NIKE Tour heads South

The 2010 Nike Football Combine tour rolls on through the Gulf Coast this weekend, with stops scheduled for Mobile (Ala.) on Saturday and then Houston (Texas) on Sunday.

Around 1,000 participants are expected at both stops and the combines will run rain-or-shine (or ice) but clear skies are expected in Mobile on Saturday after Friday's chill.

It was at last February's event in Mobile that Davidson (Mobile, Ala.) safety Chris Hughes put his name on the map with a 4.37 hand-timed 40-yard dash. Hughes signed with Mississippi State and was one of many standouts from the 2009 Mobile Nike Combine who landed Division I scholarships.

Another notable performer in Mobile last year was Alabama-signee Jarrick Williams out of Blount (Prichard, Ala.), who set a combine-record in the power ball toss that still stands at 50-feet.

Players from Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana are pre-registered in Mobile, including Davidson (Mobile, Ala.) defensive end JaBrian Niles who already holds offers from Alabama and Auburn. Michael Caldwell (Crestview, Fla.) who posted an 88.89 SPARQ Rating a year ago and could challenge for the event's top mark.

From Mobile the Nike Combine staff will travel West to Houston for a Sunday event at Woodforest Stadium, home to The Woodlands (Texas), who was ranked in the ESPN RISE FAB 50 for much of the fall.

While last year's Nike Combine in Houston had to be cancelled due to the H1N1 virus outbreak in Texas, Houston has long been a staple on the combine tour and the Lone Star State's next wave of talent will be out to maintain the state's reputation on Sunday.