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May 10, 2011

Cleveland Under Armour Combine recap

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More than 200 prospects gathered at Medina High School in Northeast Ohio on Sunday for the Cleveland Under Armour Combine. While there weren't a lot of nationally recognized prospects in attendance, some impressive performances were turned in that should help propel a few lesser known prospects into the spotlight.

Bisnowaty leads the way

The most highly decorated player heading into the event was Pittsburgh (Pa.) Fox Chapel product Adam Bisnowaty. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive tackle holds offers from Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Virginia, and West Virginia and is receiving heavy interest from the likes of Boston College and Notre Dame.

Bisnowaty certainly lived up to his billing by showing excellent feet and explosion. Bisnowaty ran an impressive 5.21-second 40-yard dash and also put up a 26-inch vertical which was one of the better scores at the combine.

Physically, Bisnowaty will need to get stronger but has an outstanding frame and doesn't carry much, if any, bad weight which will make his transition to the college game much quicker. Overall, it was a strong day for one of the better prospects in the state of Pennsylvania.

Wide Receivers continue to emerge

The depth at the wide receiver position in Ohio in the 2012 class is certainly impressive. Already, more than a handful of receivers have garnered multiple BCS level offers and on Sunday two more prospects made their case to be added to that group.

The first in that group was Bexley (Ohio) product Jalen Robinette. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound prospect is an outstanding run-and-jump athlete that continues to make strides on the football field. Robinette ran a 4.71-second electronic-timed 40-yard dash and also posted a 4.49-second shuttle time.

Robinette made what was perhaps the most impressive catch of the day in 7-on-7 action where he leaped over top of a defender to high point a ball in the end zone, a play that drew plenty of gasps from on-lookers.

"My scores were pretty solid," said Robinette of his performance. "I did some good things in one-on-one's and 7-on-7. Right now I'm just working on lifting and getting faster."

Robinette holds an offer from Bowling Green but coaches from Michigan State, Purdue, Akron, Kentucky, and Kent State have all been by the school recently. Robinette will have a chance to impress some of those coaches on the camp circuit in June.

"I'm going to be going to the Kentucky camp and Michigan State, but I'm still trying to figure out my full schedule," he said.

Robinette wasn't the only big receiver that impressed as Cincinnati Hills Christian product Austin Jones also showed why he is being recruited by numerous programs around the Midwest. A 6-foot-2, 175-pound prospect, Jones used his big frame to his advantage against the smaller defensive backs and made a lot of plays in one-on-one's.

"I did better than I thought I would," said Jones. "There's a big difference between running a hand-timed 40 and running an electronic 40."

Jones also tested well, posting a 4.65-second time in the 40-yard dash. Jones has an offer from Toledo, but the Rockets aren't the only school showing interest.

"I'm going to camps at Virginia Tech, Ohio State, and Cincinnati," he said. "Stanford, Kentucky, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Boston College have been by the school."

DB's come up big

While two Ohio receivers had big days, as a group, the defensive backs got the better of the receivers in one-on-one's and 7-on-7's, much to the delight of Under Armour Camp defensive backs coach Don Cox. Cox singled out class of 2012 Twinsburg (Ohio) prospect Tre Jones as his top performer of the day. Jones, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound corner, came up big in one-on-one's, shutting down nearly every receiver that came his way.

"I felt like I did real well," Jones said. "Coach Cox did a great job of keeping everybody up and showing us how to stay with the receivers. There was a lot of competition out here and everyone was battling and getting better."

Jones posted a 4.68-second time in the 40-yard dash and also posted one of the day's best shuttle times at 4.29 seconds. While Jones doesn't have any offers at the moment, he is reporting interest from Bowling Green, Ohio University, and Ohio State.

Another class of 2012 defensive back that had a big day was Columbus (Ohio) Mifflin corner Troy Robinson. Robinson broke up a handful of passes in the 7-on-7 portion of the event and showed that he had the speed to turn and run with some of the top receivers at the event. Robinson was also pointed out by coach Cox as a standout during the drills.

Class of 2013 standouts

The class of 2013 was well represented at the combine with some of the top performances of the day coming from rising juniors. In the testing portion of the event, no prospect was more impressive than Brunswick running back Nick Roberts. The 5-foot-9, 176-pounder ran a blistering 4.41-second 40-yard dash, by far the best of the day.

Roberts didn't stop there however as he tested well in the other events, posting a 7.23-second time in the L drill, a 31.5-inch vertical jump, and 13 reps at 185-pounds on the bench press.

Another rising junior that raised some eyebrows was Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic's Jayme Thompson. Thompson checked in at just a hair under 6-feet tall and 168-pounds and was locking defenders down in the one-on-one's. A transfer from nearby St. Francis De Sales High School, Thompson also posted a 4.81-second 40-yard dash and did an impressive 20 reps on the bench press at 185-pounds.

2014's to keep an eye on

While most of the group consisted of rising seniors and juniors, a few sophomores made their mark on Sunday led by Columbus (Ohio) Bishop Hartley cornerback Alonzo Saxton. Saxton was a freshman starter on Hartley's state championship team this past fall and checked in at 5-foot-9, 160-pounds and looked the part of a future Division I prospect.

Saxton ran the 40-yard dash in 4.85-seconds, the pro shuttle in 4.39-seconds, scored a 27-inch vertical jump, and put up 12 reps at 185-pounds on the bench press. Another impressive rising sophomore was Pickerington (Ohio) Central's Andrew Meyer. A 5-foot-11, 175-pound wide receiver, Meyer clocked a 4.41-second shuttle, a 28.5-inch vertical jump, and a 4.85-second 40-yard dash. Meyer also looked smooth and fluid in drills and one-on-one's and should have a chance to break out this fall at one of Central Ohio's top programs.

Other notable performances were turned in by:

2012 LB Nick Wrightsel Plain City (Ohio) Jonathan Alder

2012 DB Adam Clopton Pickerington (Ohio) Central

2012 DB Addison Clopton Pickerington (Ohio) Central

2012 WR Clarence Turner Grand Blanc (Mich.)

2012 RB Blake Scipio Hilliard (Ohio) Bradley

2012 DB Jarrod Barnes Westerville (Ohio) South

2012 QB Levi Ratliff Portsmouth (Ohio) West

2012 LB Michael Gray Cincinnati (Ohio) Sycamore

2012 RB Ross Franklin Johnstown (Ohio) Johnstown-Monroe

2013 OL Cameron Dillard Canton (Mich.)

2013 QB/ATH Javon Harrison Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne

2013 OL Zachary Murdock Westerville (Ohio) South

2013 LB Joshua Kenny Canton (Ohio) Canton South

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