Archive for February, 2009

Donald Washington’s Combine Performance

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad

Donald Washington’s performance at the NFL Combine was spectacular (45″ vertical jump – 11’03” broad jump) and to most observers surprising.  It did not come as much of a surprise to me.  He could long jump over 23’00 as a freshman in high school (23’01” to be exact and still an Indiana High School Freshman record).  He was state champion as sophomore and junior in the long jump, finishing runner-up as a senior.  His best high jump in high school was 6’04” but he could have been a 7′ high jumper in my opinion…guess I’m not a very good high jump coach.   

Donald could vertical jump over 38″ in high school and broad jump around 11’00 too.  He lettered four times in basketball as well and was MVP of the North / South Indiana HS football game after his senior year. 

He’s a heck of an athlete and a good person and I believe he’ll make an impact in the NFL.  I have to admit it was great to see a former athlete perform well on such a big stage.  Best of luck Donald!

Players Not Invited to Combine

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad                                                                                                                               Football Talent Advisors, Ltd.

Each year there are always a handful of players that get snubbed by the NFL Combine and still make NFL rosters.  It appears that there are several smaller / third-down type running backs and kick returners that could make an impact in the NFL, that didn’t receive a combine invitation.   Check out the list of non-invites on ESPN.com NFL page.   I believe the players below can make it based upon their individual athletic / track backgrounds. 

Running Backs / Kick Returners: Devin Moore / Wyoming – Here’s a player that went to high school in Indiana (Indianapolis Ritter) and held a workout in Indy, see link below, despite not be invited to combine.  He performed very well…not surprising he’s short 5’09” 190 but has an array of football abilities.  In high school he was a state meet qualifier in the 100 meter dash (11.17) and 200 meter dash (22.38)  also ran the 55 meter dash (6.52) at the state indoor meet…perhaps the best indicator of his short speed ability.   No surprise here that he ran 4.41 at his pro workout. 

(Workout Results)

Aaron Brown / Texas Christian –  Another multi-skilled player that can run, catch, and return the ball.  He was also (10.59) in the 100 meter dash and (22.16) 200 meter dash in high school…throw in a (23-10) long jump and (44-07) triple jump…well you get the picture.  I believe he’s got the raw ability to be a spark in the NFL. 

Marcus Thigpen / Indiana – Productive at the college level in several ways and led the Big Ten Conference in kickoff return average during his career as well as led his team in rushing and touchdowns scored this past season.  Yup he’s small, just like the others, perhaps a shade under 5’09.  But he was a successful collegiate sprinter, running the 100 meter dash (10.65) and 200 meter dash (21.50) and 60 meter dash (6.77).  He was also a high school state champion, Michigan, in the 100 meter dash (10.82) ran as fast as 10.5 and ran the indoor 55 meter dash (6.43).  Terrific home-run short speed…and it translated to the field in many ways. 

A couple other players that fit the “profile” that weren’t invited to the NFL Combine:

Linebackers:  Robert Francois / Boston College – Ran (11.19) 100 meter dash and (22.45) 200 meter dash at the New England High School Championships in 2004.  Needless to say that this guy can run and was part of a solid BC defense in college.  I like his chances. 

Antonio Appleby / Virginia – There’s a lot of Virginia players, particularly linebackers, that make the NFL and I think this guy will too.  By the way, he threw shot put and discus in high school and qualified for state in both (52-08) in shot put and (154-03) discus throw. 

Jake Flaherty / Syracuse – I know…he played for a program that was for the most part terrible while he was there.  But this guy, despite not having NFL-type size, is an athlete.  He was a state champion high jumper (6-06) in Rhode Island and jumped as high as (6-08). 

Ashlee Palmer / Mississippi – Played on a super college defense this past season and had some huge defensive tackles upfront but his background is interest.  He’s another one of those linebackers with a high school track background in the hurdles.  That right there is a key indicator.  He was also a decent long jumper (over 20-00). 

Defensive Tackle:  Mike Newkirk / Wisconsin – This guy was an All-Big Ten player this past season.  He doesn’t get the credit he deserves, snubbed by the combine, and isn’t highly regarding by the NFL due to his size.  But he was a state champion heavyweight wrestler in high school and state champion shot putter (60-00) and state qualifier in the discus (165-04).  I mean this guy is an overachiever and has some athletic skills that just shouldn’t be overlooked.  At the very least should be picked up as a rookie free agent and should surprise. 

