Over 250 of the best talent in South Florida converged on the Dolphins Training Facility this past weekend to take part in the Under Armour Combine.
Athletes’ height and weight were taken and they were tested in drills such as the 3 cone, 300 yard shuttle, pro shuttle, bench press, vertical jump and of course the 40 yard dash.
This year’s crew of competitors were not as fast as last year’s crew. The 2010 class at the Miami UA Combine had a number of skilled position players go under 4.5 in the forty. This year’s group had only a handful but that does not mean that there aren’t some solid players in the 2011 class.
In terms of who laid down the fastest forty time, that one was easy. Former Gulliver Prep wide receiver and soon to be Columbus High School Explorer Tacoi Sumler. Sumler ripped up the 40 yard track in a blazing 4.33 time that made the scout on hand do a double take on his stop watch. Sumler is an explosive athlete that has been on display for a the last three years. His star continues to shine bright and his stock continues to rise. Plantation H.S. defensive end, tight end Ryan Shazier cranked out an impressive 4.44 weighing in at 201 lbs. Between Sumler’s time and Shazier size / speed combo, that supersede anything that took place at last year’s Under Armour Combine in Miami.
Other times of note were: Phillip Dorsett WR (St. Thomas Aquinas) 4.43, Avery Johnson – WR – (Ely H.S.) – 4.40, Marquis Noble WR (Bucholz H.S. – Gainesville) 4.49, Deontae West – DB (Hialeah H.S.) 4.54, Gary Holmes – RB – (Seminole Ridge H.S.) 4.52, Melvin Noel – WR – (Dr. Krop) 4.53, Tim Burton – CB – (Cardinal Gibbons) 4.57, Brandon Rose – CB – (West Broward) 4.57, Jeremy Cash – DB – (Plantation) 4.58, Andrew Johnson – CB – (Southridge H.S.) 4.59.
I was quite impressed with the way Niles Lawerence from Nova High School moved around. The 6’2″ 297 lb. Lawerence was a linebacker, believe it or not, last season for the Titans. Lawerence laid down a 4.90 in the forty which was a time that rivaled quite a few of the wide receivers, running backs and defensive backs in attendance. Lawerence is a prospect that is picking up steam with schools like Florida St., Michigan and Cincinnati taking a look at him.
DT Patrick Williams from University School showed his cat like quickness in 1-on-1 drills with the offensive linemen and impressed many in attendance. St. Thomas Aquinas’ Jelani Hamilton was a big body moving well. The 6’4″ 250 lb. Hamilton carries his frame like a linebacker and has the potential to make some things happen this upcoming season.
I spent a lot of my time eyeballing the 7-on-7 and 1-on-1 sessions. Not surprisingly, Northwestern’s Teddy Bridgewater was the most competent, confident and capable quarterback in the group. Gavin Block of Dr. Krop H.S. in Miami showed some good things but not many QB’s stood out.
The Wide Receiver group had a number of solid players. North Broward Prep’s A.J. Sebastiano is the most polished wide receiver in this class. I continue to be impressed by his route running ability, releases from the line of scrimmage and overall football I.Q. He’s not a blazer on the watch but is as fast as he needs to be to get away from any of the defensive backs covering him. Andrew Johnson, brother of former Ely High School standout Patrick Johnson, shows some great speed on the field. With a little bit of polish he’s going to be a force to reckon with. St. Thomas Aquinas’ Phillip Dorsett and Tevin Allen were impressive in the 1-on-1 and 7-on-7 sessions. Both players looked explosive and comfortable running routes and sitting down in zones. Sumler does not only rely on his speed, he brings an accomplished route running ability to his game which makes him even more of a threat. Jesse York, junior from Boyd Anderson H.S., is a brash, confident receiver who has substantial physical tools. He’s one to keep an eye on. Marken Michel also shows a tremendous amount of skill. Michel has a powerful build, excellent quickness, good speed and an understanding of his wide receiver position. He’s an underrated star that deserves some attention.
The defensive back group has some promising stars. Jeremy Cash (Plantation H.S.), was all over the field in the limited amount of reps you get at events like this. Cash and teammate Ryan Shazier were hard not to notice when they took the field and were flying around. Boyd Anderson’s Harmon Brown was full of talk but could back it up. Reminded me a lot of Class of 2010 standout Tony Grimes with his intimidation and aggressiveness. Brown has the confidence to play the cornerback position and adds to that some solid skills. Cardinal Gibbons’ Tim Burton has the build and the skill to make big things happen in the Chiefs’ secondary in 2010. Southridge High School’s CB Andrew Johnson and Gerod Holliman also stood out in this group. Both players are extremely competitive and when there’s a play to be made, they are eager to make it. Johnson and Holliman show great defensive back skills and good footwork. They have benefited from the resurgence of Southridge High School under coach Pat Burrows.
High School Football