"I think that those kids are just incredibly talented," said Mike Newsome, Butler's head football coach. "I think we had five kids that were there that deserve to be considered for the Shrine Bowl. I think they're all legit, home field or not – those kids are just good."
Spencer Adams, a safety prospect who measured in at 6-foot-1 and 174 pounds, led the way for Butler by having the best performance of the day.
"Just even watching him in warm-ups you can tell he is the best overall athlete in North Carolina," said Miller Safrit, Scout.com's regional recruiting analyst. "He's very fluid, very flexible, extremely fast and combining that with his height makes for a deadly combination from a prospect."
Adams practically torched Butler's track during 40-yard dash testing. After running an amazing 4.27-second time on his first try, Adams found a way to better that by clocking the combine's best time – 4.21 seconds. With six stopwatches on him, his third attempt was officially slated at 4.27 seconds.
"I have a background in track and field, so I felt like I had to come out here and perform on the forties – especially when I'm one of the top hurdlers in the nation," said Adams.
Additionally, Adams, who has scholarship offers from Clemson, Michigan, North Carolina, and South Carolina, vertically jumped 35.5 inches, ran a 4.21-second shuttle on a gym floor, and benched 185 pounds six times.
Another impressive 40-yard dash time came out of Rod Chisholm, who recently transferred from Charlotte (N.C.) West to Charlotte (N.C.) Independence. At 5-foot-7 ½ and 180.6 pounds, Chisholm recorded a 4.36-second time.
Chisholm, who is fielding interest from Clemson, North Carolina, and N.C. State, also clocked a 4.52-second 20-yard shuttle, benched 185 pounds 14 times, and vertically jumped 34.4 inches. Additionally, the tailback was among the more impressive prospects in position drills.
"Earlier this week, I had a track meet and chose not to run, so basically I prepared myself this whole week for today," said Chisholm. "I came out here and had outstanding results – way better than I expected."
Adams' secondary mate, Robert Blanton, didn't put up as remarkable combine times – but then again who did. However, he arguably looked the best in position oriented drills.
"I feel like I did the best [in DB drills]," said Blanton. "My footwork [is what makes me stand out]. I don't have the fastest 40-time, but I have the fastest feet out here. At DB, you're not going to be running forties all day; you've got to have some quick feet – that's what it comes down to."
Blanton's combine numbers weren't anything to frown upon. After checking in at 6-foot-0 ½ and 173 pounds, the cornerback ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash and a 4.61-second shuttle. He vertically jumped 32.8 inches and rep'd 185 pounds five times.
Considered to be one of the top prospects in the state, Blanton currently holds offers from Louisville, Michigan, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest. He claims no favorites.
Another Butler prospect that seemed to be tops during position oriented drills was Jacob Charest.
"Without a doubt, he really stood out head and shoulders above the rest," said Safrit. "He showed his arm strength which is one of his key aspects."
Charest, who holds offers from Louisville, N.C. State, and Vanderbilt, checked in at 6-foot-3 and 191.8 pounds and – for a pocket quarterback – had a solid combine performance. He recorded a 4.87-second 40-yard dash, a 4.35-second 20-yard shuttle, a 28.2-inch vertical, and four repetitions of 185 pounds.
Another solid prospect from the quarterback group – and a name to watch out for – was A.J. Blue of Dallas (N.C.) North Gaston. Similar to UNC signee Quan Sturdivant, Blue looked good in passing drills and displayed plenty of athleticism during combine testing.
After measuring in at 6-foot-1 and 198.2 pounds, Blue clocked a 4.62-second 40-yard dash and a 4.43-second 20-yard shuttle. He then vertically jumped 32.3 inches and benched 185 pounds 18 times.
Rounding out Butler's outstanding secondary was E.J. Whitley. Whitley continued the trend of forties under 4.5 seconds with times of 4.40 and 4.46. At 6-foot-0 ½ and 169.2 pounds, he also posted a 4.23-second 20-yard shuttle, a 31.2-inch vertical, and benched 185 pounds 9 times.
"I did alright [today]," said Whitley. "I need to get my bench press back. My footwork, I've been working a little bit on outside of school, so I think I did alright at that [during DB drills]."
Not surprisingly, Whitley also holds scholarship offers. East Carolina, Marshall, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and Virginia Tech have all offered.
Casey Barth, Wilmington (N.C.) Hoggard's kicker, drove nearly four hours to Matthews to show off his leg. Barth was the most consistent and had the combine's best punting average of 39.13 yards into the wind. He average 3.74 seconds of hang time-per-punt.
Despite tying for first out of six kickers, Barth didn't fair as well on field goals. He converted 5-of-9 attempts, missing a 20-, 30-, and two 40-yarders. Each kicker received three attempts (left, center, and right) at all three distances.
Other prospects of note: Gavin Gaston, OLB, West Charlotte: 5'9", 205.4., 4.49 forty, 4.64 shuttle, 37.4 vertical, 13 reps… Jordan Woods, OLB, Independence: 6'2", 210.8, 4.58 forty, 4.83 shuttle, 31.3 vertical, 19 reps… Lavadrick Farrar, OLB, Charlotte Vance: 6'0", 177.8, 4.35 forty, 4.33 shuttle, 36.3 vertical, 17 reps… Javon Rembert, WR, Independence: 5'7", 175.8, 4.62 forty, 4.63 shuttle, 31.7 vertical, 19 reps… Demery Brewer, WR, Lincolnton: 6'1", 180.8, 4.72 forty, 4.55 shuttle, 30.7 vertical, 15 reps… Andrew Wallace, OL, Charlotte Olympic: 6'5", 252.6, 4.82 forty, 4.87 shuttle, 24.1, 14 reps... Harrison Martin, OL, Charlotte East Mecklenburg: 6'5", 277.2, 5.31 forty, 5.16 shuttle, 25.8 vertical, 19 reps.
The Shrine Bowl Combine Tour will take a break next weekend for Easter, but will continue with a stop in Asheville the following weekend.