Asheville Stars Set Pace at Combine

ASHEVILLE, N.C. --- For the second consecutive Shrine Bowl Combine, participants from the host school highlighted the event with their remarkable 40-yard dash times.

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    Once the running back group made it to Asheville (N.C.) Reynolds' track for the 40-yard dash Saturday afternoon, Darius Spencer and C.J. Davis put on a show.

    "They both are naturally fast," said Shane Law, Reynolds' head football coach. "The good lord has given them a lot of speed – they can just run. They both work real hard in the weight room – they're both real strong squatters – and that has a lot to do with it, too."

    On their first attempts, Spencer and Davis clocked times of 4.32 and 4.25 seconds, respectfully. The second time around, Davis somehow bettered his time with a 4.23 run, while Spencer ran a 4.33 time. An impromptu third timing was called and six stopwatches averaged Spencer at 4.40 seconds and Davis at 4.31 seconds.

    Not just track stars, Spencer's day also included a 37-inch vertical, a 4.27-second 20-yard shuttle on a gym floor, and 18 repetitions of 185 pounds. He measured in at 5-foot-9 ½ and 175 pounds.

    Davis, who is slightly smaller at 5-foot-8 ½ and 165 pounds, recorded a 4.15-second 20-yard shuttle, a 35.9-inch vertical, and 16 reps of 185 pounds.

    The duo's speed has naturally garnered the attention of college coaching staffs. While Spencer is the only one possessing scholarship offers (East Carolina and N.C. State), after Wednesday's unofficial visit to Chapel Hill, North Carolina could jump in the picture for both athletes.

    "We feel like that there's a good possibility that one or both of them may get an offer from [North] Carolina," said Laws. "I think what Carolina likes is their speed. They both run real well, they both play on defense, they both return kicks – so there's a lot of different places you can use them."

    Duane Maddox was one of the more heralded recruits in attendance. Despite playing inside for Shelby (N.C.) Crest, Maddox worked out with the outside linebackers/defensive ends.

    "I think I did pretty good today," said Maddox. "I did good in the forty – it was the fastest time out of any of the linebackers. And I had the second most reps [of 185 pounds] of the linebackers.

    "Other than that, I did my drills and stuff pretty good. The coach was impressed."

    At 6-foot-0 ½ and 219 pounds, Maddox clocked a 4.58-second 40-yard dash and rep'd 185 pounds 24 times. He also ran a 4.50-second shuttle and vertically jumped 28.1 inches.

    Maddox says his favoring the same three schools – Clemson, North Carolina, and N.C. State. However, he doesn't plan to make a final decision until Signing Day.

    A scheduling conflict prevented R.J. Mattes from attending the Shrine Bowl Combine held two weekends ago in Charlotte, which is much closer to his Concord home. Therefore, he attended Saturday's combine and showed during position oriented drills why he's considered by many to be the best offensive line prospect in the state.

    "There were some good athletes here – I'm not going to lie – but basically I thought I was up with the best of them," said Mattes.

    Mattes checked in at 6-foot-6 and 258 pounds, and then recorded a 5.09-second 40-yard dash, a 4.60-second 20-yard shuttle, and a 24.8-inch vertical jump. However, he skipped the bench press because of an injured wrist.

    "I was hoping to get a better time in the forty, but in the shuttle, that was the best time I've ever ran," said Mattes.

    Mattes, who is up to eight scholarship offers, has developed a list of favorites.

    "I have a top three right now, which is [North] Carolina, Clemson, and Virginia – no order," said Mattes. "I just visited Clemson this past week and I just feel comfortable down there. Carolina, I love Coach Butch Davis and all he's going to do up there and how he's going to turn that program around. And Virginia, I just have roots there and they've always been up there."

    Another offensive lineman who stood out in position work was Chad Harris, a 6-foot-3, 330-pound guard who is light on his feet, relatively speaking. However, outside of benching 185 pounds 24 times, the Brevard (N.C.) product had a mediocre day during combine drills (5.57-second 40-yard dash, 5.34-second 20-yard shuttle, and 19.4-inch vertical jump).

    Although the running back group was the smallest, it encompassed the most talent. In addition to Spencer and Davis, Ryan Black of Shelby (N.C.) Crest, Eric Breitenstein of Boone (N.C.) Watagua, Bobby Morrision of Statesville (N.C.) West Iredell, and Justin Wynn of Asheville (N.C.) Roberson all participated.

    At 5-foot-10 and 181 pounds, Black ran a 4.59-second 40-yard dash and a 4.29-second 20-yard shuttle. He also vertically jumped 32.3 inches and pushed 185 pounds 14 times.

    Although an Associated Press All-State defensive back, Breitenstein worked out with the running backs where he clocked a 4.49-second 40-yard dash and a 4.13-second 20-yard shuttle. The 5-foot-10, 208-pounder vertically jumped 27.8 inches and benched 185 pounds 14 times.

    Despite his short stature (5-foot7 ½ and 183 pounds), Morrison possesses a chiseled frame. He posted a 40-yard dash of 4.54 seconds, a 20-yard shuttle of 4.23 seconds, a vertical jump of 29 inches, and benched 185 pounds 21 times.

    Wynn checked in at 5-foot-9 and 179 pounds, and recorded a 32.7-inch vertical, a 4.35-second 20-yard shuttle, 22 repetitions of 185 pounds, and a 4.72-second 40-yard dash.

    Other prospects of note: Gosh Gossett, S, Roberson: 5'10", 188, 4.53 forty, 4.23 shuttle, 35.0 vertical, 30 reps…Alex Harrill, ILB, Cherryville: 6'0 1/2", 217., 4.65 forty, 4.31 shuttle, 27.3 vertical, 28 reps… Jamie Hatten, TE, Hendersonville: 6'4", 205., 4.60 forty, 4.56 shuttle, 31.0 vertical, 18 reps… Rahkeem Morgan, DB, Asheville: 6'0", 163, 4.51 shuttle, 26.5 vertical, 10 reps… Derrick Overholt, WR, Polk Co.: 6'2", 178, 4.63 forty, 4.58 shuttle, 28.3 vertical, 11 reps… and C.J. Wilson, WR, Lincolnton: 5'11", 170, 4.49 forty, 4.43 shuttle, 33.9 vertical, 14 reps.

    The Shrine Bowl Combine Tour will continue next weekend with a stop in Jamestown at Ragsdale High School.


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