Here is a rundown of some of the top defensive performers from the Elite Football Combine held at Rams Park last Saturday. There were a good number of talented underclassmen among those who came and participated at the event put on by Elite Football Academy and the St. Louis Rams.
2014 DE Rennell Wren 6'5" 220 came in and stood out with his testing numbers at the combine. I had watched Wren play as a sophomore and saw some of the athleticism he displayed at the combine on the football field. Wren had focused on basketball mostly to this point. It is obvious his future is on the football field after he ran a 4.8 forty, vertical jumped 34 inches and showed his quickness and athleticism with a 4.5 pro-agility and 7.2 L-Cone. Wren is still a little raw on the football field, but he displays some great potential.
DeSmet 2013 DE/LB Donnie White 6'3" 220 had a really good day in the 1 on 1's and showed why he is getting D1 attention from schools with his ability to rush the QB off the edge. Donnie showed good athleticism and explosion rushing the QB and you could tell he has been spending some quality time in the weight room as he pushed 225lbs 10 times during the bench.
Donnie's "little" brother is a player to keep an eye on over the next couple of years. The younger White is a 6'3" 331 defensive tackle who is very raw but moves really well for his size. He competed hard and was a handful for the offensive linemen there in the 1 on 1's.
Another 2014 DT who had a good day was CBC's Brian Wallace who measured in at 6'5"1/4 and 291lbs on the day. Wallace attended last year's Show-Me Combine, and while he impressed with his size at that time, he has shown a vast improvement physically, and with his football skills. Wallace ran a 5.3 forty and vertical jumped 25 inches, and the sophomore defensive lineman looked good in the 1 on 1's showing good explosion getting off the line and beating his opponent also using his size and strength. There is some talk that he may also play offensive line this coming season.
2013 lineman Max Sidney 6'8" 291 worked out at defensive line and did very well in the 1 on1's. Sidney is pretty raw and has focused on basketball for most of his high school career, but played varsity football this past season, mostly at offensive line. He is a massive individual how has some pretty good athleticism and needs to harness it and develop it.
2013 DT/OG Ryan Sinkler 6'2" 250 from Bishop Miege in Kansas stood out among his class showing good strength and competitiveness. Sinkler bench 225lbs 14 times and ran a 5.2 forty.
So did fellow 2013 DT Brandon Barton 6'0" 278 who benched 225lbs 11 time, ran a 5.3 forty and was very aggressive in the 1 on 1's.
2013 Lafayette DE John Voit 6'4" 215 is a real sleeper in the coming senior class. Voit has a great first step and comes off the edge in a hurry. He vertical jumped 33 inches ,ran a 4.9 forty and 4.4 pro agility while displaying a a great pass rush.
2014 DE Robert Lane 6'3" 230 looks like he is a good pass rusher in 1 on 1's and even worked out at linebacker. Lane has good speed and quickness, proved by his 4.3 pro agility, 28" vertical and 7.5 L-Cone.
Some other defensive lineman who impressed me on the day that I will focus more on in their position piece were Liberty 2014 DT Tyler Baker 6'2" 240, 2014 DT Justin Muehlheausler 6'5" 250, 2013 DE Jordan Lampe, 2014 DE Nick Turner DE Brandon Folk Parkway South and 2015 DE Ben Sinclair Raymore Peculiar.
A great group of linebackers showed up on the day led by 2013 standout Brandon Minor 6'2" 233lbs. Minor ran his usual 4.6 forty despite being almost 10 lbs heavier then last year, vertical jumped 32 inches, 4.5 and 72 in the pro agility and L-Cone, and lifted 225lbs 11 times. More importantly, Brandon stood out in the 1 on 1's covering running backs in pass defense and excelled. Brandon was both physical and was able to turn and run with all the backs on the day not giving up a single catch. He showed great hips and ability to change direction quickly along with his speed.
Kansas City Rockhurst 2013 LB Tony Lashley 6'2" 217 was not far behind. Lashley looks like he belongs being mentioned along with the other top linebackers in the state in his class. Rockhurst's star linebacker Michael Rose was at last year's combine, and Lashley tested better then Rose in some events. He showed good speed and agility. He was very physical and looked good playing pass defense, and was the strongest player on the day pushing 225lbs up 17 times.
Parkway South OLB Kellen Ash arrived late coming from church and still managed to have one of the better days among the participants. Ash, who led the St. Louis area with 19 sacks as a junior, ran a 4.5 forty, vertical jumped 32 and a half feet, ran a 4.3 pro agility and 7.0 flat L-Cone while broad jumping 9 feet. Ash might be better suited for safety at 6'2' 195 lbs. However, once he gets him a college weight room that could change. He has a bright future once he does focus on that.
Belleville (IL) West LB Pierre Tucker- Gee 6'2"205 is am impressive outside linebacker who tested among the best and looked very good in the 1 on 1's. Good speed, plays physical and vertical jumped 30 inches.
Francis Howell's Calvin Munson 6'2" 208 was very impressive on the day running a 4.69 forty, 4.4 pro agility, 7.1 L-Cone, vertical jumping 29 inches, broad jumping 9 feet and repping 185lbs 18 times. You can tell how he recorded 145 tackles as a junior. Munson is a real sleeper in the class.
2014 LB Bradley Ivey 6'2" 203 really stood out among the underclassmen at his position, despite the fact that he wasn't pleased with his performance. Ivey had a banner sophomore year for Bishop Miege and showed why with his 31 inch vertical jump, 4.3 pro agility and 6.8 L-Cone numbers showing very good athleticism. He also showed good speed and had a nice day in the 1 on 1's.
Other linebackers who caught my at the combine were Tulsa (OK) Central 2014 LB Zach Glazier, Belleville (IL) Althoff's Eric Furmanek, CBC 2013 LB Zach Turnure , 2014 LB Austin Miller Park Hill South, McCluer 2013 LB Berlin Holloman and 2015 linebackers CJ Donaldson Raymore Peculiar, Cole Sigmund MICDS and CBC's Alec Wardenburg.
Shawnee Mission (KS) West DB Kez Demby 5'11" 165 had a very impressive combine running a 4.6 and vertical jumping 35 and a half inches. He also ran a 4.2 pro agility and was one of the best defensive backs in the 1 on 1's.
Wayneville S Aren Martin 6'0" 185 had one of the better days on both offense and defense. Martin's 9 feet 10 inches in the borad jump was second only behind Corey Winfield's 10 feet 5 inches. The speedy Martin also hit 12 reps of 185 lbs. He uses his speed and athleticism well in coverage.
Shacquille Holley 6'0" 200 from Lafayette is an impressive looking safety prospect. Holley ran a 4.6, vertical jumped 33 and a half inches, 4.3 pro agility and sub-7 L-Cone, while broad jumping 9 feet and lifted 185lbs 12 times.
2014 Lindbergh standout Garrett Krueger 6'0" 176lbs was among the top underclassmen. Krueger, who has started on varsity in each of his first two years of high school also has potential on offense, but the speedy Krueger ran a 4.5 forty on the day along with vertical jumping 31' inches and running a 4.2 pro agility. Krueger is just a tenacious football player. He did the best job on the day of trying to stay with Corey Winfield in the 1 on 1's.
Some other standout from the defensive back position on the day were 2013 CBC DB Bert Birdsall, 2014 Park Hill Sout's Dylan Worth, 2013 Parkway South Terrell Bland, 2012 Hazelwood Central speedster Sean Willis, 2014 Gerald McBurrows Ft. Zumwalt South and 2015 standouts Jabari Butler DeSmet and Sam Frelich Chaminade.
Positional breakdowns will follow.