It was an excellent
turnout, with over 300 prospects showing up to the Los Angeles Scout.com Combine
at the Home Depot Center Sunday. The level of talent was probably better than
any combine or camp this spring.
We'll go through it position by position.
Darrell Scott, the #1 running back in the country from Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure, had never participated in a camp or combine, but chose to attend. He showed up, measured and weighed (which we'll have for you a bit later), walked up to the 40-yard testing area, stripped down to his running pants, and promptly ran a 4.38. When the Scout.com personnel switched the 40 to run the opposite way, with the wind behind his back, he clocked a 4.32, and looked blazing ().
Scott then left the combine for the day. (A video interview with Scott is coming soon).
Covaghn Deboskie, from Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton, was just as impressive. He measured 5-11 1/2, and weighed 200 pounds, and ran a blazing 4.38 himself. He has a very well-built body, with thick, powerful thighs. In the drills, he looked explosive, and he was also very motivated to prove how good he was in various skills, hopping over to take a few reps at wide receiver also. The general consensus among the Scout.com personnel was that Deboskie was the combine's offensive MVP ( video interview with Deboskie is on the way).
Also looking good was Sierra Vista (Ariz.) Buena's Jamal Womble. Womble, we believe, ran around a 4.5 and looked powerfully built, with an ability to make quick cuts.
The Scout.com national guys, who have run each Scout.com combine, said that the L.A. combine had the most talent at quarterback.
It was very close to call among the senior-to-be quarterbacks in terms of who actually had the best day, and who is the best prospect.
Nick Crissman from Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison, measured at 6-3, and ran a 4.75 40, which is good for a drop-back quarterback of his size. He threw the ball well, showing good arm strength and accuracy.
Ryan Griffin, from West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade, who came in at 6-4, might have a more polished throwing motion than Crissman, but both delivered the ball on target Sunday.
Those were the two "bigger" quarterbacks that stood out.
The other two seniors that were in the top-flight category were Matt Scott from Corona (Calif.) Centennial and Ryan Katz from Santa Monica (Calif.) High. You might not find two high school quarterbacks who spin a ball better on the same field at the same time as these two. Scott has a flawless throwing motion, with the ball exploding out of his hand into a perfect spiral every time. Katz also has a great throwing motion and throws with pinpoint accuracy. Scott, who didn't throw for many yards as a junior because his team happens to have a pretty decent running back in Ryan Bass (who didn't attend the combine due to a minor injury) and the Centennial offense is geared to handing him the ball, has been offered by California and it's easy to see why. He's a bit smallish framed, but stands about 6-2. On top of throwing the ball with precision and power, he ran a 4.58 forty and registered a 34-inch vertical leap.
Katz is probably about 6-0 1/2, with somewhat slopping shoulders. Their
size is definitely what is keeping these two from having mountains of
scholarship offers, particularly Katz.
UCLA, as we know, has been showing interest in Crissman, Griffin and Katz, and had shown interest in Scott during last season. Scott said he attended a few UCLA games and, that while Cal has offered him, he'd really be interested in UCLA if the Bruins were mutually interested.
Also showing well was Encino (Calif.) Crespi's Kevin Prince, who looked to be about 6-2. He also had a good, compact throwing motion with good velocity.
Dominique Blackman from Carson (Calif.) High, looks like he's improved his mechanics, with his motion being shorter, not having to wind up as much as he used to. He's good sized at 6-4, but still pretty thick, at about 240 pounds, with fairly thick legs, which still makes you wonder if he's physically right to play quarterback.
Having a very good day was a familiar name, Tate Forcier, the younger brother of UCLA-committed senior quarterback Chris Forcier. Tate, from San Diego (Calif.) Scripps Ranch, has always probably had the best throwing motion among his brothers, and his arm has continued to gain strength. He truly has a cannon, and gets the ball off very quickly, throwing with very good accuracy. He's probably 6-1.
The consensus among the organizers/coaches at the camp was that UCLA-committed Kemonte Bateman was the best wide receiver on the day. Bateman stands about 5-11 and ran a 4.55 40. In the pattern, he looks quick and precise, and then has excellent hands. He was catching balls out of his reach like he had the proverbial glue on his palms.
