Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
THE RECRUITING GUY:
Prospects perform well at combine
Fort Smith Northside defender Daytrieon Dean (25) attempts a tackle against Little Rock Parkview's Caelon Harden during a 2012 game.
SAN ANTONIO - The U.S. Army National Combine is an opportunity for sophomore and junior prospects to see how they stack up among the country’s elite prospects.
Several Arkansas athletes returned from the combine confident that they are on par with many of the nation’s best.
Fort Smith Northside defensive end Daytrieon Dean measured in at 6-3 ½ and 260 pounds. All heights were taken in bare feet.
Dean turned in a laser-timed 5.09 seconds in the 40-yard dash and recorded a 25.5-inch vertical jump, but it was in the 1-on-1 sessions against offensive linemen where he excelled. He estimated he won eight of his 10 battles, which gives him confidence he can compete with the best the nation has to offer.
“It helped me get better and they got better,” Dean said. “Going against the best, that’s what you want. I love the competition. Going in I felt like I had something to prove, and I felt like I proved it.”
Dean has scholarship offers from Arkansas and Ole Miss. He missed most of two games this season because of an ankle injury but still recorded 50 tackles, 6 sacks and 1 tackle for a loss.
“I know there’s some things I have to work on,” Dean said. “I learned a lot of new techniques that I can take to my senior year and help me improve.”
North Little Rock receiver K.J. Hill turned in an excellent laser time of 4.44 seconds in the 40 and ran the pro shuttle in 4.31 seconds. He was measured at 5-11 ½ and 185 pounds.
Being able to compete against top-level talent was important to Hill.
“It was a great experience meeting players on your level,” said Hill, who has scholarship offers from Arkansas and Auburn. “I think I did well, and I believe I belong out there with them.”
Hill said representing the state at the combine was an honor.
“I meant a lot,” said Hill, who is favoring Auburn. “Just putting Arkansas on the map.”
Little Rock Catholic athlete D.J. Brown was measured at 5-9 and 174 pounds. He ran a laser-timed 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 4.34 seconds in the pro shuttle and turned in a 30-inch vertical leap.
His 1-on-1 performance also received praise from one of the event’s officials.
“I did well against the linebackers,” Brown said. “He wanted me to run some routes at the slot against some of the safeties and slants. I think I did pretty well.”
Brown sees himself playing slot receiver and returning kicks in college, and he said believes he stacked upwell at the combine.
“I wouldn’t say I’m the best, but I think I’m climbing,” he said. “I’m a little underrated, but I think I’m up there.”
Three sophomores - defensive lineman Austin Capps of Star City, running back Denzel Mitchell of Jonesboro and quarterback Breylin Smith of Conway - also took part in the combine.
Capps, who is 6-3 ½ and weighs 307 pounds, received a scholarship offer from Arkansas last summer following a strong performance at a camp. He also used the combine to gauge his talent.
“I think I stand pretty good,” Capps said. “Nothing real special, but nothing real horrible.”
Capps, who ran 5.1 seconds in the 40, was appreciative of the opportunity.
“It’s awesome,” Capps said. “It’s a just blessing to be here.
Despite being hobbled by a hamstring injury, Mitchell ran the 40 in 4.40 seconds, the pro shuttle in 4.50 seconds and turned in a 31-inch vertical leap.
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UA commitments and signees2014 COMMITMENTS WR JARED CORNELIUS 6-1, 190, 4.48, Shreveport Evangel RB JUAN DAY 6-2, 210, 4.5, North Little Rock LB DWAYNE EUGENE 6-2, 220, 4.5, Metairie (La.) Rummel LB KHALIA HACKETT 6-2, 208, 4.63, Douglasville (Ga.) South DE JAKE HALL 6-5, 230, Springdale Har-Ber K COLE HEDLUND 5-10, 170, Argyle, Texas DL BIJHON JACKSON 6-2, 325, 5.1, El Dorado TE JACK KRAUS 6-5, 240, 4.9, Bentonville WR Corey McBride 6-2, 180, 4.34, Geismar (La.) Dutchtown WR TORRANCE MOSLEY 5-10, 175, 4.4, Geismar (La.) Dutchtown CB CHRIS MURPHY 5-10, 180, 4.4, Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter QB RAFE PEAVEY* 6-2, 208, 4.5, Bolivar, Mo.
TE RAVIAN PIERCE 6-4, 230, 4.53, Plantation, Fla.
OL JOVAN PRUITT 6-6, 295, 5.1, Dallas Bishop DunneDB SANTOS RAMIREZ 6-2, 180, 4.55, Shreveport Evangel CB HENRE TOLIVER 6-1, 180, 4.56, Metairie (La.) Rummel OL BRIAN WALLACE 6-6, 304, 5.2, St Louis Christian Brothers DL ARMON WATTS 6-5, 270, 5.1, St. Louis Christian Brothers 2014 SIGNEES WR CODY HOLLISTER 6-4, 205, 4.5, Arizona Western CC OL SEBASTIAN TRETOLA 6-4 1/2, 315, 4.9, Iowa Western CC 2015 COMMITMENTS DE-TE JAMARIO BELL 6-6, 230, 4.7, Junction City DE HJALTE FROHOLDT 6-5, 275, Denmark OL COLTON JACKSON 6-6, 291, Conway OL ZACH ROGERS 6-3, 295, 5.09, Carrollton (Texas) Hebron QB TY STOREY 6-3, 217, 4.92, Charleston *Has signed an institutional financial aid agreement and will enroll in January.
Sports, Pages 26 on 01/05/2014