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February 23, 2008

More than athleticism tested at Combine

MORE: Rivals.com coverage from the NFL Scouting Combine

INDIANAPOLIS Wake Forest defensive lineman Jeremy Thompson took his fair share of tough tests during his college days. Then he goes to the NFL Scouting Combine and takes one that could determine his pro future.

NFL teams ask prospects to take the Wonderlic Personnel Test, which is given by companies worldwide as a predictor of employment success -- or so says the company that produces the test. The Wonderlic is a 12-minute, 50-question quasi-IQ test; a score of 20 is considered to be average.

Offensive linemen
Tight ends
Running backs
Wide receivers
Defensive linemen
"It reminded me of the SAT," Thompson said. "Wake Forest was pretty much subject-based and the Wonderlic was aptitude-based, so it reminded me of the SAT."

Thompson said he thinks he did well on the Wonderlic.

"You just go in there and do the best you can," he said. "It's kind of hard to study for it because you don't know what's going to be on it."

Texas defensive tackle Frank Okam has actually taken both the LSAT (short for Law School Admission Test, a half-day test required for admission into accredited law schools) and the Wonderlic. After Okam is done playing football, he hopes to attend law school.

Okam joked that there were a lot of similarities between the Wonderlic and the LSAT tests. "Both tests suck," he said, laughing.

Okam said the difficult part about the Wonderlic is that there are some questions that require math skills but you aren't allowed to use a calculator.

"If you don't know minimal math, you are probably going to waste a minute of the time you get to answer the 50 questions," he said. "You just have to keep going, but I'm pretty good at numbers."

Okam said he can see why NFL teams want prospects to take the Wonderlic.

"When you prepare for a game mentally, like chess, it's always about the next move," he said. "It's not about the move you are making currently. In football, it's the same way. It's what are you going to do with the next move, depending on the down and distance.

"This weekend is something that you really have to mentally prepare for because if you aren't mentally prepared, this week will shock you."

MORE: Rivals.com coverage from the NFL Scouting Combine


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