About 150 players participated in the combine, with a high percentage of those D-1 recruits, which translated into quite a bit of talent on the field and able to be seen.
While many college coaches attended the event, UCLA coaches, though, didn't, due to the limitations on days allowed "out" during the spring evaluation period and number of recruiting evaluations allowed for each player.
Probably the two clear standouts of the day were Jamere Holland, the 6-0, 175-pound receiver from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft and Allen Bradford, the 6-0, 210-pound linebacker from Colton. Holland ran the two fastest 40s of the day, a 4.4 flat and a 4.42. He's obviously is a great trackster, with a beautiful stride, taking probably only 10 or 11 strides to complete the 40. Holland then looked okay in the one-on-one drills, showing his speed but just inadvertently not getting many good balls thrown to him.
|Allen Bradford's father, showing his split allegiance.|
Bradford is such a superior all-around athlete that he stands out in an event like this. He runs so well for a linebacker, clocking a smooth 4.59 40. In the drills, Bradford is so effortless and quick.
Bradford's father showed some of his allegiance while watching the combine, wearing a USC hat and a UCLA shirt.
Perhaps the prospect who might have had the third best overall performance is Vista linebacker Travis Goethel. Goethel measured at 6-2 1/2 and weighed 215, and ran a very fast 4.66 40, and recorded a solid 4.44 20-yard shuttle. Physically he passes the eyeball test, with a type of body that's well put together but could easily put on more muscle. In the drills, Goethel did very well, sticking with running backs in coverage in the one-on-ones easily. UCLA has offered Goethel.
Four of UCLA's committed linemen were there: Darius Savage, the 6-3, 316-pounder from San Diego Morse; Andy Keane, the 6-2 1/2, 260-pound two-wayer from Palm Springs; 6-4, 261-pound Jake Dean from Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete, and Brandon Bennett from La Puente Bishop Amat, who was 6-4 1/2 and 340 pounds. All of them ran very well in the 40, with Dean recording a 5.16, Savage a 5.59, Bennett a 5.77 and Keane a 5.06, which are all very good times for big men. In fact, many of the onlookers were commenting about how well the UCLA linemen ran.
|UCLA's committed: Keane, Dean, Savage and Bennett.|
Interestingly, though, perhaps the best OL performance came from Ryan Griffith, the 6-4, 240-pounder from Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos, who wasn't beat in the one-on-one drills. Griffith is a very good technical blocker, and has very good athleticism, which allows him to keep his balance and position very well. At the UCLA camp last month he weighed 239, and he told us that he had put on ten pounds since then, and his scale at home had recently indicated he was 250ish. So he was perplexed when he weighed 239 at Saturday's combine. Griffith did actually look a bit bigger here. At just 240ish, the issue for Griffith will be whether he can put on enough weight to play at the Pac-10 level. If he can show the capability of getting up to just the 280 range, he has some great potential.
Sonny Tevaga from Compton Dominguez, despite still being overweight, performed well in the one-on-one drills.
Offensive lineman Chris Guarenero came in from Denver (Col.) Mullen and looked good, with good feet and strength.
Mitchell Schwartz, a junior OL from Palisades, has a chance. He's got great size, at about 6-5 and 280, and moves very well. If he can sustain aggressiveness, look for him to be among the best OLs in SoCal next year.
On the defensive side, Long Beach Poly's Conan Amituanai was perhaps the most effective DL, beating everyone until he went up against Griffith. Amituanai combines good strength with quickness and smarts, and a low center of gravity. He said he measured 6-3 and 280.
Keith Browner, the defensive end from Dorsey, looked athletic and was hard to contain in the one-on-ones, with just too much quickness for bigger linemen. He ran a nice 4.91 in the 40, even though he thinks he could do much better. He measured 6-4 ½ and weighed 225, and is pretty thin in his upper body. He, though, looks like he easily has a lot of physical development ahead of him.
Cody Pope, the defensive lineman from San Diego University, definitely passes the eye-ball test, looking about 6-5 and 260, while running a 4.69 shuttle. He looked a bit stiff in the one-on-one drills, but still is a very good-looking athlete.
Having a good performance in the one-on-ones was David Carter, the defensive end from Kaiser who we first saw at UCLA's camp last month. About 6-4 and 240ish, Carter again looked raw in the drills, but showed some very good natural ability in getting around his blocker.
Toby Turpin, the defensive end from Los Alamitos, is impressive physically, and runs well for his size, -- which is about 6-4 and 240.
Other players of note were Devin Johnson, the defensive end from Rancho Cucumonga, who was effective in the drills, but looks too small at about 6-1 and 215ish. Jermaine Williams, the defensive end from Maryvale (AZ.), had some good moments in the one-on-ones. Cleveland Jones, the Dorsey defensive tackle, struggled some against the good competition, but got an advantage in the one-on-ones against some of the better OLs. Simi Fili, a junior defensive tackle from Cottonwood (Utah), was one of the best of the day, with very good size and strength.
Alex Gamez, the defensive end from Warren High who looked good at UCLA's camp, again showed some ability here. At about 6-0 and 220, you'd like him to start attempting to play linebacker, though.
Josh Holmes, the defensive tackle from Point Loma, did better in the one-on-one drills, showing some ability to get around a blocker.
