Sims, Jackson highlight Dallas NFTC

DALLAS -- This has been one of the strongest NFTC events over the years, and the turnout for the Dallas NFTC was as impressive as we have seen in the last couple of classes, especially at the skill positions on both sides of the ball. The quarterbacks who competed the day before at the Elite 11 also returned to take part in individual drill work and one-on-one drills with the wide receivers and defensive backs.

The offensive line did not yield the sheer numbers but showcased Texas commit OT Marcus Hutchins (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) and Texas Tech commit OG Tony Morales (Arlington, Texas/Sam Houston). Tight end Chris Barnett (Euless, Texas/Trinity), an Oklahoma commit, looked fast and athletic and has a big frame with plenty of room to fill out. He is a bit straight-lined, but he has good feet and overall physical tools.

Here is a brief breakdown of who stood out. Many prospects on hand have already received several BCS and non-BCS level offers, but there were quite a few players on hand who should continue to see their stock rise as the spring evaluation period approaches.

Running backs

This position is loaded in Texas for the 2011 class, and many of the backs are similar in stature and athleticism. Plus, all of them looked great on the hoof -- well-defined, strong and explosive.

Herschel Sims (Abilene, Texas/Abilene)
The ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect is much more physically impressive in person. Sims is short but not small and carries much more bulk than you think. Displays balance and a good forward lean. Vision is one of his best traits, and he is decisive.

Kenny Williams (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson)
He is a slashing, explosive back who is a bit taller than he looks on tape. Has quick feet and is smooth through the hips. He's impressive physically with good muscle tone and the build to develop some power in time.

DeAndre Washington (Missouri, Texas/Thurgood Marshall)
He moves like a jackrabbit with a low center of gravity and terrific feet. Lacks great height but displays excellent agility and lateral change of direction. He gets from zero to 60 in a hurry.

Darrian Miller (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs)
He is built an awful lot like DeAndre Washington, and they are similar in many aspects physically. Miller can jump cut and is a decisive, cut-and-go type back.

(2012) Trey Williams (Saint Martinville, La./Saint Martinville)
You could argue he was as explosive as any back in attendance and can reach top speed rapidly. Should be one of his state's top-rated backs in 2012 and is built much like Kenny Williams. Plus, he should gain more bulk and strength, which would give him another dimension.

Danzel Williams (Arlington, Texas/James Martin)
He is a change-of-pace athlete reminiscent of last year's Brennan Clay. He is undersized and could be a scat back best on the perimeter and in space. He is explosive and speedy with nice vision.

Wide receivers

Texas has many big, good looking prospects who may lack great speed but offer strength and mismatch capabilities in the red zone. However, there was also a fair share of quick darters in attendance.

Cedric Gilbert (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster)
He is somewhat of an unknown but has shown flashes that his stock will rise quickly. He has a nice blend of size, surprising fluidity and strength. Gilbert could develop into an impressive red zone guy down the line.

Cameron White (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto)
He is steady and crisp overall. White has quick hands with the upside to develop into a receiver who can make plays in all three phases of the passing game.

Jonathon Lee (Allen, Texas/Allen)
He is smooth and sharp with terrific measurables and was consistent on the day. With added bulk he could really develop into a physical presence down the road.

Kameel Jackson (Arlington, Texas/Sam Houston)
He is a big kid who lacks great speed but is sneaky and shows glimpses that he possesses a bit of an ability to accelerate. He is relatively smooth for his size (6-foot, 195 pounds) and has big, strong hands.

(2012) Thomas Johnson (Dallas/Skyline)
He was arguably the fastest, most difficult receiver to handle in attendance and many feel he will be better than 2010 class WR Mike Davis. He is explosive, sudden, a heady route runner and terrific after the catch.

Jafus Gaines (Houston/Cesar E. Chavez)
He is deceptively fast and very good at lulling defensive backs to sleep before setting up double moves, which is how he is effective as a route runner in the intermediate zones. Good looking, wiry build.

Marquis Jackson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights)
He is a straight-line speed guy with terrific size and a sturdy build. He is also impressive physically in terms of speed and measurables but may not be a run-after-catch type receiver.

Christian Jones (Spring, Texas/Westfield)
The ESPNU 150 prospect may have had the best blend of size and speed at the event. He climbs the ladder, but when he reaches top speed he can track the deep ball and go get it. With development as a route runner, he has a high ceiling.


This was not a big group numbers-wise, but there were a few standouts and some who may end up becoming 'tweeners in a defensive end/linebacker role.

Anthony Wallace (Dallas/Skyline)
He is a physically imposing specimen who may end up growing into a 'tweener linebacker/defensive end. He is big, physical and can play high and is very active and physical.

Aaron Wallace Jr. (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo)
He is a great looking kid on the hoof -- rangy, athletic and can really run. He is tall and could end up being a guy who can possibly play on both the inside and outside and shows plenty of room for frame development.


This was a prominent position with good overall range, positional versatility and some cover corners. It was one of the better turnouts of defensive backs we have seen in a combine setting.

Kolby Griffin (Houston/Saint Pius X)
He is a smart and heady prospect who could play safety or corner. At the next level he is likely to be a fulltime safety and has a nice feel for coverage. He is physical and keeps the ball in front of him.

Josh Stewart (Denton, Texas/John H. Guyer)
He is a physical, in-your-face cornerback who may make the move to safety down the line. Stewart plays big and would be a nice fit in a heavy Cover 2 scheme.

Charles Jackson (Klein, Texas/Klein Collins)
He's a really impressive athlete who should see his stock rise through the spring evaluation period. The ESPNU 150 prospect can run, is physical and can match up thanks to his upper-body strength in a short area. He has real upside to be one of the better secondary players in the Southwest.

Josh Turner (Oklahoma City, Okla./Millwood)
He was arguably the best athlete of the group and was taller than we expected, which really ups his stock at corner. Turner worked out on defense and has great feet, hips and short-area burst. His ball skills and instincts are impressive. It is easy to see why he has garnered so much interest.

Lyndell Johnson (Plano, Texas/Plano East Sr.)
He looks like 2010 Florida signee Jonathan Dowling. Johnson is extremely tall and rangy with good top end speed and a fluid stride. He can cover a lot of ground as a high point or hash safety, and with time in the weight room his frame should fill out nicely. He is always going to be somewhat lean, but added strength will enhance his physicality.

Defensive linemen

This group had some prospects who looked terrific on the hoof and also performed well in one-on-one situations.

Marquel Bryant (Dallas/Skyline)
He has a chance to be an explosive but undersized DE/OLB 'tweener. He has long arms and can play with leverage because of his height. His wingspan and quick first step allow for him to keep bigger, stronger players off him in the pass rush.

Tylond Robertson (Hempstead, Texas/Hempstead)
He is another 'tweener type who displayed one of the quickest first steps of the group, and he too plays low and to his advantage. He has similar dimensions to Bryant and is extremely explosive off the ball.

Grady Ollison (Malvern, Ark./Malvern)
The 6-5, 275-pounder will likely make the move down to tackle, yet he is very athletic and can run pretty well. He must be conscious of his pad level, but he showed some hand placement and quickness off the ball for a big man.

Tom Luginbill is the national scouting director for ESPN Recruiting.