Commentary

Notes from Atlanta SPARQ combine

Florida and FSU in front for Ukeme Eligwe, Derron Herring leaning out of state

Originally Published: March 22, 2011
By Greg Biggins | ESPN RISE

Here is a look at some of the recruiting notes from the Atlanta Nike SPARQ combine.

Kofi Amichia, OL (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern)
He posted a 4.41 shuttle time to go along with a 42-foot power ball toss. The 6-foot-3, 253-pounder racked up 42 pancake blocks during his junior season and has attended junior days at in-state powers Georgia and Georgia Tech. Amichia is also reporting interest from Duke, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State and West Virginia. Right now Georgia Tech stands out and it looks to be an ACC/SEC battle come signing day.

[+] EnlargeCaleb Azubike
Tom HauckCaleb Azubike ran a 4.90 40 and 4.37 shuttle time at the Atlanta Nike SPARQ combine.

Caleb Azubike, DE
(Nashville, Tenn./McGavock)

The Volunteer State product passes the eyeball test with his 6-4, 234-pound frame. Azubike ran a 4.90 40 and 4.37 shuttle time at the Atlanta event. Boston College was the first to offer and Vanderbilt quickly pulled the trigger shortly after. He is hearing from Duke, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Stanford, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Last fall, he collected 70 tackles, 17 sacks and four forced fumbles in his first year playing varsity.

Cory Batey, WR (Nashville, Tenn./Ensworth)
Batey entered the talent-laden combine without a lot of hoopla, but after securing the nation's highest rating of 125.40, he was the buzz of the day. The two-way star registered close to 700 yards receiving while adding three interceptions on defense for the Division II class state champs. Early reports show verbal offers from Kentucky and South Carolina. He plans to attend Tennessee's spring game and thinks the Vols will offer. Kentucky and Tennessee appear to have the early edge.

Shawn Blaylock, DB (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson)
He transferred to Stephenson from Shiloh (Snellville, Ga.) after his junior season. Blaylock finished the day with a 90.57 SPARQ rating behind his 4.28 shuttle and 33.5-inch vertical jump. He reports a verbal offer from Middle Tennessee State and is receiving mail from Kentucky, Michigan State and South Florida. His mom attended Florida State, which is his dream school.

Reggie Carter ('13), DE/LB (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson)
The 6-footer blazed a 4.65 40 while weighing in at 211 pounds. He already reports an early verbal offer from Florida State. Florida, Nebraska and Texas A&M are keeping tabs on him as well. He was selected to the second team of the ESPN RISE Sophomore All-American squad.

Destin Challenger, DB (Birmingham, Ala./Spain Park)
Challenger tallied a 113.82 rating, which was good for second highest of the afternoon. He listed Clemson as his dream school and childhood favorite. His dad played LB at Troy, but BCS programs like Clemson and Mississippi State are showing strong interest. Last season, he notched 130 tackles, three picks and three sacks.

Ukeme Eligwe, LB (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stone Mountain)
He already holds 16 offers and we expect that list to grow. On Sunday, he earned a 102.96 SPARQ score with a 4.71 40 and 4.22 shuttle time. Florida and Florida State are out in front because of academics and he wants to major in criminology and says the Seminoles program is one of the best in the country. On the field, he tallied 121 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries. He reports a 3.4 GPA to boot.

Kyle Fleetwood, DB (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson)
Fleetwood is another in the long line of prospects from the Stephenson pipeline. He didn't test due to another commitment, but cheered on Carter. Vanderbilt has given Fleetwood a verbal offer and Duke and Georgia are checking in on him. He nabbed three picks and returned one for a score while attending Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.) last year.

[+] EnlargeDrake
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comKenyan Drake is already committed to Alabama.

Kenyan Drake, RB (Powder Springs, Ga./Hillgrove)
The Alabama commit had little to gain testing after posting a 101.31 a year ago, but that didn't stop him from improving his score to a 103.83. His 4.53 40 and 36.6-inch vertical were among the day's best. During his junior campaign he rushed for 1,204 yards and totaled 20 touchdowns. He is a pass-catching threat out of the backfield and has the potential to be one of the best offensive players in the state.

James Guillermo, OL (Maryville, Tenn./Maryville)
Guillermo committed to his childhood favorite Clemson back in February and said he has no plans to look around. The center said he has always wanted to play for the Tigers and will not be taking any other official visits except to Clemson in the fall. Guillermo finished with a solid 72.60 SPARQ rating highlighted by a very nice 4.50 time in the shuttle.

Derreon Herring, LB (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson)
He was unable to test because of a prior engagement, but made the trip out and is being recruited at both outside linebacker spots. He has double-digit offers and is waiting on his fan favorite Florida State to come through. Look for him to attend school out of state with Kentucky, South Florida and Vanderbilt leading the way.

Alvin Hill, DB (Locust Grove, Ga./Luella)
Hill ran a blistering 4.54 40 and threw the power ball 37 feet en route to a 93.39 rating. On defense, he nabbed six interceptions while being named first team all-region Southern Crescent conference last season. His cousin Detrick Bonner is a DB at Virginia Tech and Hill likes the Hokies along with Clemson.

Josh Holsey, DB (Fairburn, Ga./Creekside)
Holsey's junior stats are eye-popping as he totaled 47 tackles and nine interceptions on defense and hauled in 720 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns. He holds eight offers, but Auburn and Virginia Tech are recruiting him the hardest. He would like to see Florida and Florida State show some interest. His 101.37 combine score landed just outside of the top 10 in a deep field.

Raphael Kirby, LB (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson)
He arrived at the combine late after taking care of a college trip, so he didn't test. Kirby attended Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.) last fall, but transferred to Stephenson this offseason. He reports around 20 offers with the latest coming from Michigan. Vanderbilt is next on his list of unofficial visits and he will visit Nashville this weekend. He has attended junior days at Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Look for the SEC to be in the mix for his services.

Joe Manley, OL (Bowling Green, Kent./Bowling Green)
The mammoth OL checked in at 6-5, 320 pounds and threw the power ball 36 feet. He holds offers from Kentucky, Louisville and Western Kentucky and lists his top schools as Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, Louisville and Mississippi State. His dad played OL at Western Kentucky, but Kentucky is the team to beat right now.

John Silas, LB (Powder Springs, Ga./Hillgrove)
Silas had a huge day testing, finishing with a 107.31 SPARQ rating headlined by a 4.28 shuttle and 39-foot throw in the power ball. He played Wildcat quarterback for the Hawks, but is being recruited as a linebacker. He called Vandy his dream school because of the campus and academics. He has visited Duke and Vandy and will take in spring games at Mississippi State and Wake Forest.

Quinteze Williams, DL (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek)
Williams, who attended Westlake (Atlanta) before transferring to Sandy Creek last year, is another player who wasn't able to work out but attended the combine to support his teammates. Williams holds more than 15 offers and has Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, Louisville and Clemson in his top five. Ironically, Williams said LSU was his childhood favorite but the Tigers weren't mentioned on his short list at this time.