniel “Tank” Dell (WR – Houston, 2022)

  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.49 seconds
  • 10-Yard Split: 1.49 seconds
  • Broad Jump: 10 feet, 1 inch

Clayton Tune (QB – Houston, 2022)

  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.64 seconds
  • 10-Yard Split: 1.55 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 37.5 inches
  • Broad Jump: 10 feet, 2 inches
  • Three-Cone Drill: 6.89 seconds
  • Short Shuttle: 4.25 seconds

Gervarrius Owens (S – Houston, 2022)

  • Vertical Jump: 37.5 inches
  • Broad Jump: 10 feet, 5 inches
  • Bench Press: 15 repetitions

Blake Freeland (OL – BYU, 2021)

  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.98 seconds
  • 10-Yard Split: 1.68 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 37 inches
  • Broad Jump: 10 feet
  • Three-Cone Drill: 7.46 seconds
  • Short Shuttle: 4.71 seconds

Nesta Jade Silvera (DT – Miami, 2019)

  • 40-Yard Dash: 5.16 seconds
  • 10-Yard Split: 1.77 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 29.5 inches
  • Broad Jump: 9 feet, 2 inches

Will Mallory (TE – Miami, 2019)

  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.54 seconds
  • 10-Yard Split: 1.59 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 36.5 inches
  • Broad Jump: 10 feet, 1 inch
  • Bench Press: 20 repetitions

The NFL Scouting Combine is the first step in the scouting process leading up to the NFL Draft. The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft will be held on Thursday, April 27 – with the six remaining rounds being held the following two days. In the 46-year history of the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl, 73 players that have played in the bowl have been drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. Five total players were selected during the seven rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft. 


Established in 1976, the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl™ is college football’s 11th most-historic bowl game – celebrating its 47th edition in 2023. The Houston Cougars defeated the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 23-16 in the 46th playing of the bowl in 2022. The Independence Bowl Foundation announced a one-year extension with Radiance Technologies – ensuring they will be the title sponsor through 2025. The bowl’s conference, team, and television agreements also run through the 2025 season. Army West Point and BYU are slated to match up against a rotation of the Pac-12 Conference, American Athletic Conference and Conference USA, which will be televised on an ESPN network.

The Independence Bowl Foundation is prevalent in the Shreveport-Bossier City area throughout the year, hosting events to help enhance our community’s economic impact and growth. The Mission of the Independence Bowl is to attract and provide quality, nationally recognized football competition oriented to the Ark-La-Tex region. For more information, visit or follow the bowl on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @IndyBowl.

Independence Bowl Foundation

425 Ashley Ridge Blvd, Suite 360, Shreveport, LA 71106  |  P.O. Box 6834, Shreveport, LA 71136  |  318.221.0712

2024 Independence Bowl