Countdown to Combine: Linebackers

We are less than one week away from the 2007 All-State Football
Combine. The unequivocal best sports performance evaluation and testing event
available to South Carolina high school athletes, this combine is set to host some of the
state's top football players at Brookland-Cayce High School this weekend for a great day
of talent showcasing. Here's a look at what to expect on Saturday from the linebackers.
After working the Nike Football Training Camps for several years, we had an opportunity
to see the best in the busines put on great events. There is no doubt that those are
quality events for the players. The problem was, there were so many players wanting in
that it turned into an almost invitational and limited the number of players from our
great state that were able to attend. Last year, I decided that I wanted to bring that
same quality of evaluation and training to South Carolina and make it open exclusively to
Palmetto state players. The response has been overwhelming and we've had to work overtime
to put plans in place to make this event the best ever in our state.
With four hundred players registered, we will be able to evaluate and test some great
high school football players and prospects. There will be some of every type here...the
player who just wants a chance to measure himself against great talent; the player who has
the ability to play at the next level but just hasn't had the exposure; the players who
are sure to turn the heads of all-star coaches; and the total freaks that will not ony be
top ranked players in the state, but will be highly sought after by college recruiters
from around the country.
Now, we'll take a look at the linebackers who are scheduled to be at this year's
The list of linebackers in South Carolina is impressive this year and several from the
coast have managed to find their way into some of the top rankings. Loris'
href="">Jonathan Willard,
is one who has capture the interest of a lot of top level DI schools like Clemson,
Florida, Maryland, Michigan, UNC, NC State, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The 6-foot-2,
207-pound Willard had 130 total tackles (14 for loss) during his junior season and also
showed off his skills on offense, totaling 667 rushing yards for his high school team.
Myrtle Beach's Bruce
Taylor will be on hand, but will not compete due to a recent surgery. Keenan
High School's Allen
Smith, a 6-1, 225lbs backer, collected 65 tackles this past season, including
10 sacks and 12 tackles for loss for a struggling Keenan program. He has an offer from the
University of Central Florida.
Stratford's CJ Missick is a player that Coach Ray Stackley is very
high on. Buncum was one of the leading tacklers for the Knights in 2006 and will be an
anchor for their defense in 2007. Bethune Bowman's Saquan Mayes finished last season with 87 total tackles and is a compact force at 5-9, 200lbs
Some underclassmen to keep an eye on will be Airpor High School's Rashaad
Hampton. Hampton is a very athletic, hard hitting linebacker and put together a
strong showing during his sophomore season this past year. Look for him to grace the Top Player Rankings as a senior in the Class of 2009. Another underclassman
to watch is Wilson's Justin Henicks. As a sophomore this past season, he
started 14 games for Coach Daryl Page and collected 76 tackles and one interception -
which he returned for a touchdown.
Here's a look at the linebacker roster of players that will be in attendance Saturday.