Commentary

Linemen dominate at UA combine

Originally Published: May 2, 2011
By Craig Haubert | ESPN Recruiting

BALTIMORE -- The Under Armour Combine tour pulled into MT&T Stadium, the home of the Ravens, this weekend. The combine featured some ESPNU 150 Watch List prospects and also provided a platform for some sleepers to emerge. Here are some highlights from Sunday's event.

Big competition
The camp was highlighted by the participation of a few promising offensive line prospects, led by ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect and Maryland commit Mike Madaras (Olney, Md/Good Counsel). We liked him on film and despite it being his first time in a combine setting, he performed well and backed up his play on tape. He's 6-foot-5, a little under 290 pounds and he has room to still grow and add more size and muscle. He tested well, posting competitive scores for a tackle. When asked about his strengths as a player, he mentioned he liked to hit and flashed some of that physicality during one-on-ones. He displayed the ability to get set quickly and moved his feet well. He was able to deliver a good punch and mirror and finish his opponent. Madaras is a good pickup for the Terps and he said he was solid with that verbal. Part of the appeal of the in-state school was that he liked coach Randy Edsall's philosophy about the game and was impressed by what he accomplished while at UConn.

[+] EnlargeGaia
Davide De Pas for ESPN.comBoston College, Iowa and Maryland are among the schools interested in Watch List lineman Brian Gaia
Another Watch List lineman in attendance was Brian Gaia (Baltimore, Md./Gilman), who sports offers from Boston College, Iowa, Maryland and others. Receiving interest mainly as a guard, Gaia is a thickly-built prospect who carries his 287 pounds well. He looks to spend his fair share of time in the weight room and he pushed out 28 reps on the bench press. He mentioned West Virginia as a school catching his interest at this time and the Mountaineers, like most of the schools that have offered, are looking at him as an offensive lineman, but he said Penn State has offered him as a defensive tackle and he worked out with the defense at the camp. We would have liked to have seen more of Gaia in one-on-ones, but he displayed some of the tools that we saw on film that can allow him to develop into a good lineman at the next level. We feel he is best suited for offense, but either way the big man is a good prospect.

Adam DePietro (Lancaster, Pa./Catholic) claims offers from NC State, Pitt, and Michigan State, among others. He said all but one of his offers are for guard and that may be a slightly more ideal fit for him as opposed to tackle. He posted a competitive 7.84 in the three-cone drill and pushed out 25 reps in the bench. We would have liked to have seen him in a few more reps, but DePietro did flash good bend, balance and agility. DePietro mentioned that of the offers he has, he really likes Boston College and how it offers a good mix of academics and football.

Secondary sleepers
Marchez Coates (Waldorf, Md/McDonough) performed well in the second half of the combine and finsihed with one of the stronger performances at the camp. He is a corner with good height and a muscular build. He was competitive in coverage and displayed the ability to walk-up and press receivers and hinder their release. He had good feet and was able to open up his hips and transition well. His did not display elite speed and looked at his best when he could get physical and keep things in front of him. He has no offers, but does have some tools and some offers should come in for him before it is all said and done. He did say Penn State and Pitt were two schools showing some interest.

Juleon Killikelly-Lee (Baltimore, Md./Western School of Technology) is a safety prospect who showed some promise. He has solid height, adequate bulk, possesses good length and needs to keep developing his frame. He tested well, posting a strong 6.89 in the three-cone and a solid short shuttle 4.22.

Michael Westray (Waldorf, Md./Westlake) was another secondary prospect who displayed some upside and ability as a safety. He has good length and a frame to develop. He tested well and was competitive in drills.

[+] EnlargeKenneth Goins
ESPN.comGeorgia Tech, Pitt and West Virginia are among the colleges chasing after Kenneth Goins.
Running with the backs
Kenneth Goins (Baltimore, Md./Gilman) has offers from programs like Georgia Tech, Pitt and West Virginia and is receiving interest at both outside linebacker and running back. He lacks ideal height (5-9), but he does possess a thick and muscular build packing close to 210 pounds on his frame. While he shows ability on film to develop at linebacker, he worked with the running backs and displayed some promise at that position as well. He posted a competitive 7.28 three-cone drill and flashed ability to contribute as a receiving target. In competitive drills, he displays good hands, concentration and the ability to adjust to the bad ball. He lacks elite speed, but does have some deceptive speed and quickness.

Jalen Randolph (Folsom, Pa./Ridley) is listed as an athlete and, like Goins, is receiving interest at running back and linebacker. He states he has an offer an offer from West Virginia, which is interested in him as a linebacker, and Duke, which has not offered yet, is also looking at him at linebacker. Like Goins, Randolph worked out with the running backs, but unlike Goins, Randolph might be a better fit at linebacker at the next level.

Lean backer
Devon Porchia (Baltimore, Md./Gilman) needs to keep adding bulk to his frame and improving strength, but he displayed good tools to develop at the outside linebacker position. He had a bit of an uneven day testing, posting competitive scores in some drills and showing improvement is needed in others. In coverage drills he may not be an ideal player to match-up in man, but like on film he displayed that he can be a heady player and productive in zone. He states offers from Pitt and Rutgers.

Notes
Running back Donta Abron (Upland, Calif./Upland) made the trip from the West Coast to compete as well as get a feel for another part of the country as he goes through the recruiting process. This was his first trip to the East Coast and he is working to get his name out there. He has no offers at this point, but did say he is hearing from Nebraska, Boise State, and USC. ... Class of 2013 quarterback Kyle Downer (Vienna, Va./Oakton) displayed some promise as a prospect to potentially keep an eye on next year. He needs some work on his throwing mechanics (he displayed a high-arching release and seemed to push the ball at times), but he was fairly accurate and consistent throughout the day. He had good feet and was quick and smooth in his drops. ... From the Way Too Early category, a pair of young corners from the Class of 2015 came out and competed. Andrew Ashley and Trey Simpson were little guys who came out and fearlessly competed and had some of the camp coaches buzzing with their upside. Former Alabama defensive back and current Under Armour coach Chris Rogers raved about the two youngsters after the camp and told me he was impressed with Ashley's desire and heart. He felt the young man displayed that special "it" factor for such a young kid and with Simpson he was impressed with how savvy he was for young player in his understanding and execution of coverages. There is a long way to go, but file those two names away as we could hear from them again.

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.