MISS/LOU All-American Notebook

Football combines are an invaluable tool when it comes to evaluating football players. Nothing will ever compare to what happens on Friday night when the band is playing, but the combine events allow for some unique situations that aid in the culling process. Perhaps the most rewarding part of the combine experience is when a relative unknown bursts onto the recruiting scene.

Such was the case on Wednesday when McComb 2017 wide receiver Gerkitis McCray wowed all in attendance with a 4.41 laser timed 40 yard dash.

On his first two attempts, McCray ran sub 4.4 on multiple hand held clocks easily earning him a spot in the fastest man competition at the conclusion of the testing events. In attempt to validate the fastest of the 40s, the laser timer was used to remove all scrutiny.

McCray continued to impress and on his final attempt of the day sent shouts throughout the KDMC Performance Center when the clock stopped on 4.41 seconds.

To put that time in perspective, only eight NFL prospects ran a faster time at this year's NFL combine. All of those times are always laser timed, so any chance of human error is removed.

Those eight players who bested McCray as well as those who ran slower times had trained for months with the best coaches in America to prepare for their showing before the world at the NFL proving grounds. McCray received no such training or the benefit of a team of performance analysts to prepare him for the big stage.

He just showed up and ran and in turn changed the course of his life. Needless to say, the level of interest in McCray has already picked up in the days following his showing in Brookhaven.

Nothing to Prove

Alabama verbal Shyheim Carter of Kentwood, Louisiana attended the event and took part in every testing event. While many other players with similar resumes elected not to compete in combines or camps this spring, Carter showed up and validated his lofty reputation.

Carter was among the leaders in every event and was a verbal leader in the field encouraging his teammates to do their absolute best. Carter had nothing to gain from the event. His college future and destination are secure, but he earned a healthy dose of respect from this in attendance on Wednesday.

Carter came to compete when he didn't have to and he made the event better with his energy and willingness to participate and encourage.

Big on the Farm

One of the most impressive prospects during the combine was 6-6, 275 pound Bogue Chitto rising sophomore Hayden Burton. Burton plays offensive tackle and defensive end for the Bobcats, but Burton is destined for a left tackle spot.

Burton has a great frame and the long arms needed to keep defenders out and away from him as he steers them away from his quarterback. Burton moves extremely well for a younger player and lacks the bad weight in his core that so many have on their way to 300 pounds.

Several schools will eventually be in the mix, but Mississippi State has already inquired with the staff at Bogue Chitto about Burton and will likely see him in camp next month.

Coming off the board

North Pike Quarterback Juwan Adams was another of the top prospects in attendance. With a handful of offers to his credit, Adams is preparing to close out his recruitment in a matter of weeks.

Louisville was the first school to offer Adams back near the end of the regular season last fall. The Cards appear to have their quarterback for the 2016 signing class, so Adams will likely be headed elsewhere. Louisiana Tech is prominently mentioned in connection with Adams, but the deliberations continue.

Adams plans to camp at several schools next month including Auburn and Mississippi State in hopes of earning offers from each program. Come late July, Adams plans to cast his lot and focus his energies on North Pike football in hopes of winning a state championship.

The rising senior threw for 3,081 yards and 27 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 882 more yards. Adams is the top dual threat quarterback in the state of Mississippi for his class and will make a fine addition to a college roster in 2016.


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