Monday, February 16, 2009
Updated: March 11, 2:27 PM ET
Joyner shines at UA Miami Combine
By JC Shurburtt
DAVIE, Fla. -- Many of South Florida's top prospects took part in the Under Armour Combine on Sunday at the Miami Dolphins Training Facility, including standout cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, who could be one of the best in the country at his position.
Although there were many high-end prospects at the event, Joyner was perhaps the most celebrated and impressive. The 5-foot-9, 165-pounder is explosive, fast and strong for his size, and he can change direction easily. Joyner posted a 4.47-second 40-yard dash, but it was his final event of the day in the testing portion of the combine. He said after his second try (when he ran the 4.47) that he felt he could run a better time if he were not as fatigued. He had a stellar L-cone time of seven seconds. (All times are unofficial, and official times won't be posted until later this week.)
Joyner also was impressive during the one-on-one and seven-on-seven drills toward the end of the camp. He also did well in the defensive back drills, where he showed quick feet and the ability to turn, run and close fast.
"I did what I do every time I come on the field, which is compete," Joyner said. "It's like they say in South Florida, you turn on the faucet, and the athletes just come pouring out. There is always someone out there to compete against. That's why I always work hard to get better."
Joyner is in the process of changing schools. He played last season at Miami Southwest and plans to transfer to another school in the area. Columbus, where standout running back Jakhari Gore plays, is rumored to be one destination, but Joyner alluded that another school is a possibility.
"I am still going through the process [of transferring]," he said. "I am going to another school, but it may not be Columbus. I don't want to say what the other school is right now."
Joyner said he might take unofficial visits to Florida State, Miami, Florida, Southern California and Ohio State.
Power school is well represented
Miami's Booker T. Washington High is well known for its ability to churn out elite talent, and the Tornadoes had multiple high-end Division I prospects test and compete.
Running back Eduardo Clements is one of the fastest running backs in the Southeast and showed it Sunday when he posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.37. Clements has a lot of natural ability and really is one of the better prospects at his position, even though there are many quality running backs in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties this year.
Clements has a stellar offer list. Miami, Georgia, Tennessee, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia have offered him scholarships.
Offensive lineman Jose Jose measured in at 6-2 and 350 pounds but posted some outstanding testing times and was dominant during the one-on-one and skills portions of the camp. The big man, who is being recruited as a center, ran a 5.21 40 and bench-pressed 185 pounds 27 times. He also had a vertical leap of 26 inches. Jose reported a bench press max of 385 and a squat max of 565 from his high school.
Jose holds offers from Florida, Georgia, Florida State, Miami, Rutgers and West Virginia.
Wide receiver Quinton Dunbar has seen his stock rise during recent weeks. The 6-3, 183-pounder displayed good hands and speed during the one-on-one and seven-on-seven portions of the event and also tested well, posting a 40-yard dash time of 4.49 seconds.
Defensive end Lynden Trail is another Tornado who is gaining serious momentum on the recruiting trail. The 6-7, 220-pounder has a lean frame and will need to get bigger and stronger when he reaches college, but he has good athleticism and a strong desire to compete. Trail ran the 40 in 4.6 seconds (a good time for a player his size) and posted a 35-inch vertical leap.
Athletes Jayvon Wrentz, Toddrick Roberts, Anthony Smith and Jalanie Rouland are other Booker T. Washington players who have excellent shots at playing Division I football. All are versatile and athletic. Although they are developmental projects, all have potential.
Northwestern prospects shine
ESPNU 150 watch list defensive tackle Todd Chandler (Miami/Northwestern) had an outstanding day, particularly in the one-on-one portion of the camp. The Miami commit said he particularly enjoyed being coached by former Cleveland Browns and Clemson standout Michael Dean Perry, who coached the defensive line at the event.
"It really could not get any better," Chandler said. "All of the coaches know what they are talking about, and they showed me some things I could improve on. It was great working with [Perry]. He showed me things I did not even know, and that's good because he was one of the best defensive tackles in the league."
Chandler's teammate, offensive lineman Torrian Wilson, also was impressive during the one-on-one portion of the event and was one of the better prospects at his position at the event.
"At first, I wasn't sure about the one-on-ones," Wilson said. "Then when I got in there and really started to get going, I pretty much dominated everyone I went against."
The ESPNU 150 watch list prospect, who ran the 40-yard dash in 5.2 seconds on Sunday but says his goal is to push it down to 5.0 seconds or faster, is a tough, athletic, cerebral offensive lineman. Wilson currently has Miami on top, with Stanford in second.
ESPNU 150 watch list cornerback Khalid Marshall also was at the event and looked solid during the drills and testing, as was ESPNU 150 watch list running back Corvin Lamb.
