Friday, January 1, 2010
Updated: January 2, 10:20 AM ET
Talent galore at Under Armour Combine
By Scouts Inc.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Despite heavy rain and colder-than-usual temperatures, 150 juniors from 25 different states, including close to 50 from the ESPNU 150 Watch List, made their way to ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex to participate in the Class of 2011 Under Armour National Combine. Field conditions were far from ideal, which affected the times in the 40-yard dash and shuttle runs, but the talent on hand still performed at a very high level.
Poor surface doesn't slow down everyone
ESPNU 150 Watch List running back J.J. Keels (Melbourne, Fla./Air Academy) ran a 4.49 40-yard dash. Keels, no stranger to the combine circuit, ran an electronically timed 4.63 40 prior to his junior year.
Fellow Watch List ball carrier Mike Bellamy (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte), who has rushed for 4,000 yards and scored 60 touchdowns over the last two seasons, registered a 4.5. Bellamy looked really light and quick on his feet and was a fluid glider during positional drills. He also showed very polished receiving skills but will need to add weight to his slight frame.
ESPNU 150 Watch List quarterback Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty), an Auburn lean, checked in at 225 pounds and ran a pair of 4.5s. He looks very impressive on the hoof.
Two ESPNU 150 Watch List receivers from St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Phillip Dorsett and Rashad Greene, once again proved that the Raiders don't rebuild, they reload. Dorsett, who caught 23 passes for 487 yards (21.2 average) and five touchdowns this fall, tested well across the board. Greene, who hauled in 20 balls for 356 yards (17.8 average) and six scores as a junior, recorded a 4.46 40, 4.16 short shuttle, 6.82 three-cone drill and 37.5 vertical.
Maryland and Wisconsin have offered ESPNU 150 Watch List cornerback Blake Countess (Baltimore, Md./Good Counsel), who posted a 4.54 40, 6.50 three-cone and 3.94 shuttle. Countess is very smooth and fluid in his backpedal. He can turn his hips and run in man coverage and breaks quickly on passes in front of him.
Passing the eyeball test
LSU has a pair of really good-looking prospects from its backyard in powerful load-back Jeremy Hill and offensive lineman La'El Collins, both from Redemptorist (Baton Rouge, La.). Florida State and Tennessee, among others, attempted to pull Hill and Collins away from the hometown Tigers. Collins ran well despite some wasted motion in his running form.
From the Peach State, three Watch List prospects -- end Ira McCune II (Powder Springs, Ga./Hillgrove), offensive lineman Watts Dantzler (Dalton, Ga./Dalton) and defensive end Sterling Bailey (Gainesville, Ga./East Hall) -- certainly look the part. Florida, Clemson, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia Tech, among others, have already offered Bailey. Dantzler has offers from several Southeast schools, including Georgia and Alabama. McCune caught our eye with his impressive wingspan for his build and he used that reach to help him in his pass rushing.
Outside linebacker Trey DePriest (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield) registered 28 bench press reps and ran in the 4.7 range, displaying a nice combination of size and speed. Programs including Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma and Alabama have already offered the 150 Watch Lister, cementing DePriest's status as a national target.
Desmond Jackson (Houston/Westfield) was one of the smoother-running defensive linemen and has really good quickness. Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Stanford and TCU have offered the ESPNU 150 Watch List defensive tackle.
Another ESPNU 150 defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds (Washington, D.C./St. John's College), already in possession of a few scholarship offers, registered a 4.69 shuttle and an outstanding 26 bench reps. Oregon is expected to be McReynolds' next offer.
Lineman Brian Mihalik (Avon Lake, Ohio) registered a quick 4.53 shuttle. He looks real lean but coaches will love his projectable frame. West Virginia has offered the ESPNU 150 talent.
Defensive lineman Samuel Harvill (Springdale, Ark./Shiloh Christian) may be a future World's Strongest Man contender after pumping out 59 reps at 185, which is the most we've ever seen anyone do at a combine. He has offers from Kansas State, SMU and UNLV.