I also like for Wisconsin’s fullbacks Chris Pressley and Bill Rentmeester to make it on some NFL team’s practice squad or roster as a blocking fullback.  Each was a terrific shot putter in high school…Pressley throwing (59-07) winning a state title in New Jersey. 

 

 

 

More Possible Combine Surprises (Defensive Side)

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad   Football Talent Advisors, Ltd.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Did a post yesterday about offensive position players that’ll be at the combine and might be considered relative unknowns but I believe they might surprise with their performance and up their draft status.  

On today’s post I’ll mention several defensive players that might surprise at the combine despite not receiving the highest marks from draft gurus and analysts.  As I mentioned yesterday this doesn’t mean they’ll light the NFL on fire…heck they might not even make an NFL roster, but we’ll follow up on that later. 

Defensive Tackles:  Ron Brace / Boston College – Yup he’s pretty well known but his size 6’03 330 and athletic background in high school makes him interesting.  He was state runner-up in the shot put (54-10) in Massachusetts.  This tells me he’s got some balance, control, and explosion in that big body. 

Vance Walker & Darryl Richard / Georgia Tech – Neither has the hype of teammate DE Michael Johnson, but both were solid tackles in ACC.  Both threw shot put in high school and each qualified for state meet in shot, Walker also qualified in discus (142-00). 

Khalif Mitchell / East Carolina – Here’s another ECU player, no wonder they had a breakout season!  Anyway this guy played two years and North Carolina and transfered.  He’s a major work-in-progress “feast or famine” type in the NFL…but I like the fact he threw the shot (55-09) and discus (151-11) qualifying for state in both events in high school.  He’s also tall 6’06 and 280…maybe could be big DE in 3-4?    

Defensive End:  Matt Shaughnessy / Wisconsin – Had a solid career at a good program, suffered broken leg going into senior year and had family tragedy, but he’s among the fairly unknown.  He’s tall 6’05” and has the type of background I like, I believe he might standout at the combine.  In high school, threw over shot put over (50-00) and was 7th at the state meet in Connecticut…also state qualifier throwing the javelin (165-00).

Stryker Sulak / Missouri – Great name!  But really he’s undersized for the NFL at 6’04 240 and got pushed around quite a bit in college.  However he’s more athletic than given credit and there’s something about his background I like…I think he’s got a shot to stick on somebody’s roster.  He threw the shot put over (49-00) in high school and was a regional meet qualifier in Texas, to top it off he was a (41-00) triple jumper and (6-00) high jumper.  Might not run a great forty or run the 3-cone well but he’s more athletic than most think.

Lawrence Sidbury Jr. / Richmond – Okay he didn’t play in a great program or at the highest level of college football.  He’s listed at 6’02 270 and apparently played pretty well at the Senior Bowl.  I’m putting him here as a huge unknown, might not have the talent to make it, but was a state qualifier in high school in the shot put throwing over (48-00). 

Linebacker:  Josh Mauga / Nevada – He led an upstart Nevada squad to a bowl game.  He’s got a great athletic background too.  I believe he’s a diamond in the rough.  State champion discus thrower (186-06) in high school also a state qualifier in the shot put (55-10).  To top this he was state champion heavyweight wrestler in Nevada as a senior.

Scott McKillop / Pittsburgh – Marked down by NFL evaluators as not being athletic enough.  He was plenty productive during his college career.  I believe he’s more athletic than given credit, he’s more explosive than most think.  Finished in seventh place at the state meet in javelin throw (183-02) and qualified for state meet in shot put (52-04).  He was also state runner-up in wrestling 215lb class.

Jason Phillips / TCU –  I really like his high school background in hurdles, he ran high hurdles (14.96) and was part of fast 4×100 relay team (42.61) and ran on a very fast 4×200 relay team (1:28.73).  However, most draft analyst feel he is not very athletic or fast.  I guess we’ll see. 

Tyrone McKenzie / South Florida – Another linebacker from a successful college program…he also has hurdles in his high school athletic background, a plus.  In fact, he qualified for the state meet in Florida (15.51).  Not shabby for a linebacker. 

