In between baseball and girls lacrosse games, I had the chance to check out a few football combines this past month. Emptying out the notepad, here are some leftover nuggets:
Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association Combine
Earlier this month, we checked in with several of the state's top prospects who were at the combine, including Xaverian's Maurice Hurst Jr., Mills/Hopedale's Jon Baker, and Dighton-Rehoboth's Chuddy Nwachukwu. Today, with new information, I'm bringing to light some new information about some players with hidden potential.
Athletic Standard CEO Thomas Newman passed along some information regarding the tests his company ran during the combine, pasted below. I've added each player's school in parentheses:
The following Athletes all tested in the 95th percentile in the nation for vertical jump (Horsepower and the first indicator of genetic potential):
Sean Antonuccio (Masconomet)
Junior Oyaronbi (St. Clement)
Frank Ansah (Worcester South)
Terrance Gibson (Taunton)
Berny Platel (Fitchburg)
Shaun Callahan (Norwood)
Nick Patten (Medford)
Sean Eldridge (Bristol-Plymouth)
Isaiah Douglas (Bishop Feehan)
Dominque Leite (Brockton)
Alex Jette (North Attleborough)
Babila Fonkem (Abington)
Elias Camacho (Canton)
Jamal Williams (Taunton)
Justin Mount (Westford)
Shadrach Abrokwah (St. John's of Shrewsbury)
Quron Wright (Holy Name)
Kevin Makie (Mansfield)
Kaylan Philbert-Richardson (Archbishop Williams)
Thomas Johnson (Pembroke)
Daniel Kegbeh (Holy Name)
Lateral Speed (huge component for separation or locking down on defense)
Jhalen Bien-Aime (Boston Latin)
4.218 - Laser pro agility
4.01 - Stop Watch Conversion time
Additionally, it should be noted this kid was so raw any speed coach will bring this down to a sub 4.0 pro or a 3.8 stopwatch time. Great kid by the way, real gentleman
Watch List (these kids have one standout feature):
Andrew Benson (East Bridgewater)
6-foot-1, 175 lbs.
Vertical - 27.75
Pro Agility - 4.421
It doesn't appear that he will grow much more but depending on his football skills this would be a solid pick.
Ricardo Calixte (Brockton)
5-foot-10-3/4, 198 lbs.
6-foot-4 wingspan nearly (this kid will grow over the summer)
Vertical - 28 inches - Normalized Index 406
Pro-Agility - 4.43 - Normalized Index 330
I would keep a close eye on him because if he gets any taller or heavier he will easily tip into the strong D1 prospect.
Calixte's story is an interesting one. He has the athletic frame and raw tools to be an impact on defense (he also ran a 4.75 second 40-yard dash), but has played sparingly to this point -- allegedly, he didn't suit up for Friday night games last season due to religious obligations. The only points to his name in last year's box scores is a two-point conversion run. Micah Morel is probably the Brockton prospect with the highest ceiling right now, but keep an eye on Calixte.
Impact Performance Football Combine
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Buzzards Bay, Mass.
Impact Performance Training owner Ross Jatkola put on his first combine on the turf at Mass. Maritime's Clean Harbors Stadium, attended primarily by athletes from the Cape Cod area.
Pound for pound, Dennis-Yarmouth was arguably the toughest team in the state last fall. The Dolphins' run to the Division 2A Super Bowl title this year, blowing out many of their opponents despite being routinely undersized (sometimes comically so), and everyone playing both ways, is testament to this. A lot of credit goes to Paul Funk and the remarkable building job he's done over the last decade to a program that won just six games in the 1990's. But credit also has to go to Jatkola, a D-Y grad and former University of Albany tight end who also works as the Dolphins' strength coach.
Cape Cod football is on the rise in Massachusetts -- a record five Cape teams made playoffs last year, with four of them winning Super Bowls -- and this was a good chance to see some of the rising stars in action. About three dozen competed, with Barnstable's Bryan Hardy winning the pro agility and Bourne's Josh Curry winning the 40-yard dash.
For the complete results CLICK HERE.
A few observations:
If I'm picking four quarterbacks for our preseason All-State team, Barnstable's Nick Peabody is probably on the list -- I would have said this in January. He has ideal quarterback size (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) puts a lot of zip on the ball, and has big-game experience (leading the Red Raiders to their first playoff appearance in 10 years). I know we have to take these things for what they're worth, but the way he threw the ball around in 7-on-7 drills reaffirmed my disposition. Saturday morning, he was putting the ball in tight spots all over the field, hitting teammates on 15-yard out patterns seemingly on a dime.
Linemen to watch
Two Class of 2013 linemen to keep an eye on are Barnstable's Tom Grimmer and D-Y's Joe Tyo. Grimmer is built low to the ground, going about 5-foot-11 and 250 pounds, but has good balance and posture. He won the bench press event, doing 26 repetitions at 185 pounds.
Tyo could be a late-bloomer. He's a raw prospect at 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, didn't start on the interior defensive line until Week 3 of the 2011 season, and needs to build more upper-body strength. His frame has yet to fill out. But he also ran a 4.9 second 40-yard dash, and demonstrated terrific footwork in pass-blocking drills.
Next In Line?
It's too early to predict the next Matt Montalto, D-Y's 2011 ESPN Boston All-Stater at quarterback who will be suiting up for Bentley University this fall. But when the time comes, his cousin, Michael Dunn, could fit the bill. The freshman won the vertical jump at 9 feet 3 inches, and I'm told he'll be used in an "athlete" slasher role going forward for the Dolphins.