Prospects Impress at the Scotland Shrine Combine

Scotland County High School in Laurinburg, NC played host to the first of five Shrine Bowl combines on Saturday. Approximately 75 players were in attendance including several coaches from a few of the state's smaller colleges.

The combines have been quite successful over the last few years in helping the NC coaches select the Shrine Bowl squad. While the depth of talent may have not been that great as far as division one talent is concerned, there were numerous stand-outs in attendance and StateFans was on hand to take it all in.

Laurinburg (NC) Scotland County QB Cameron Sexton was the top prospect in attendance.

Perhaps no one in attendance was more impressive than Scotland County QB Cameron Sexton (6-1 ½, 175 pounds). The talented signal-caller showed why he is currently one of the state's hottest prospects when he ripped off consecutive 40-yard dashes of 4.47 and 4.38 seconds. His running style is effortless and it's obvious that his participation in track this spring has paid dividends. Sexton also posted an impressive 31-inch vertical leap.

In QB drills, Sexton showed an over the top delivery that appeared flawless. His mechanics are just about as good as you could possibly expect from a high school junior. He also has quick feet and it's clear that his blistering speed could be a serious threat to any opposing defense. Sexton showed good velocity on short and medium range passes and a nice touch on the deep balls. While a combine isn't a setting where you can truthfully judge the all-around talents of a football player, it was apparent that Sexton was the class of this event.

Sexton has already earned scholarship offers from Wake Forest, Texas El-Paso, Virginia Tech and Syracuse. He is also getting heavy interest from NC State, UNC and Texas. This past week, Miami and Florida State called and stated they would be visiting Scotland County High School in May to check out Sexton.

Two other quarterback prospects who showcased their considerable skills were Garner's Adam Hamrick and Purnell Sweat's Shawn Smith. Hamrick was solid during the testing phases, but he really stood out in QB drills. He possesses above average arm strength and was accurate throughout the workouts. Look for Hamrick to draw heavy interest from smaller Division-1 schools with some high-major's possibly joining the mix.

The aforementioned Smith had arguably the strongest arm at the combine, tossing deep fades with a flick of the wrist and having the accuracy to place passes exactly where they needed to be.

At 6'2 and 180 pounds, Shawn was a two-way standout for the Purnell Sweat Rams last season. He garnered first-team All-Conference honors at Defensive Back and Honorable Mention All-Conference honors at Quarterback as a Junior. His talents on both sides of the ball will draw interest from colleges across the state, as he could project to quarterback or safety at the next level.

Smith wasn't the only prospect from Purnell Sweat High School who impressed onlookers this weekend as offensive lineman Terrance Campbell had a strong combine performance as well. Campbell measured in at 6-4 ½, 295 pounds and had the best frame of any player there. Built similar to UNC lineman Khalief Mitchell, Terrance has a bulky upper body and thin legs, giving a lean appearance you often don't see in high school offensive linemen.

He also did well in the testing phases, posting a 29 inch vertical jump with 12 reps of 225 pounds on the bench. Having timed as low as 4.92 in the 40 at his high school, Campbell's marks of 5.35 and 5.36 respectively were solid numbers given the relatively slow times throughout the day. With colleges such as N.C. State, North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Tennessee tracking his progress, the all-conference offensive lineman from Pembroke, N.C. will be one to watch this summer.

South Columbus High's Bryan Dixon dominated the drills while working out at cornerback.

Coming into the combine one prospect expecting to have a great day was South Columbus High's Bryan Dixon. With scholarship offers from Duke, and East Carolina, Dixon came in looking to secure a spot on the Shrine Bowl team at Defensive Back and he was arguably the top DB there.

Physically, Bryan looked like a man amongst boys during drills. Blessed with long arms, broad shoulders, and thick legs, he locked down receivers all day and yielded only one completion in the workouts. He uses his hands well to bump receivers, has the agility to stick with wideouts, and most impressively his ball skills allowed him to win battles in the air time after time.

During testing Dixon had one of the camp's top 40-yard marks, posting a 4.48 on his second run. At 5-11, 190 pounds he projects nicely as a cornerback or safety on the next level, with programs across the region expressing heavy interest.

Another player that stood out in testing and the individual workouts was WR Keith Huntley of Albemarle (NC) High School. Although smallish in stature at 5-10, 165 pounds, Huntley was ripped and all muscle. Playing in a run-based offense for the Bulldogs, Huntley racked up better than 500 receiving yards this past year. At the combine, he ran 40-yard dashes of 4.53 and 4.56-seconds. In workouts, Huntley showed good hands and acceleration off the line of scrimmage.

However, we came away with the impression that Huntley may potentially be an even bigger threat as a CB. Schools showing interest in the early going are NC State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina.

Another player that was extremely impressive was DB Seth Williams of Cape Fear High School in Fayetteville, NC. He ran consecutive 40-yard dashes of 4.45 and 4.48-seconds and had an impressive 32-inch vertical leap. Williams was measured at 5-10, 165 pounds but possesses the frame to add some weight once he gets into a serious strength and conditioning program.

In the individual workouts, Williams was cat-quick and snagged several interceptions. He showed a great back pedal and did a good job of turning and looking for the ball on deep passes. Williams also showed the ability to make good adjustments on the ball and was able to out-muscle bigger receivers for the ball.

Williams was a first team all-conference selection as a WR and a second team all-conference selection as a DB. Should he continue to develop, Williams could attract quite a bit of recruiting attention in 2004.

Another Fayetteville, NC product who had a strong combine was Jack Britt High School's Scott Roberts. Measuring in at a ripped 6-1.5 and 198 pounds, Scott ran consecutive 40-yard dashes of 4.55 and 4.61 while benching 205 pounds 13 times and posting a 28 inch vertical jump. He played defensive end as a junior for Jack Britt, but colleges are recruiting him as an outside linebacker prospect. Schools showing interest include Virginia, UNC, Maryland, Penn State, and Nebraska with the Cavaliers recruiting the hardest. Roberts plans to camp at Virginia and North Carolina this summer.

The next Shrine Bowl combine will be held this Saturday at Ragsdale High School in Jamestown, NC. Prospects expected to be in attendance include Running Backs Toney Baker and James Arnold, Wide Receiver Josh Briscoe, and Defensive Back Antonio Wardlow among others.

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