Lee Robinson / Alcorn State – Not sure many know about him outside of NFL brass, but he’s big 6’02” 250.  He also has some serious track accomplishments in high school.  State champion in Louisiana in long jump and triple jump over (45-00) also placed in state meet running 4×200 and 4×400 relay. 

Defensive Backs:  There are too many players with very solid high school track statistics to surprise anyone.  However there’s a couple names that I’d expect to exceed expectations.

Ryan Palmer / Texas – This guy is FAST!  End of story.  I’d expect him to run well in Indy.  Finished fourth in 100 meter dash (10.58) in high school – Texas, along with being state champion member of 4×100 relay (40.06) and state runner-up in 4×200 relay (1:24.13)!  Ummm…that’s flying by anyone’s standards. 

Keenan Lewis / Oregon State – Played on a pretty tough college defense.  Ran on high school 4×100 relay (41.81) finishing fourth in Lousiana. 

Mike Mickens / Cincinnati – Ran intermediate  and high hurdles in high school, finished third at state meet intermediate hurdles (37.61) and was fourth in high hurdles (14.47)….second in state indoor meet in 55 meter high hurdles (7.49).  He’s got some speed.  He’s Cincy teammate DeAngelo Smith can run a bit too. 

Captain Munnerlyn / South Carolina – (10.82) 100 meter sprinter finishing sixth in high school, Alabama.  He was also a state qualifier in long jump (22-04) and the 200 meter dash (22.39). 

Cary Harris / Southern Cal – He was overshadowed by his teammates on D but he’s got some wheels.  He ran on his high school 4×100 relay (41.67) placing seventh at state meet in California…also (10.79) and (21.69) in the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes.  His fellow secondary mate Josh Pinkard can run too (10.83). 

Don Carey / Norfolk State – This player has a reputation as a hitter, albeit from a smaller college program.  As with the others he has a good high school track background…high school state meet qualifier in 110 meter high hurdles (14.55), intermediate hurdles (39.89) and triple jump (44-08).  That spells pretty solid athlete.   

Oh yeah, Wopamo Osaisai, cornerback from Stanford should run fast in Indy.  He’s a Pac-10 100 meter and 60 meter sprinter…was third in 200 meter dash (21.17) at California state meet in high school.  But he’s absolutely seen as more a “track guy” trying to play football.  We’ll see if he belongs during the combine. 

I’ll put this message on again:  If you know a high school or college football player with outstanding track and field performances l’d like to hear about it…hit me up on the website Contact Page.

More Possible Combine Surprises (Offensive Side)

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad                                                                                                                               Football Talent Advisors, Ltd. 

A few days ago I posted a few underclassmen players that are “flying under-the-radar” types and I believe might surprise with their performances at the combine.  Here’s a few more players categorized by position that I think might make some noise and put up some solid combine numbers.  This obviously doesn’t mean that they’ll take the NFL by storm (based on a 40 yard dash) but maybe there’s some future Pro-Bowl type talent that will be uncovered.

See what Todd McShay is saying over at ESPN.com, while my approach is totally different he’s highlighted some guys that I believe will do well also.  http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/draft09/insider/columns/story?id=3904934&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnfl%2fdraft09%2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fid%3d3904934

QuarterbackStephen McGee / Texas A&M – He was a good hurdler, discus thrower, and 4X100 relay (43.53) regional meet qualifier in high school.  He had a tough time in the latter portions of his collegiate career but he has the mobility to be a potential back-up in the NFL .  If he runs at the combine I’d believe he might run a fast 40 for a quarterback. 

Tight EndBear Pascoe / Fresno State – I really like this guy…great name!  He was a (158-10) discus thrower and (54-08) shot putter in high school…indicates natural power.  He is a very good blocking tight end and serviceable receiver. 

Davon Drew / East Carolina – A real darkhorse here, but East Carolina has made a point to recruit high school track athletes and bring up some very athletic players through the program.  Davon threw discus during high school…finished third in the state (151-07) in North Carolina. 

Offensive Tackle Troy Kropog / Tulane – Here’s another darkhorse but he’s a 6’06” 300 guy that threw the shot put in high school, Louisiana, and finished fourth in the state (51-00) in 2004. 

