Doughty, Higbee receive invitation to NFL combine

WKU’s quarterback Brandon Doughty (12) passes during the first half of the Miami Beach Bowl between WKU and the University of South Florida Monday at Marlins Park in Miami, Fl. Mike Clark/HERALD

Sam Porter

Former WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty and redshirt senior tight end Tyler Higbee received invitations to the NFL Scouting Combine that will be held in Indianapolis on Feb. 23-29.

NFL scouts use the combine to measure each player’s individual skill set including speed, agility and strength. The combine comes two months before the NFL draft and often helps or hurts each prospect in terms of draft stock. Roughly the top 20 quarterbacks and top 20 tight ends are invited each year.

Brandon Doughty led the nation in passing each of the past two seasons at the college level, throwing for 4,830 yards and 49 touchdowns in 2014.

After being granted a sixth year of eligibility, Doughty led once again led the nation by throwing for 5,055 yards and 48 touchdowns in 2015. 

The record-setting numbers helped Doughty earn the Conference USA Most Valuable Player, making him the only player in conference history to win the award in consecutive seasons.

The Davie, Florida, native also amassed a 20-7 record as a starter during that span, which included two bowl victories and a Conference USA championship.

However, the record-setting numbers don’t correlate with his current draft stock; Doughty is currently projected to be picked in the sixth round.

Earlier in 2015, Doughty traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida, to play in the East-West Shrine game. The game was aired live on the NFL Network, and scouts from every NFL team traveled to scope out players. Doughty struggled in the game, completing 11 of 17 passes for 87 yards and two interceptions.

Higbee, one of Doughty’s favorite targets, was the only other Topper invited to the combine. Since his arrival on campus, the star tight end has gained over 40 pounds to build an NFL frame.

Despite missing three games due to a knee injury in 2015, Higbee still put up impressive stats, catching 38 passes for 563 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior.  Before he sustained the knee injury against North Texas, Higbee led the FBS in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns by a tight end.

The Clearwater, Florida, native stands 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 243 pounds. Higbee received an invitation to the senior bowl but could not participate due to the injury he suffered in the C-USA championship game against Southern Mississippi.

Higbee will be healed in time for the NFL combine. According to, Higbee is ranked as the seventh best tight end and is projected  to be picked anywhere from the fourth round to the sixth round. Jon Ledyard of USA Today said Higbee could climb as high as the second round with an impressive combine.

Redshirt senior wide receiver Jared Dangerfield is the only other Hilltopper projected to be drafted but did not receive an invite to the NFL combine. The former Hilltoppers will look to impress scouts as they continue their journey towards the NFL.