Furthermore, the talent level was significantly higher. At least ten participants report Division I-A scholarship offers – that exceeds the three previous Shrine Bowl Combines combined.
After less than ideal weather conditions during the three prior Shrine Bowl Combines, the weather couldn't have been better on Saturday. The temperature was in the low 70s with a slight, sporadic breeze and plenty of sunshine.
Like the previous three Shrine Bowl Combines, Saturday's event included the 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, bench reps of 185 pounds, and position-specific drills. Unlike the preceding three, Saturday's combine included the broad jump in place of the vertical jump. The 40-yard dash was conducted on Riverside's old, concrete-like track, which made traction for several participants difficult. The 20-yard shuttle was run in the gym.
On what many perceived to be a slow track, Gurley ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 and 4.45 seconds. His first time was the day's fastest. He also managed to score the day's fastest time in the 20-yard shuttle (4.06 seconds). Even more impressive is that he ran those times at 6-foot-1 and 192 pounds.
"It was my first combine, but my coach has us do drills like this at school," Gurley said. "It was good to see what I could do for the first time. Next time, I'll be more prepared."
Gurley also broad jumped 10 feet and benched 185 pounds 12 times.
If there was a negative in his performance, Gurley, who worked out at running back, didn't seem as quick and fluid throughout cutting drills during the position-specific portion.
Recently, Gurley added a scholarship offer from Notre Dame. He also holds offers from Duke, East Carolina, North Carolina, and NC State.
Gurley, who is unsure when he will make a verbal commitment, says UNC has a "slight" lead with Duke and NC State close behind.
"It's not a big lead," Gurley said. "It's just my relationship with the coaches. I'm also starting to get a relationship with NC State's running backs coach, [Everette Sands]. Basically, I'm trying to talk to the people that are going to be coaching me – I'm just trying to get a relationship with them."
Patterson, who checked in at 6-foot-4 and 309 pounds, had the combine's most bench reps of 185 pounds (38 reps). The defensive tackle also clocked a 5.25-second 40-yard dash and 4.94-second 20-yard shuttle.
"Today exposed some of my weaknesses and showed some of my strengths," Patterson said. "By exposing some of my weaknesses, I can go back to school and Coach [Russell] Weinstein and I can work on them. I feel like my lateral movement, keeping my knees under me, and my balance [needs improvement]. I feel like my strength is a strength, but I can always get better."
Patterson has been verbally committed to UNC for nearly a month now.
"It feels pretty good to actually know where I'm going," Patterson said.
With that, Patterson said he's been working on recruiting for UNC. Among his targets are Gurley and K'Hadree Hooker.
Leland (N.C.) North Brunswick
At an impressive looking 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Rayner ran a 4.66-second 40-yard dash and 4.53-second 20-yard shuttle, broad jumped 8-foot-2, and benched 185 pounds 28 times.
"I did pretty well today," Rayner said. "I did well on the bench.
"I could have done better in the forty, but the track [lacked traction]. I've done better [than 4.66 seconds]. I couldn't grip the track. When I turned over, I slipped a lot."
Rayner's scholarship offer list remains unchanged – Clemson, Duke, and East Carolina – but several schools have visited or plan to visit his high school, including Duke, Maryland, UNC, NC State, and Virginia Tech.
Rayner, who has visited Duke and NC State, has been invited to UNC by the coaching staff at least twice.
"I wasn't planning on [visiting UNC]," Rayner said. "They've put a lot of people in the NFL, so I'll take another look."
Rayner says Duke is his favorite, primarily due its heavy recruiting efforts.
Morrisville (N.C.) Panther Creek
After checking in at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Beilinson ran the 40-yard dash in 5.02 seconds and the 20-yard shuttle in 4.40 seconds, broad jumped nine feet, and benched 185 pounds 12 times.
"Everything besides the forty went pretty well," Beilinson said. "I was pretty happy about my broad jump. I did well in the shuttle, although I could have done better because I slipped. On the bench I did alright – I could have done a little better, but I was feeling a little tight. Overall, I would say it was a pretty good performance for me today."
Arizona State, Duke, East Carolina, Indiana, NC State, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest have offered Beilinson, while Miami informed his head football coach they are about to offer. UNC is also close to offering the tight end.
"It seems like [UNC] will offer," Beilinson said. "I can't guarantee that, obviously. They probably want to have me come down to their summer camp to evaluate me some more."
Beilinson is considering camping at UNC, as well as Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Miami, NC State, and Wake Forest.
Duke and NC State have emerged as Beilinson's "top two" schools, with Miami and Wake Forest closely following.