Dowling makes an appearance
One of the fastest-rising prospects in Florida is safety Jonathan Dowling (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast). The 6-3, 180-pounder made the trip across the state to Miami for the event. Dowling showed he could move during the one-on-one and seven-on-seven portions of the camp, breaking up several passes. Florida, Georgia and South Florida are among the schools that have offered scholarships to Dowling.
Several of the coaches who worked the camp were extremely impressed with receiver Isaiah Williams (Miami/Miami Springs). The 6-2, 180-pounder did not run the best 40 time (4.7 seconds), but one comment about that performance was, "Who cares? It's not all about the 40 with this kid." Williams caught nearly everything that was thrown to him. He has outstanding route-running ability, is crafty and can get open.
Look out for Grimes
Cornerback Tony Grimes (Hollywood Hills, Fla./Hollywood Hills) was impressive during the one-on-one and seven-on-seven portions of the camp, showing a good ability to close on the ball. He said after the camp that he prides himself on being a physical corner, which was obvious with the way he was able to jam some of the receivers. Grimes ran a 4.59-second 40-yard dash. Although that's not a blazing time for a cornerback, it might not matter with this prospect.
Oregon and Florida Atlantic are the first two schools to offer scholarships to Grimes.
Dorsett is impressive
Class of 2011 receiver Phillip Dorsett (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) showed off an outstanding ability to get open deep and make a big play during the one-on-one drills. Dorsett certainly is a player who could emerge as a major Division I prospect in the next recruiting cycle.
Darius Davis (Miami/Krop) was the top linebacker prospect at the event. Davis moves well in space and can cover. For linebackers, combines are a great measure of athleticism (Davis ran a 4.4-second shuttle) but really don't tell the story of things such as tackling, courage, fire and the other intangibles that go into being great at the position. That being said, according to several observers who have watched him play since his elementary school days, those intangibles should not be a problem where he is concerned.
Every recruiting cycle, players who come out of South Florida emerge at different points in the process. Here are some who may have emerged Sunday.
David Delsoin, OT, Hollywood Sheridan Hills
The big, athletic Broward County prospect measured 6-5½ and 265 pounds. He has long arms and good feet. Delsoin is an unknown who doesn't have any scholarship offers, but that could change quickly, provided his film checks out. Regardless, some program will take a chance on this kid. You can't coach the skills he has.
Gilbert St. Louis, CB, Plantation
St. Louis posted a time of 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, but it's his size and coverage ability that make him a player who should be bound for a BCS conference program. So far, Connecticut is his only scholarship offer, but expect more to roll in the near future. He was the player whom observers were buzzing the most about at the event.
Jonathan Garcia, TE, Cape Coral Ida Baker
The 6-3, 220-pound Garcia has an excellent frame for a tight end. He also has good hands. He tested well, with a 4.81-second 40 and a 4.4 in the shuttle. Garcia said that right now, South Florida is showing him the most attention, and he plans to make an unofficial visit up to Tampa in the next couple of weeks. West Virginia and Northwestern also are showing interest. Expect his offer sheet to increase as more schools that need a tight end learn about him.
Offensive line prospect Jon Ragoo (Miami/Monsignor Pace) is a massive offensive line prospect who has the potential to be good in college. The hometown Hurricanes already offered a scholarship to the 6-6, 330-pounder. ... His teammate, ESPNU 150 watch list tight end Charles Fashaw, had a good outing as well. It should not be too much longer before the 6-4, 220-pound Fashaw adds to his offer list, which has only Boston College on it now. If Florida offers, it could be tough to beat, as the Gators most likely would use the tall, athletic prospect the same way they used Cornelius Ingram and intend to use Class of 2009 prospect Desmond Parks. ... Receiver DeJoshua Johnson (Pahokee, Fla./Pahokee) was at the event but did not participate in all the testing or drills because he was nursing a hamstring injury. ... Receiver Ivan McCartney (Miramar, Fla./Miramar) had several nice catches during the one-on-one portion of the event. ... ESPNU 150 watch list running back Gio Bernard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) was quick during the running back drills, showing why he has a long early list of offers. ... Look for quarterback Marshyl Rothman (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter Christian) to make some college on some level very happy one day. The 5-10, 181-pounder has all the tools to be a great one (arm, athleticism, intangibles) but his height may keep him under the radar for a while. Kansas is one of the teams he is interested in because the Jayhawks used 5-11, 200-pound Todd Reesing to reach the Orange Bowl a couple of years ago. Georgia Southern and some other FCS schools are showing heavy interest.
JC Shurburtt covers recruiting for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.