Getting invited to the prestigious Senior Bowl is perhaps the best opportunity any small school player can get on his road to the NFL.
As such Furman cornerback Ryan Steed just got a jump on the competition as he was officially invited and expects to play in this year's game, according to release from the Paladins' official website.
The 5-11, 190 pound Steed was recently named to the FCS All-American team having totaled 46 tackles, four interceptions and four pass breakups this season. Steed, a three-time All-SoCon selection, finished his career at Furman with 180 tackles and 38 passes defensed. He returned three of his 14 career interceptions for touchdowns, forced four fumbles, and recovered three fumbles, returning one this season for a 48 yard touchdown against Elon. Steed also recorded a sack and blocked three kicks in his career.
The Senior Bowl has traditionally featured intriguing small school cornerbacks. Some of the top prospects have included Curtis Marsh (2011, Utah State), Leotis McKelvin (2008, Troy) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (2008, Tennessee State), among others.
Steed is currently viewed by NFLDraftScout.com as a 4th round value and the No. 19 rated cornerback potentially available for the 2012 draft.
The Senior Bowl typically begins sending out invitations throughout December. The game is scheduled to take place on January 28 and though Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry has reportedly already accepted an invitation, as well, no one is currently listed on the Senior Bowl's official roster for the 2012 game.