Linemen Steal the Show at DuPage
Marc Damisch (left) tries to stop Michael Letton
Marc Damisch (left) tries to stop Michael Letton
Regional Recruiting Manager
Posted May 21, 2007
Bob Lichtenfels,

Glen Ellyn – As was expected a tremendous group of linemen showed up at the Combine at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill., on Saturday. There were some great skill players and emerging stars, but the excitement in the air was definitely emanating from a small patch of grass away from the main field where the linemen were doing battle.

Two of the best in Illinois Garrett Goebel (Montini Catholic) and Graham Pocic (Lemont) hold over 50 offers between the two of them and they really attended the combine just for the joy of competition. The two made no excuses and put on a show. The two big dogs battled just about everyone, including each other multiple times. Goebel showed a wide array of pass rushing moves and brute strength to defeat most of his opponents in the one-on-one competition. Ricky Sprat (Detroit (Mich.) Southeastern) came out of nowhere and was basically unstoppable the entire time. Sprat is only entering his second year of football, but he showed the sky is the limit for this talented prospect. Sprat used a combination of speed and power to give offensive linemen fits all day. He is build like a big linebacker, but gets after the quarterback. He will be an interesting prospect to watch over the summer.

Donald Mathis (Detrot (Mich) Crockett) and Dave Mashal (St. Charles (Ill.) East) had several sprited battles throughout the day and were very fun to watch. Neal Deiters (York (Ill.) Community) may have raised his stock as much as any of the offensive linemen at the camp. Deiters showed very good feet and dominant power at the offensive tackle spot. Deiters holds offers from Virginia and Toledo, but we expect that will change. Michael Letton Jr. (Bishop McNamara, Ill.) was the same on defense as Deiters was on offense. The word undersized would be an understatement when describing Stavon Owens (Highland Park, Mich). Owens electrified the crowd though as he battled everyone including guys who were twice his size and he defeated most of them. The diminutive Owens even took some reps on the offensive line and he was unbeatable there as well. Mike Palmer (South Bend (Ind.) Riley) and Chuck Porcelli (Montini Catholic ) also had very strong showings on offense and defense respectively. Justin Pagan (Chicago (Ill.) St. Patrick) is strictly a leftsided lineman, but he proved he is capable of playing with anyone. Pagan has a good frame and gets after it. Marc Damisch (Buffalo Grove) and Alex Misialek (Crystal Lake South) also did a good job of representing their home state of Illinois. Brent Kryder (Linden, Mich.) looked impressive at tackle and may have been one of the best from his home state.

Garrett Goebel

Garrett Goebel beats Justin Pagan (Green Shorts) to the quarterback.

The Midwest is thin at the quarterback position, but that didn’t deter several athletes from giving their all and raising their stock on Saturday. Jordan Roberts (Aurora (Ill.) Christian) showed great poise as he was threading the needle all day long. He showed touch and velocity. Mark Tolzien (Palentine (Ill.) Fremnd) has a great day as he zipped passes between defenders with ease. Jason Kafka (Chicago (Ill.) St. Rita) looks like he’ll be following the same path to the D-I ranks as his brother did a few years before him. Kafka throws a good ball. He gets good spin on it and will place it wherever it needs to be. As we predicted young, Jordan Luallen (Center Grove, Ind.) looked like a seasoned veteran and not like someone getting ready to enter their junior year.

On the receiving end of the passes two players really stood out and those two were Fred Smith (Detroit (Mich.) Southeastern) and Wes Kemp (St. Louis (Mo.) DeSmet). Kemp is built like a tight end , but has enough speed and explosiveness to play wide receiver. Smith, was basically unstoppable all day. He looks even more impressive in person then he does on film. It’s easy to see why these two both have a pile of offers. At the tight end position, John Lamb (Detroit (Mich) Southfield) was the one player who really stood out. He is a physical specimen who can really stretch the field in the middle. DeShannon Fryerson (Gary (Ind.) Lew Wallace) ran one of the days fastest forty-yard dashes on a very slow grass surface (4.47)

Wes Kemp

Wes Kemp had reason to smile after his performance.

At running back, Elliott Dutra (Whithall, Ind.) ran one of the day’s fastest forty-yard dash times at (4.47) and he continued his outstanding day by looking very impressive in positional drills and one-on-ones. Dutra is one of the most prolific backs in Indiana, but teams continue to sleep on him. Bennett Welser of Moline also impressed the coaching staff during drills and the one-on-ones. Mikal Johnson (Rolling Meadows, Ill.) had a very solid showing, as did Desmin Ward (Milwaukee (Wisc.) Hamilton). Ward is a specimen and will pass anyone’s eyeball test.

There was not a lot of depth at linebacker, but a few players impressed traveling coach Daryl Jones and the staff. Jayme Comer (Brownsburg, Ind.) fresh off his first scholarship offer impressed everyone. We’d be stunned if others aren’t calling soon. Comer can play in the Big Ten or any other conference for that matter. Luke Kelly (Cincinnati (Ohio) Turpin) made the trip and impressed. Kelly also recently picked up his first offer and he was relentless. Kelly was all over the field all day long. Nick Heuser (St. Xavier) and Bo Eggers (DuPont Manual) both made the trip from Kentucky and had impressive showings. Dex Jones (Montini Catholic, Ill.) also looked very impressive. David Giese (Chicago (Ill.) St. Patrick) has an impressive frame and he moved very well during testing and positional drills.

Jayme Comer

Jayme Comer raised his stock after an impressive performance.

Robert Steeples (St. Louis (Mo.) DeSmet) was a player that named as one of the top players in the Midlands Region earlier this spring and the talented cornerback did not disappoint. Steeples picked up his first offer from Missouri recently and that should be the first of many for him. Austin Davis (Normal (Ill.) Community) was also very impressive and another player who should see his offer sheet grow. Jonathan Dandridge (Highland Park, Mich.) informed us before the combine that he was holding double-digit offers. Despite the offer sheet, he was still under-the-radar. Well, let’s say he will not be under-the-radar anymore. Dandridge was very impressive and if his film matches his combine performance he’ll likely be one of the better defensive backs in the Midwest. Richie Schumacher (Crystal Lake (Ill.) South) safety caught the watchful eye of traveling coach Don Cox. Despite, wearing a cast on his wrist Shumacher still impressed. Valtorrey Showers of (Detroit (Mich.) Crockett) recently picked up his first offer from Central Michigan and after Saturday he should be seeing some more action in the near future. Jeremiah Maglero made the trip to Illinois from (Hot Springs, Ark.). Maglero was looking for a chance to impress and that is what he did. Maglero showed great instincts and closing speed during the seven-on-seven portion of the combine.

Robert Steeples

Robert Steeples was impressive during the combine.

Related Stories
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 -by  May 22, 2007
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