UA Los Angeles combine recap
Class of 2013 DB Johnny Johnson highlights combine with strong 40-yard dash time
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Eric Ogbogu has one of those unmistakable voices.
Most recognize him as Big E, the football player with the infamous menacing demeanor in the Under Armour commercials who typically bellows out: "We must protect this house!" Ogbogu was in rare form once again Sunday at the Under Armour Los Angeles combine at Santa Monica College.
One player in particular, Johnny Johnson (Fresno, Calif./San Joaquin Memorial), took Ogbogu's message seriously and ended up putting forth one of the more consistent all-around efforts over the course of the day-long festivities.
"An event like this means a whole lot to me; it's a chance to show what I've got in front of some pretty important people," Johnson said. "I've been pumped up ever since we got started."
Johnson was among the 220-plus players in attendance, and surprisingly enough the prospect from the 2013 recruiting class did an admirable job of separating himself from the others.
During the morning session, Johnson ran well in the 40-yard dash, finishing with a time of 4.65. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound defensive back held his own in numerous other drills, too.
In the afternoon practices, Johnson impressed many during the 7-on-7 game. In fact, he created quite a buzz among Under Armour coaches and former NFL veterans Elvis Grbac, Muhsin Muhammad, George Teague, Barry Foster, Kenard Lang and George Hagiman.
"It's important for me and the guys to give back," said Ogbogu, who played in the NFL for seven years. "We're giving these kids the tools and the knowledge to be successful down the road. The good thing is, there's some kids out here that are willing to listen and take the necessary steps to improve. That makes everything worthwhile for the players and the coaches. It's a win-win for all of us."
On the recruiting front, Johnson has been contacted by a number of FBS programs but doesn't have any scholarship offers at the present time.
"My goal is to work hard, stay motivated, and with all these pros out here, it's easy to stay motivated because they are pushing you to be the best you can be," Johnson said. "My mentality is that I'm the best player out here. If you don't think that way, you won't be successful."
In terms of high-profile signal-callers on the national level, there were not many of note in attendance at the combine. However, that doesn't mean the talent pool was overly thin.
Aaron Crone (Corona Calif./Roosevelt) was impressive from start to finish. The 5-11, 187-pound junior made good decisions and was as accurate as they come. Boise State, Fresno State, Iowa State and Nevada are among those who have expressed interest.
Running back by committee
There was a plethora of tailbacks on hand, and one of the more impressive ball carriers was Khalfani Muhammad (Sherman Oaks, Calif./ Notre Dame). A bit undersized at 5-6 and 155 pounds, he more than made up for his lack of height with great numbers in the various drills. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56, one of the better times on the day, and impressed with his 32-inch vertical.
Terence Babauta (Lompoc, Calif./Cabrillo), Aaron Brown (Lakewood, Calif./Mayfair), Anthony Charles (Los Angeles/ Verbum Dei) and Tyler Fox (Layton, Utah/Layton) also made sure to take advantage of their respective opportunities when each was called upon.
Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com.