UCF quarterback Blake Bortles will make "a game-time decision" on whether he will throw at the NFL Scouting Combine later this month, his father said.
Blake Bortles, who is in play to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft, is in San Diego at an EXOS facility preparing for the combine and other pre-draft evaluations. Rob Bortles told the Orlando Sentinel that his son will make a final decision on what he will do at the combine shortly before he heads to Indianapolis. Quarterbacks work out at the combine Feb. 23.
"If they choose not to [throw], they choose not to, but he'll be prepared," Rob Bortles said. "It'll be a game-time decision. If you're not prepared, then you can't throw, so he's preparing for it in case they decide to."
Bortles joins Fresno State's Derek Carr and Alabama's AJ McCarron as healthy quarterbacks who might not throw at the combine. Two other invitees, Georgia's Aaron Murray and LSU's Zach Mettenberger, are recovering from knee surgeries and will not throw.
Bortles was listed at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds by UCF, but the Sentinel reported that he is 6-5½ and 235 pounds.
Houston owns the No. 1 pick in the draft, and new Texans coach Bill O'Brien saw Bortles first-hand in the 2013 season. Bortles led the Knights to a 34-31 victory at Penn State on Sept. 14; he threw for 288 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. O'Brien also is close to UCF coach George O'Leary, who is one of his mentors: O'Brien worked for eight seasons under O'Leary at Georgia Tech. In addition, the Texans' new quarterback coach is George Godsey, who had been on the New England Patriots' staff; Godsey was UCF's running backs coach in 2010, when Bortles redshirted as a true freshman.
Of the top three quarterbacks available in the draft -- Bortles, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel -- Bortles best fits the mold of a prototypical pocket passer, which is the type of offense O'Brien ran at Penn State and the type of offense he oversaw when he was the Patriots' offensive coordinator.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.