NFL Combine News & Notes: Independence Bowl Alumni Excel in Indianapolis


SHREVEPORT, La. (March 4, 2024)– The 2024 NFL Scouting Combine featured nine former Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl players trying to impress NFL scouts and executives on the brightest pre-Draft stage.

A few Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl alumni were among the best testers at the NFL Combine, including a couple of Texas Tech safeties. Red Raiders safety Tyler Owens jumped out of the building in Indianapolis, coming one inch short of the NFL Combine’s all-time broad jump record. Owens bagged the farthest broad jump at the event by 10 inches over his closest competitor, jumping 12 feet, 2 inches. The record is 12 feet, 3 inches – held by Byron Jones at the 2015 Combine. He also had the highest vertical jump amongst safeties at 41 inches, which ranked him 8th overall. 

Star Texas Tech safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson was the fastest safety at the combine, recording a blazing 4.41-second 40-yard dash. That ranked him as the 22nd-fastest player at the Combine. Another safety, Jaylen Key, who played at the 2021 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl for UAB before transferring to Alabama, had the third-farthest broad jump in the safety group.

Over 300 college football players were invited to the combine, and nine of those players have played in Shreveport’s annual bowl game over the past three years. The nine players invited to the combine represent the six most recent Independence Bowl teams – Texas Tech, California, Houston, Louisiana, UAB and BYU – and the last three matchups. Texas Tech has three players, Houston has two representatives, and the other teams have one apiece.

Seven of the nine Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl alumni at the Combine participated in at least part of the testing drills. Below are the testing numbers for former Independence Bowl players:

Tyler Owens (Safety – Texas Tech, 2023)

  • Vertical Jump: 41 inches
  • Broad Jump: 12 feet, 2 inches

Dadrion Taylor-Demerson (Safety – Texas Tech, 2023)

  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.41 seconds (10-Yard Split: 1.52 seconds)
  • Vertical Jump: 38 inches
  • Broad Jump: 10 feet, 3 inches

Patrick McMorris (Safety – California, 2023)

  • Vertical Jump: 31 inches
  • Broad Jump: 9 feet, 4 inches
  • Bench Press: 14 reps

Nelson Ceasar (Edge Rusher – Houston, 2022)

  • Vertical Jump: 31 inches
  • 3-Cone Drill: 7.3 seconds
  • 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.57 seconds
  • Bench Press: 22 reps

Patrick Paul (Offensive Tackle – Houston, 2022)

  • 40-Yard Dash: 5.13 seconds (10-Yard Split: 1.77 seconds)
  • Vertical Jump: 29 inches
  • 3-Cone Drill: 7.65 seconds

Nathan Thomas (Offensive Tackle – Louisiana, 2022)

  • 40-Yard Dash: 5.19 seconds (10-Yard Split: 1.76 seconds)
  • Vertical Jump: 25 inches
  • Broad Jump: 8 feet, 11 inches
  • 3-Cone Drill: 8.01 seconds

Jaylen Key (Safety – UAB, 2021)

  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.6 seconds (10-Yard Split: 1.59 seconds)
  • Vertical Jump: 36.5 inches
  • Broad Jump: 10 feet, 10 inches

Prospects will discover what their professional football futures hold when the 2024 NFL Draft is held April 25-27.


Established in 1976, the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl™ is college football’s 11th most-historic bowl game and celebrated its 47th edition on Saturday, December 16, 2023. The Texas Tech Red Raiders defeated the California Golden Bears, 34-14. 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 is slated to match up against the Pac-12 Conference in 2024, and the Big 12 Conference is lined up to face Conference USA in 2025.

The Independence Bowl Foundation is prevalent in the Shreveport-Bossier City area throughout the year, hosting events to help enhance the economic impact and growth of our community. 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, X 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