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January 1, 2004
Juniors take the stage in San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - One of the significant parts of the week leading up to the U.S. Army All-American Game is the always exciting display of underclassmen talent that is assembled for the U.S. Army All-American Combine.
In previous years, some of the nation's top junior prospects made it to the Alamodome and showcased their talent. The story was much the same this year, as many future four and five star prospects were on hand.
This includes two players that turned in incredible performances but were visibly disappointed.
Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt star athlete Derrick Williams has been called by at least three college coaches as the nation's top junior prospect. He showed up and clocked in two consecutive 4.3 second 40-yard dashes.
But he said he wasn't pleased with the time and he wanted to find a way to clock in at least at 4.29.
"I could have done better," Williams, who is 6-foot-1 and 187 pounds, said. "I'm not happy, but I'm also not disappointed. A 4.3 is a good time, but I just wanted to come down here and show everybody what I'm all about."
Williams, who already has scholarship offers from Florida, LSU, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Virginia and countless others, said he's enjoyed his time in San Antonio with his family.
"This is a great event," he said. "I encourage any junior that gets a chance to do this."
Another star performer at the All-America Combine was Las Vegas Bishop Gorman star outside linebacker Ryan Reynolds.
Reynolds, who is a still growing 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, pumped out 34 repetitions with 185 pounds on the bench press. Reynolds loved the results, but was also disappointed.
"They were really strict about making you lock your arms out," Reynolds, who has scholarships already from Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Stanford and Wisconsin, said.
"I did 43 last week at school and then I also did 41, so I know I could do more. But I guess that 34 aren't so bad after all."
Also, looking impressive was Reynold's teammate, sophomore running back DeMarco Murray. At a solid 6-foot and 175 pounds, Murray will be a name to watch out for in the Class of 2006.
There were several Lone Star State stars that looked quite impressive.
Klein, Texas, teammates Chris Stewart (6-5, 315) and Mark Wortmann (6-6 ½, 260) looked quite impressive, but Stewart put up 22 reps of 185.
Also passing the eyeball test was Allen, Texas, star Marcus Shavers (6-3, 235, 4.84), who said he's picked up his first scholarship offer from SMU but also really likes Texas A&M. LaMarque, Texas, safety Korey Mangum was also there and put up 10 reps in the bench press and clocked in with a time of 4.5 seconds.
Kentucky was also well represented with Lexington (Ky.) Catholic outside linebacker Brandon Logan and Louisville (Ky.) Central tight end/defensive tackle James McKinney in the house.
Logan recorded 82 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one sack as a sophomore for one of the Bluegrass State's top programs.
He attended the Michigan camp the summer before his sophomore year and won the "Smokehouse Award" for fastest 40 time by a linebacker.
Logan said he's still sitting on two scholarship offers from both Michigan and Kentucky, but McKinney has already made his intentions known when he committed to Michigan.
"I'm working on Brandon the whole weekend," McKinney said.
"We're going to get him up there to Michigan with me. Put that on Rivals.com."
Both Logan and McKinney definitely impressed with their frame and build and both could easily be two of the nation's elite prospects in 2005.
Also on hand were Cleveland junior star defenders Freddie Lenix and Ohio State commitment Jamario O'Neal.