NFL combine invitee: Bug Howard, TE, North Carolina (Wilcox County)

FLOWERY BRANCH -- We are powering through the list of 330 players invited to the NFL scouting combine.

As we find the locals with Georgia connections, we will post them until we have the list completed.

Here's our latest find:

Johnathan “Bug” Howard, North Carolina, 6-5, 210, WR, Wilcox County, Rochelle.  Howard had his best season in 2016 with 53 receptions for 827 yards and a team-best eight touchdown catches.  He was an honorable-mention All-ACC pick and had a stretch of three 100-yard receiving games in wins over Miami, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. He was a Class A all-state selection by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was named the AJC’s Offensive Class A Player of the Year. had him rated as the 52nd best wide receiver in the draft and projects that he’ll be an undrafted free agent.

Here are players with Georgia connections, who have been invited to the combine:

Montravius Adams: Auburn defensive lineman from Vienna (Dooly County High School) was a 2012 AJC Super 11 selection.

Erik Austell, Charleston Southern, 6-4, 285, OL, Central Fellowship Christian Academy in Macon. Was born Warner Robins. Graduated with a Criminal Justice Degree in May of 2016. Currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Organizational Management. He started 10 games and graded out at 91.4% in the 2016 season. He led the Bucs with 84 knockdown blocks. He was a part of an offensive line that powered the nation’s sixth-best rushing attack and amassed 500-plus yards of offense in four games. has Russell ranked as the 25th best guard in the draft.

Harrison Butker: Georgia Tech's kicker from Decatur played at Westminster. His longest kick made in college was 53 yards. He finished his college career with a 71.7% field-goal percentage.

Chris Carson, Oklahoma State, 6-1, 215, RB, Parkview, Lilburn. Originally signed with Georgia out of high school, but ended up at Butler (Kan.) Community College. Carson earned a reputation as a powerful runner during his two seasons on the OSU roster, leading the team in yards and carries as a junior then playing a prominent role as a punishing runner in last season's offense. Despite missing some time due to injury, Carson finished his senior season with a team-best nine rushing touchdowns, gaining 559 yards on 82 carries for an average of 6.8 yards per carry.

Jarrad Davis, Florida, 6-2, 238, LB, Camden County, Kingsland. He started 22 of 35 games over his career for the Gators. He had 145 tackles, 14 tackles for losses and two forced fumbles over his career. He played in college for legendary coach Jeff Herron, who recently left Grayson to take a college job at South Carolina. has Davis rated as the third highest inside linebacker and projects that he’ll be selected in the second round.

Robert Davis: Georgia State wide receiver (three-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection) is from Warner Robins and played high school football at Northside-Warner Robins.

Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee, 6-3, 210, QB, Alpharetta. Could he be this year’s Dak Prescott? Over 37 games, Dobbs completed 614 of 999 passes for 7,138 yards. He also rushed for 2,160 yards and 32 touchdowns as he led a Rocky Top revival. Finished Tennessee career with a 23-12 record (including 3-0 in bowls) as starting quarterback, tying Condredge Holloway (1972-74) for the fifth-most wins by starting quarterback. Set school record for career rushing yards by a quarterback (2,160), career rushing touchdowns by a QB (32), single-season rushing yards by a quarterback (831 in 2016) and single-season rushing touchdowns by a QB (12 in 2016). NFLDraftScout has Dobbs rated as the 10th best quarterback in the draft and are projected that he’ll be drafted in the seventh round.

Dylan Donahue, DE, West Georgia, 6-3, 240. He finished third on the team in total tackles with 67. He also had 20 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks, which was a single season Gulf South Conference sack record.

Evan Engram: Mississippi wide receiver is from Powder Springs. He played at Hillgrove High School.

Amba Etta-Tawo, Syracuse, 6-2, 202, WR, McEachern High. Played one year for the Orange as a graduate transfer from Maryland, where he spent four seasons including one as a redshirt. He set 10 Syracuse receiving records and was named to four All-American teams. Etta-Tawo had 94 catches, while his 1,482 yards and 123.5 yards per game were both second in the ACC single-season history to Torry Holt's marks of 1,604 yards and 145.8 yards per game for N.C. State in 1998. has Etta-Tawo rated as the 26th best wide receiver in the draft and projects him to be drafted in the sixth round.

Gerald Everett, South Alabama, 6-4, 227, TE, Columbia High. He caught 49 passes for 717 yards and four touchdowns last season. He did not play football at Columbia until his senior year, but was a three-year varsity basketball player in high school and also was member of track and field team. has Everett rated as the fifth best tight end in the draft and projects that he’ll be selected in the second or third round.

Wayne Gallman, Clemson, 6-0, 210, RB, Grayson High, Loganville. Left Clemson after three seasons as one of the school's most decorated and productive running backs in history.. He rushed for 3,429 rushing yards on 676 carries, with 34 touchdowns over 42 games (37 starts). He added 65 career receptions for 473 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for  100 yards or more in 17 games and the Tigers were 17-0 in those games. He finished his career third in Clemson history in rushing touchdowns and fifth in rushing yards. has Gallman rated as the eight best running back in the draft and projects that he'll be selected in the third or fourth round.

Antonio Garcia, Troy, 6-7, 302, OL, Charles Drew High, Atlanta. Started 12 of 13 games last season. Played 44 games over his career, mostly at left tackle. A first team All-Sun Belt selection, Garcia did not allow a sack in over 900 offensive snaps. He also recorded over 70 knockdown blocks and allowed pressures on just 1.8 percent of pass plays. Garcia was particularly strong against CFP National Champion Clemson where he graded out at 90 percent with six knockdowns as the Trojans came within six points, 30-24, of knocking off the Tigers in September. rates Garcia as the sixth best tackle in the draft and projects that he'll be selected in the second or third round of the draft.

Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville, 6-5, 228, S, Lowndes High, Valdosta. The former 5-starrecruit started his career at Georgia. He started 11 games as a sophomore and played in 14 games as a freshman. He was dismissed from the program while in the midst of a four-game suspension for a second violation of UGA’s marijuana-use policy. A third offense called for “permanent suspension and scholarship termination,” according to the athletic association’s student-athlete handbook. He was all-ACC honorable mention as a junior at Louisville after sitting out a season due to his transfer. He played in 10 games as a senior and had 61 tackles and two pass breakups. He was named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11. has him ranked as the eighth best safety in the draft and projects that he’ll be drafted in the fifth or sixth round.

Alvin Kamara: Tennessee running back from Norcross also played at Alabama and Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College.

Carl Lawson: Auburn defensive line man from Alpharetta (Milton High School) was among the Tigers’ career sack leaders with 14.0 in 33 games.

Jeremiah Ledbetter: Arkansas defensive lineman played at Gainesville High School. He is the son of former Oklahoma  wishbone fullback Weldon Ledbetter (1979-1982) (FULL DISCLOSURE: Cousin of D. Orlando Ledbetter.)

Isaiah McKenzie: Georgia wide receiver and kick return specialist Isaiah McKenzie spent three seasons in Athens. He played high school football in Miami.

Stanley “Boom”  Williams: Kentucky running back from Monroe (George Walton Academy) compiled 2,025 yards over his final two seasons with the Wildcats.




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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter
D. Orlando Ledbetter
D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.