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Colts Watching Local Draft Prospects Very Closely

Intro: The local pipeline produced Jonathan Newsome for the Colts in 2014. Who might be in store for 2015?


INDIANAPOLIS – Keeping homegrown talent in state is something you hear college coaches preach every recruiting season.

At the NFL level, that might not seem like such a key with available prospects extending coast-to-coast and even outside of the United States.

Ryan Grigson though has a message to his Colts scouts about in-state talent.

"We better not miss in our backyard. Better not miss in our backyard," Grigson says.

Last year, the Colts hit rather large in their backyard.

Ball State's Jonathan Newsome lasted until the fifth round of the 2014 draft and the Colts chose him with the No. 166 overall pick.

In 2015, are there any other Newsome like prospects the Colts could pluck later this spring?

Ball State RB-Jahwan Edwards: Before Edwards' junior year at Ball State, he stayed with Newsome during the summer and the two stay in contact. "We've had a lot of talks about being in this league," Edwards said. "Kudos to him. He's doing a great job on and off the field."

Indiana RB-Tevin Coleman: A foot injury sidelined Coleman during the Combine. He's a name that could very well be an option for the Colts in the early rounds. "It'd be great," Coleman said of playing for the Colts. "I'd love to be back in Indiana. It'd be a great feeling."

Indiana DE-Bobby Richardson: In a deep defensive line class, Richardson is thought to be an underrated prospect who is sliding up team's draft boards.

Florida P-Kyle Christie: The Brownsburg native got several texts from family and friends last week about being back in Indianapolis for the Combine. Christie definitely grew up a Colts fan. "Big Peyton Manning fan. Still have my Peyton Manning jersey," Christie said.

Nebraska DE-Randy Gregory: The Hamilton Southeastern product is showing up in the top 10 of several mock drafts. At 235 pounds though, Gregory does plan to put on some more weight before his pro day. "I've weighed anywhere from 230 to 258 before," Gregory said. "I can carry the weight, and can play at the weight."

Penn State K-Sam Ficken: Through all the turmoil at Penn State, Ficken stayed and received an opportunity to become one of the nation's best kickers. "We kind of bonded throughout the whole process of the media kind of storming down on State College," Ficken said. "I've been very happy with my decision to stay there."

Purdue DE-Ryan Russell: The lineage of Purdue defensive ends at the next level continues with Russell. Before he came into the media room last Friday, Russell spoke with Washington's Ryan Kerrigan on his Combine experience. "He's definitely a big part of my development as a person and a football player," Russell said of Kerrigan.

Notre Dame TE-Ben Koyack: The tree of NFL tight ends coming from Notre Dame continues with Koyack. "Our coaches want us to be put into any situation and if they want to use us in a different way, they can plug us in a different situation," Koyack said.

Notre Dame K-Kyle Brindza: Despite a struggling senior season at Notre Dame, Brindza was a clutch kicker for much of his time in South Bend. Brindza followed his grandpa's footsteps to Notre Dame. "One of the main reasons was going into the recruiting process it was a 40-year decision not four years," Brindza said of Notre Dame. "Looking back on it, I don't regret anything I did. That degree is able to say something that some people might not be able to have. I'm very blessed."

Notre Dame WR-DaVaris Daniels: The son of former NFL defensive lineman Philip Daniels did not play his final season at Notre Dame due to academic troubles. He is a big fan though of Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne. "It's kind of fitting that we're here at the Colts' stadium, but I've watched him all my life," Daniels said. "We've got similar body types and playing size so I try to mimic some of his techniques. I just liked the way that he reminds me so much of myself — a quiet leader. Completely humble. A quiet superstar — that's the level that I hope that maybe I can get to one day and be that type of leader. Lead by example. Not have to be a rah-rah guy, because that's not my type. Everything he does reminds me so much of what I'm capable of."

A look at some local Indiana athletes participating in the 2015 NFL Combine.

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