A small but hard working group of athletes graced the field for what turned out to be a better than advertised combine last Saturday at Seattle's Franklin High School. To the NUC's pleasant surprise, a number of solid prospects were discovered in the same area that is far better known for coffee and rain than football.
The top performer of the event was Mount Si HS' Taylor Mitchell, a 5'11.5 209 lb line backer. Mitchell had exceptional quickness and athleticism, as his 4.05 shuttle and 8'11 broad jump were off the charts from a linebacker standpoint. Mitchell had great field awareness, was quick to get to the ball, plays physical and is has terrific all around skills. Mitchell definitely has a future playing in college and with his athleticism and pure position skill, is worth keeping an eye on.
Monster TE Joe Farmer, also of Mount Si HS, was thoroughly dominant during the 1 on 1's. At 6'5.5 22, Farmer was able to grab the ball over much smaller players and with a 4.50 shuttle run, he has great lateral quickness for a player his size. Between his hands, speed and size, Farmer has terrific all around tools.
Power back Devon Lewis (Central Kitsap) is 5'8.5 201 lbs of mean. Lewis runs the ball with great intensity and change direction on a dime as his 4.18 shuttle indicates. Lewis' strength, bulk, quickness and on field awareness placed him atop a gifted group of running backs.
Underclassmen Make Waves!
Tyler Berkheniser (Meridian) was the top dog during the underclassmen session, earning the Overall MVP and Fastest Man awards. The 5'8 149 lb wide receiver had exceptional quickness, great hands, ran nice routes and regularly shook off hard charging defensive backs to grab the ball. Athletically, Berkhensier was near flawless with a 34 inch vertical, 9'10 broad jump, 4.20 shuttle run and 4.54 40. He still needs to get bigger but with two years of eligibility remaining, he is one to look out for.
Return standout Visa Thach (Mountainview) took home the RB MVP and made notable improvements since last year's event. At 5'7.5 223, Thach has tremendous strength (bench pressing 155 lbs 35 times), unbelievable quickness for a player his size (running a 4.29 shuttle), and has a great motor. Thach is a true fullback but he is also a threat to rush the ball due to his quickness and impressive strength.
Massive QB Caleb Smith (Kentridge) was literally head and shoulders above the competition at 6'5.5 238; more importantly, the kid was a prime player. Smith's great size, leadership skills, arm and footwork were all outstanding, powering his successful day. During the 1 on 1's, Smith maintained control of the offense and was highly successful in getting the ball to his receivers. Few QB's, even at the pro level, have Smith's size.
Seattle; mark it down for coffee, rain, and more importantly, football!