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December 6, 2005

Commits impress at Hargrave combine

Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. was the scene for a major college combine on Monday that featured some of the top talent in the past two years from the high school ranks. College coaches from across the country made the trek to rural Virginia which included assistants from Connecticut to Southern Cal. In this installment, we'll focus on the committed players who were featured at the combine.

The biggest players figuratively and literally on display were three 2005 five-star prospects -- No. 4 Melvin Alaeze, No. 14 Callahan Bright and No. 24 Jerrell Powe -- all of them defensive linemen. Although the future Terp Alaeze didn't run the 40, he did tie for second out of all the prospects with an impressive 26 reps at 225 pounds and recorded a 34-inch vertical. Alaeze was also very trim at 6-foot-3 and 275 pounds and looked like he was in great shape.

Bright came out with a solid 22 reps and ran an impressive 5.03-second 40-yard dash and checked in at 6-foot-2 and 320 pounds. Bright is an absolute monster and will terrorize ACC opponents down the road.

Powe finished with a 5.03-second 40-yard dash, a 26-inch vertical and 19 bench reps. His speed and agility is amazing for a 360-pounder.

Powe's future Ole Miss teammate John Jerry showed up with a solid 5.1-second 40-yard dash and tied Alaeze on the day with 26 reps. And speaking of future teammates, another Terp commitment who performed well was Morgan Green who benched 225 pounds 12 times and ran an impressive 4.48-second 40.

Meanwhile, Bright's future Florida State teammates and fellow 2005 Rivals100 prospects Matt Hardrick and Justin Mincey were also on display. The 6-foot-5, 340-pound Hardrick recorded just 12 reps on the bench and a surprising 6.05-second 40, somewhat disappointing numbers overall when compared to the other big men, but still solid.

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Mincey came out with an impressive 4.7-second 40-yard dash and a solid 16 reps on the bench. Rumors have swirled recently that Mincey took an unofficial visit to Gainesville to see the Gators in the past month, but he assured Rivals that he actually didn't make the trip there and is still a solid Seminole commitment.

Speaking of linemen, North Carolina's Darrius Massenburg looked even thicker in person this time around (6-foot-4, 250 pounds following a full season) and ran a solid 4.74-second 40. He followed that up with a 33-inch vertical leap, but needs to increase his upper body strength (10 reps on the bench). A couple of offensive linemen, Tennessee's Darius Myers and Syracuse's Jonathan Meldrum also performed well. The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Myers ran a 5.26-second 40 and did 15 reps on the bench. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Meldrum ran an impressive 5.03-second 40. He added a 24-inch vertical and 16 bench reps.

Kentucky boasts a couple of commitments in running back Corey Goodson and tight end T.C. Drake. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Drake, who plans to be in Lexington in January, benched 10 reps and had a vertical of 32.5 inches. He also ran a solid a 4.7-second 40-yard dash. Goodson ran a 4.64-second 40, recorded 16 reps and a 34-inch vertical.

Speaking of running backs, Alabama's future star tailback Mike Ford showed why the Tide wanted him in their backfield this past season by running a 4.41-second 40-yard dash which was one the top times at the combine. He also added 14 reps on the bench and an impressive 37-inch vertical. Ford checked in at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds.

On the defensive side of the ball, a couple linebackers performed well. The Illini's 6-foot-1, 250-pounder Rahkeem Smith ran an impressive 4.67-second 40, added 13 reps on the bench and recorded a 37.5-inch vertical, which was one of the best at the combine. Meanwhile, Georgia's Darius Dewberry recorded just 8 reps on the bench, but followed that up with a solid 34-inch vertical and a stunning 4.48-second 40-yard dash. Dewberry checked in at a solid 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds and will be a stud for the Dawgs.

Finally, the defensive backs had solid outings. West Virginia's 5-foot-9, 170-pounder Ryan Brinson is hoping to prove to be the next Pac Man for the Mountaineers. He ran an impressive 4.48-second 40 and added 16 bench reps. Meanwhile, Mississippi State's Anthony Johnson tied for the second best 40 time at the combine with an eye-popping 4.35-second 40. He also added 18 bench reps, an impressive number for a 5-foot-10, 185-pounder. Last but not least was Rutgers safety Zaire Kitchen who ran a solid 4.51-second 40-yard dash had 17 bench reps and tied for the second best vertical with 39 inches.

Overall it was a solid day for the commitments at Hargrave Military Academy's combine.

Stay tuned for more in our second installment on the combine which will focus on the uncommitted players to see who stunned the coaches on hand and where everyone is looking.


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