That guy: cornerback Jordan Mabin from Nordonia, Ohio.
We'd already watched -- and were impressed with -- Mabin at the US Army Combine in San Antonio this past January, when he ran one of the fastest 40 times of 4.52 seconds into a 20 mph wind. There, however, he played more receiver than defensive back, and while he performed well at wideout ... here at Pitt he took the field at DB and stayed there -- and CB is (in our opinion) where he belongs!
Mabin measured 6-0, 180 pounds (he's maybe just a hair under 6-foot, but he's growing fast ... a year ago he was 5-10), and once again he proved to be a blazer: his 4.42 sec. 40 was the fastest time we knew of at the event (a slow fieldturf surface -- we only heard of one other sub-4.5 time), and his 4.1 sec. shuttle was outstanding as well.
In position drills, he blanketed his man time after time, never getting beat, and he made the only interception (from what we noticed) of the day.
Which leads us to: "The time Clemons got beat."
As we said yesterday, Toney Clemons was the top wideout at the combine and arguably the top performer overall, and he was paying close attention to every QB-WR-DB play, whether it was his turn or not. So he had to noticed that Mabin was the one buck-stops-here DB at the event. Somehow, with four different QB-WR-DB drills going at once and everyone moving from one line to another (and RB's and linebackers jumping into the drills as well ... which at times made it QB-RB-LB), Clemons and Mabin never got matched up. Until, that is, the very last play of the combine.
We have to think Clemons engineered this one, jumping in when he saw Mabin line up as the DB on the play. However this one time, the supremely-easy-confident Clemons got a little bit over-anxious. Instead of his perpetual easy-confidence, this time he pressed just a bit -- and, instead of playing five yards off him llike all the other DB's at the combine, Mabin jumped right on top of him and took advantage. Mabin decided to 'bump and run' with Clemons, and when Clemons put on his first move he slipped just slightly, almost imperceptibly. Mabin however saw the misstep and muscled Clemons the whole play, using his superior speed to stay right at his ribcage -- a deep throw, that, for once, Clemons had no chance to make his usual acrobatic in-air adjustment to. Mabin kept him just slightly off balance the whole play and the ball fell harmlessly 3-4 yards away.
This play went to Jordan Mabin.
As far as who Mabin reminds us of. The closest on the current U-M roster would be Leon Hall, but Leon is more of a 'hard-nose' type player where Mabin uses his speed and quickness. Probably Mabin's style reminds us most of former Wolverine Todd Howard -- but Mabin keeps getting taller and is no longer sub-six-feet (well, as we said, he still might be a hair under still in his stocking feet).
We spoke to Jordan briefly on and off during the day, getting his stats, etc., and we stood and spoke for a longer period of time with Jordan's father a couple times. Here are some interesting comments.
Jordan told us: "I have an offer from Pitt, and one from Indiana." (GBW note: Mabin did not play DB this past season -- he was used at RB and WR -- sometimes when a player is in this situation where there is no junior film of him at his college position, it just slows things down a bit recruiting-wise).
From Mr. Mabin, Jordan's father:
-- "We were at the Junior Day at Michigan, and we were impressed. My wife really likes the academic emphasis at Michigan."
-- "We lived in Grand Rapids for a while, in Kentwood."
-- "We do have a top five schools in our mind ... Michigan is one of them."
-- "Jordan wants to make his decision before the end of the summer."
Oh, and one more thing: watching every move Mabin made was his cousin, Pitt freshman wideout Dorin Dickerson.
Photo by Gary Housteau, Bucknuts.com
Click for more GBW photos from Pitt Combine.