HUNTINGTON — Marshall quarterback Chase Litton chose to declare for the NFL Draft in mid-January because he wanted the opportunity to prove that he belonged in football's top league.
Now, Litton will get the chance to do so in the most important setting possible prior to the 2018 NFL Draft.
Litton received his official invitation to the 2018 NFL Combine this week and is in the process of completing the proper registration to participate in the combine, which runs from Feb. 27 to March 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.
For quarterbacks specifically, the testing starts on Feb. 28 and ends on March 3.
Litton said he is excited to get the opportunity to display his talent alongside the best that college football has to offer.
"It's a blessing and an opportunity to showcase what I can do and represent Marshall University," Litton said. "It's really a testament for the countless hours that you put in with good people and players who want to succeed and want you to succeed as much as you want to. It's definitely a prime opportunity not only for me, but for all the guys that will be there."
That four-day process for the quarterbacks will be intensive — especially in a year in which the position is in the public eye with three quarterbacks expected to go in the top-7 picks in the 2018 NFL Draft.
In all, there will be 330 prospects present for the NFL Combine — all with the goals of being selected as one of the 250-plus picks taken in the 2018 NFL Draft, which takes place April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The NFL Combine is a rigorous test of physical and mental endurance with NFL coaches, general managers and scouts all taking notes of every single move the prospects make while they are in Indianapolis.
The four-day synopsis starts with pre-exams and X-rays to make sure all prospects are healthy and it is followed with a first evening of interviews with NFL personnel for the players.
Day two allows teams to get all the measurements on a player while continuing with more thorough medical examinations, based on information gained from the first round of medical exams. The day wraps up with more team interviews.
The third day involves psychological testing, which includes the Wonderlic Personnel Test, which measures a player's problem-solving and critical thinking ability. The prospects then meet with members of the NFL Players Association and members of the media before ending the day with more interviews from team personnel requesting to speak with the prospect.
After the rigors and stress of the first three days, the final day gets the players on the field to see how they perform in their on-field workout with skill drills, timing drills and different workout stations that test their physical abilities. It is done on the final day to test the players' ability to execute after being put under stress in the first three days.
For Litton, he said that it is important to remember that, at the end of the day, it comes down to passion for the game he loves.
"It's football and it's the same thing you've been doing since you were four or five-years-old," Litton said. "It's a much bigger stage with the interview process and the testing, but it will be a fun process. There will be plenty of questions and they will analyze everything. I have to go in there and do well for myself."
Litton's announcement to come out for the NFL Draft and forgo his senior year likely surprised many GMs and executives of teams, which means the combine numbers will add to the base that has already been set for his pre-draft file.
The 6-foot-5, 232-pound quarterback prospect said that over the next month, the object is to fine-tune each detail of his game — both mental and physical — to be as well-prepared as possible for what he will see in Indianapolis.
"It's not only about proving that you can play football," Litton said. "It's how you carry yourself, how well you know the system, it's how well you treat the guys around you and how they treat you. You have to present yourself in the way that you've been coached and been raised."
Litton added that he leaves on Thursday to head to Super Bowl LII with his representatives from Steinberg Sports and Entertainment, headed by Leigh Steinberg and Chris Cabott. There, they will take in all the sights of the Super Bowl festivities, which will give Litton a better feel for not only NFL life, but the experience of seeing teams battle for the ultimate prize — a Super Bowl championship.
"I got fitted for my suit (Tuesday) and it's all surreal," Litton said. "It's all an exciting time, but I haven't done anything, yet. It's all fun this week, but it will get me better focused for the combine and my Pro Day, so I can turn those dreams to reality."
One interesting note is the NFL Combine falls in the opening weekend of March. That is likely just days before Marshall's Pro Day on campus, which is generally the first or second Wednesday in March.
Regardless of which date Marshall chooses, Litton's performance in Indianapolis will have a direct impact on the number of teams that venture to Huntington to see him during Marshall's Pro Day.
2018 NFL Combine
Feb. 28-March 5
Lucas Oil Field, Indianapolis
Schedule for quarterbacks
Feb. 28: Registration, Hospital Pre-exam & X-Rays, Testing, Orientation, Interviews
March 1: Measurements, Medical examinations, Testing, Interviews
March 2: Psychological testing, NFLPA meeting, Media interviews, Bench press, Interviews
March 3: On-field workout (timing, stations, skill drills)