Lydon Murtha & Matt Slauson / Nebraska – Neither one of these guys lived up to expectations in college but both had injuries throughout…what I like is the fact both were state champion shot putters, each throwing over (59-00).  Historically Nebraska O-lineman, with track backgrounds, tend to make it in the NFL.  Why not these two?  Slauson apparently is seen as a better fit at guard but can play tackle too.   

Joel Bell / Furman – Who???  Yup this might be the biggest darkhorse.  But he’s 6’07” 300 and received a combine invite…somebody knows something.  I know that he was a high school discus thrower, qualified for state in South Carolina and threw over (150-00).  This guy fits the profile of a player that sticks in the NFL. 

Fenuki Tuopu / Oregon – He is known to NFL brass and out on the west coast.  I know him because he is 6’05” 330 and during high school threw the shot put (52-10) and discus over (135-00).  Don’t think he’ll light the 40 on fire…but I think he’ll put on a show in other areas. 

Offensive Guard:  Kraig Urbik / Wisconsin – Guy from high profile program but I really like his background…threw shot put in high school and finished 5th in state (55-00), Wisconsin. 

Cornelius Lewis / Tennessee State –  He might be a tackle in the NFL but we’ll pretend he’s a guard.  Anyway this guy was once a Florida State Seminole and got into some trouble.  He’s got some talent…and he’s got a background in high school throws, the shot put, was ninth in the state of Florida and threw over (49-00).

Center:  Johnathan Luigs / Arkansas – He’s taken a hit since the “bowl circuit” and apparently dropped down draft boards…but he was a state champion shot putter in high school, Arkansas, threw (50-00).  NFL centers often have throwing and wrestling backgrounds and I like to see this in a prospect, regardless of what the “experts” say. 

Charles “Brett” Helms / Louisiana State – Yes he played for a high profile college program and won a national title, but he’s a tad under 6’02 and about 280 (small for NFL standards).  But his high school profile is similar to Luigs in that Helms threw discus in high school, Arkansas, and made the state meet. 

Fullback:  Brannan Southerland / Georgia – Another guy from a high profile program but slotted for a position that almost doesn’t exist in the NFL anymore.  Besides that, he was a state champion discus thrower (176-06) in the state of Georgia.  He’s tremendously powerful and if he can lead block then he’ll probably get an NFL job. 

Running back:  Okay this is probably the easiest position to predict a solid combine performance etc…but here’s a couple perhaps lesser-knowns. 

Javarris Williams / Tennessee State – Another TSU guy, but he’s power packed 5’09” 220 and was a solid high school track athlete…long jumping (21-10) and participating in 4×100 relay. 

Cedric Peerman / Virginia – Really came on at end of senior collegiate season…had some injuries and fumbling issues at Senior Bowl.  Great high school track sprinter, was state champion in 100 meter dash (10.67) and 200 meter dash (22.03) and state qualifier in long jump (22-07) in Virginia.

Jeremiah Johnson / Oregon –  A bit small for NFL full-time back 5’08” 198 and has probably been written off by some as a result.  However I expect him to run one of the fastest 40’s at the combine.  He was a member of Dorsey High’s state champion 4×100 relay (40.92) and 4×400 relay (3:12.12) in California.  He has  tremendous straight-line speed.  He played well at the Senior Bowl too. 

Wide ReceiverQuinten Lawrence / McNeese State – Yup another major darkhorse…6’04 180…he’s tall but must put on weight.  He was a solid collegiate track athlete ran 10.5 – 100 meters and was member of 4×100 meter (41.23) state champion relay in Louisiana and also high jumped over 6’08 in high school. 

Mike Thomas / Arizona – Very productive in college, most receptions in school history but a bit small only 5’08” and 188.  Great high school track sprinter however…finished fifth in state 100 meter dash (10.61) and 3rd place 4×100 relay (41.20) in Texas. 

Jaison Williams / Oregon – Huge is the only way to describe at 6’04” 240.  He might be a tight end in the NFL..but if he’s maintained his high school sprinting skills, ran 11.13 – 100 meters / 21.96 – 200 meters / and (42.20) 4×100 relay in California.  Lots of injuries in college…might not be healthy.

Tiquan Underwood / Rutgers – Todd McShay of ESPN is all over this guy and other draft gurus have him rated very low, but I know this…he was a high school state champion long jumper (23-10), triple jumper (47-06), and 400 hurdler (53.87) and was runner-up in the high hurdles (14.46).  That’s an athlete…I think he could show well at the combine. 

