Midwest: Army Combine Report

Notes and analysis from the Midwest players at yesterday's U.S. Army Combine. Who were the standouts and what's the latest on their recruitment?

Toledo St. Johns Jesuit (OH) quarterback Brogan Roback had an excellent day. He fired in his short and intermediate routes and dropped in a couple of beautiful deep balls. He has good height, and still needs to add weight, but he's also a good athlete. He has two offers from Bowling Green and Toledo, but he says Michigan State and Iowa could be next and more offers are certainly warranted after what we saw from him yesterday.

Kettering (OH) Alter's Malik Zaire was not far behind. He's shorter than Roback, but can also throw on the move and throws a nice, tight ball with good velocity. He currently has six offers: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Boston College, Indiana, Northwestern, and Cincinnati. Notre Dame, Michigan State and others have been in contact.

On the defensive line, Louisville Trinity's Jason Hatcher was one of the most impressive players we saw regardless of position. This comes on the heels of a similarly strong performance at the Under Armour combine. He's a more compact kid than some of the other long, lean defensive ends, but he's very explosive, gets off the ball quickly and beat his opponents with his agility and quick inside moves. He's an elite pass rusher who now has 13 offers with North Carolina State and Michigan as the recent additions. He will head to South Carolina, Alabama and Arkansas for junior days.

Brookfield (WI) Central's defensive end Chikwe Obasih flashed his pass rush ability in one on ones. He showed good get off and and roasted his man with that explosion and a swim move to easily win one of his reps. In his next rep, when the offensive lineman really got his hands on him, we saw where he needs to improve: adding strength. That said, he surprised me with his athleticism and he's a pure edge rusher right now that will benefit from building bulk and power. He recently earned an offer from Purdue and his family says he will be visiting Iowa for junior day in early February.

On the inside, Detroit Cass Tech's Kenton Gibbs was the top Midwestern defensive tackle in attendance. He did not lose any reps in one on ones. He plays low to the ground and is loose in the hips with good footwork and overall agility. He's not as big as some of the other top tackles, but he has a lot of ability.

Howell (MI) tight end Pete Cender had a good day. He has a nice frame on him at 6'3 and some change and is a good natural receiver. He still has some weight to add, but he's certainly one to watch. He will be attending Central Michigan's junior day and has additional interest from Michigan State, Syracuse and others.

Grand Blanc (MI) linebacker Luke Maclean has excellent size and was one of the top bench press performers. He was a little disappointed with his forty time, a 4.9, but that is actually a great time for a 235-lb kid on this surface with electronic timing. He ran a 4.72 hand time a few weeks back. In drills, he looked good moving laterally and did well in coverage, which will help him potentially stay at linebacker and not move to defensive end.

Northland Pines (Wisc.) running back Austin Ramesh has been sick with the flu and lost eight pounds leading up to the event, but came and competed any way. He's dropped from 220 down to 212, but has a nice frame on him and caught the ball very well in drills. What will he play at the next level? It wouldn't surprise me to see him on defense, but he has good hands and great open field ability on tape, so offense is certainly a possibility too. His father says Michigan State, Wisconsin and Iowa have invited him to junior days and Purdue stopped into the school recently.

Canton (Mich.) offensive lineman Cameron Dillard measured a true 6'3, 296-lbs and carried the weight well. His time working with Mike Barwis has helped him shed some baby fat and add muscle. He looked good running his 40 and through drills, another by product of his training. Because he plays in a predominantly run based system in high school, he still has work to do in pass protection. In one on ones, I was happy to see him try some center. I see him as a center or guard in college although he plays offensive tackle at Canton. He currently holds four offers: Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Buffalo and Western Michigan. Michigan State, Arkansas, Virginia Tech and others have shown interest and Ohio State recently jumped in as well.

Toledo St. Johns' Matt Miller, a two-way lineman in high school, worked out on the offensive line. We thought he looked athletic in his 40 and through drills. He only had two reps in one on one and took them both at tackle. We think he may end up as an inside guy like his brother Jack, who plays at Michigan, but Matt is a little longer and leaner than him, so tackle is still a possibility. He was offered by Cincinnati later in the day.

Another Ohio guy to watch is Cincinnati Moeller linebacker Shane Jones, a 6'1, 220-lber who was recently offered by Cincinnati.

Flint (MI) Powers Catholic's Vinnie Palazeti had a nice day. He pancaked his guy on the first rep and had a good second rep, which he took at tackle, even though I think he'll be an inside guy. He's a mauling, tough-guy type that has already heard from Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin and several others.

One player who emerged was Ecorse (Mich.) cornerback Deionte Bruton, who ran well and also looked good in one on ones. He's not a real big guy, but he has speed and quickness on his side. He was joined by teammates William Flowers, a safety, and Kyle Dinkins, one of the most productive quarterbacks in the state last year.

Stay tuned to Scout for much more on this combine in the days to come.


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