Talent On Display

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson centers on this Saturday's FCA Combines, two different events which will see over 200 participants display their talent. This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. Click on the Arkansas Toyota.

Everyone who follows football recruiting in the state of Arkansas knows the names Brey Cook, Kiehl Frazier, Brandon Allen, Demetrius Dean, Artez Brown and Grady Ollison.

Not to mention wideout Davyon McKinney and offensive linemen Mitch Smothers of Springdale and Marcus Danenhauer of Bentonville.

The FCA Combine – slated for Saturday at North Little Rock's Verizon Arena - is not really for those nine in-state prospects that already have scholarship offers from the University of Arkansas.

It's more for guys like Jonesboro linebacker Brad Shearin (6-2, 225), Monticello tight end Matt McKeown (6-2, 225), running back Wesleigh Foster (5-11, 180) of Clarksville, Dylan Hale of Fayetteville and Treyvon Daniels of Pulaski Robinson, Lonoke defensive back Darius Scott, Osceola quarterback Baylor Watson (6-4, 220), and Augusta defensive tackle Austin Hannah (6-3, 260).

Those are some very good football players that have the potential to play in college at some level and just need little more help in getting info out about themselves.

"We've been doing this for 13 years now and every year we find some diamonds in the rough," FCA spokesman B.J. Maack said. "There either guys who just a little about or some that are not that well know that just jump off the page and get the opportunity."

Ollison (6-4, 275) and McKinney (6-3, 190) are also expected to be on hand for the event, which begins with an invite-only combine at 8 a.m. and continues in the afternoon with an open combine.

"This is really the most nominations we have had for the invite only part since we reduced the numbers," Maack said. "It shows you the talent level of this upcoming (2011) class."

Each of the participants will be timed in the 40-yard dash with splits also available for the first 10 and 20 yards.

There's also testing in the vertical jump, the max bench press reps at 185 and 225, and the L-Drill.

The event will be using special technology for each prospect that will allow data to be included immediately in a computer system.

"We are excited that we will have the Elite of Elite testing systems on hand," Maack said. "It won't just be a guy with a stopwatch and a pen."

"In addition, each individual will have the 40-yard dash filmed so college coaches can not only get the numbers, but see the kids actually run as well," Maack said. "Those numbers and video will be available on each kids profile and it will really help the college coaches evaluate these kids."

There is expected to be 150-plus for the invite part in the morning and another 80 or so for the afternoon part.

"Some of the guys can't make the morning because of travel or track meets or things like that," Maack said. "But with both of these, everybody gets a chance."

NCAA Division I college coaches are not allowed on hand.

"Until the NCAA gets rid of its hypocritical rules involving this, the college coaches can't be at the event unless their own kid is there," Maack said. "I just don't understand why you would limit the opportunities for these kids to get seen by coaches."

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