A player we noticed was Justin Prueitt, a 6-5, 280-pound, well-put-together defensive tackle from Fresno Buchanan. He didn't get the advantage often in the one-on-ones, but looked good in the testing, running a 5.23 40.
Among the skill players, Leilyon Myers, the 6-1, 185-pounder from Lynwood, had a very good day. Myers, who isn't sure whether he wants to be a wide receiver or a running back, worked with the receivers Saturday and looked good. He ran a 4.59 40 and caught the ball effortlessly. UCLA has offered Myers as an athlete.
Also among the receivers was UCLA commit, Dominique Johnson from Moreno Valley Valley View. Johnson was 6-3 and 202 pounds. He ran a 4.7 40 and a 4.6 shuttle. He showed a long stride in the 40 and not particularly quick feet in the drills. He does catch the ball very well, with good hands and technique.
Menelik Holt, the receiver from San Diego St. Augustine, is similar to Johnson, with good size at probably 6-3ish and a very good body. He ran a 4.7 40 himself and caught the ball well.
Jamar Brown from St. John Bosco, has some talent, but looks to be better suited as a safety than a wide receiver.
Bruce Robinson, a receiver from Mira Costa, did some things worthy of being noticed, not only running well but catching the ball in the drills.
Alterraun Verner from Mayfair had some moments in the one-on-ones.
Michael Clarke, a receiver from Scripps Ranch, had one of the faster 40 times at 4.64.
John Reese from Upland was among the best tight ends at the combine, catching the ball well in the one-on-ones.
Among the running backs, Lonyae Miller from Kaiser again put in a great performance, with a 4.56 40 and a 4.19 shuttle. He is a very good looking physical specimen and while he looked raw in catching the ball, he has a very natural athletic ability.
Major Culbert, the running back from Harbor City Narbonne, had a good day, running a 4.7 40 and what we believed was the fastest shuttle time of the day, a 4.09.
Justin Robertson, the running back from Lakewood, had one of the better 40 times, even though we weren't sure what it was.
Andre Harris, the back from Woodland Hills Taft, is an interesting prospect. Physically he's very impressive, at about 6-1 and 205. For that size, he ran a very impressive 4.69 40. Watching him, though, you're thinking that you'd love to potentially see him as a linebacker.
|Dorsey defensive end Keith Browner.|
Thlestone Collymore, a RB/DB from Oxnard, jumped 46.4 inches in the vertical, twice.
It isn't a great year for quarterbacks in the west, and in Southern California. Saturday saw perhaps the best collection of them this spring, but there still isn't anyone who is quite good enough to be considered a truly standout prospect.
Tyler Lyon from Newhall Hart looks great physically, at about 6-5 and 200, with a very good frame. He also ran well, recording a 4.85 40 and a 4.47 shuttle. His throwing motion is a bit raw, but he has a strong arm.
Cameron Ely is also a tall one, also probably 6-5, but with a narrow frame. His throwing motion looked to have a hitch in it.
Jonathan Tobin is a 6-4, 195-pound prospect from Cactus High in Arizona, and he has a chance. He has a good body, while being a bit stiff in his torso, and a bit mechanical in his throws, but showed a strong, fairly accurate arm.
Jeff Jansen from Diamond Bar, who has been at just about every camp or combine in SoCal in the last couple of months, again showed a strong arm but a lack of foot quickness.
Chris Forcier, the junior from San Diego St. Augustine, has also been to many camps this spring. Like we reported before, his throwing motion needs to develop more, but he did run a very impressive 4.57 40, which was among the best of the day.
On the defensive side of the ball, there was a very good collection of prospects.
Among the elite group of linebackers with Bradford and Goethel was La Puente Bishop Amat's Jonathan Cornell. Cornell ran a 4.72 40, and showed great quickness in the drills overall. He probably had the best day in coverage among the linebackers.
Keaton Kristick from St. Mary's in Arizona is someone to watch, at about 6-2 and 220, and with good athleticism.
There were a couple of linebacker/safety types who also did well. Alfred Rowe from Long Beach Poly, who we thought was a safety worked out with the linebackers. He had one of the best verticals of the day at 36 inches and ran a 40 in the 4.6 range, but struggled some in coverage in the one-on-ones. Lorne Bell is another very good athlete from Simi Valley who looked good in the testing, and physically looks like a safety.
There was some very strong defensive backs in the group Saturday. Darian Hagan, the safety from Crenshaw, had a good day, running about a 4.6 and having good moments in the one-on-ones. Shareece Wright, who plays quarterback also at Colton, is a player, running a 4.57 40 and a 4.4 shuttle. James Smith makes up a trio of very good prospects from Colton, and he could be one of the most under-hyped players in the 2006 class in SoCal. Smith, who plays cornerback, is about 6-2 and 180, and ran a 4.6 40 and 4.13 shuttle.
Andy Mattingly from Mead High School in Washington, worked out with the safeties, but at about 6-4 and 200 looks more like a linebacker. Trevor "Tito" Foster, a safety from The Colony in Ontario, also had a few good moments on the day.
We'll have so much more coverage of the L.A. Scout.com combine coming in the next several days, with recruiting updates, video highlights, video interviews, photo galleries, and a complete listing of results.