Jarrett Dillard / Rice – He is hardly an unknown but I think he’s a better athlete than given credit.  Jarrett was a (43-00) triple jumper, (21-00) long jumper, (39.7) intermediate hurdler and (42.9) 4×100 relay in high school…he’s a very capable athlete but is short at 5’10” 185. 

Gotta throw Sammie Stroughter / Oregon State in here…he’s only 5’10” but was very productive in college and good kick returner.  And yes he was a (24-00) long jumper in high school qualifying twice for the state meet in California and qualified once in the 4×100 relay (41.86), not easy to do.   

Defensive Players tomorrow…there’s a few darkhorses there too. 

I should have done this a while back. 

Got any college football players or high school football players with great track and field backgrounds?  Let me know about it…hit me up on the Contact Page.

Underclassmen Players Might Surprise at NFL Combine

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad                                                                                                                                 Football Talent Advisors, Ltd. 

Nearly all college football fans are familiar with a certain number of underclassmen players which recently declared for April’s NFL Draft and should appear at this month’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis.  I’m referring to players like Matthew Stafford, Michael Crabtree, Chris “Beanie” Wells, Percy Harvin and many others that will arrive at the combine with much fanfare and notoriety.  But I want to mention a few players that are scheduled to appear at the combine that won’t carry as much fanfare but might turn a few heads and increase their draft value. 

Based on the athletic achievements of the underclassmen players listed below there’s a good chance for some superior combine performances.    

Eben Britton – (OT / Arizona / 6’06” 310) – Tall and has the frame to put on more size in the NFL…

Threw the shot put 56-01 and discus 158-08 in high school (California), 2005. 

(Britton’s Bio)

Ricky Jean-Francois – (DE-DT / Louisiana State / 6’03” 281) – Dominated BCS Championship Game vs. Ohio State and has a knack for blocking kicks…

Threw the shot put 64-07 and discus 175-01 was two-time state champion (Florida) both event in 2004 & 2005 also threw collegiate shot put over 60-00 in SEC Conference Indoor Championships and competed at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2008. 

http://www.lsusports.net/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=5200&ATCLID=233659&Q_SEASON=2007

Donald Washington – (CB / Ohio State / 6’01” 194) – Started in two BCS Championship Games…

Two-time long jump state champion 23-04 (Indiana) in 2003 & 2004 also 400 relay 43.10 state meet qualifier in 2003, and 6-04 high jumper. 

http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=87746&SPID=10408&DB_OEM_ID=17300&ATCLID=1059348&Q_SEASON=2008

Sean Smith – (CB / Utah / 6’03” 214) – Very tall corner with great size, starter for second ranked Utah…

100 meter dash 11.36 and 200 meter dash 22.48 high school sprinter (California) section meet finals qualifier, in 2005.

http://utahutes.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/smith_sean00.html

Brian Hartline – (WR / Ohio State / 6’03” 180) – Not very productive in college but great frame and terrific athlete…

State champion 300 meter intermediate hurdles 36.69 and 110 meter high hurdles 14.09 (Ohio) in 2005 also qualified for state meet as 6-06 high jumper…55 meter indoor high hurdler 7.60. 

http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=87746&SPID=10408&DB_OEM_ID=17300&ATCLID=1059404&Q_SEASON=2007

Donald Brown – (RB / Connecticut / 5’10” 210) – Extremely productive runner carried offensive load in college…

State champion long jumper 22-10 (New Jersey) in 2004 also qualified for state meet in 100 meter dash 11.32 and 200 meter dash 23.12.

http://uconnhuskies.com/sports/MFootball/2008/2008%20bios/dobrown.html

D.J. Moore – (CB / Vanderbilt / 5’10” 182) – Solid playmaker in SEC perhaps considered a bit small but has great athleticism…

State champion high jumper 6-06 (South Carolina) in 2005 and state runner-up long jumper 22-09 and triple jumper 45-06, in 2006. 

http://vucommodores.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/moore_dj00.html

Darrius Heyward-Bey – (WR / Maryland / 6’03” 206) – Extremely fast and good size for receiver, expected to run fast 40 at combine, seen by some as more “track guy” than football player but was productive in college…

State indoor champion 55 meter dash 6.35 (Maryland) in 2005 also state champion 100 meter dash 10.3 and 200 meter dash 21.1 in 2005.  Finished 6th at Nike Indoor Nationals in 60 meter dash 6.85.  There’s no questioning this guy’s straight-line speed.  The guy can fly. 

http://umterps.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/heywardbey_darrius00.html

 

 

2005-2008 Recruiting Classes

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad                                                                                                                                      Football Talent Advisors, Ltd. 

