Launches Combines

Information on football's class of 2006 is now exclusively available from The network kicked off its 12-stop All-American Combine tour this past Sunday in Durham, N.C. Here's the first report. Next up --- Jacksonville, Fla.

DURHAM, N.C. - As the Carolina sun beat down upon the Duke practice field last Sunday, many of the mid-Atlantic's best players arrived to open eyes, work hard, and show they were the best of the best. Among the many participants, wide receiver Christopher Bell of Norfolk (Va.) Granby shined during the first of's All-American Combine series.

After receiving times of 4.56 seconds in the forty-yard dash, 4.15 seconds in the twenty-yard shuttle, and 7.02 seconds in the L-cone drill, Bell seemed like a man among boys during one-on-one passing drills. The potential All-American used his 6-foot-2½, 203-pound frame to shield defenders, while using his powerful hands to pull passes out of the air. He simply looks the part of a dominating wide receiver at the next level.

The other stops in the All-American Combine tour are:

Jacksonville, Fla., April 17
Champaign, Ill., April 23
Auburn, Ala., April 30
Starkville, Miss., May 1
Elite College Combine, N.J., May 4
Tampa, Fla., May 7
Los Angeles, Calif., May 14
Berkeley, Calif., May 15
New Orleans, La., May 21
Waco, Texas, May 22
Akron, Ohio, May 28 is the exclusive selection and online sponsor of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and Combine.

"The opportunity to mix a universal testing team with the biggest and most far-reaching recruiting network are what makes this series unique," said Scott Kennedy,'s combines director. "Most camps do not release the results publicly, because they are interested in selling the results to college as part of a recruiting service and package. We are interested in seeing the best players and making sure the world knows about them The results from our camps will be made public within 72 hours of the camps' completion. That in itself is unique. Accurate, universal testing with the desire to let the world know about the student athlete without witholding the results for a paying college audience."

Kennedy oversees a group, that will attend all the Network's combines, including recruiting experts Miller Safrit, Bob Lichtenfels and Ryan Jordan, a representative from Competitive Edge Sports and Rance Gillespie, head coach at Peach County (Ga.) High School who will serve as the combines' quarterbacks coach.

"When coaches look at a camp, they're going to know the results are legit," Kennedy said. "We time players individually and accurately. Competitive Edge Sports is the leader in training athletes for the next level of competition with clients such as Brian Urlacher, Boss and Champ Bailey, and more recently Mike Williams. They will be giving brief instructions and tips on stretching, form, and technique for drills that players will see at subsequent college camps. is the leader in online scouting, and players will get a chance to get in front of the team which represents media outlets across the country including Fox Sports, Yahoo, and"

At Duke, only three participants posted forty-times better then Bell – wide receiver Bobby Hatchell of Jacksonville (N.C.) whose 4.45 forty time was run without shoes, wide receiver Brandon Brooks of Garner (N.C.) 4.45 seconds, and tailback Johnny White of Asheville (N.C.) 4.53 seconds.

Amazingly, Brooks, a 5-foot-6 ½, 139 pound waterbug, also recorded the combine's best twenty-yard shuttle (3.95 seconds) and L-cone drill times (6.93 seconds).

Running back Devon Moore of Hillsborough (N.C.) Cedar Ridge also had a solid outing. Moore ran a 4.59-second forty-yard dash, a 4.16-second twenty-yard shuttle, a 36-inch vertical jump, and a combine best 118-inch broad jump. He nearly bested 130 inches but fell back, hurting his score.

In the vertical jump, Deunta Williams (right) of Jacksonville (N.C.) White Oak ignored a bad hamstring and leaped 41 inches – the combine's top mark and worked out well as a wide receiver during the workout portion of the combine. Ben Jenkins of Raleigh Ravenscroft was the only other recruit to break the 40 inch mark.

With the testing completed, the real work began in the one-on-one drills, and a new star was born in DeKoda Watson from South Aiken (S.C.). Watson, who posted 18 sacks as a junior, showed that his 6-foot-2, 209 pound frame has the potential to become a dominating pass rushing linebacker. He beat every offensive linemen he went up against, including another potential All-American in Carl Johnson (one of the battles is to the left), who still showed throughout the day that he is a huge man with great wheels and maintains good contact.

Quarterback Daniel Barton may not get all the numbers and accolades while splitting time in the Byrnes (S.C.) offense, but he showed that his arm is solid and he can spin the ball very well. Helping to lead his Rebel team to their third state championship, Barton knows how to lead, and he led the one-on-one drills by placing the ball very well on nearly every throw.

"What are we looking for in the measurements?" Kennedy said. "The ‘Enough' factor. Is he big enough, fast enough, quick enough, explosive enough for the Division 1 level. If the answer is yes, we will further evaluate them through film and game observation. As an official selection partner of the US Army All-American Bowl, we also feel it's important to interact with the players and see how they interact with one another. Character is a big factor in becoming a US Army All-American, and film doesn't tell you the same things that looking a player in the eye does."

Overall, the players at the first stop in the All-American Combine tour showed that it has the take to play with the best. Several known commodities continued to impress while still other new commodities entered the recruiting world as a hot target under the Carolina sun.

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