Stars Shine in Snow Hill

SNOW HILL, N.C. -- Greene Central head coach Jim Bob Bryant's fourth annual Elite 8 Combine featured some of the top players in the eastern part of North Carolina.

The Elite 8 Combine, now in its fourth year and held at Greene Central High School in Snow Hill, was created to help rising seniors (and underclassmen) get accustomed to the tests that will be used in the various Shrine Bowl combines.

At registration, athletes were weighed and filtered into eight different weight classes: 0-159, 160-169, 170-179, 180-189, 190-199, 200-209, 210-224, and 225-Up. After stretching, the athletes participated and competed against others players in their respective weight class in the four events used at the Shrine Bowl combines: 40-yard dash, bench press (135/185 pounds), 20-yard pro-agility shuttle, and the vertical jump.

The top three showings in each weight class, based on total points from the four tests, were awarded trophies.

Several players performed well throughout the event, but the most impressive prospect might have been rising junior Jacksonville (NC) Northside athlete Donte Moss. Moss started at defensive end/linebacker and tailback as a sophomore for Jones (NC) before transferring to Northside this spring. Coach Greg Hampton at Jones informed Pack Pride of Moss this week, stating that he is going to be one of the top players in the 2009 class. In 2006, he totaled 11 sacks and led the team in tackles while also leading the team in rushing to earn all-conference and all-area honors.

Donte Moss

Checking in at 6-foot-4 and 226 pounds, Moss finished first overall in the 225+-pound weight class, despite being just a rising junior. He recorded a 4.63 and a 4.82 in the 40-yard dash, 17 reps of 185 on the bench, a 4.53 pro shuttle, and a 33-inch vertical jump, showcasing his outstanding athleticism.

"I felt I did good," Moss stated after claiming his trophy. "I couldn't do my best because of the weather, but I feel I did good."

Moss is already receiving major recruiting interest from East Carolina (who watched two of his games last season) and NC State. The Wolfpack leads big for Moss, who sported a red NC State jacket throughout the day.

"I want to go to State," he said. "I just grew up liking NC State."

Looking for the event's breakout performer? Burlington (NC) Williams wide receiver Tony Foster came out of nowhere to post the fastest 40-yard time at the event, as he ripped off a 4.42 on his first run.

A sleek 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds, Foster also tallied a 37-inch vertical and a 4.22 pro shuttle to finish in first place in the 170-179 pound division. Despite his combine numbers, Foster was really looking forward to showing what he could do in one-on-one drills.

"I did great today," said Foster. "I wish they would have had us doing drills. I don't think there is anyone out here that could stick with me."

Foster wasn't even fully rested. He made the drive from Burlington to Snow Hill this morning after getting off work at 1:00 am. He also performed well at last month's NIKE combine, and Foster plans on making a statement at next month's Shrine Bowl combine in Jamestown, North Carolina.

"I'm going to run a 4.3 there," he said. "I thought I was going to do it today, but it was too cold and I didn't get warm enough."

Still an unknown, Foster stated he is receiving mail from NC State and "some community colleges." The Wolfpack are his leader.

"I like State the best," said Foster. "I like the atmosphere up there. I want to hear even more from them."

He will have a chance to impress this year, as he plays for 2007 Shrine Bowl head coach Sam Story.

Kamar Frost

While Moss stole the show in his weight class, his former teammate at Jones, fellow defensive end Kamar Frost, didn't perform as well as he had hoped. Frost checked in at 6-foot-5 and 221 pounds, and he was nervous prior to the event because he had never attended a combine before.

"This is all new for me," said Frost. "I don't even have my shoes to run the 40, and I've never even ran it before. I'm not even sure how to do it, but I'm going to try and do what all I can."

Frost posted a 4.93 in the 40-yard dash and tallied 13 reps on the bench. He also ripped off a 4.74 pro shuttle and a 25 inch vertical.

He is garnering heavy attention from East Carolina and NC State, and the rangy defensive end maintains he will continue to improve as he works on the various events at each combine.

"Today I didn't do as well as I could," said Frost. "It was real cold out here, and I don't think I was ready. I know one thing, next time I come out here I'm going to wear more clothes and bring my shoes."

No one probably expected to see Goldsboro (NC) tailback Anthony Council back in action this soon. His junior season was cut short with a knee injury, an injury that was believed to be very serious, but you couldn't tell it by watching Council in action.

The 6-foot-1, 201-pound tailback, who has totaled 4,000 yards rushing in his career, ripped off a 4.65 and a 4.45 40-yard dash, answering any questions regarding his knee injury.

Council has yet to land an official offer, although he claims a verbal offer from North Carolina. NC State and East Carolina are also expressing heavy interest.

Physically there may not have been a more impressive prospect than New Bern (NC) linebacker Kevin Reddick.

At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, Reddick had a 4.29-second 20-yard shuttle, 23 reps of 185 pounds on the bench, a 32-inch vertical, and a 4.70 an d4.77 in the 40-yard dash.

The competitive Reddick, who finished in first place in the 210-224 pound weight class, was upset with his time in the sprint.

"I think I did alright, but I think I need to get better at the 40," he said. "I think this is good because it will help me with my Shrine Bowl combine. My time is normally a 4.57... I don't know man I think the clocks are a little bit off."

Kevin Reddick

With offers on the table from North Carolina and East Carolina, Reddick is also receiving heavy interest from Alabama, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and NC State.

"Virginia, they are talking about it, but they haven't offered me yet," he said.

The Tar Heels hold an early lead for Reddick.

"I'm liking Carolina right now," he said. "It's just the coaching staff and the atmosphere. I went up there for a camp last year, and it was pretty good."

NC State recently started recruiting Reddick, who attended the Wolfpack's Junior Day.

"I went to State for a Junior Day," he said. "I really haven't talked with them like that. I gave them my email address and we email every now and then, but that's about it right now."

OTHER NOTABLES
William Brown didn't have to travel far for the event, as he will start at quarterback in 2007 for Snow Hill (NC) Greene Central. At 6-foot-3 and 205-pounds, Brown posted a 4.45 40-yard dash, a 34 inch vertical, and a 4.19 pro shuttle. Local coaches stated he may have the strongest arm in the state, and he will be looking to showcase it at next month's Shrine Bowl combine that will also be held at Greene Central. Brown's favorite team? He grew up a fan of the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Josh Grizzard

Wendell (NC) East Wake quarterback/safety Josh Grizzard posted a 4.69 40-yard dash. Grizzard attended NC State's Junior Day and stated he grew up a fan of the Wolfpack. Not only is he a stellar athlete, but Grizzard is also a star in the classroom, as he sports a 4.5 GPA and is receiving major interest from programs such as Princeton and Yale.

Other players who posted impressive times include: Jacksonville (NC) Northside 180-pound DB Joe Womack -- 4.47, Knightdale 171-pound DB Dennis Bland -- 4.42/4.50, and Bethel (NC) North Pitt 220-pound TB Tony Turnage -- 4.57.


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