Las Vegas mini-combine

Under hot Las Vegas skies, 17 of the area's top 2006 and 2007 recruits took part in a mini combine at Bishop Gorman High School. No vertical jumps or standing broad jumps were recorded, but we were able to run them through 40's, shuttles and L-cone tests before a quick but competitive 1-on-1 session.

The leader of the pack was clearly Bishop Gorman running back DeMarco Murray. Already the holder of 17 D1 scholarship offers, Murray ran a 4.38 40 and bested the competition in 1-1's, while USC Head Coach Pete Carroll and Trojan Assistant Coach Greg Burns paid close attention. Murray is one of the stand-out backs on the west coast and showed nice burst and moves in the open field. He just flies by defenders with a deceptively fast gait and has sure hands on normal routes thrown out of the backfield.

Eric Jordan from Las Vegas High School was the other standout running back to take part. He ran two very consistent 40's (4.45 and 4.46) and showed a polished skill set during 1-1's. He's a very competitive player that came out to show why he is worthy of early attention and proved that his current four offers are no fluke. His recruitment is sure to grow as the May evaluation period progresses.

Bishop Gorman's C.J. Sedoris and Western's Julian Sample were the two quarterbacks that worked out. Sedoris is becoming a standout QB in the Vegas area, showing nice touch and spin on a variety of throws. He also has the arm strength to make the deep throw but isn't as accurate past twenty yards. Sample is definitely more of an athletic presence behind center. I'm not sure if his future is at QB as height and his raw skill-set will be a concern, but there's no question he's a football player.

Receivers Martrell Fantroy from Bishop Gorman and Eldorado's Da'Vell Jackson stood out at receiver. Fantroy is more of an athlete right now that is starting to take football seriously and could flourish under Head Coach David White's tutleage. He showed that he's a D1-caliber athlete who could compete and beat some of the best corners in the area, including teammate DeAngelo Wilkinson (who has a scholarship offer from Wisconsin). I believe Fantroy could be one of those players that has a break-out 2005 and garners some late D1 attention.

Jackson is just the opposite of Fantroy - a polished, savvy receiver that knows how to play the game out wide. He did a great job of shielding the ball from would-be defenders and had some of the crisper routes of the day. He's not going to burn past many corners, but will get separation on nearly every play. Da'Vell claims an offer from local school UNLV and I can believe it. He'd do very well in an up-tempo offensive system.

Defensively, Wilkinson showed that he is worthy of an early Big-Ten ride, blanketing receivers and showing good catch-up speed. Teammate Lorenzo Sartini also showed the same knack for finding the ball in the air and closing fast. Sartini is one of those athletes that could play either way in college.

Western brought in a couple of athletes in Ronnie Paulo and Chris Fowler, and both impressed at various times throughout the combine. Paulo, a linebacker that has an offer from Nebraska, is more of 'backer that enjoys things a little closer to the line of scrimmage, but wasn't afraid to take on quicker RB's and jousting with them in space. It's not his forte, but he showed some skill. Fowler is a pretty intriguing prospect. At 6-foot-1 and 201 pounds, he's big enough to be spread out wide on offense, but could play either corner or safety at the next level. He took on seasoned receivers like Jackson and battled hard all day. Depending on how much he grows, Fowler might just be that ball-hawking free safety or rover that coaches love to have playing enforcer in the deep third.

Troy Cummings and Jarrod Walters from Shadow Ridge also came in to show what they could do, and both impressed me with their work ethic and desire to take on all comers. Cummings is another one of those versatile athletes that could be a slot receiver or running back in college, but could also shut guys down in a 'lock-down' corner capacity. Walters is a thicker kid, more in the mold of a future fullback or middle linebacker who hustles on every play. His play in space is going against what he does best, but he didn't let that slow down his enthusiasm and competitiveness.

Silverado's Ben Jacobs is another intriguing two-way prospect that has a rangy torso to play rush end or outside linebacker. On the other side, Jacobs showed good hands and solid straightaway speed to beat defenders for the ball on seam routes. A lot of his future recruitment just might depend on how much he does or doesn't grow during the next six months. If he gets bigger and can keep his speed, he could be a real pass-catching threat at tight end.

Cheyenne's Quinton Carter arrived late and was not able to participate in the tests or drills.

Bishop Gorman's Corey White, Keola Antolin and Drew Bernhardy did their best to represent for the 2007 and 2008 classes. The Gaels also have monster lineman Po'u Paleilei, but he did not participate. Expect Po'u to be one of the top linemen on the west coast for next year's class. White, Antolin and Bernhardy did participate and did enough in my mind to believe that Coach White will have some ammunition in his holster come 2006.

Here are the results: Las Vegas mini-combine results

A huge thank you to Coach White and the Gaels staff for use of their facilities for the combine.

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