USC commit Chris Polk from Redlands (Calif.) East Valley was also among the few best, looking bigger physically than we remembered.
Marvin Jones looked to be about 6-2, and the receiver prospect from Etiwanda (Calif.) High had a good day in the one on ones, beating his defender most of the time with good moves.
Kevan Walker, the son of UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker, looked solid in his moves and catch ability. Committed to Minnesota, UCLA just recently offered Walker. It was UCLA assistant coach Eric Scott that offered him, not his father.
UCLA-committed Antwon Moutra from Culver City didn't participate fully, having a few nicks that kept him out of most of the one-on-ones.
Austin Holt, the committed tight end from South Jordan (Utah) Bingham, was the consensus #1 tight end at the combine. Standing about 6-6, he moves really well for a kid his size, and has very good catching ability. We did a video interview with him about his growing interest in UCLA after visiting the Westwood campus Friday for the spring game.
Levin Toilolo, a junior-to-be tight end prospect from the alma mater of UCLA Head Coach Karl Dorrell, San Diego Helix, is someone to definitely know, with a combination of good size, quickness and pass-catching.
The OL might have been the weakest position at the combine, mostly because it could be the weakest postion in terms of talent in SoCal.
USC commit Matt Kalil was head and shoulders above the rest of the field, both literally and figuratively. He measured at about 6-8, and it's almost freakish how well he moves for someone that size. In the OL/DL one-on-ones, the d-linemen kept calling out Kalil to see how they could do against him, and it was only until he tired that anyone beat him.
Probably the second-best OL prospect was A.J. Wallerstein from Canyon Country (Calif.) Canyon, who looked put together well and had good agility. Two huge linemen that did well were Daniel Bernard from Colton (Calif.) High and Vaughn Dotsy from Ventura St. Bonaventure. Bernard easily weighed 320, and Dotsy weighed in at 355, both measuring 6-3. Both were amazingly agile for their girth. In fact, Dotsy ran an impressive 5.3 40, which is really getting a lot of humanity moving quickly.
An OL prospect to watch is junior Kevin Graf from Agoura (Calif.) High, who looked to be all of 6-6 and 280, at least.
The consensus best DL was UCLA-committed Damien Holmes, who we were told measured at 6-3 and weighed in at about 250. He was very difficult to block in the one-on-ones, and was very aggressive. At one point, the OLs were calling him out, and he responded, repeatedly beating guys who called him out. He has very good pass-rushing technique, with long arms and very good foot speed. When Holmes went up against Kalil, it truly was a battle of the best, with both getting each other on different reps.
Datone Jones, UCLA's other committed prospect from Compton (Calif.) High, looked good, but was limited by some small hamstring issues. You have to love him physically, though, looking about 6-4 and 240-ish, with long arms and a frame that could hold more weight easily.
Carlton Hudson, the defensive tackle from Crenshaw, was a senior last year, but it's claimed he's gained another year of eligibility and will repeat his senior year. He was among the best D-tackles, using his length to get space. One of the best physical specimens who also did well in the one-on-ones was Craig Noble, who looked to be about 6-4 and 290, from Woodland Hills Taft, who recently verbally committed to Washington.
Patrick Larimore told us he planned to commit to UCLA after he returned home from the Combine. Larimore looked good, and was generally considered among the best four linebackers in attendance, having a good combo of strength and mobility.
Many at the combine thought that Kurt Mangum, from Chandler Basha, was the best all-around backer. He looked to be about 6-0 and 225, and showed great quickness and instincts.
USC commit Maurice Simmons was among the best, running faster than previously believed he could.
It's going to be an interesting battle to determine who is the best cornerback in the west, Robert Golden from Fresno (Calif.) Edison, or UCLA commit, Anthony Dye, from Corona (Calif.) Santiago. Dye was considered the best cover corner at the Nike Camp last week, but his speed has always been a bit of a question. A question he answered Sunday when he clocked a 4.36 40. Golden looked just as good as Dye in the one-on-ones, and we believe ran in the 4.5s, but Golden is bigger physically.