Sleeper Steals the Show at Combine

SNOW HILL, N.C. --- While Saturday's Shrine Bowl Combine was full of well publicized Tar Heel recruits, it was a "sleeper" that posted the top performance of the day.

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    William Brown, a quarterback from Snow Hill (N.C.) Greene Central, checked in at 6-foot-3 ¼ and 201 pounds and proceeded to post exceptional combine numbers in every event.

    After benching 185 pounds 13 times, Brown was timed at 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash and vertically jumped 33.6 inches. On a gym surface, Brown ran a 4.23-second 20-yard shuttle.

    Brown also worked out with the punters yielding one of the top averages of the day (42.2 yards) with a long of 45 yards.

    Last season, unforeseen circumstances forced Brown to play out of position at wide receiver, which is one of the major reasons he's lacked recruiting attention. However, Brown plans to attend plenty of camps this summer including East Carolina, North Carolina, and N.C. State.

    The biggest recruit on hand was Brandon Barnes. However, the Bunn (N.C.) athlete's participation was limited by a hamstring injury. Barnes, who measured in at 6-foot and 179 pounds, only participated in the vertical jump (34.3 inches) and bench press (16 reps of 185 pounds).

    Barnes continues to put together one of the most impressive scholarship offer lists in the nation.

    "My latest offers are USC, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Maryland," said Barnes. "It's crazy. I'm still shocked by my first offer."

    While he admits Auburn and Clemson are standing out slightly, Barnes is trying to remain "neutral" until the fall.

    A duo of linebackers – Reggie Bowens and Kevin Reddick – had arguably the best days of the better known participants.

    Bowens, an outside linebacker from Garner (N.C.), clocked a 4.42-second 40-yard dash time at 6-foot-2 and 214 pounds.

    "I've been practicing with my trainer," said Bowens. "A coach at my school trains me. We work on the forty and a lot of drills that get us prepared for combines."

    An ankle injury prevented Bowens from running the shuttle, but he recorded a 30.9-inch vertical jump and 18 bench reps of 185 pounds.

    Bowens holds scholarship offers from Clemson, East Carolina, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He says he likes all four schools equally.

    While slightly lighter than Bowens (6-foot-2 and 208 pounds), Reddick benched 185 pounds 21 times and ran impressive times in the 40-yard dash (4.50 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (4.27 seconds).

    "I got my forty right like I wanted to," said Reddick. "I did pretty good on my drills and all."

    Reddick, an inside linebacker from New Bern (N.C.), recently added a scholarship offer from Alabama, but says North Carolina – who has also offered – is still his leader.

    Another linebacker with Division I-A offers in attendance was Austin Johnson of Hickory (N.C.). The Tennessee pledge posted a 4.25-second 20-yard shuttle, 22 reps of 185 pounds, a 4.85-second 40-yard dash, and a 21.4-inch vertical.

    After measuring in at a towering 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds, Quinton Coples ran the 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds and the 20-yard shuttle in 4.52 seconds. He benched 185 pounds 13 times and vertically jump 29.1 inches.

    "I felt like I did good overall," said Coples. "I felt like I gave them something to look at, I feel like I stood out inside my position [group]."

    Coples, a defensive end from Kinston (N.C.), said he's up to 32 scholarship offers, but doesn't claim any favorites. He will start narrowing down his list of options after the summer.

    Bowen's teammate, Tony Morgan, came in at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, and clocked a 4.52-second 40-yard dash and a 4.66-second 20-yard shuttle. Morgan, who worked out with the defensive backs, also vertically jumped 27.7 inches and benched 185 pounds ten times.

    Per the request of the Shrine Bowl Coaching staff, Casey Barth attended his second Shrine Bowl Combine Saturday.

    Barth, a kicker from Wilmington (N.C.) Hoggard, took full advantage of his second chance by connecting on all nine field goal tires. Each kicker received three attempts (left, center, and right) at distances of 20, 30, and 40 yards. At the Matthews combine, Barth converted 5-of-9.

    While Barth improved on his Matthews combine punting average – 40 yards-per-punt - several other punters on hand posted better averages.

    John Reece posted the top punt average of the day -- 47.4 yards. The Raleigh (N.C.) Wakefield product averaged a hang time of 3.43 seconds.

    Other Players of Note: Jamar Branch, WR, Goldsboro: 6'4 ½" 185, 4.77 forty, 4.52 shuttle, 25.8 vertical, 11 reps… Brandon Chandler, S, Kernersville Glenn: 5'9", 181, 4.64 forty, 4.26 shuttle, 32.8 vertical, 21 reps… Anthony Council, RB, Goldsboro: 6'1 ½", 202, 4.72 forty, 4.29 shuttle, 33.5 vertical, 18 reps… Travis Daniels, RB, Washington: 5'10" 169, 4.60 forty, 4.75 shuttle, 32.8 vertical, 16 reps… Osmund Davis, DB, Durham Hillside: 5'8" 148, 4.40 forty, 4.36 shuttle, 37.3 vertical, 5 reps… Lamar Monger, DB, Ahoskie Hertford Co.: 5'11 ½", 176, 4.64 forty, 4.37 shuttle, 26.5 vertical, 9 reps… Malcolm Rook, DT, Greenville Rose: 6'1" 315, 5.46 forty, 5.04 shuttle, 20.9 vertical, 34 reps… Malone Silver, DB, Elizabeth City Northeastern: 5'10 ½", 163, 4.53 forty, 4.35 shuttle, 32.5 vertical, 18 reps… Cornelius Watkins, DE, Swansboro: 6'2", 212, 4.74 forty, 4.69 shuttle, 31.7 vertical, 28 reps.

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