Southern Nevada football combine review

I spent Friday night at the SNFCA Combine for I felt the combine was well run and efficient but seemed to lack enough attention on the skills-camp portion. This problem has already has been addressed for next year's combine which will be held in April while the skills-camp will be in May. Here are some players who made an impact at Friday's combine:

Here are some players who made an impact at yesterday's combine:

** QB/WR Devonte Christopher from Canyon Springs, who sports a very solid 3.7 GPA, had a very nice day in testing an, to my eyes, was every bit as athletic as teammate Juron Criner running two sub-4.7 40-yard dashes at 6-1 and 170 pounds. Christopher reportedly has received scholarship offers from Wyoming and Nebraska.

** DE/TE Charles Smith from Desert Pines High School who received an offer from SDSU on Thursday. At over 6-5 and 225 pounds, Smith is athletic, as evidenced by his 4.9 second 40-yard dashes, but he also has the frame to carry a lot more weight. If Smith can continue to get stronger, this young man will make a very solid impact wherever he decides to go to school.

** Preston Davis from Shadow Ridge continues to show that he is one of the top athletes in the valley. At 6-2 and 190 pounds, Davis logged in a 4.23 second short-shuttle while also recording a 9-8 broad jump. Davis has also had 19 bench reps of 185 pounds at previous combines. He is being heavily recruited on both sides of the ball and, with a 3.7 GPA, it appears he will have his options. Boise State and Utah have both said offers may be forthcoming.

** The top two RB backs in the Las Vegas area are Keola Antolin from Bishop Gorman and Michael Ball from Desert Pines. Both finished in the top-three in nearly every testing portion of the combine. These two young men are both great examples of football players who get it done in the classroom and on the field. This may be the first time in years that Las Vegas' top-two RB's will both qualify.

** LB Colin Shumate from Las Vegas High School is another top-notch student who works very hard both on and off the field. While the term "gym-rat" is often applied to basketball players who live and breathe their craft, I feel this could also apply for Shumate. At 6-1 and 223 pounds, Colin has one early offer from Colorado State with more certainly on the way.

** The top two offensive lineman in Las Vegas in my opinion are Robert Drye from Shadow Ridge and Alex Bair from Foothill. Both players stand 6-4 with Drye tipping the scales at 285 pounds and Bair weighing in at a very svelte 260. These two young men both ran their 40-yard dashes in the low 5.4 seconds and recorded bench reps in the upper-teens. Combine those numbers with sub-five second short shuttles and 8-foot broad jumps and you have two young offensive lineman who will both play at the major college level. Best stat yet, though, is that Drye carries a 4.5 GPA and Bair is said to be in the 4.0 range, as well.

** One player who has done a complete transformation from last season on the camp circuit is Chris Jones from Shadow Ridge High school. Standing 6-3 and weighing in around 185 pounds, Jones is a player who has started at QB, WR, CB and FS for the Mustangs. During last seasons combine circuit, Chris (who only stood 6-1 and weighed 170 pounds) was consistently recorded in the 4.8-4.9 second range in the 40-yard dash while only doing 4 to 5 reps of 185 pounds. The bigger and heavier Jones recorded a 4.67 second 40 yard dash and did 11 reps of 185 pounds.

Further proof of Jones' hard work is his improvement in the jumping drills. Last season Jones consistently recorded 25-inch vertical jumps while being recorded at the 32-inch range on many occasions this season. He also had top broad jumps of 9-foot-3 inches yesterday. Jones, the son of former UNLV and Long Beach Poly star Kirk Jones, is another solid student with a 3.5 GPA and is getting heavy interest from schools like Boise State (who has said they may offer Chris at DB) and Colorado.

** Another player who really stood out to me in the skills portion of the camp yesterday was LB Beau Orth from Bishop Gorman. While I haven't seen his testing numbers, Orth looked great catching the ball at the WR position yesterday. He is a tough kid who will get some looks before this season is over.

** Finally, I would like to give Western WR Phillip Payne some props. I am one of the guys who thought Payne would need a lot of work in the weight-room before he would get high-major looks at the WR position. While it may be true that he needs to get stronger, Payne is a player who plays strong and makes plays. He is fast enough as evidenced by his 4.67 40-yard dash but he simply knows how to play the game and is a great kid. He is another solid student with a 3.3 GPA. Look for Payne's recruitment to pick up shortly.

Editor's note: Terry Tarver is an assistant coach at Shadow Ridge High School.

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