December 4, 2007

Hargrave holds combine and winter workout

Hargrave combine gallery

CHATHAM, Va. - Hargrave Military Academy held a combine over the weekend and then had its annual winter workout on Monday. Numerous college coaches were in attendance for the workout, including representatives from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Auburn, LSU, Wake Forest, Cincinnati Mississippi State, Iowa State, Minnesota and many more. With all the colleges in attendance, plenty of players got noticed.

Leading the way is the nation's No. 1 prep school player according to, 6-foot-3, 210-pound wide receiver Deangelo Benton. Benton did not participate in the scrimmage, but did run in passing drills and there was no doubt he had what every college coach was looking for - speed and size. He posted huge numbers at the combine, including a 4.46-second 40 and 14 bench reps at 185 pounds.

A few notable prospects that didn't participate in the workout or combine included tight end Devonte Campbell, athlete D.J. Thomas and running back Enrique Davis. Big West Virginia running back commit Terrence Kerns didn't participate in the workouts, but did compete in the combine, running a 4.42-second 40 and a Hargrave-best 23 bench reps at 225 pounds.

Wide receiver Dwight Jones didn't participate in Monday's workout, but it's hard to overlook the North Carolina commitment's outstanding 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame. In the scrimmage portion of the workout, Jones didn't get the ball in his hands much, but he didn't give up on plays and was still blocking downfield.

Linemen Jermaine Johnson and Kerry Murphy came up big. The 6-foot-6, 330-pound Johnson, an Auburn commit, was every bit the as intimidating as expected. Johnson dominated the left tackle position, controlling some of the top ends including Quinton Coples and Leon Mackey.

Meanwhile, Murphy, an Alabama pledge, was just as big in his own right. At 6 feet 5, 325 pounds, he showed good aggression on the line and a quick first step.

Virginia Tech commitment Quillie Odom played big on the day. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder was a regular on numerous tackles and even showed the ability to get into the backfield in a hurry when necessary. Odom has terrific instincts.

North Carolina State offensive tackle Sam Jones is an impressive specimen. The 6-foot-6, 275-pounder played well in the scrimmage Monday, holding his ground and getting a solid push at times.

Cornerback Josh Pleasant posted a solid 4.45-second 40 in the combine and followed that up with solid coverage despite his undersized 5-foot-9, 170-pound frame. He made up for that by being quite physical at the line.

Rounding out the four-star prep recruits were West Virginia wide receiver Andrew Harris, cornerback Randez James, NC State defensive tackle Kyle Linney and linebacker Kent Walker.

Harris has a real nice frame at receiver at 6 feet 4 and 195 pounds. He didn't get the chance to go up for many catches, but showed good athleticism in the routes he ran.

As for James, he may be back on the market with the firing of Ted Roof at Duke. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder certainly caught the eye of recruiters, showing good coverage skills, particularly when he was matched up on a significantly bigger receiver. He didn't just step up in the workout, he also had a big combine over the weekend, posting a 4.38-second 40 as well as 12 185-pound bench reps.

Linney showed outstanding quickness, tenacity and an ability to make tackles in the open field on Monday. The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder did well in the combine too, posting a 4.75-second 40.

Walker had good instincts at linebacker. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder nearly had an interception in the practice.

Hargrave features two very talented high school seniors as well. Leading the way in that group is four-star defensive end Quinton Coples. Coples showed signs of being dominant off the edge, jumping into the backfield to get in on numerous tackles although he did struggle with bigger linemen when pass rushing. He ended every run play that went to his edge, stopping it for a loss. In the combine portion, Coples ran a terrific 4.65-second 40.

The other high school senior is three-star end Leon Mackey. He seemed to have a bit of trouble against some of the Hargrave Division I linemen like Jermaine Johnson, but showed good speed and was able to get in on numerous tackles. Mackey performed brilliantly in the combine recording a 4.7-second 40 and knocking out 14 225-pound bench reps.

A variety of three-star prospects had solid performances at Hargrave too. Maryland commit Zach Brown was one of those. A very quick linebacker, Brown posted a 4.39-second 40-yard dash and 13 bench reps at 225-pounds. In the practice, he showed a nose for the ball and was very tough.

In addition, defensive end Broderick Simpson played well. The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder provided a good rush from the outside and laid a couple nice hits in the scrimmage. Simpson showed solid speed, running an impressive 4.6-second 40.

Tight end J.T. Dixon put up impressive combine numbers with a 4.54-second 40 and 16 reps at 185 pounds on the bench for a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder. He ran well and has a nice frame, but is very thin.

Multiple players made their presence known to recruiters on Monday. One of those that stood out was 6-foot-0, 200-pound defensive back Rudy Wilson. Wilson laid big licks on several players in the practice. He also possesses impressive speed, running a 4.47-second 40.

Schools were also paying attention to big, 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. Wilkerson has a nice frame and showed solid speed running a 4.9-second 40.

Two other big winners on the day were wide receiver Dayon Arrington and defensive back Julian Whitehead. Both have good footwork and solid speed at 4.5 seconds in the 40.

The biggest sleeper though was 6-foot-5, 238-pound defensive lineman Kyle Kozak. He showed solid skills throughout the scrimmage, but had an outstanding combine registering a 4.5-second 40 and 16 bench reps at 225 pounds.

Brian Mohr contributed to this report.

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