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Tulane’s Darnell Mooney, Thakarius Keyes invited to 2020 NFL Combine

The Green Wave’s explosive receiver and dynamic corner will both have a chance to woo scouts in Indianapolis.

NFL: Combine Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

With the Super Bowl in the rear view mirror, football fans now turn their attention to the NFL Combine where top-end college athletes from around the country will show off their skills. This year Tulane’s football program had the honor of having not one, but two players selected to participate in the annual showcase event in Indianapolis. Darnell Mooney (WR) and Thakarius Keyes (CB) will represent the Green Wave in Indy later this month.

Both Keyes’ and Mooney’s invitations are well-warranted as the two have been pivotal pieces to Tulane’s program over the last four seasons. The duo came onto the scene with the Wave in 2016 as part of head coach Willie Fritz’s first recruiting class and have been turning heads ever since.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 Tulane at Temple
Darnell Mooney attempts to make a catch against Temple in a 2019 contest

Mooney, hailing from Gadsden, Alabama, finished his impressive career at Tulane with 2,572 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns; good for sixth all time in school history for a receiver (just behind Ryan Grant). This last season alone, Mooney was the team’s leading receiver as he hauled in 48 passes for 713 yards and five scores.

Then there’s Keyes, the hard-hitting cornerback that ended his tenure with 95 total tackles, 15 defended passes and two interceptions. In 2019 he notched 47 of those tackles and picked off one pass.

Keyes has the opportunity to continue a recent Tulane tradition of sending DBs to the NFL. If he makes the cut, he will join the likes of Parry Nickerson and Roderic Teamer, both of which went to the pros over the last two seasons.

Both he and Mooney have helped the Wave to several recent successes including a 14-12 record over the last two years and the program’s first ever back-to-back bowl wins.

It’s important to remember, though, that they will be just two of 337 players at this year’s combine and, while their performances over the last four seasons opened this door, it’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to go through it. Making an impression in Indianapolis will be difficult with the amount of talent but would go a long way in helping their draft chances.

You can watch Mooney and Keyes participate in the combine along with other prospects on NFL Network from February 23 through March 2.

NCAA Football: Tulane at Army
Thakarius Keyes makes a tackle in Tulane’s game against Army last season
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports