The Shrine Bowl combine tour concluded this past Saturday at Greene Central High School in Snow Hill, NC. With better than 250 rising seniors in attendance, the event was headlined by several of 2008's top prospects.
Perhaps the most highly regarded of the bunch was DE Quinton Coples from Kinston (NC) High School. The talented lineman says he now boasts 32 scholarship offers and he performed well on Saturday.
Checking in at 6-7, 235 pounds, Coples ran a 4.82-second 40-yard dash, had 13 reps of 185 pounds and logged a 29.1-inch vertical jump. He also looked fluid in drills and moved extremely well for a player his size. The Pack continues to be in his lead group although UNC and Florida look particularly strong.
LB Kevin Reddick from New Bern (NC) High School does not own a Wolfpack scholarship yet but it may just be a matter of time. Reddick, 6-2, 208 pounds, ran a solid 4.5-second 40-yard dash and had 21 reps on the bench press. UNC continues to lead the way for him with Alabama making a recent push.
NC State is on the fringe of Garner (NC) standout Tony Morgan's top five. He measured in at 6-1, 190 pounds on Saturday and ran a 4.52-second 40-yard dash. Morgan also had a 27.7-inch vertical jump and 10 reps on the bench press. Morgan told Pack Pride that he will be visiting NC State on Monday. He indicated that the Pack hasn't recruited him as hard as some of the other schools up to this point. South Carolina is his top school with UNC close behind.
Slowed due to a hamstring injury, Bunn's Brandon Barnes decided not to run the 40-yard dash. However, he was measured in at 6-0, 179 pounds, had a 34.3-inch vertical jump and a solid 16 reps on the bench press. Auburn and Clemson still appear to be his top two with NC State right behind. Barnes said the Pack is recruiting him as a running back.
One of the most impressive players on the day was Hoggard's PK Casey Barth. He nailed all nine of his field goal attempts with several clearing the cross bar by 10 or more yards. Barth has been offered by Air Force with interest coming from Wake Forest and UNC. It is unlikely, however, that NC State will pursue a kicker in the class of 2008.
Physically, LB Reggie Bowens from Garner (NC) High School was one the most impressive players on Saturday. He also backed that up with super individual numbers.
At 6-2, 214 pounds, Bowens logged a blistering 4.42-second 40-yard dash, 30.9-inch vertical jump and 18 reps on the bench press. NC State has yet to offer but it wouldn't be surprising if they did so at some point. As things stand now, the Pack is a team under consideration but likely a ways back with ground to make up.
LB Austin Johnson from Hickory (NC) High School was an early commit to Tennessee. He's continued to receive recruiting interest, including letters from NC State. His numbers were solid although not spectacular. Johnson ran a 4.85-second 40-yard dash, had 22 reps on the bench press and a 21.4-inch vertical jump.
S Lamar Monger has been somewhat of a sleeper that was on hand for the Pack's spring game. The Hertford County standout measured in at 5-11 ½, 176 pounds and notched a 4.64-second 40-yard dash. Monger also had a 26.5-inch vertical jump and nine reps on the bench press. While State has shown interest, they've not recruited him as hard as some others.
RB Gary Gouglas from Hillside High School in Durham says he's now up to four offers, including one from NC State. He has the Pack in his top four and on Saturday, checked in at 6-1, 172 pounds. He ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash and had a solid vertical jump of 36.5-inches.
Each event seems to unveil at least a couple of prospects that had been previously unmentioned and that was the case this weekend.
DE Josh Newkirk from Wallace-Rose Hill High School was a standout in individual drills. He recorded 11 sacks as a junior and is hearing from Wake Forest, Illinois, UNC, East Carolina and Penn State.
DE/LB Cornelius Watkins from Swansboro was another prospect that really held his own during the individual drills. He measured in at 6-2, 212 pounds, ran a 4.74-second 40-yard dash, had a 31.7-inch vertical jump and 28 reps on the bench press. Watkins mentioned UNC as the only team he's heard from to date but that could change in the coming days.
Finally, MLB Demetrius Hartsfield is a Raleigh native, playing at Southeast Raleigh High School. He was an all-conference selection in 2006 and had a good showing on Saturday. He was one of the more impressive players physically- measuring in at 6-2, 208 pounds while running a 4.79-second 40-yard dash. He also logged a 32.6-inch vertical jump and 23 reps on the bench press. Hartsfield said Georgia, Purdue, UNC, East Carolina and NC State are a few of the schools showing him interest.