The MSL Combines blew into the Windy City yesterday and despite being behind the 8-ball in regards of preparation time, the combine was a complete success.
MSL's Pete Ewalt and legendary coach Sam Pagano spent the better part of last week talking with the high school coaches and top football prospects in the Chicago area about the upcoming combine at Northwestern University.
It was a typical March day in the Midwest on Sunday morning. Temperature was in the low 30's and looking outside Northwestern's indoor facility, snow flurries blanketed the sunny skies.
Inside, some of the top prep football prospects in the Midwest were being put through the paces of what's considered the closest thing you'll find to the NFL combine held in Indianapolis. How do we know this? Chicago Bears linebackers coach Bob Babich was on hand and had this to say.
"This is great," said Babich as he and fellow Chicago Bears coach, Rob Boras were timing the 40-yard dash.
"I'm looking around and this is exactly what you would see at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. The guys (MSL) are very organized and there are some talented kids here." Babich said.
One of the top highlights of my day was getting to meet and have my picture taken with former NFL running back great Chuck Muncie.
As I watched the prospects being put through drills by Muncie, I wondered if those young men knew who Chuck Muncie was and how lucky they were to get instructed and taught by one of the NFL's great all-time running backs.
Prospects from Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and other Midwest states were measured, weighed and interviewed. They did a vertical, long jump and a bench press.
Quarterbacks had a 360-degree video of them holding the football in their hand as they were about to throw a pass. This is done so college coaches can see how the gunslingers hold the football and their shoulder positioning.
Every prospect was stripped down to their shorts and had a 360-degree video taken of their muscle skeletal. This same video is taken in Indianapolis at the NFL combine. Offensive lineman had video taken of them bending or doing a squat, showing the college coaches flexibility.
This combine blew me away. During lunch I had to the chance to speak to the MSL Combines Central Nervous System or if you attend an MSL Combine you'll get to know her as Sara Ellison. Sara is responsible for getting all of the MSL coaches, high school coaches and combine participants where they need to be at all times.
In the afternoon, prospects are broken down by position and are taught techniques by the MSL staff and high school coaches on hand. The one on one drill for receivers and defensive backs was incredible.
MSL Combines is on a "United States Tour" right now (next stop Los Angeles) and if you're a D-1 football prospect, you need to attend one of these camps. Visit MSL Combines on-line to register or call 1-800-901-1947 and the MSL staff will be more than happy to sign you up.
Kudo's to MSL Director Johne' Battle for running a top notch combine. I'm looking forward to seeing coach Battle and the MSL staff in Cincinnati and Atlanta.
Who were the top performers at the Chicago combine? There were some prospects that blew me away and there were two sleepers who should have several D-1 offers come "Signing Day 2005".
Check back tomorrow morning for the top offensive performers at the Chicago MSL Combine.
MSL/TheInsiders Blows Into Windy City
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