"Both [Duke and NC State] have great educations, especially for the major I plan on doing – engineering or at least something math related," Beilinson said. "And they both have great coaching staffs that are great people."
Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic
Harrell made the long trek from Charlotte to participate in the combine. The offensive lineman measured in at 6-foot-5 and 267 pounds and registered a 5.67-second 40-yard dash, 4.72-second 20-yard shuttle, and 18 reps of 185 pounds.
"I think all the events I did well, except for the forty," Harrell said. "Everyone complained about the conditions [of the track], so what can you do? I did my best."
With the recent addition of South Carolina, Harrell's scholarship offer list is up to 17.
Harrell, who aims to verbally committing before his football season, plans on narrowing his focus to five or six schools within the next couple of weeks.
"In my head, I have a few schools [that will make the list], but I'm not ready to release that yet," Harrell said. "At this point, all the schools I'm looking hard at have good academics, as well as good football. Now, I'm looking for what school I fit into the best, as far as relationships with coaches and players go, and where I'm going to feel the most comfortable at the end of the day."
Extra Notes: Chris Mangus (RB, Raleigh (N.C.) Broughton) skipped most of the combine events because of a pulled hamstring. Wake Forest offered him Friday bringing his total to seven… Dre Scarbrough (DE, Beulaville (N.C.) East Duplin) recently verbally committed to East Carolina… Matthew Fuhr (LB, Creedmoor (N.C.) South Granville) had the day's best performance at long snapper. He averaged 0.88 seconds on five long snaps with three "A" grades.
Full Results of Players of Note
|A.J. Alston||S||Roanoke Rapids||6-2||187||4.56||4.23||9-9||12|
|Daniel Beilinson||TE||Morrisville Panther Creek||6-5||230||5.02||4.40||9-0||12|
|Matt Boswell||OT||Southern Nash||6-6||310||5.47||5.41||6-1||10|
|Donald Brinkley||OT||Greenville Rose||6-4||286||5.39||5.19||8-0||16|
|Taylor Buffkin||S||West Brunswick||6-1||171||4.67||4.29||9-2||14|
|Tracey Coppedge||RB||Southern Nash||5-8||159||4.59||4.22||9-4||14|
|Angelo Crawford||RB||Gastonia Ashbrook||5-7||156||4.47||4.33||9-6||10|
|Chris Crumity||WR||South Johnston||5-11||197||4.67||4.15||9-6||20|
|Rodquiz Greene||ILB||Rocky Mount||6-0||211||4.48||4.07||9-5||18|
|Mark Harrell||OT||Charlotte Catholic||6-5||267||5.67||4.72||8-1||18|
|Marcus Hicks||OLB||Southern Nash||6-1||193||4.54||4.41||9-5||13|
|K'Hadree Hooker||DT||South Lenoir||6-1||295||5.11||4.67||7-10||30|
|Chris Mangus||RB||Raleigh Broughton||5-11||173||DNP||DNP||DNP||13|
|Corey Mitchell||RB||Jacksonville Northside||6-0||193||4.67||4.49||9-8||13|
|Clinton Morning||DE||Rocky Mount||6-6||213||5.08||4.53||8-11||13|
|Tyler Norvell||TE||Jacksonville White Oak||6-5||230||5.06||5.37||8-4||13|
|Devin Oliver||RB||North Duplin||5-8||167||4.44||4.12||10-3||15|
|J.J. Patterson||DT||Roanoke Rapids||6-4||309||5.25||4.94||8-2||38|
|Keilin Rayner||ILB||North Brunswick||6-3||220||4.66||4.53||8-2||28|
|Anthony Rook||TE||Greenville Rose||6-3||221||4.88||4.74||8-5||20|
|M.J. Salahuddin||S||Fayetteville Britt||6-1||194||4.83||4.43||8-11||16|
|Dre Scarbrough||DE||East Duplin||6-0||224||4.74||4.48||8-10||26|
|Josh Sessoms||S||Southern Nash||6-2||181||4.88||4.53||9-0||6|
|Cody Smith||OT||Jacksonville White Oak||6-4||307||5.84||5.06||6-4||19|
|Shane Smith||CB||West Johnston||5-10||183||4.53||4.06||DNP||17|
|Rontonio Stanley||RB||South Columbus||5-8||173||4.50||4.23||9-1||19|
|Mike Warren||DE||Jacksonville White Oak||6-4||222||5.10||4.63||7-9||12|
|Joe Wright||DE||Greenville Rose||6-6||228||5.06||4.58||8-11||12|