Wide receiver Takashi Kurihara on Sunday will participate in the inaugural NFL Veteran Combine at the Arizona Cardinals’ practice facility in Tempe, Arizona.
The Veterans Combine will present an opportunity to free agent players to showcase their skills to the NFL club just like the league has done for players that are coming out of college.
“Combines have long provided draft eligible players with the forum needed to showcase their skills to NFL teams,” NFL Director of Football Development Matt Birk told NFL.com. “The NFL Veteran Combine will give veteran free agents a similar opportunity to work out in front of club personnel in a streamlined process.”
Kurihara, 27, was invited for the rookie camp of the Baltimore Ravens two years ago and is arguably said to be the Japanese man who’s the closest to becoming an NFL player, which hasn’t been achieved by anyone in the past.
The 180-cm Kurihara accumulated 614 yards and six touchdowns in the eight games he played in, including the playoffs and Japan X Bowl, for the IBM Big Blue of Japan’s X League last season. He helped the club finish as the runner-up.
Kurihara was awarded the MVP of the Kanto collegiate league in 2009 for the the Hosei University Tomahawks, one of the elite teams in the nation.
“There are some famous players around as well. I’ll perform to my best by any means,” Kurihara wrote in his blog.
The participants for the combine include some notable names, such as Felix Jones, a former Dallas Cowboys running back, Michael Bush, a former Oakland Raiders running back, and Mike Kafka, ex-quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kurihara has joined a training camp for the Japan national Rugby Sevens team recently as well.