Talent On Hand For First Shrine Combine

Pack Pride takes a look back at the top performers on hand for the first of four Shrine Bowl combines to be held this spring.

Several of the Charlotte area's top players converged on Butler High School Saturday for the first of four Shrine Bowl combines to be held across the state over the coming weeks. Pack Pride was on hand and details some of the standouts from this weekend's event.

Class of the event- LB Stephone Anthony, Anson County....Anthony is already being mentioned as a strong candidate to be the state's top player and he did nothing to hurt those chances on Saturday.

Measuring in at a solid 6-2, 221 pounds, Anthony posted 40-yard dash times of 4.49 and 4.55 seconds. He also recorded a 33.2" vertical jump and 4.47-second pro shuttle.

In drills, Anthony showcased his fluid moves and ability to get out in space with much smaller players. Physically, he is somewhat reminiscent of former Crest LB Brandon Spikes but appears to be a touch more athletic. Florida holds an early lead for Anthony although NC State is still receiving some mention. However, unless something changes, it appears he will be a Gator before all is said and done.

Best linebacker not named Stephone Anthony
- Christian Russell, Hoke County...Russell had the look of a big time linebacker prospect and he backed up that appearance with a tremendous workout.

Checking in at 5-11, 221 pounds, Russell was chiseled but recorded very respectable 40-yard dash times of 4.63 and 4.65-seconds. He logged a 4.52-second pro shuttle and 30.7" vertical jump to go along with 25 reps of 185 pounds on the bench press.

In drills, he may not have been as smooth or athletic as Anthony but Russell was no slouch either. He may be best suited for middle linebacker but in any event, he'll be one of the state's top linebackers overall before all is said and done.

Russell recently visited NC State and the Pack is under consideration. However, he told us UNC is his leader. We doubt Russell will leave the state and his father lives in Raleigh so there are some factors that could benefit State but the Heels will be difficult to beat.

Speed on display
- RB Justus Pickett, Ardrey Kell...The times on the track at Butler were fast and one of the quickest was Pickett. At 5-9, 172 pounds he ran 4.32 and 4.41-second 40 yard dashes and a 4.25-second pro shuttle.

Although he lined up at running back, that may not be Pickett's best position. He has more of an "athlete" look and may be better suited at slot receiver or even defensive back. One thing is for sure- he's one of the state's fastest prospects for 2011 and finding a position will not be a problem.

On the recruiting front, Pickett visited State earlier in the spring and both the Pack and UNC are in the mix although neither has offered. The team he seemed to mention the most was Stanford so they may be a program to deal with down the road.

Other notes
Independence RB Nyjee Fleming has a solid workout, recording 4.49 and 4.57-second 40-yard dashes. At 5-8, 193 pounds, he is built like a fire hydrant but moves extremely well. He may be nearly maxed out physically but certainly has the look of a solid college prospect. State continues to be under consideration although Virginia is the solid leader.

DE Catrell Boyd is a virtual unknown on the recruiting trail but he certainly helped his cause in Charlotte. He was one of the top sleepers on hand and at 6-4, 222 pounds ran a 4.82-second 40-yard dash and logged a 30.7" vertical jump. Boyd's frame suggested he could add quite a bit of weight while his long arms are exactly what you look for in a defensive end.

S/WR Sherman Ragland from Southern Durham recently visited NC State and loves the Pack. However, an NC State offer likely won't be considered until he hits the Wolfpack's camp later in the summer. On Saturday he ran a respectable 4.51-second 40-yard dash after measuring in at 6-1, 180 pounds. He also logged a super vertical of 36.4" and had 19 reps on the bench press.

It would appear Maryland landed a nice catch with Parkwood's Marcus Leak. The speedy athlete had 40-yard dash times of 4.35 and 4.38-seconds.

NC State is poised to take a kicker in the class of 2011 and they may want to take a look at Crest's Trever Austin. He was the talk of the combine before the main event started after displaying a tremendous leg in the kicker workouts. He boomed several of his kickoffs into the end zone and averaged 43.8 yards on five punts. As a junior he was named all-conference after nailing 7 of 11 field goals on the season.

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