Inside Sparta observed many of the prospects run their respective one-on-one drills, and that counts for more then pure numbers. In this installment, we will first take a look at the offensive side of the ball.
First on the list is Cody Fajardo, the 6-foot-2 195-pound quarterback from Servite High School in Anaheim. His numbers on the drills compared to some of the other QBs were solid, but not spectacular. In watching him perform on the passing drills, he threw a nice accurate pass that had good strength behind it. There were a few balls thrown behind the receiver early on, but as he warmed up and got more comfortable he was on target more often then not. His short to mid-range balls seemed to be his best. When it came to deep posts and crosses, he was less effective.
Te Shon Burton of Leuzinger High School in Lawndale was another player that we were able to observe. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Burton has some room to fill out a bit but was one of the more consistent passers. Most of the other QBs struggled with their timing early on in the drills. The easiest way to describe Burton is he's a little unpolished. He looked a little awkward at times in his drop back and release but once the ball left his hands, it came out in a tight spiral. He seems to have a lot of upside with a strong arm but some of the short passes could have used a little more touch. One of the receivers seemed surprised at the speed and power behind one of the balls that came at him, but it was right on the money. The deep post and corner passes were for the most part, on the money.
Next on the list is running back.
One of the biggest names at the combine was James McConico of Compton High School. He seemed to draw a crowd at most of the drill stations - particularly in the one-on-ones. McConico was one of the first offers placed by Coach Tomey and his staff, and after watching him perform I can see why. His 5-foot-11, 194-pounds size coupled with being clocked in the 4.4 range in the 40-yard-dash, McConico would be one of the biggest gets for the Spartans in years. For a nice sized back, McConico moves like a 5-8 scat back, had great foot speed, and was also able to show some power. I don't see the Spartans landing McConico but for the program to move forward, the coaching staff needs to start offering this level of talent.
Continuing with the offense, Marcus Howard the 6-foot-2, 260-pound tight-end/defensive lineman of Inglewood High School, and recent recipient of a San Jose State offer, had a nice day as well. Howard showed good quickness in the agility drills and was clocked at 4.9 in the 40. Howard has a big frame and looks as if he will be able to handle more weight to help in whichever position the coaches look to play him. Howard prefers the offensive side of the ball and as noted in his interview with Inside Sparta, the coaches are leaning in that direction as well.
To finish off the offensive side of the ball, Shane Moniz of Canyon High School in Canyon Country (Calif.) may have had his stock rise with his effort at the combine. Moniz is not a big guy at 6-foot-2, 265-pounds with a 5.6 in the 40, but he looks like he has room to add a fair amount of lean muscle. What I liked about Moniz was his movement in the drills. He was quick in the shuttles and had good coordination. In the one-on-one drills, rarely did a defensive lineman get around him. He was able to adjust to moves the defensive linemen made and keep them in front of him. He did have one issue on a bull rush by a much larger player but I only saw that happen once. Moniz seems like the kind of player that former San Jose State Coaches Jack Elway and Claude Gilbert recruited in their day - an under sized player with decent foot work and decent speed. Moniz was a visitor to one of the SJSU spring practice sessions, and is interested in the Spartans.
Look for Inside Sparta's analysis of the defensive prospects from the LA Scout Combine in our next installment.
Phil Paulsen is the Football Editor of Inside Sparta. You may contact Phil with any questions, comments, or tips at email@example.com
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