INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.  --  University of Delaware All-American defensive tackle Zach Kerr has moved one step closer to a career in professional football as the former Blue Hen standout has earned an invitation to next month’s annual National Football League Scouting Combine.

The NFL Scouting Combine will take place Feb. 19-25 in Indianapolis and will include over 300 of the top college football players in the country. Top executives, coaching staffs, player personnel departments and medical personnel from all 32 NFL teams will be on hand to evaluate the nation’s top college football players eligible for the upcoming NFL Draft. Kerr will work out with the other defensive tackles on Feb. 24. The event will once again be televised live on the NFL Network.

Prior to taking part in the NFL Combine, Kerr will participate in the prestigious East-West Shrine All-Star game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, Jan. 18. That game will be also be televised live on the NFL Network. Kerr is the fifth UD player to compete at the event.

“I'm very excited about the opportunity to participate in the both the Shrine game and the NFL Combine,” said Kerr, a 6-2, 310 lb. history major from Gaithersburg, Md. (Quince Orchard High School). “It's not only a great opportunity for me, it's a great opportunity for all the former and current players at the University of Delaware. I’m proud to represent Delaware, and If I am able to perform the way I believe I can, it will open up doors for my teammates and myself. Hopefully everyone at the University can benefit from this the same way I benefitted from playing at UD. My ultimate personal goal is to receive my degree from the University of Delaware. I would be the first in my family to do so, and when you look at the big picture, that is the most important thing. I love football with a passion, but this game doesn't last forever, which is why I will be returning to the University to earn my degree.”

“We are extremely proud that Zach is receiving these accolades. They are well-earned,” said Delaware head coach Dave Brock. “We are looking forward to following his progress at each opportunity, starting with the Shrine Game and following with the NFL Combine. These are rare opportunities and we are excited that Zach will make the most of them. We are also looking forward to working with Zach to ensure that he finishes his degree, which will be the ultimate accomplishment of his Delaware football experience.”

Kerr is just the fifth University of Delaware student-athlete to earn an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine, joining current Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback and 2013 Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Joe Flacco (2008), current Miami Dolphins quarterback Pat Devlin (2011), former Arizona Cardinals tight end Ben Patrick (2007), and wide receiver/kick returner Eddie Conti (1999).

Eight former Blue Hen standouts were on active NFL rosters in 2013, including Flacco, Devlin, DB Mike Adams (Denver), C Gino Gradkowski (Baltimore), LB Paul Worrilow (Atlanta), DE Ronald Talley (Arizona), DB Anthony Walters (Chicago), and DB Marcus Burley (Jacksonville).

Earlier this year, Kerr earned second team All-American honors by The Sports Network, was a third team All-American selected by Beyond Sports Network, and earned All-Colonial Athletic Association honors for the second straight year.

A co-captain, Kerr recorded 57 tackles (28 solo), including 5.5 tackles for loss (29 yards), 3.5 sacks (24 yard), two pass breakups, and two forced fumbles. He ranked fourth among all CAA down linemen in tackles. He collected four or more tackles nine times during the 2013 campaign, including a career-high eight each in victories over Albany and NCAA national runner-up Towson.

Delaware recently completed it season under first-year head coach Dave Brock with a 7-5 overall mark and a 4-4 slate in CAA play, good for a tie for fifth place in the league standings. The Blue Hens received votes in every The Sports Network Top 25 poll during the season, climbing as high as 15th on Nov. 4.