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Credit: Griff Fitzsimmons

The story of Penn football quarterback Alek Torgersen seeking to make it to the NFL has just taken an unexpected turn after he was snubbed of an invite to the NFL Combine in two weeks' time. 

330 players were invited to one of the final chances to prove their worth to scouts before the NFL Draft in April. Of those, 15 quarterbacks were invited — a small number, but Torgersen was ranked by Sports Illustrated as the 10th best QB available for the NFL Draft, and more recently even moved up to eighth on the list.

The senior has been rising up the ranks in part due to his impressive performance at a collegiate All-Star game last month. Torgersen traveled down to St. Petersburg, Fla., to partake in the East-West Shrine Game, and in the week leading up to the contest, he really impressed scouts who perhaps expected less from the Ivy League talent.

“Penn’s quarterback, Alek Torgersen, is outstanding,” Emory Hunt said in the NFL Draft podcast, On the Clock. “From an athletic standpoint, from an accuracy standpoint, and from a decisiveness standpoint, I think he does a great job.”

In the Shrine Game itself, Torgersen received limited playing time, as there were a number of other quarterbacks waiting to take snaps themselves — but he was rewarded for his good practices with the starting spot, and played admirably in the time given to him.

“My biggest takeaway was just knowing that I can play with guys from bigger schools and upper level divisions,” he said after the game. “That was something that I thought was going to be my biggest issue coming in, adjusting to the speed of the game. This week showed me that I’m capable of doing that.”

For now, though, Penn's two-time Ivy Champion quarterback will have to look for other venues to increase his shot at hearing his name called at the draft in Philadelphia on April 27-29. 

One way Torgersen revealed he'd be working to pique scouts' interests is by attending local pro days. Despite being snubbed of national attention at the Combine, he can still try to draw eyes his way in hopes of becoming the first Quaker to be drafted in 15 years. 

“By all accounts, Alek had a great week at the East-West Shrine Game in January and has generated a lot of interest from organizations across the NFL," Penn football coach Ray Priore said in a written statement. "I know Alek is excited to once again showcase his abilities again at his Pro Day in March.”

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