TheInsiders/MSL Combine Report - Offense

A little rain isn't going to keep the Peach State's best players down, and nearly 300 participants traveled to Atlanta from several different states to take part in TheInsiders/MSL Combine held at Clark University on Saturday and Sunday. Some players lived up to the early expectations, and some players that were relatively unknown made a name for themselves in a hurry.

With the rain coming intermittently on Saturday it turned out to be a very long day. All of the tests and drills did not finish until nearly 8:00 PM, and the vast majority of the campers were still there giving their all. That in itself showed the character and work ethic of the kids involved this weekend. 

As always there were several players at each position that stood out, and here is a quick look at the guys that I thought were the best of the best on Saturday and Sunday. (TheInsiders/MSL Combine was two one day events, so there was a completely new set of kids on Sunday).

The state of Georgia had a freak year for quarterbacks last year sending more than 10 to the Division 1 ranks. This year will not be as deep, but there are still several guys that will get looks at the Division 1 level. 

Tray Rutland of Tri-Cities is a two time participant at TheInsiders/MSL Combine. He was a standout last year, and he was the top quarterback this year as well. He has an easy release, and he had gotten considerably faster in the past 12 months as well. Rutland will have the ability to hurt a lot of teams running and throwing this year.

Jeff Witt of Parkview was probably the most fundamentally sound passer on the weekend. He delivered a tight, accurate spiral all day on Sunday. He's going to give the Panthers a downfield threat this year.

Eric Ward of Southwest Dekalb has a very nice frame on him. I previously had him listed at 6-2, but he came in and measured at 6-3. He showed well enough this weekend that he is going to get some looks from colleges this fall.

Tony Pastore of Sequoyah was another big quarterback with a big arm. Pastore is going to do himself a lot of good at several college camps across the south this summer.

Dexter Anoka of Banneker had maybe the liveliest arm on the weekend. He is a big undersized at 5-9, but that isn't going to help Bannerker's opponents this year. Anoka will team with Carlos Thomas to form a deadly pitch and catch combo this year. They went for 800 yards last year.

I had been looking for a big, fast back to come out of Georgia for the past two years. Kregg Lumpkin fit the bill in the Class of 2003, but there wasn't that big back in the Class of 2004. Matt Dunham has good size, and Stephone LaFrance of Creekside looks to have the whole package. LaFrance measured in at 6-1 and 206 pounds. He had a vertical jump of 34 inches, and he turned in a 4.56 on the soggy astroturf at Clark. I have no doubt that he is going to be measured in the low 4.4's at different camps this summer as fast as he was on Sunday. Kevin Whitley has taken over the head job at Creekside, and I have a feeling we're going to be seeing A LOT of Mr. LaFrance this fall.

Several coaches I spoke to on the day had the same reaction I did when I saw Anderson Russell of Marist, "I didn't know he was that big!". Russell checked in at 6-0 and 200 pounds, and he looked solid in drills all day. He caught the ball well out of the backfield. With three seniors vacating the State Champion's backfield, Russell is going to have a chance to get a lot of carries this year.

For those of you that have watched Wheeler's Richie Rich on TheInsiders Video have seen what a great back he is. About the only question that college coaches have had is "Is he tall enough". Rich measured 5-9 and 181 pounds standing barefoot, so the answer to that question is "yes". With offers from the likes of Oklahoma already, there aren't too many schools out there worried about his height. I'm certainly not.

Dacula's Dre Gibbs has been an outstanding back at camps for several years now, and he showed Sunday that he is ready for a break out season. 

The state of Georgia has had few lights out receivers the past two years like Sean Bailey and Calvin Johnson, but there has not been a lot of depth in the past two classes. A few of the players this weekend helped themselves immensely.

The East Hall coaches went out and recruited the basketball team at their school and found a potential gem. Keldrick Coleman (pictured having fun with the camera) looked raw in his drills, but that's to be expected for being so new to the game. What didn't look raw was his 6-2 and 200 pound frame. He vertical jumped 39 inches, and he long jumped nearly 10 feet (anything over 9 is considered outstanding at this level). East Hall showed well on the day, Marquez Jackson looked razor sharp in drills and catching the ball. East Hall is going to have a lot of weapons to throw the ball to this fall, because we're not done...

Courtland Fuller of Kendrick showed out well on Saturday. He is pictured here after making a nice catch. Fuller could play any one of several positions on the next level, but on Saturday he drilled with the receivers.

Several other receivers that aren't pictured but deserve a mention for their good work on the weekend include Adairsville's Tarvis Scott. Scott measured a shade under 6-5, and he jumped 33 inches. He has a lot of potential on the next level. Michael Locke-Barry of McEachern had several nice catches and showed good route running. Larry Johnson of Towers also had one of the best catches of the day.

Sunday turned out to be the day of the tight end.

Stephen Gowland of Parkview is not the typical Gwinnett County tight end that is going to move to offensive line in college. He is a lean, strong 6-4 and 220 pounds. He ran extremely well in all of his drills and can catch the ball. He had a vertical jump of 30 inches and popped out 20 reps on the bench press. Here Gowland

If Gowland wasn't the most impressive tight end of the weekend, then East Hall's Travis Stevens was. They looked almost identical physically, and Stevens really separated himself during the one on one passing drills vs. the linebackers. As stated above, East Hall is going to have some weapons this Fall.

It was a good weekend for the big men on the offensive line as well. There were some top players to be expected, and there were several players that will become big names.

Pictured for left: Barrett McMillan of Collins Hill, Paul Duncan of East Paulding, and Trevor Scott of Peach County.

Paul Duncan was the big name of the group coming in, and he didn't disappoint. He was a lean 6-6 and 288 pounds. One could picture adding 40 pounds in his chest and shoulders alone. He is already huge, and he is going to be even bigger in college.

Barrett McMillan was a player I didn't know much about coming in to the camp on Saturday, but he is one that I will definitely track through the year. He has a bit of a mean streak, and he moved very well. I am very curious to pop on the Collins Hill tape, because this kid looks like a masher.

Trevor Scott of Peach County was a player I knew, but didn't have hard heights and weights on him. Well, he came in and measured 6-2.5 and 260 pounds. He is mobile with quick feet. He reminds me a lot of Lovejoy's Anthony Parker. He's not quite the player yet that Parker was last year, but he is a little taller.

Finally on the offensive side of the ball, I didn't know where to put him, because he didn't know where to put himself, but one of the most impressive campers on the weekend was Mays' Ramon McElrathbey. McElrathbey took part in drills at running back, wide receiver, and I think I saw him playing a little defensive back. He will take over at quarterback for Calvin Booker this year, and he brings running element to the position that is going to be very dangerous for opponents.

McElrathbey may end up at corner on the college level, but he is dynamite with the ball in his hands, and he is going to make Mays a lot of fun to watch this year.

Next Up... Defense... Top Stories