Utah Utes’ Zack Moss withdraws from Senior Bowl but has received NFL Combine invite

(Rick Scuteri | AP file photo) Utah running back Zack Moss (2) runs for a first down against Arizona during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Tucson, Ariz.

Zack Moss will not play in the Senior Bowl on Saturday, but he will participate in the NFL Scouting Combine, which will begin Feb. 24 in Indianapolis.

Moss, who closed out an all-time career as a running back for the University of Utah last month, told the Salt Lake Tribune Monday afternoon that he has indeed withdrawn from the Senior Bowl, and that he has received a Combine invite.

“It was really about sitting down and evaluating what is the right move now so he can get himself prepared for the Combine," Moss’ agent, Jamal Tooson, told The Tribune on Monday. “The Combine is going to be the biggest interview of his life."

The first indication that Moss wouldn’t play in the Senior Bowl came Sunday night. Tooson tweeted a video of his client working out on a beach at an undisclosed location, which turned out to be Malibu. On Monday morning, as Senior Bowl week began in Mobile, Ala., Moss’ name was not on either roster, while the names of four other Utes were.

Moss, who finished his college career with 4,752 all-purpose yards and 41 total touchdowns, is in Los Angeles training, hence the video of him working out in Malibu. He has another month until the Combine, at which time he can opt in or out of a number of key drills, including the 40-yard dash, bench press and vertical jump among others. The plan as of now is for Moss to do all the drills at the Combine.

The 40 has long been the highlight of Combine-style events. As a point of reference, the fastest 40 time among 27 running backs at the 2019 Combine was Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill at 4.4. Only eight of the 27 running backs went under 4.5.

“We have a short window to transform him from a football player to a track star,” Tooson said. "He needs to be able to handle that, and we have a short window to get it done. All of our attention is being put into that, with the goal of having him ready to show out.

With Moss not participating at the Senior Bowl, that leaves defensive back Terrell Burgess, defensive tackle Leki Fotu, record-setting defensive end Bradlee Anae, and linebacker Francis Bernard representing Utah. A sixth Ute, safety Julian Blackmon, accepted a Senior Bowl invite, but he suffered a season-ending injury in the Pac-12 championship against Oregon.

A date for Utah Pro Day has not yet been announced, but it is expected to take place in mid or late-March, roughly four to six weeks ahead of the NFL Draft. Tooson said Moss will be at Utah Pro Day but called it premature as to whether or not his client would participate in drills.