MSL Combine brings out athletic group

It was a steamy day in Dallas, Texas and the talent that showed up for the MSL combine at SMU did their best to battle those elements. It was an athletic group of kids who, admittedly from an NFL coach, were running on a "slow track".

It was slow when it came to times, but it was obvious that there were some fast players out there. The first person that needs to be talked about is the 40-yard dash champion from Saturday.

Josef Cooper of Southwest High School in Ft. Worth came in with the fastest 40 time on Saturday. His 4.51 time on Saturday on field turf would have been faster on a different surface. Cooper ended up tweaking a leg injury and was unable to compete in some of the later drills. In the 40 though he shined.

Collectively there may not have been a better group of athletes on the field than the wide receivers. The wide receivers were noticeably led by Brennan Gleason from Allen, Texas. Gleason had a nice 40 time with a 4.72 and was one of the best route runners and sure handed receivers all day.

He led a group that also included Andre Dixon of North Crowley High School in Ft. Worth, Robert Boone also of Allen, Antonio Brown and his teammate Dominique Booker of Mesquite, Texas and Curtis Mayfield of North Garland, Texas. All of these kids did a fine job of representing the talent at the wide receiver position.

Another representing the Dallas area the best that he could was Ryan Polite. Ryan was nursing a hamstring injury and noticeably was slowed by it. He was able to run a 4.71 40, but was disappointed his performance. He had respectable times in the long shuttle and figure eight drills. He was also just a shade under 6-foot-0 and was over 190 pounds. Ryan's stock has started to rise lately and was arguably the most productive running back in the Dallas area last year.

From the Texas Hot 100 was defensive back Gerren Blount. Little was known about Gerren except his fine performances on the field last year that left him with 13 interceptions and picking four off in one game. Gerren came in and was a solid 5-foot-11 and his performances did not disappoint. He had a vertical jump of 33.5 inches while running a 4.55 second 40. Expect his stock to soar.

Oklahoma was represented well by the performance of Deji Karim. The Oklahoma City native showed off his athleticism with one of the two top vertical jumps at 36.5" and a 4.53 second forty.

Arkansas brought in some talent as well with Christopher Bryant of Searcy and Charles Hayes of Little Rock. Christopher worked with the quarterbacks and showed good accuracy, mechanics and a strong arm. However, he made it no secret that he would rather he was working with the defensive backs that day as a safety. Bryant will be playing on both sides of the ball this fall.

Hayes on the other hand said that he wasn't having a great day on Saturday, but was impressive through testing. He ran a 4.71 second 40 and his reputation as an athlete only grew as the day went on and the stories came back about his recent achievements. Charles recently won state titles for the long jump and triple jump as well as being elected all-state in basketball.

On Saturday there were also some kids that made it in from Atlanta. Jabari Burley, Brandon Montgomery and Auntonio Hill all came in and tested very well. Hill tested especially well with a 4.53 second 40-yard dash time. All of them should see their stock rise.

An under-classman to watch will be Sherrod Harris. Sherrod ran a respectable 40 considering he was only a JR-to be at a hair under five seconds. What you had to notice were his quick feet, his natural ability at the quarterback position and his pretty throwing motion. Last year he was 87-157 for 1252 yards, 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

But that wasn't the only under-classman to see on Saturday. One under-classman wasn't allowed to work out because of his age. That's right, he was too young. Chris Nickolson didn't need to put on a pair of work out clothes to get your attention. He was around 6-foot-2 or 6-foot-3 and had to be around 210 pounds. His father said that his son was running a five second 40. What makes it more impressive is that Chris will only be a freshman next year.


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