This composite image shows Wagner offensive lineman Greg Senat, left,...

This composite image shows Wagner offensive lineman Greg Senat, left, and Stony Brook offensive lineman Timon Parris. Senat and Parris, both Elmont natives, are participating in the 2018 NFL Combine. Credit: Wagner College, Stony Brook University

Greg Senat and Timon Parris, on the verge of reaching the pinnacle of football, took different routes to this point in their careers.

Senat, who attended Wagner to play college basketball but transitioned to football two years ago, is a 6-7, 300-pound offensive line prospect who impressed scouts at the East-West Shrine Game in January. He’ll be looking to build on that momentum at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week.

Parris, who went to Stony Brook University as a lanky 255-pound “project” and developed into a 6-5, 320-pound mountain of an offensive tackle, is coming off surgery to repair a fractured ankle and hoping the injury will not derail his opportunity to become the first player from his college drafted by an NFL team. He’ll be in Indianapolis as well.

That’s where their paths will intersect, as they’ll be placed in the same position grouping for the drills, measurements, proddings and diagnostics that will occur at Lucas Oil Stadium throughout this next week. They’ll be in Group 2, to be exact, with Parris designated as OL31 and Senat as OL38 (the numbers are given out alphabetically).

But what neither of them was aware of until very recently is that this won’t be the first time they will be in such close proximity.

The two NFL prospects who play the same position grew up in the same town, Elmont, about a mile and a half from each other, but had little to no awareness of each other.

“I don’t know who that is,” Parris said when asked about Senat as recently as Wednesday.

Senat said he’d heard of Parris but had no idea they hailed from the same town. Or even the same region of the country.

“Is he a Long Island guy too?” he asked.

When told he was from Elmont, Senat gasped.

“No way!” he exclaimed. “Wow. I had no idea. That’s dope.”


There are a few reasons why the two never connected on their own despite the common zip code.

They attended different high schools. Parris, who grew up on the north side of Hempstead Turnpike (his family has since moved to Islip), went to Floral Park High School. Senat, from the south side of Hempstead Turnpike, went to Elmont Memorial.

They excelled at different sports during that time. Senat didn’t play high school football after his freshman season and Parris didn’t play hoops until his senior year.

They were an academic year apart from each other. Senat attended prep school for one year before landing at Wagner on Staten Island and stayed in college for one semester of a fifth year to finish his football career.

They had a chance to meet on the field as collegians and unsuspecting fellow Elmonters, as Wagner faced Stony Brook on Long Island in November, but even that opportunity was scuttled. The game was played two weeks after Parris’ season-ending injury.

And even now, as they prepare for the Combine, they are on very different tracts. Parris is rehabbing and training in Pensacola, Florida, while Senat has been preparing in New Jersey.

This week, though, that figures to change.

“I’ll definitely have to link up with him,” Senat said of his plan to introduce himself to Parris in Indianapolis. “That’s crazy.”


The Combine is an opportunity that seemed almost impossible for Parris as recently as this past October, when he suffered an ankle injury in a game against Richmond.

“I didn’t think it was that serious,” he said. “I knew I was done for the game, but I thought I just had an ankle sprain.”

Then the X-rays came back. Parris had a fractured fibula and ligament damage and required surgery. He had the procedure done on Oct. 29, the day after the injury.

“At first I didn’t think nothing of it, but then sitting down and thinking about it, I was like, ‘Holy crap, my season is over,’ ” he said. “I started asking questions about my future. I asked the doctor how long is the recovery and will I be able to be back by the pro day. After getting the answers that I may be back by the pro day, I started to have doubts about my future and whether I would actually be able to be healthy and make it back for the Combine or the Senior Bowl and all the other things that are happening right now.”

Stony Brook University's Timon Parris during preseason practice on Aug....

Stony Brook University's Timon Parris during preseason practice on Aug. 22, 2017. Credit: Richard T. Slattery

“We originally envisioned Greg as a tight end but, early on, he selflessly made the move to the O-line, became our starting right tackle during his first training camp and was a foundation there for the next two seasons,” Houghtaling said. “He’s shown tremendous improvement and the pro scouts that have come by to see him believe he has a high ceiling, especially given that he is still relatively new to the game, having not played football since way back early in his high school career.”

He even became the first player from the Northeast Conference invited to the East-West Shrine Game, where he opened eyes against some of college football’s best players. He started the game and played both left and right tackle throughout the contest.

This week, at the Combine, he’ll use his basketball skills more than his football skills. The 40-yard dash, cone drills and vertical leap tests seem more suited to a court than a field, which should give Senat an advantage over the lunky linemen he’ll be matched up with. But when it comes to the interviews, Senat said, he’s all football.

“I want to prove to them that I know more football than they think I know,” he said. “I want to show that I’m someone who will continue to get better. I feel like my best football is ahead of me.”


Where they will go after Indianapolis is anyone’s guess, although the NFL seems a likely destination. The draft is in late April, and many believe the two offensive linemen will have their names called at some point during that selection process.

“I like them both,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said of the Elmont duo. “[Senat] could go fourth round. I think Parris, with the injury, you’re probably looking fourth-to-fifth-round area . . . They’re two good players. They’re going to play in the NFL and they could be starters in the NFL in the not-too-distant future.”

Before that, though, they’ll return to their different lives and different paths in different parts of the country. Parris will continue working to rehab his ankle in Florida, hoping to be ready to show scouts his moves on the field before the teams make their choices. Senat will go back to refining his technique and trying to make up for the lost time when he was not playing football.

As two players at the same position who are projected to be chosen in the same part of the draft, and with both from small non-traditional football schools, they’ll actually be competing for the same job openings in the NFL.

But they’ll do so as two men who have a shared history and a shared geography.

Maybe they’ll even do so as friends after Indianapolis, linked by a bond they never knew existed.

Timon Parris

OT 6-5, 320

Born: Sept. 11, 1995 (age 22)

Hometown: Elmont

High school: Floral Park

College: Stony Brook

Greg Senat

OT 6-6, 290

Born: Sept. 8, 1994 (age 23)

Hometown: Elmont

High schools: Elmont Memorial, Marianapolis (Conn.) Prep

College: Wagner

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