Corle hopes his timing's right again in Hawaii

Elusive Towson back sees self on same route three Tigers took to NFL

January 22, 2000|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

Just as he often evaded defenders on the football field, former Towson player Jason Corle was on a plane to warm Hawaii last weekend, juking the bitter cold that entered the Baltimore area not long afterward.

Consider it further proof of the running back's elusiveness, which got him invited to the Hula Bowl, scheduled for kickoff at 4 p.m. today. It's an ability that he thinks gives him a shot at playing in the NFL.

Three former Towson players -- punter Sean Landeta and running backs David Meggett and Tony Vinson -- went on to pro careers, and Corle believes that he has a good chance to become the fourth.

"I plan on having a great Hula Bowl," he said. "I've been [at Towson] for four years, and I feel like I'm ready for the next level."

With the Tigers, the Barnegat, N.J., native set school career records for rushing yardage (3,601), all-purpose yardage (5,382), scoring (282 points) and receptions (188).

The question is, how will these records in Division I-AA football and the Patriot League translate to the NFL draft on April 15 and 16 in New York City?

At 6 feet tall and approximately 200 pounds, Corle is not imposing, and his 4.59-second time in the 40-yard dash last spring is not awe-inspiring, either.

But his ability to make defenders miss manifested itself during his senior season, with one highlight-quality run in each game.

Towson's affinity for the pass in 1999 limited Corle's rushing total to 719 yards, but it also showcased his receiving skills, as he caught 72 passes for 864 yards.

Towson coach Gordy Combs said that the Hula Bowl invitation is another signpost along the roads that Landeta, Meggett and Vinson traveled in the past.

"It's probably about the same," Combs said. "You know you have a chance when you get invited to these games."

The coach also said Corle's inclusion in the game has been a selling point with recruits as signing day looms in less than two weeks.

That and the fact that quarterback Joe Lee "was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award -- those have been factors in where we are in the recruiting process," Combs said.

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