Downingtown (Pa.) West quarterback Nolan Kearney had a fine showing. Kearney stands tall in the pocket and throws a very nice ball. He displays a lot of poise and confidence in the pocket. Philadelphia (Pa.) Roman Catholic athlete Chris Johnson was a sleeper, but now that tag is gone. Johnson bears an uncanny resemblance to former Penn State star Michael Robinson. At a chiseled 6-foot-1 and 198 pounds, Johnson is an impressive looking athlete who looked better as a passer than most thought he would. He showed outstanding explosion with a 33” vertical and a 9’-9” broad jump. Ewing (N.J) quarterback Stephen Shimko displayed a cannon for an arm. Shimko checked in at a towering 6-5.5 and 205 pounds. Melville (N.Y.) St. Anthony’s signal caller James Brady continues to impress, but at 5-11.5, his height will be a deterrent to some. Two prospects who could rise during the evaluation period are Mastic (N.Y.) Williams Floyd standout Joe Sideras and Bristol (Conn.) Central quarterback Matt Coyne. The class of 2009 also fielded one of the top quarterbacks in Washington (D.C.) Ballou standout Emmanuel Yeager. Fans should be hearing his name quite often over the next two years.
Two of the most impressive overall prospects at the combine were running backs Jordan Todman and David Zapata. These two guys as we identified in our combine preview as sleepers are sleeping no more. Todman of Dartmouth (Mass.) checked in at 5-9.5 and 180 pounds. He ran a 4.43 forty, 4.42 shuttle, 7.09 L-Cone. He cleared 33” in the vertical and 9’-6” in the broad jump. Zapata, is a player we have liked since we saw his film in early January and he used this as his coming out party. He checked in at 5-7 and a chiseled 173 pounds. He ran a 4.48 forty, 4.03 shuttle and a 7.23 L-Cone. He cleared 33” in the vertical and 9’-8” in the broad jump. Call me crazy, but he is eerily similar to another former New Yorker Mike Hart who has done quite well for himself at Michigan. Expect both of these players to start getting some heavy looks in the near future. Bloomfield (N.J.) prospects Ulysses Achonye emerged as a sleeper from the combine. He came out of nowhere to post some very good numbers including a 4.56 forty, 4.41 shuttle, 37” vertical and a 9’-8” broad jump. If you’re looking at fullback’s put Northern Burlington Brahma bull Kirkland Hamilton on your watch list. He checked in at 6-0, 240-pounds and showed great hands in the one-on-ones and explosion during the testing by clearing 30.5” in the vertical and 8’-6” in the broad jump. 2009 was also well represented by River Hill (Md.) prospect Michael Campanaro, who is trained by Joe Haden Sr. Campanaro checked in at 5-9 and 173 pounds. He ran a 4.44 forty, 4.31 shuttle and a 6.78 L-Cone. He cleared 31.5” in the vertical and 9’-6” in the broad jump.
Muhlenburg (Pa.) wide receiver Vaughn Carraway exhibited the skills that have earned him offers from Michigan, Pittsburgh, UConn and Boston College. He checked in at 6-2 and 170 pounds. He ran a 4.59 forty and a 4.37 shuttle. He cleared 33” in the vertical and 9’-5” in the broad jump. Conestoga (Pa.) wide receiver Nihja White showed great ball skills and the ability to get separation in the one-on-ones. White appeared to catch just about everything thrown his way. Brooklyn (N.Y.) Abraham Lincoln prospect Khalif Staten had a solid showing and appears that he would make a pretty good possession guy for someone. Bronx (N.Y.) Herbert H. Lehman product Marquis Palmer-Garcia had a solid showing. He was diving all over the seven year old field turf catching balls all day. Lansdale Catholic (Pa.) sleeper Jimmy Kelly is a guy that Scout.com has been talking about for a while and he did not disappoint on Sunday. Kelly showed an outstanding burst and ran very good routes. Washington (D.C.) Ballou receiver Ronald Green also had a solid showing. He does not have ideal size, but he more than makes up for that with his quickness and ball skills. For a smaller receiver he does a nice job of catching the ball in traffic. Keep your eye on 2009 wide receiver prospect Je`Ron Stokes from Penn Charter (Pa.)
