Commentary

NIKE Miami: Launching Pad

Updated: February 11, 2010, 1:11 PM ET
By Kynon Codrington | ESPN RISE

The Miami Nike Combine produced some of the top prospects in the Class of 2011, but there were a handful of underclassmen that left their mark as well. The combination of athleticism and speed impressed during the combine and many observers took note.

NIKE Combine Links

Over the next week, ESPN RISE will have several items pertaining to the NIKE Miami Combine. For complete coverage of the event be sure to check ESPN RISE daily.

Here's a look at five players from the combine who have future star written all over them and what they need to do to get there.

Duke Johnson, 5-8.5, 170, RB, Miami (Fla.) Norland (2012)
Johnson may seem a bit undersized, but he has a solid frame that is capable of adding bulk and strength. He led Miami-Dade County in rushing as a sophomore with 1,540 yards and 24 touchdowns. The Miami product is a great looking athlete with explosive agility and short-area burst. He has the tools to be a complete back and garner national interest on the recruiting trail.

Sony Michel, 5-11, 182, RB, Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage (2014)
Michel has been described as a beast on the playing field. The eighth-grader passes the eye-ball test with a compact 182-pound frame and great height. At 14, he rushed for 1,825 yards at the varsity level tops in Broward County. He can run over defenders or around them. We think his potential is through the roof. He ran a 4.67 forty-time (laser-timed) at the Miami Nike Combine and if he can continue to keep his speed while his body develops than sky is the limit. Look for him to be the top South Florida prospect in the Class of 2014.

Donaldven Manning, 5-10, 155, DB, Miami (Fla.) Edison (2012)
Manning has the ability to be a good cover corner. He will need to add upper body strength, but that should come as his body matures and he spends time in the weight room. He has great speed and excellent quickness, making him a good candidate in man coverage. According to his coaches he displays a good work ethic and is easy to coach. He is looking for a breakout season this fall.

Ricardo Louis, 6-1, 186, QB, Miami (Fla.) Miami Beach (2012)
Louis displays superior athletic ability. He is a competitive player looking to get better with each repetition. The 6-1 quarterback has tremendous upside. He has the ability to make plays with his arm or legs. He already claims a Florida International offer, but look for that to change with a productive fall campaign.

Gary Holmes, 5-7.5, 160, RB, Loxahatchee (Fla.) Seminole Ridge (2012)
Holmes is a quick-twitch scat back. Last year he rushed for 631 yards and six touchdowns. He runs track and has a reported 10.73 time in the 100. He creates mismatches in space with his lateral quickness and ability to cut on a dime. Off the field he reports a 3.0 GPA.