Big-Timers Headed To Durham Combine
Greg Little
Greg Little
East Coast Recruiting Analyst
Posted Mar 24, 2006
Miller Safrit, ACC Recruiting Analyst


This Sunday, Scout.com’s All-American Combine tour hits the campus of Duke University in Durham, NC. Over 200 invited prospects from various surrounding states will be showcasing their talents to see where they stack up against the nation’s best.

Prospects will be tested in the 40-yard dash, 3-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle run, vertical jump, and the standing broad jump. They will then break into position groups where they will be under the tutelage of an elite group of local coaches. The grand finale will be an hour of one-on-one testing where the proverbial men are separated from the boys.

Here is a look at some of the top prospects who are expected to be on hand Sunday.

Quarterbacks

During the quarterback drills, all eyes will be on Virginia natives and Scout.com four-star prospects Peter Lalich (Springfield) and Tyrod Taylor (right) (Hampton). Throughout the year the debate will rage on as to which of the two holds the crown as the Old Dominion State’s top recruit, but this will be one of the very few times both dual-threat quarterbacks can be compared head-to-head in a controlled environment and don't sleep on Kyle Holland from Chapel Hill, N.C.

Rodney Cox (Angier, N.C.), Brandon Hogan (Manassas, Va.), Lindell Stevenson (Bennettsville, S.C.) and Quan Sturdivant (Oakboro, N.C.) are athletic quarterback types that will receive opportunities to throw, while also possibly working out at other positions.

Running Backs

Big Ryan Houston (Matthews, N.C.) – a Scout.com four-star prospect – will headline a very diverse group of running backs Sunday. Rounding out the assorted group of ‘backs will be Daronte McNeil (Elizabeth City, N.C.), Kevin Simmons (Virginia Beach, Va.), Daryl Vereen (Huntersville, N.C.), Tyrell Worthington (Winterville, N.C.), Nic Cooper (Clinton, N.C.), Ben Herlocker (Charlotte, N.C.), and Tommy Henry (Maiden, N.C.).

Wide Receiver/Tight Ends

Pound-for-pound, the receiving unit could possibly be the most talented position in attendance providing quarterbacks solid options during passing drills. The group is expected to include Scout.com five-star prospect Greg Little (Durham, N.C.) and four-star prospect Mark Barnes (Columbia, S.C.), as well as Kris Burd (Ettrick, Va.), Steven Howard (Charlotte, N.C.), UNC commit Dwight Jones (Burlington, N.C.), and Jay Smith (Virginia Beach, Va.).

Offensive Line

The o-line will arguably be the deepest and most talented position on display Sunday. Ten of the linemen expected to be on hand hold at least one Division I-A scholarship offer led by Scout.com Top100 lineman Trinton Sturdivant, who possesses over 20 offers including Miami, Notre Dame, and Florida State.

A third of the aforementioned list hails from Spring Valley High School in Columbia, S.C. where Kyle Fischer, Mason Cloy, and Quintin Richardson (right) have collectively accumulated 19 scholarship offers and the number seems to grow every day.

Other attendees with offers include William Alvarez (Woodbridge, Va.), Khalil Latif (Midlothian, Va.), Desmond Roberts (Gaston, N.C.), Landon Walker (Ronda, N.C.), and Duke commit Doug Weaver (Roxboro, N.C.). Kyle Nunn (Sumter, S.C.), Nick Williams (Bailey, N.C.), and Sergio Glenn (Winston Salem, N.C.) are just a few of the other linemen with major interest from college coaches already.

Defensive Line

While the d-line will lack the depth, it will pack a comparable punch to its offensive counterparts. Expected participates include tackles Jonathan Branch (Manassas, Va.) and Tydreke Powell (Ahoskie, N.C.), in addition to ends Junius Lewis (Morgantown, W.Va.), Vernard Parnell (Bennettsville, S.C.), and Cliff Matthews (left, Cheraw S.C.).

Adding additional intrigue to the trench battles is Quintin Richardson pulling double duty by seeing reps also on the defensive line.

Linebackers

While this group might lack the national star power, don’t sleep on the Durham Combine’s linebacking corps.

Pat Lazear (Bethesda, Md.) and Barquell Rivers (Wadesboro, N.C.)should continue to raise their already soaring recruiting stocks as they continue to gain publicity, while Matt Little (Durham, N.C.), Tolbert Matthews (Norfolk, Va.), and Darryl Smith (Charlotte, N.C.) plan to make a name for themselves Sunday.

ACC pledges Albert Craddock (High Point, N.C.) and Kyle Jarrett (Clemmons, N.C.) will give their future schools’ fans – UNC and Wake Forest, respectively – a glimpse into the future.

Defensive Backs

Shutdown cornerbacks Justin Byers (Charlotte, N.C.), Marcus Gilchrist (Andrews, N.C.) and new South Carolina commitment Gary Gray (right, Columbia, S.C.) should give opposing wideouts problems during one-on-one passing drills Sunday.

Converted tailbacks Michael Bowman (Wadesboro, N.C.), Markus Hunter (High Point, N.C.), and James Pone (Wilson, N.C.) are still learning the craft of defensive back, but should definitely showcase their pure athletic ability during combine drills.

Underclassmen

Arguably the best underclassman in attendance will be rising sophomore tailback Desmond Scott (Durham, N.C.). Last weekend, Scott dominated the Elite 8 combine held in Snow Hill, N.C. where he recorded the combine’s best times in both the 40-yard dash (4.40 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (3.93 seconds).

Among the talented roster of 2008 grads are tight end Demery Brewer (Lincolnton, N.C.), cornerback J.T. Floyd (Greenville, S.C.), linebacker Gavin Gaston (Charlotte, N.C.), offensive tackle R.J. Mattes (Concord, N.C.) safety Eddie Whitley (left, Matthews, N.C.), offensive lineman Vinston Painter (Virginia Beach, Va.), and quarterback Tino Sunseri (Monroe, N.C.).


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