Senior Bowl: Wednesday's Top Five Performers

On a field full of stars, which five were the brightest? We have the answers in this exclusive. Topping the list? Auburn defensive lineman Antonio Coleman had one of several breakout performances.

Practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl continued on Wednesday, with the North and South teams practicing in full pads. Here are the five standouts:

Antonio Coleman, DE, Auburn: Coleman had been rather silent for the first two practices. Then came one three-play series of big plays. The first was a trick play in which running back Roy Upchurch took a toss to the right and tried to throw the ball back to the quarterback, who would then throw the ball downfield. Instead, Coleman camped out in front of the quarterback, and Upchurch wound up throwing a one-hopper that hit Coleman in the shin for a turnover. On the next play, a double-reverse, Coleman was waiting for receiver Joe Webb when he got the ball. And on the third, Coleman blew past left tackle Chris Scott for a sack.

Dexter McCluster, WR/RB, Mississippi: New position, same McCluster. McCluster, who had dominated at receiver the last two days, spent most of this practice at running back. McCluster is just so explosive, and when he burst through an opening on one play, the crowed let out a collective, "Ooooh!" Oh, and the 165-pound McCluster stopped 229-pound linebacker Darryl Sharpton in his tracks during a blitz drill. He's probably the best player on either team.

Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest: Ghee had sort of been lost in the shuffle, with both rosters featuring several NFL-caliber cornerbacks. This was Ghee's day to shine, though. During one-on-one coverage drills, Ghee broke up a deep ball to Mardy Gilyard and a slant to Gilyard, then he started a seven-on-seven passing period with another breakup.

Alex Carrington, DL, Arkansas State: A few days ago, the question was, "Who in the heck is No. 96?" The answer is Alex Carrington, a 6-foot-5, 284-pound defensive lineman. Arizona State guard Shawn Lauvao knows all about Carrington. During the one-on-one pass-rushing drill, Carrington won one snap handily and a second one by putting Lauvao on his backside. That play -- perhaps the biggest collision of the week -- got all of the defensive lineman hooting and hollering.

Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson: Cincinnati's Gilyard came with the accolades. McCluster has the rocket speed. But all Ford does is catch the ball -- again and again and again. At 5-foot-8 1/2, Ford is big time. He knows how to get open, he catches practically everything thrown his way and he makes things happen once he gets the ball. Two North cornerbacks called Ford the toughest matchup among the receivers.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at

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