Scout.com Combine: Akron - It's a Wrap

Scout.com wrapped up its seven weekend tour of the country with its final combine in Akron, Ohio during Memorial Day weekend. A handful of the regions top prospects were on hand, as were several potential Top 100 nominee's for the Class of 2007. Over 150 prospects attended the Scout.com All-American Invitational at the University of Akron's beautiful indoor practice facility.

As with any combine there were a number of standouts and athletes who defied logic at Akron. Ohio State verbals Ross Homan and Chris Wells were in attendance, as was Michigan pledge Brandon Graham. A "Freakish" athlete from Columbus stole the show with perhaps the best testing efforts we have seen to date. Super Soph's Marvin Austin and Lamar Milstead showed that despite their youth, these two Washington, D.C. boys can bring the ruckus. Here is a brief rundown of some of the highlights of the day's events.

At quarterback two sophomores showed that they could compete with anyone. South Point (Ohio.) native Chris Smith and Bangor (Pa.) Pius X


Chris Smith

signal caller Cole Hildabrant, did not let the pressure get to them. Both young quarterbacks displayed calmness that one would expect from a grizzled veteran. Smith who is built like a middle linebacker threw nice tight spirals with some zip on them all day long. Hildabrant showed deft touch as he picked apart the secondary and line backing corps. I'm sure we'll hear a lot from these two young guns in the next two years.

A senior to be who hit the recruiting radar recently, Cranberry Township (Pa.) Seneca Valley quarterback Kevan Smith showed off his outstanding arm as he threaded the needle a number of times. Smith is still raw, but continues to show those flashes of brilliance which amazes me considering he missed all but two games in 2004.

Akron (Ohio.) Garfield and Ohio State commit Chris Wells stole the show the moment he walked through the door. At close to 6'-2" 230-pounds,


Chris Wells

Wells ran consecutive 4.5's in the 40-yard dash (wearing track spikes). He then stepped up to the broad jump and launched his chiseled physique 119". He then posted a 4.4 shuttle and a 31" vertical. With an outstanding film, and an even better combine performance Wells proved to me he is the best running back prospect in the nation.

Although, he is a total contrast in style to Wells Trotwood (Ohio.) Madison running back Cameron Mobley had a solid performance. Mobley ran a 4.61 in the 40-yard dash, a 4.59 shuttle, a 7.07 in the L-Cone, he jumped 32.5" in the vertical, and had a standing broad jump of 117". During the one-on-ones is where Mobley proved his worth, the 185-pound back juked everyone out of their cleats on multiple occasions including Graham and Homan.

Representing the Class of 2007 were Nordonia (Ohio.) running back Jordan Mabin and Allison Park (Pa.) Hampton man-child Steve Paskorz. Mabin was having an outstanding day of testing until he tweaked a hamstring injury he had suffered in track. Mabin left without turning his card in with his results. Paskorz who owned defenses in Western Pennsylvania last fall certainly lived up to the hype. At 6'-0" 210-pounds, Paskorz ran a 4.67 in the 40-yard dash, he posted a 34" vertical, and a 118" standing broad jump.

The wide receiver position was owned by Columbus (Ohio.) Brookhaven standout Jeff Cumberland. There's a lot of talk about him playing tight end or defensive end in college, but I see a player who is a combination of Randy Moss and Plaxico Burress. I honestly have never seen a high


Jeff Cumberland

school football player as athletic as Cumberland. At 6'-4" and 221 pounds, Cumberland ran a 4.47 40-yard dash, a 4.28 shuttle, a 7.28 L-Cone, he had a vertical jump of 34", and a standing broad jump of 117". Then to top it off he dominated the one-on-ones at tight end and wide receiver.

On any other day without Cumberland around, Connellsville (Pa.) wide receiver Terrence McCrae (Pictured) would have been the man. He torched the secondary all afternoon, when he was covered he just out jumped, or out muscled the defenders for the ball. On two separate 


Terrence McCrae

occasions I saw Penn Hills (Pa.) safety Barry Church cover McCrae stride-for-stride, as tight as one could cover somebody, and both time McCrae made circus catches. At 6'-2.5" and a ripped 188 pounds, McCrae is a nice target, with outstanding athleticism. He posted a 4.57 40-yard dash, a 4.25 shuttle, and a 7.28 L-Cone. Then he followed the running events up with a 34" vertical.

At tight end Springboro (Ohio.) athlete Jacob Ballard certainly lived up to his advance billing. Although most fell he's destined for the offensive line, Ballard is a very good tight end. He is athletic and has surprisingly good ball skills. At 6'-6.5" and 251 pounds, Ballard posted a 4.28 shuttle, 4.99 40-yard dash, 7.56 L-Cone, a 28" vertical, and a 102" standing broad jump.

We could write a book on the number of outstanding offensive linemen, who were on-hand at Akron, but one stood out to me, and this is the second time he's done so. We first saw Randallstown (Md.) offensive lineman Kenneth Mayfield at the Elite College Combine earlier in the month. Mayfield decimated the competition there, on Saturday he gave an encore performance as he shut down everyone.

One of the most vicious and tenacious linemen I have seen in a long time is Shaker Heights (Ohio.) big man Dominic Alford (Pictured). Despite his nasty disposition on the field, Alford is mobile and fundamentally sound.


Dominic Alford


Another very solid lineman is Berea (Ohio.) native Bob Gulley, how he has no offers at this point is beyond me. He's one of the best I've seen this spring. Gulley is what some would call a "Technician" he is very good at his craft.

Young, Washington (D.C.) Coolidge offensive tackle Lamar Milstead continued to impress us. He plays at such a high level, its easy to forget he's only a sophomore. This is a prospect that you will be hearing a lot about over the next two years.

Before the day started I was telling a few of my co-workers that the best overall linemen would be a sophomore. We saw Washington (D.C.) Coolidge defensive tackle Marvin Austin (pictured) at the Elite College Combine in early May, and no-one could stop him. The linemen in


Marvin Austin

Akron beat him a few times, but not often. He has a chance to be the #1 Defensive Tackle prospect in the entire country next year.

Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway defensive end Jordan Stephens, has a motor that doesn't stop. Stevens is relentless off the edge, he has a great combination of speed and power.

At linebacker we were impressed by both Big Ten verbals Coldwater (Ohio.) backer Ross Homan and Detroit (MI.) Crockett Vocational's Brandon Graham. Homan is built like a body builder, but he does not play stiff.


Ross Homan

During the day he showed his athleticism in drills and during the testing. Graham opened eyes when he posted a4.6 40-yard dash at 250-pounds. Both players impressed the Scout.com staff by merely showing up, that show's their competitive nature and the kind of character that these two have.

Skill players were at a premium as two big track meets in Ohio and Pennsylvania kept a number of athlete's away, but Verona (Pa.) Penn Hills safety Barry Church took advantage of the chance to shine. Despite the fact that he is


Barry Church

considered a safety, Church displayed cover skills that are better then most corners. He is a fast rising prospect who has already garnered a handful of offers, and should receive plenty more in the near future.

One player that we hadn't heard a lot about prior to the combine was Maple Heights (Ohio.) safety Andre Elliott. Elliott checked in at 6'-0.5" and 180 pounds, he ran a 4.59 40-yard dash, 4.37 shuttle, a 7.76 L-Cone. He then posted a 30" vertical jump and a 116" standing broad jump. During the one-on-ones Elliott displayed decent cover skills, and outstanding closing speed.

These are just a few of the players you will hear about in the coming months as we Count Down to Signing Day.

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