May 10, 2007

QB leads Tampa Underclassmen

While the morning session at the National Underclassmen Combine event in Tampa may have been highlighted by the play of freshman Daunte Carr, the afternoon session stood out because of the unbelievable amount of overall talent. Leading the way was Overall MVP, quarterback Rob Henry of Trinity Catholic in Florida.

Henry, 6-foot-1 and 178-pounds, is a great dual-threat quarterback, who is athletic, strong, fast, and has an excellent arm. The sophomore left no doubt that he will be a major D1 prospect. During the combine events he finished with a 38.5-inch vertical, which tied the Combine record, a 4.04 shuttle, which was the 2nd fastest all-time at the Combine, a 9'10" broad, 4.55 40, and 23 reps at 150 pounds. He truly is an all-around player and athlete.

The QB MVP went to sophomore Corey Swanson of powerhouse Lakeland High School in Florida. Swanson, 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds, is more of a prototypical drop back passer. He possesses a rocket for an arm, pin point accuracy, and excellent athleticism for a player that is built like a lineman. He also had 22 reps at 150-pounds, a 22-inch vertical, and a 5.46 40.

The defensive back position was loaded, and the MVP went to sophomore Kenny Johnson of Bayside High School in Florida. Johnson, 5-foot-8 and 150-pounds, was a lockdown cornerback during 1-on-1's, and had a 33.5-inch vertical, 4.54 40, and 4.38 shuttle. Deserving special mention is sophomore Sean Evans of Fort Walton Beach High School in Florida. Evans, 5-foot-10 and 163-pounds, was great during 1-on-1's, solid during individual drills, and impressive during testing, where he finished with a 4.55 40, 4.48 shuttle, 16 reps at 150-pounds, a 35.5-inch vertical, and a 9' 0 " broad.

Another position was which stood out was running back. The MVP was sophomore Jeremy Wright of East Ridge High School in Florida. Wright, 5-foot-9 and 177-pounds, was great during 1-on-1's and showed fantastic athleticism during individual drills. During the testing events he had a 34-inch vertical, 9'9 " broad, 4.51 40, 4.31 shuttle, and 23 reps at 150-pounds. Also deserving mention are sophomore Lakeal Pierce of Jay M. Robinson High School in North Carolina and sophomore Laconia Blake of Lakeland High School. Pierce, 5-foot-6 and 142-pounds, was great during 1-on-1's, and had a 28.5-inch vertical, 4.76 40, and 8' 7 " broad. Blake, 5-foot-10 and 167-pounds, was equally impressive during 1-on-1's, plus had a 35-inch vertical, 4.64 40, 9'1" broad, and 16 reps at 150-pounds.

The WR MVP went to sophomore Nickolus Thomas, who made the trip from Raleigh Egypt High School in Tennessee. At 6-foot-0 and 176-pounds, Thomas is a big and strong receiver who made several spectacular receptions during 1-on-1's. During the combines he had a 32-inch vertical, 8'10" broad, 4.55 shuttle, and 4.77 40. Another receiver who definitely deserves mention is sophomore Kenny Whittaker of Chaminade Madonna High School in Florida. Whittaker, 5-foot-9 and 155-pounds, showed great hands and route running ability throughout the afternoon, plus he had a 30.5-inch vertical, 4.58 shuttle, 4.76 40, and 8' 3 " broad.

The offensive line position was dominated by MVP Kamran Joyer, 6-foot-3 and 315-pounds, of Wesley Chapel High School in Florida. The sophomore is a great finisher, extremely tough, and is nasty competitor. He also set a new Combine record on the bench with 35 reps at 185-pounds. Aside from the power numbers, he also had a 5.29 shuttle, 6'11" broad and 5.55 40.

Even though the afternoon session did not see the same domination by freshman as the morning session, there were definitely a few that stood out. The co-winners of the Freshman MVP were ATH Benjamin McRoy of Lakeland High School and DB Gideon Ajagbe of Ransom Everglades High School. McRoy, 5-foot-7 and 151-pounds, was dominant during 1-on-1's, and had a 4.36 shuttle, 9' broad, 29.5-inch vertical, 4.48 40, and 25 reps at 135-pounds. Ajagbe, 6-foot-3 and 186-pounds, was great in coverage and has the potential to be a big time D1 prospect. During testing events he had a 34.5-inch vertical, 9'9" broad, 4.60 40, 4.32 shuttle, and 25 reps at 135-pounds.

The linebacker position was dominated by two Lakeland High School teammates. The MVP went to sophomore Deonate Gary, 5-foot-11 and 194 pounds, who has great physicality and athleticism, and he showed this off during the 1-on-1's, where he had 2 interceptions and locked down every running back. He also had a 4.85 40, 4.52 shuttle, 8' 3 " broad, and 31 reps at 150-pounds. Gary's teammate, sophomore Jordan Jones, battled until the end for the MVP and definitely deserves some special mention. Jones, 6-foot-0 and 205-pounds, was great during 1-on-1's and had a 31.5-inch vertical, 4.84 40, 8' 11 " broad, and 28 reps at 150-pounds.

As in the morning session, the Fastest Man Award went to a freshman. RB Wayman Bowden, 5-foot-7 and 183-pounds, of Out of the Door Academy in Florida had a 4.37 40, and showcased his speed during the 2006 season when he rushed for 900 yards during only 6 games of varsity action.

The DL MVP went to sophomore Tyrone Dixon of Eastside High School in Florida. Dixon, 6-foot-1 and 250-pounds, has the potential to become a great defensive tackle, and showed impressive moves and athleticism. He also had a 4.94 shuttle, 5.53 40, and 16 reps at 185-pounds.

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