As a top 10 linebacker in the nation coming out of Wilson High School Lawrence Timmons had his choice of schools to decide from. Timmons opted to head to Florida State to suit it up for Bobby Bowden's Seminoles. There Timmons utilized his speed and power and quickly ascended the ranks as one of the Seminoles' premier defensive standouts. This past season Timmons had 79 tackles, 19 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, and 2 blocked kicks.
Now at 6'3 232 pounds Timmons has decided to leave FSU early to make himself eligible for this year's draft. All indications point to Timmons being wise in his decision to leave early. Blessed with superb athleticism and the beneficiary of great coaching at FSU Timmons projects to go anywhere from 14th to 24th in the draft.
Sidney Rice had the big name and big game when it came to fans across the Palmetto State when he starred at Gaffney High School. Rice is a classic example of "you never know". Analysts missed the boat with Rice, he was the top WR in SC his senior year but nobody could have imagined that he'd have such a huge impact on the South Carolina Gamecock program as a redshirt freshman.
Rice was rated 3 stars as a senior at Gaffney High School. At 6'4 184 pounds soaking wet analysts just weren't ready to bump him up to elite status. Rice would be ranked the 40th best WR in the nation according to Scout.com but those in Gaffney and Rice himself knew better. The knocks were about his speed and route running ability.
Rice would let his play do the talking after he had to sit out as a redshirt in 2004. Sitting out the first game of the 2005 season Rice went on to one of the finest season's ever for Gamecock wide receivers catching 70 passes for 1143 yards and 13 touchdowns. With a season of stardom under his belt he would be the focus of opposing defenses in 2006 for Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks.
Rice started somewhat slowly but came on amassing 72 catches for 1090 yards and 10 touchdowns his sophomore year. After demonstrating his ability to make the big play throughout his career at USC Rice declared early for the draft. Amazingly those questions still came up concerning his speed after notching 22 touchdowns and over 2200+ yards in just two seasons of SEC action.
Rice obtained an agent and got to work so that NFL scouts would be satisfied with his speed. Game speed is what many saw of Rice during his career in Columbia but scouts wanted to see track speed that was comparable to that of top NFL wideouts to match his tremendous height, leaping ability, and athleticism.
With the NFL combine set to help decide his professional future Rice shined brightly there just as he did for Steve Spurrier in Columbia. Measuring 6'4 200 pounds Rice put on a show for scouts who had any questions regarding his speed and athleticism.
With a vertical of 39.5 inches Rice posted the 2nd highest recorded vert of any wide receiver who participated. Yet still the measurable everyone wanted to see concerning Rice was his time in the 40 yard dash. Always the gamer Rice came out and ran a strong 4.53 in the 40 to show scouts that he indeed did have plenty of speed to deem him worthy of a first round selection possibly.
SCPrepNation.com will have more on other prospects from the Palmetto State as the NFL draft will take place April 28th-29th.