The depth at offensive line was thin, but there were still a few players who looked good during the one-on-ones. Manheim Township (Pa.) lineman Tim Farley started out a little rough losing a few battles, but after tweaking his technique a little bit he turned in a solid effort. Martin Wallace from the Beacon School (N.Y.) had a solid showing. He has a very good frame and looks like he could be absolutely huge with some solid weight training. Rahway (N.J.) lineman Ike Igbinosun may have been the most technically sound lineman at the combine, but he is undersized which may force him to play at a I-AA level, unless he hits a growth spurt.
Christiana (DE) defensive end Leon Mackey stole the show in Randolph. Mackey checked in at 6-4 and 278 pounds. He ran a 4.78 forty, 4.37 shuttle and a 7.56 L-Cone. He cleared 32” in the vertical and 9”-1” in the broad jump. Mackey basically devastated anyone he encountered during the one-on-one drills. With an NFL body and amazing speed and power he displayed very good technique with a swim and a rip move that nobody could block. Paterson (N.J.) Catholic speed rusher Doug Alston also had a very productive day. His speed was too much for any of the linemen to handle. Towards the end of the one-on-ones we put Mackey at offensive tackle against Alston. The two went at it in a best of three match-up. Mackey easily one the first encounter, then Alston just edged him to the quarterback on the second go round. The third contest Mackey emphatically pancaked the much smaller Alston into the field turf. Philadelphia (Pa.) Neumann-Goretti defensive tackle Chris Palmer also had a very good day and improved his stock dramatically. Paterson Catholic (N.J.) defensive tackle Jerel Lowery was a bull during the one-on-ones going through the chests of several would be linemen. Notre Dame (N.J.) class of 2009 prospect Christian Reed had a solid showing in the one-on-ones. He will need to grow to be a defensive end and right now he may project best as an outside linebacker.
Horseheads (N.Y.) linebacker Matthew Morgan was impressive in his highlight clips, but he was even more impressive in person. Morgan is a thick 6-2.5 and 232 pounds and he was covering smaller, faster running backs stride for stride. We expect a lot of looks in the future for Morgan. Irvington (N.J.) linebacker Dawan Nolton also had a solid showing. He was a bit raw, but has significant upside. Notre Dame (N.J.) prospect Brian Leffler was solid, although undersized. If he can improve his speed he may be able to transition to safety. Jeremy Rodriguez who transferred to Muhlenburg (Pa.) from New Orleans also had a very solid showing. Rodriguez looked right at home covering backs out of the back field. Weighing in a tad below 200 pounds, Rodriguez will need to add some bulk. Class of 2009 prospect Nick Sizemore from Manheim Township (Pa.) is another player we identified in our preview as one to watch and he did not disappoint. Sizemore showed that despite being younger than most that he belonged right there with the best of them.
Traveling coach Don Cox was happy all weekend with the talent level of his defensive backs and several in New Jersey caught his eye. Bloomfield (N.J.) cornerback Emmanuel Asam received special praise from Coach Cox.
“There were some great DB’s out here, but that No. 112 was the best,” Cox said. “He has very good cover skills. He has great hips. He just needs to add some weight and get bigger.”
Melville (N.Y.) St. Anthony’s safety J.B. Andreassi also showed well and earned Cox’s praise as did a few others such as Notre Dame (N.J.) class of 2009 prospect Vail Grafton, Herbert H. Lehman (N.Y.) safety Wilfredo Guzman, Piscataway (N.J.) cornerback Dwayne Gratz and Paterson Catholic (N.J.) corner Calvin Brownridge. W.W.P (N.J.) North defensive back Johnathan Blassingame also stood out at the event. Blassingame is a 2007 prospect and Scout.com Combine alumnus who has gone unsigned. We expect someone will try and scoop him up or he will head to prep school