Prep Standouts Attend Shrine Bowl Combine

A number of the top football prospects in the state of North Carolina were at Saturday's Shrine Bowl Combine in Jamestown. The combine, one of five Shrine Bowl Combines held in North Carolina, took place Saturday afternoon at Ragsdale High School.

The top player in the state of North Carolina, Demario Pressley, showed up and was impressive as always. Weighing in at 287 pounds and measuring 6'3 ½, Pressley ran an impressive 5.08 and 4.96 set of 40-yard dashes on a day in which most every prospect thought their times were slow. Pressley's best shuttle was in 4.53 seconds, a 30-inch vertical jump, and benched 225 pounds 14 times.

Pressley's head coach Victor Floyd, also in attendance, noted that Pressley has offers from many of the top schools in the nation and that Pressley would take his time. Meanwhile, teammate Jamaal Edwards, who was at a track meet Saturday, favors Florida State while another teammate, Martel Thatch, a prospect favoring Virginia, will commit early.

Starmount athlete James Houston's best 40 time was 4.6 Saturday. Houston, recruited as a defensive back by most colleges, also ran a 4.5 shuttle and recorded a vertical leap of 28 inches. Houston told DeaconSports that he was "pretty sure" he would attend Tennessee. Although there are conflicting reports as to whether or not Houston has an offer from Tennessee, he does claim an offer from the Volunteers but knows he must improve his academics to qualify under NCAA guidelines.

Another defensive back from the western part of the state attending Saturday's combine was Davie County's Billy Riddle. Being recruited by the likes of Wake Forest, UNC, Clemson, North Carolina, and Tennessee, Riddle impressed the combine coaches on Saturday. His fastest 40 time on Saturday was 4.59 seconds. Riddle also benched 205 16 times.

Host Ragsdale has three college prospects in the class of 2005 and another in the class of 2005. Jon Terry (left) was one of many impressive prospects. Terry, 6'3 ¼, 325 pounds, benched 225 pounds 20 times Saturday. Although his best 40 time was just 5.62, Terry ran faster than most linemen, and was especially fast for a linemen weighing 325 pounds. Terry listed a laundry list of schools including schools like Notre Dame that have shown early interest. Terry told TheInsiders last week that Wake Forest, Duke, and Vanderbilt had offered scholarships.

Wake Forest picked up a commitment from Ragsdale defensive end Brandon Drumgoole just one week ago. DeaconSports checked out Drumgoole at the combine and one thing is for certain – Drumgoole has some major athletic ability. Although light for a defensive end at just 202 pounds, Drumgoole, a 6'5 ½ rising senior, ran a best 40 of 4.7 with a 30-inch vertical. Wake Forest has one other early verbal commit to date, Charlotte's Jeremy Thompson, also a defensive end.

Two other prospects from Ragsdale were unable to attend due to a track meet. Safety Andreas Platt and rising junior running back Toney Baker both were unable to attend the event. However, we were told that Platt now has offers from two schools, Maryland and Duke. RB Toney Baker is expected to be the top running back in the high school class of 2005. Baker, a very strong athlete for his size, was competing in the shot put – yes, a running back competing in the shot put.

West Charlotte was well represented with a host of players including Rod Council (left) and Antwan Strong. The latter prospect, a wide receiver, ran a best 4.65 40 while Council impressed with a 4.5 40, 4.23 shuttle, a 31-inch vertical, and benched 205 pounds eleven times.

Other prospects we recorded photos of included Dan Lawrence, Brian Simmons, Andre Dunn, John McEachin, Tim Bess, and a prospect listed above, Antwan Strong.


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