Speedsters Shine in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE --- The Scout.com Combine brought in some of the top talent throughout the region to the practice fields of the Carolina Panthers. But, the threat of rough weather cut the event just short of the one-on-one drills.

Charles Whitlock (5'10.5" 172 lbs.) and Braden Hanson (6'5.5" 190 lbs.) came for the one-on-one drills and didn't participate in any testing drills.

"I'm just ready to get these one-on-ones," said Whitlock just before the rain clouds arrived. "There's no need [to participate in the testing]."

However, as the rain clouds rolled in and the lighting began to strike in the distance,

"I didn't do a whole lot," said Hanson. "I think I threw one slant, and then they called it because of the thunder storm."

A.C. Reynolds always has one of the top teams in the state of North Carolina, and the team speed was evident from two of the top overall performers on the day. Running back Darius Spencer (5-foot-9, 175 lbs.) posted a 4.37 forty, a 9-9 broad jump, and a 39.1 vertical jump on the day. Teammate C.J. Davis, (5-foot-8 ½, 183 lbs.) a cornerback not to be outdone by Spencer, ran one of the fastest forty times on the day at 4.30 and posted an impressive 9-11 on the broad jump.

The fastest forty on the day went to underclassman Larry Raper, a class of 2009 running back from Shelby, who ran a 4.31 into the wind a 4.24 with a slight breeze to his back. At 5-foot-10, and with room to grow, Raper should get plenty of attention when his time comes next year.

In this year's class, Lorenzo Williams currently holds just two offers, but with an incredible performance at the Scout.com Combine, his offer total should move up considerably. Measuring in at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, and playing cornerback in high school, Williams rattled off a 10-4 broad jump, a 4.43 forty, 4.37 in the short shuttle, and 36.7 inches in the vertical jump. With a great frame to add weight, Williams may be the top safety in the state of North Carolina this year.

One of the more interesting players came from Virginia in defensive tackle Bobby Massie who measured in at 6-6.5, 327 pounds and ran a 5.06 pro shuttle and 5.29 forty. However, just looking at his body he has a lot of room to lose some weight and will be a hot commodity the rest of this spring evaluation period.

Two of the top linebackers in the Carolinas squared off in testing as well with Kevin Reddick from New Bern and Jonathan Willard from Loris matching similar numbers. Reddick, measuring in at 6-1.5/208, and Willard, at 6-0.5/199, both ran sub-4.7 forties and 33 inches on their standing broad jump.

R.J. Mattes, easily one of the tallest players at the combine, measured in at 6-6 and 260 pounds, thirty-five more than he weighed in at the same combine last year. He also dazzled with some of his speed, especially in the shuttles where he flew to a 4.61 pro shuttle and an 8.00 second time in the three-cone.

Not to be outdone is a new player on the recruiting radar Andrew Wallace, an offensive lineman from Olympic who currently holds four offers including recent ones from Miami and Maryland. Once his film starts to circulate, Wallace could have as many offers as Mattes, who is well into the double-digit range. Coming in at 6-foot-5, 259 pounds he has a solid core to build on and that showed in many of the drills, highlighted by a surprising 4.76 time in the forty.

Chaz Washington hoped to outdo his times at the U.S. Army All-American combine in San Antonio, and he certainly did just that with a 9-4 broad jump, a 35.3 inch vertical, and a 4.34 second time in the short shuttle.

Washington's teammate from Richland Northeast Ker-sean Wilson, a rising sophomore quarterback, took over at quarterback late last season and showed glimpses of spectacular athleticism on the field. At 5-11, 176 pounds already, Wilson is one to remember for the future.

Ed Gainey's trip to Bank of America Stadium showed that he is one to remember right now. The Mount Tabor safety had one of the more impressive showings on the day coming in at 6-0, 174 pounds and posting some of the top numbers on the day including 4.34 forty, a 9-8 broad jump, a 37.7 vertical jump, and a 7.47 three cone shuttle.

Overall, though there was not enough time to really get a chance to capture the true football players in the one-on-ones, plenty of athletes still showed why they are among the best in the nation.

Other Players of Note: Nick Becton, OL, Wilmington (N.C.) New Hanover (6-5.5, 290 lbs., 8-2 broad, 27.5 vertical, 5.24 forty, 4.72 shuttle, 8.12 L-cone);Andrew Bodenhiemer, TE, Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth (6-1.5, 179 lbs., 8-8 broad, 29.7 vertical, 4.73 forty, 4.68 shuttle, 7.48 L-cone); William Brown, QB, Snow Hill (N.C.) Greene Central (6-2, 204 lbs., 9-2.5 broad, 35.1 vertical, 4.51 forty, 4.34 shuttle, 7.34 L-cone); Travis Leggett, RB, Cerro Gordo (N.C.) West Columbus (5-11, 199 lbs., 9-6 broad, 31.7 vertical, 4.67 forty, 7.93 L-cone); and Tony Morgan, DB, Garner (N.C.) (5-11.5, 192 lbs., 8-10 broad, 28.3 vertical, 4.47 forty, 4.84 shuttle, 7.88 L-cone).


Inside Carolina Top Stories