Combine Elite For A Reason

What do you get when you mix the top players on the East Coast with well over 100 college coaches in attendance including at least six head coaches? Obviously it must be the Elite College Combine in New Jersey. However, it was Vidal Hazelton and Phillip Taylor walked away with offensive and defensive most valuable player honors respectively.

Phillip Taylor (right), a Gwynn Park (Md.) defensive tackle, came off the ball with so much power that the coaches watching the linemen one-on-one drills had to back up every time he came up to play. Some may think that he is a one-trick pony with a tremendous rip move, but it was more than enough to create space and move past offensive linemen. He is so strong there were more than a couple opponents that ended up on their backs watching Taylor run by.

Vidal Hazelton, a wideout from Moore Catholic in New York and already cemented as a top five player on the east coast going into the event, showed that he knows how to make the big catches. He comes off the ball well, goes up to make the catch, and subtly creates space for quarterbacks to have a little error.

On the other hand, the quarterbacks in attendance rarely showed errors. Led by Pat Devlin (left), who took home honors as top quarterback in attendance, Jeremy Ricker who showed off his arm with tight, high rotation spirals, the quarterbacks kept both running backs and wide receivers in stride. The sleeper pick goes to Brett Bracket, a 6-foot-6 gunslinger with very good footwork and a nice arm though he needs to work on keeping his delivery a little more compact.

Many wanted to see Zach Frazer throw with his Pennsylvania counterparts, but the Notre Dame commitment showed up with crutches and a cast on his leg after injuring his foot at a combine last weekend.

Coming up from Georgia, Mario Fannin (right) ran away with the top running back award with some eye-popping numbers. However, it was the drills where Fannin set himself apart from the rest of the crowd, which included LeSean McCoy. Benjamin Tate looked solid, though he was not able to show off the same power he displays on film, and several colleges got to see that he has some wiggle to go with the strength.

Among the wide receivers, Hazelton certainly looked the part of a potential superstar, but a player that quickly had coaches trying to find out more information was Kenny Britt, a 6-foot-3, 180-pounder from Bayonne High in New Jersey. Not only was he tremendous in the combine with a 4.25 pro shuttle, he also ran tremendous routes in one-on-one drills while turning around cornerbacks at least twice.

Another wide receiver that opened some eyes was Ryan Lindsey (left), who gives Don Bosco Prep its second "Fastest Man" award at the Elite College Combine in two years. Lindsey posted a 4.29 in the 40-yard dash. Florida State signee Michael Ray Garvin won last year.

Also catching some balls were the tight ends, and the best at the position had to be John Lubischer who ran some great times in the combine portion but showed his potential by making great adjustments on some balls and picking up the ball well in the air. Lubischer holds an offer from Duke and should pick up more offers in the very near-future.

The deepest position at the Elite College Combine could be with the linebackers, and Akeem Hebron (right) came away with the top linebacker award. Running a sub-4.6 40 and showing amazing closing speed, Hebron looked like a safety in the body of a linebacker throughout the evening. Jeremiha Hunter is another player who showed his strong acceleration and change of direction despite an injured arm he had to deal with since the fall.

Bani Gbadyu was our pick of super sleeper at the Combine at Duke University and he showed up to the Elite College Combine ready to show that it was not a one-time appearance. After the combine he walked away with several offers, including one from Oklahoma, after putting up more great numbers and pouncing on a few passes by reading routes very well.

With the talented quarterbacks and wide receivers, defensive backs had a tall task ahead and many showed that they were ready to conquer. Headed by defensive back MVP Anthony Ferla (left), who had two interceptions to go along with some astonishing numbers in the combine, several players had coaches watching hard ready to offer.

One of those players was Travon Bellamy, who continued to jump ahead of players in the line to get more of the competition. He had a fire and intensity that you want from a defensive back and showed it by playing hard and tearing shirts off two wide receivers. He is an unbridled talent that many coaches will want to see very soon.

Another defensive back who stepped up was Robert Vaughn. The Massachusetts native tested extremely well, and was very good during the one-on-one portion of the combine. Along the line, many players stood out including offensive line outstanding player Brandon Flanagan (right) from Massachusetts. Randallstown, Md. may have lost Melvin Alaeze from last years squad, but they return offensive lineman Kenneth Mayfield. Mayfield took on any and all comers and soundly defeated anyone he battled.

Three rising juniors also showed they are poised to be some of the best for next year with Marvin Austin, Lamar Milstead, and John Elliott. Austin is the spitting image of Alaeze, and appears poised to have a very bright future on the defensive line. Austin's Coolidge high school teammate Lamar Milstead also showed his wares for everyone in attendance. Milstead has an outstanding frame at 6-6 and 290 pounds. Elliott who plays for East Meadow, N.Y. wasn't intimidated by the talent or age of anyone. The junior to be battled whoever wanted to dance with him.

Lebanon, Pa. standout Jared Odrick showed why he is a top five player in the "Keystone State" and a contender for a National Top 100 spot this season. Odrick posted eye popping numbers for a 6-6 and 285 pound lineman, and then he topped it off with a solid showing in the one-on-ones. In a lot of people's eyes MVP honors along the defensive front could have gone to Neshaminy, Pa. standout Tom McEowen. Not only did McEowen decimate the competition during the one-on-ones, but he tested extremely well. He ran a 5.0 40-yard dash, and then hit 4.9 on his second attempt. would like to thank the wonderful people at the Elite College Combine, Joe Natale, Chris Melvin, Nick Lubisher, and Chuck Mound especially for granting us access to this prestigious event.

Miller Safrit also contributed to this report.

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