Combine Returns To Charlotte

Three years ago, the first ever Combine took place in North Carolina as Duke University was the site for 150 of the top players in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Now in its fourth year, the combine series is now much larger with the addition of UnderArmour and the talent expected to attend mixes a solid combination of elite seniors and underclassmen for the UnderArmour/ Combine on Saturday morning at the home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers.

Quarterbacks on the list includes Donny McElveen, who is transferring to Summerville, S.C., to play for his grandfather John McKissick, but the biggest names could be several underclassmen to keep an eye on. Anthony Boone from Weddington and Anthony Carrothers from Independence could be major junior names for next year and Everett Golson and Robert Smith are a pair of super sophs in the Palmetto state that will be among the best in the country in a couple of years.

At running back, the biggest name could also be a junior as Marcus Lattimore, from Byrnes in South Carolina, could break the all-time rushing record in the state which is held by former number one running back Demetrius Summers. Fellow junior Kevin Parks is another elite running back and could be one of the top players in North Carolina next season. For this year, Damonte Terry showed at another combine recently that he has the moves to stick on the offensive side of the ball but he wants everyone to see it was not a one-time thing.

The receivers are a solid group, led by Ashbrook star Jheranie Boyd who is blowing up in recruiting and could be one of the early favorites for MVP on the day. He looks to be pushed by Ray Ray Davis from Sun Valley, Quan Rucker from West Iredell, Quintin Payton from T.L. Hanna, Kinsman Thomas from Marlboro County, Jamere Valentine from Myrtle Beach, and a pair of tight ends in Justice Cunningham from Central Pageland and Tucker Windle from Charlotte Catholic.

A pair of offensive linemen head the watch list as Xavier Nixon, the top prospect in North Carolina for this year and the top offensive tackle prospect in the country, will show what he can do against Robert Crisp, one of the early contenders for both honors in the class of 2010. Brandon Thomas from Dorman, Travis Bond from Bertie, Wesley Cook from Hendersonville, and super junior Eric Mack from Calhoun County are all hoping to show they are in that type of an elite group as well.

Going against those offensive linemen is one of the deepest groups in attendance with the defensive ends and tackles. Two of the biggest names to watch for are defensive ends from South Carolina in Malliciah Goodman from West Florence and Duane Chisolm from Beaufort, but the biggest surprise could come from Richland Northeast star Chris Bonds, who will be working out for the first time since knee injury cut his year short. If he is healthy, he could be one of the best at all positions on the day. Others that should make an impact include Jared McAdoo from Chapel Hill, Jonathan Brown from Battery Creek, and a set of juniors in Brandon Willis from Byrnes, Corey Miller from Byrnes, Gabe King from Page, and Aaron Cann from Bamberg-Ehrhardt.

The linebackers are not big in number, but each one of them is one of the top prospects in their respective states. Justin Dixon from Smithfield-Selma and Ricky Dowdy from High Point Central could have some extra attention coming in with two straight huge camp performances and could set the bar for the other linebackers as they want to show they should be up there with some of the other elite linebackers in the country. Other players that should feed off of that energy include Hawatha Bell from Butler, Tariq Edwards from Marlboro County, Jerel Miller from Northwestern, Justin Jackson from Richmond Senior, Brian Johnson from Myers Park, and junior Prince Shembo from Ardrey Kell.

Travelling combines defensive backs coach Don Cox is always one of the fan favorites to watch at the combine, and he will be fired up with an outstanding corps of athletes. Three of the major names could be safeties in Devonte Holloman from Independence, Damario Jeffery from Columbia, and junior DeAndre Hopkins from Daniel. Senior cornerbacks and safeties that could push for the all-combine team include Stephon Gilmore from South Pointe, D.J. Swearinger from Greenwood, Jocquin Smith from Hibriten, Chris Payne from Columbia, Justin Bright from Byrnes, Byron Best from Greenwood, Zach Greene from Leesville Road, Terry Shankle from South Stanly, Riyahd Richardson from Byrnes, and D.J. Bunn from Smithfield-Selma.

The combine gets started at 9 am and concludes at 1 pm, so stay tuned to for more tomorrow on the UnderArmour/ Combine in Charlotte.

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