Impressive group of tight ends
Tennessee commit Eric MacLain (Fayetteville, N.C./Britt), Drew Owens (Charlotte, N.C./Kell) and Brandon Fulse (Fort Meade, Fla.) all displayed a nice combination of size and pass-catching ability. MacLain and Owens, who has South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia Tech as his leaders, are on the Watch List. Fulse may work his way on there with his rare combination of size, speed (4.84 40) and athleticism.
Driskel and J.W. Walsh (Denton/Guyer) showed great velocity and natural arm strength throughout passing drills. Their wide receivers didn't help the Watch List signal-callers, dropping occasional passes that zipped through their fingers. Arizona and Kansas have offered Walsh. Driskel may been one of the most impressive prospects in attendance, drawing comparisons to Washington QB Jake Locker.
Highlights from the trenches
The offensive and defensive lines came together to battle in one-on-ones and there was some good competition. The standout among the offensive linemen was Collins. The good-looking tackle was tough to get by, showing a quick set and the ability to react and stop inside counters. He looked awkward getting in a three-point stance during the instruction period, but was very comfortable working from a two-point during the drills. The mountain-sized Dantzler impressed us with his size and showed upside as tackle.
The defensive line was a group that featured several good prospects like Desmond Jackson. The tackle, who sported a slick pair of glasses and a penchant for dancing between reps, was very tough to block in one-on-ones. He displayed good quickness off the ball and the ability to use his hands to beat blockers.
Another interior lineman who impressed was DeShaun Williams (Central, S.C./Daniel). He did not possess the same impressive build as some of the other defensive linemen, but was very disruptive with good initial quickness. He was active with his hands and also showed the ability to counter to get to the quarterback.
A player who impressed us on film and whom we were eager to see was Jermauria Rasco (Shreveport, La./Evangel Christian). He showed a good rush off the edge with a solid get-off, an ability to get the shoulder and turn the corner.
An impressive-looking late addition to the combine was Monte Golden (Jacksonville, N.C./Northside). With a good build he showed nice flexibility during warm-ups. During one-on-ones he had good explosiveness, but needs to keep working to have a plan to help him get more from his activity.
In-state corner shines
Along with the smooth and fluid Countess, Nick Waisome (Groveland, Fla./South Lake) was a standout performer at defensive back. He broke on the ball extremely quick and recovered with great burst, making it difficult for receivers to create separation. Waisome ran well throughout the day and was a real competitor during passing drills, showing confidence and savvy.
Hakeem Flowers (Greenville, S.C./Wade Hampton) took most of his reps at wide receiver. He's a big target with a very good blend of size and speed. From our early film work we project the South Carolina native will play safety at the next level, but he proved today that he's a very versatile prospect. ... Giovani Francois (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast) ran well for a defensive end, posting a high 4.8 40.
Rashad Greene -- 4.46
Phillip Dorsett-- 4.49
J.J. Keels -- 4.49
Courtney Bynes -- 4.5
Mike Bellamy -- 4.5
Blake Countess -- 6.50
Steel Stewart -- 6.65
Rashad Greene -- 6.82
Deandre' Scott -- 6.84
Zach Rogers -- 6.87
Jamie Gilmore (2012) -- 10 feet, 2 inches
Clim Robbins Jr. -- 9-11
Jermaine Sams 9-9
Justus Pickett -- 9-8
Phillip Dorsett -- 9-7.5
Bench press (185 pounds)
Samuel Harvill -- 59 repetitions
Verna Jackson -- 30
Trey DePriest -- 28
Desmond Jackson -- 27
Conrad Johnson and Kevin McReynolds -- 26
Short shuttle run
Blake Countess -- 3.94
Zach Rogers -- 4.03
Austin McClellan (2012) -- 4.04
Robbie Anderson -- 4.07
Quayshun Smith -- 4.15
DaVaris Daniels -- 41.5 inches
J.J. Keels -- 38
Tyler Hunter -- 37.5
Rashad Greene -- 37.5
Quayshun Smith and Telvin Hooks -- 37
Billy Tucker, Craig Haubert, Paul Pawlak, JC Shurburtt and Gerry Hamilton contributed to this report.