Stanford Combine: Best of Spring

GoBlueWolverine has covered - live - 13 combines this spring for you! And overall, yesterday's (Sat.) Stanford Nike Camp had the best talent of them all. No wonder we spotted more college assistant coaches there than at any other combine -- including one prominent head coach. <br><br> Here are our top performers, position by position.<br><br>

There were literally dozens of college assistants coaches at Saturday's Nike Combine, including from all of the Pac 10 (highlighted by USC Head Coach Pete Caroll) and Big 12 schools, and Michigan and Illinois from the Big Ten.

Here are our top performers at all positions -- understanding that, naturally, we were watching most closely the kids who have at least mentioned Michigan in their recruitment. In fact, we'll go in order by position, according to those who are most likely to be U-M official visitors (in our opinion of course).

Tight Ends:

Eric Lorig from Rolling Hills, Calif. (in the Palos Verdes area in So. LA).
Lorig had the following stats: 6-4, 250 lbs., 4.7 in the 40, 30 inch vertical jump, 26 bench press reps (he stratched his shuttle). Lorig worked out at tight end and was athletic and 'fast enough' ... he is also a guy who could play several positions in college, including DE or OLB. See our soon-to-follow interview with Eric -- he has a good chance to get a U-M offer soon.


Ryan Reynolds.
Reynolds received the highest rating of any Nike performer ever, with stats of 6-2, 216 lbs., 4.7 in the 40, 4.4 sec. shuttle, 31 inch vertical jump, 47 bench press reps. See our interview with his coach yesterday. He is expected to make an official visit to Michigan.

Rey-Rey Maualuga (6-2, 235 lbs.) from Eureka, Calif.
A head to head showdown with Reynolds petered out when Rey-Rey pulled up with a minor hamstrong pull on his 40 yard dash. Still, Maualuga definitely passed the 'look test' -- as much as Reynolds. U-M is on his list, but USC is his favorite.

Wide receivers:

DeSean Jackson (5-11, 180 lbs.) from Long Beach, Calif., Poly.
DeSean had bandaged fingers on his right hand which clearly hampered him (when he went to shake our hand he pulled back in pain). And he did not perform in any drills except the 40 yard dash (he ran a 4.41 .... the natural grass turf was slick/slow during testing due to a heavy mist which cleared up right after the testing was finished!). In the WR/DB he was impressively fast and he managed to catch the ball. We chatted with Jackson's father a couple times during the day, and he father told us, "DeSean is very interested in Michigan. I've known (U-M assistant coach) Ron English for years -- for most of his life!" And DeSean told us, "I will take one of my official visits to Michigan. And I'd like to go to the Michigan camp, but I'm not sure ... because of the money it'd take to travel there and all." To another reporter's question he listed his schools as follows: "Michigan, Pitt, USC, Cal, Washington State and I also like the Florida schools -- Florida and Florida State." (The question will be -- will U-M even recruit any more WR's other than Antonio Bass?)

The top wide receiver performer of the day was: Austin Usher (6-3, 200 lbs.) from Los Angeles Jefferson. He reminded us a little of Michael Williams although he's an inch shorter: good agility, good height, good strength and ability to catch the ball. U-M is not really recruiting him.

Jesse Canada from Monrovia, Calif.

Defensive backs:

- Cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson (5-11, 185+ lbs., 4.4 in the 40 ... 3.81 shuttle {'03 Nike}) from Sacramento, Calif., Grant. Max Emfinger's #2 cornerback looked very good in drills, but looked surprising 'thick' for a cornerback -- almost like a small linebacker.

- Cornerback Michael Ray Garvin. He had the fastest 40 yard dash of the day with a 4.28. His 5-8 height is his drawback.

- Cornerback/running back Edward Britton (6-0, 176 lbs., 4.38 in the 40, 10.7 100 meters) from El Paso, Tex., Montwood. Edward actually worked out at running back, but with his wiry frame he looked like a natural CB to us. We had thought U-M might recruit him as an 'athlete', but word has been that Edward was insistent on playing running back. However, he told us, "I would like to have a shot at playing running back, but I'll do anything to help my team." And, "Michigan has not been in to visit my school."

Defensive linemen:

- DL/OL Portland, Oregon Ndamukong Suh (6-3, 280 3bs.) from Portand, Oregon. Suh looked like a DT to us, or even an OG. There has been some mutual interest between he and U-M.

- DE/LB Bernard Afutiti (2003 U-M Camper, 6-1, 225 lbs., 4.65 in the 40) from Fontana, Calif. As he told us, U-M has not been in his school this spring. Afutit is a 'tweener' between LB and DE.


- Quarterback Arkelon Hall (Planned '04 U-M Camper, 6-2, 210 lbs., 4.8 in the 40) from Fresno, Calif., Edison.

- Quarterback Josh Portis (6-4, 198 lbs., 4.55 in the 40) from Woodland Hills, Calif., Taft.

- Quarterback K.C. Patterson (6-2, 200 lbs.) from Oakmont High School in Roseville, Calif.

Running backs:

Ryan Reynolds soph teammate was the top running back at the combine -- and he told us he is a Michigan fan (his coach told us the same thing at the U.S. Army Combine back in Jan.)! It's Demarco Murray, who measured 6-0, 185 pounds, ran a 4.49 sec. 40 and recorded a 32 inch vertical jump. He already has offers from Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

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