Wideouts Dominate Durham Combine

DURHAM, N.C. --- The one-on-one passing drills are always one of the most exciting parts of a Scout.com All-American Combine, and Sunday's event on the Duke campus was no different. However, toss in some star quarterbacks and one of the better receiving units of the combine's tour, and special sparks will fly.

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    With the likes of Peter Lalich (Springfield, Va.), Tyrod Taylor (Hampton, Va.), Quan Sturdivant (Oakboro, N.C.), and Michael Johnson (Durham, N.C.) tossing out nice touch passes, the wide receivers were able to get the better of opposing defensive backs most of the afternoon.

    Jay Smith (Virginia Beach, Va.), who probably increased his recruiting stock more than any other, was one of the better receiving targets in attendance. He ran fluid routes with sharp cuts constantly leaving cornerbacks in the dust. Smith also clocked a 4.47-second 40-yard dash time.

    Mark Barnes (Columbia, S.C.) and North Carolina commit Dwight Jones (Burlington, N.C.) were right behind Smith production-wise during one-on-one drills. Barnes was one of the bigger "trash talkers," but definitely backed up the big game talk. Jones showed his ability to use his 6-foot-3, 203-pound frame to shield defenders from the ball and give quarterbacks a nice, big target.

    One of the few defensive backs who was able to slow some wideouts was South Carolina commit Gary Gray. While the other "name" players failed to match Gray's production, the unit received a shot in the arm from two sleeper prospects – Chris Culliver (Garner, N.C.), who ran the combine's best 40-yard dash time of 4.38 seconds, and Dominique Ellis (Wendell, N.C.).

    Fueled by Barnes' talk and the challenge he presents, Culliver battled the Scout.com four-star prospect for most of the afternoon in what turned out to be the best back-and-forth contest of the combine.

    Even with Quinton Richardson (Columbia S.C.) working out with the defensive linemen, the offensive line was arguably the second best group on hand. Landon Walker (Ronda, N.C.), William Alvarez (Woodbridge, Va.), Desmond Roberts (Gaston, N.C.), Micah Carter (Beckley, W.Va.), and rising junior Vinston Painter (Norfolk, Va.) all looked solid throughout the day.

    Along with Richardson, Cliff Matthews (Cheraw, S.C.), and Tydreke Powell (Ahoskie, N.C.) appeared to be the more gifted defensive lineman in attendance. Each showed they possessed the tools to play the position at the next level, with Matthews excelling in the speed department (4.67-second 40-yard dash), and Powell in power.

    As usual, Greg Little stole the show in the combine drills vertically jumping 40-inches, and broad jumping 10'1".

    Williamsburg (Va.) Jamestown High School's Clear twins, continued a sibling rivalry when Brandon barely edged out Byron in the 40-yard dash 4.56 seconds to 4.57.

    Scout.com's All-American tour continues April 15th in Atlanta on the campus of Georgia Tech.

    Stay tuned to InsideCarolina.com all week for position-by-position and UNC target performance numbers and breakdowns.

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