Byham, Dickerson Compete At NFL Combine

Nate Byham (80) and Dorin Dickerson (2)

Nate Byham and Dorin Dickerson get a chance to show pro teams why they should have a lengthy extension to their careers during the annual NFL Scouting Combine running today through March 2 in Indianapolis, Ind.

This is the second year in a row that Pittsburgh had two players invited to the Combine, as Scott McKillop -- now with the San Francisco 49ers -- and LeSean McCoy -- Philadelphia Eagles -- displayed their talents for the scouts. Now, it's time for tight ends Byham and Dickerson.

Dorin Dickerson (Imperial, Pa./West Allegheny) became the first Pitt tight end to be named first team All-America (Football Writers Association of America) since Mike Ditka in 1960.

A first-team All-Big East selection and a finalist for the John Mackey Award in 2009, Dickerson pulled in 49 catches for 529 yards in 2009 and earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl. His 10 touchdowns set a Pitt single-season record for a tight end.

"The experience at the Senior Bowl was great, and I think I did pretty well,'' Dickerson said. "But the NFL Combine is another place for me to show what I can do. There's going to be a lot of scouts there, and I'm looking forward to the workouts to show them what I've got to offer.''

Nate Byham (Franklin, Pa./Franklin), a team captain and three-year starter who played in 48 games at tight end for Pitt, was a second-team All-Big East selection in 2009, becoming the first tight end in Pitt history to earn All-Big East accolades twice in a career (he was a first-team selection in 2008).

Selected to compete in the prestigious East-West Shrine Game, Byham compiled 10 receptions for 108 yards (10.8 avg.) on the year and was a devastating blocker for Pitt's prolific rushing attack in 2009. He tallied 47 catches for 612 yards and three touchdowns during his career at Pitt.

"I think I showed during my career that I could be effective catching the ball and blocking,'' Byham said. "And the NFL Combine just gives me another chance to prove myself to the scouts. I've worked real hard to get to this point, and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do out there.''

Live workouts at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine will be streamed online beginning on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 9 a.m., at www.nfl.com. The NFL Network will also provide TV coverage beginning on Thursday, Feb. 25.

The Panthers finished the 2009 season with a 10-3 record and ranked No. 15 in the final polls.

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