La. prospects highlight UA Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Last year's Jacksonville Under Armour combine featured an eventual 2011 and 2012 Under Armour All-American. The combine tour rolled back into Jacksonville this year and while the field was not quite as strong as a year ago, it did feature some good prospects.
Two prospects in the camp came from Louisiana and made the trip worth their while with strong showings. Teammates Trevon Stewart and Jaydrick Declouet (Patterson, La./Patterson) started the day out testing well and then finished well in competitive drills. Stewart is listed as an athlete, but he worked out at corner and while he said he is receiving a little interest at receiver, the bulk of his interest is at corner and that looks to be a good fit for him. He has marginal height at 5-foot-11, but a fairly-thick and muscular build. Stewart is a bit quicker than fast and posted a good score in the three-cone drill, running an impressive 6.84. He is a competitive kid who can be physical with receivers and displays good hips and quick feet. Plus, he seems to work at his craft and is fairly sound in his technique for a prospect at his stage. Stewart said he has offers from Houston and Southern Miss and feels one could possibly be coming from LSU soon.
His teammate, Declouet, also claims offers from Houston and Southern Miss as well as UCF and North Texas. A slot receiver prospect, Declouet has adequate height and a bit of a slight build. He also displayed good agility and change of direction skills posting a 6.91 three-cone score and posted a good 40 time. He is a quick target with good hands and displayed the ability to quickly extend and snatch the ball out of the air. Both came to compete and displayed the tools to be productive college players if put into situations where they can play to their strengths.
Raphael Andrades (Tallahassee, Fla. / Lincoln) did not post a blazing 40 time that is ideal for a receiver, but when it came time to compete he displayed why test scores are just part of the equation. The receiver, who claims offers from Illinois and Stanford, has good size and possesses big hands that can almost engulf yours when you shake hands with him. Those big mitts present a nice target and he displayed the ability to extend and snatch the ball. He posted a 4.73 40 time and does need to work to improve his straight-line speed, but did post a strong 6.95 in the three-cone and in one-on-one's he ran good routes and looked smooth. Andrades has some things to work on, but also has some good tools. A program that looks at the whole picture when evaluating him could come away with a good and productive receiver.
Benjamin Knauf (Winter Haven, Fla./ Santa Fe Catholic) was the workout warrior of the combine testing very well. He has marginal height, but a thick and muscular build and posted a excellent 40 time of 4.33. He also posted a 7.01 in the three-cone, a 4.22 in the short shuttle, notched a 31.5-inch vertical and benched 185 pounds 20 times. He said he rushed for over 1,500 yards as a Wildcat quarterback last season, but worked out with the defensive backs at the combine. He said he has received some interest from the Naval Academy and Georgia Tech, but will need a good deal of work to make the transition. He has the athleticism, but was very cautious in his play. He is a bit of sleeper, but with his athleticism someone could be intrigued to take a chance on him as a running back or possibly take the time to develop him as a defensive back.
Jalen Spencer (Pensacola, Fla./Pensacola) plays quarterback for his high school, but his future in college is at another position. He said Southern Miss, who has offered, is interested in him at wide receiver, but everyone else is expressing interest in him as a defensive back. Spencer, who said he also has an offer from USF, came to the combine to get some work at DB and gauge a bit where he was because he has really no experience at the position. However, he has good size and seems like a potential good fit there. While he was a bit raw and a transition to the secondary will require some work, he certainly did flash some of the raw tools needed to make the move. He showed good feet and was comfortable when he could play and keep everything in front of him. He also flashed a physical side for a quarterback and used his reach well to jam receivers. Where Spencer will need work is in his ability to transition. He showed good agility in his testing, but looked very uncomfortable when he needed to open up quickly and tightly change directions. He will still play quarterback this season though he hopes to get some reps in the secondary as well. He will need work and time to develop, but displayed some upside as a defensive back.
Future Tar Heels LB Shakeel Rashad (Jacksonville, Fla./ Episcopal) has good size. The ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect is high-waisted and long-limbed. He displayed a physical nature in one-on-one's using his reach to jam and knock running backs off their feet. In coverage during 7-on-7 he was vocal, communicated well and seems to strive to do the little things right. He could have some limitations in coverage if asked to lock up in man-to-man, but could be solid in zone and tough against the run. We need to do some film study of Rashad, but he displays the tools to be a good football player and also exhibited some positive intangible attributes.
One QB to watch
It is not a strong year for quarterbacks in the Sunshine State, but one who displayed some promise was Ronald Butler (Tallahassee, Fla. / Lincoln). He is tall, very lean, rangy and needs to add size, but throughout drills he consistently threw a pretty ball and displayed good accuracy. He has no offers and programs like Boise State and Iowa State are showing interest in him as a quarterback. He needs to work to physically develop and a move to another position is a possibility. He said USF is looking at him as a defensive back, but he displayed some flashes at quarterback and is a bit intriguing.
• Abe Coleman (Miami, Fla./ Hallandale) has some solid ability as a quarterback, but possesses marginal height and is someone we believe would benefit at the next level with a move to another position.
• One impressive feat at the combine was that safety Brandon McCoy (Villa Rica, Ga.) benched 185 pounds 42 times and word is he had more reps in him when he decided to rack the bar. The bench is not the most important test, but it was still an excellent effort.
• We did not see as much from the linemen in one-on-ones as we would have hoped, but one who caught our attention was Devon Williams (Saint Augustine, Fla./Saint Augustine). The 6-4, 333-pounder is best suited for the guard position and will need to rework his build some, but showed good feet to be able to mirror rushers in a short area and also had a powerful punch that could jolt rushers and knock them off stride. However, Williams tried so hard to obliterate rushers with his initial punch that he would end up lunging and getting over extended.
Craig Haubert is the recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting and has more than a decade of coaching experience. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.
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