I recently completed a study in which I applied Football Talent Advisors Tier System to each player recruited from 2005-2008 by the following schools:  Notre Dame, Indiana University, University of Southern California, Ohio State University, and University of Texas. 

I went into the study with three primary assumptions but little prior empirical evidence. 

1.  Most players, particularly skill positions, recruited by Division 1 schools (especially in the larger conferences) participated in high school track and field. 

2.  Successful Division 1 programs recruit and sign larger numbers of high school players with high level track and field performances (tier 2 or tier 3) in comparison to less successful programs. 

3.  Recruiting and signing players with tier 2 and or tier 3 track performances has a direct correlation to team success (wins / bowl appearances). 

Here are the results of the study… 

Recruiting Class Totals (2005-2008)

University of Texas:

Total Recruits – 84

Participated in HS Track & Field – 70  (83.3%)

Tier 3 recruits – 19

Tier 2 & 3 recruits – 36  (42.8%)

Notre Dame:

Total Recruits – 83

Participated in HS Track & Field – 42 (50.6%)

Tier 3 recruits – 7

Tier 2 & 3 recruits – 24 (28.9%)

Indiana University:

Total Recruits – 84

Participated in HS Track & Field – 47 (55.9%)

Tier 3 recruits – 7

Tier 2 & 3 recruits – 22 (26.1%)

The Ohio State University:

Total Recuits – 73

Participated in HS Track & Field – 45 (61.6%)

Tier 3 recruits – 12

Tier 2 & 3 recruits – 23 (36.5%)

University of Southern California:

Total Recruits – 80

Participated in HS Track & Field – 43 (53.7%)

Tier 3 recruits – 16

Tier 2 & 3 recruits – 26  (32.5%)

 

While this only constitutes five teams over a four year recruiting period the results show a few things.  It appears that having a larger number of Tier 3 athletes / players does have some correlation to success, no surprise that Texas leads there but look at USC (16) and OSU (12).  Track participation doesn’t appear to be quite as big a factor but Texas leads all by a huge amount and NO team is under 50 percent. 

By the way…Florida has 15-20 (probably closer to 20) Tier 3 players and Oklahoma has 17.  Hmmm…could it be recruiting quality football players with spectacular high school track and field performances IS the recipe to sustained success in big-time college football?

Super Sunday Fun

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad                                                                                                                                      Football Talent Advisors, Ltd.

Great game!  I have to admit I’m a die hard Steelers fan so I was awfully happy to see them win.  However during the game I couldn’t help but wonder what the high school backgrounds of some of the players were.  I wonder if any of the impact players during the Super Bowl were high school track stars? 

Lets find out…

Arizona Cardinals

Larry Fitzgerald  (WR)  * Baddest player on the field…maybe in the league!

Academy of Holy Angels HS, Minnesota:  Ran track and posted (11.2) 100 meter dash and 2yr. basketball letterman.

Anquan Boldin  (WR)

Pahokee HS, Florida:  Great basketball player and ran on the 4×100 relay

Mike Gandy  (OT)

Garland HS, Texas:  Threw shot put and discus

Levi Brown  (OT)

Granby HS, Virginia:  Threw shot put and discus at regional level

Tim Hightower & J.J. Arrington  (RBs)

Waldorf Episcopal HS, Maryland / Northern Nash HS, North Carolina:  Both 100 meter sprinters

Antonio Smith  (DE)  * Besides Dockett seemed to be the biggest problem for Steelers

John Marshall HS, Oklahoma:  Threw shot put (all-city performer) 

Chike Okeafor  (LB)

West Lafayette HS, Indiana:  Threw shot put (56’10”) and discus (over 170’00”) state meet qualifier

Gerald Hayes (LB)

Passaic County Technical HS, New Jersey:  Long jumper and triple jumper (43’08”)

Karlos Dansby  (LB)

Woodlawn HS, Alabama:  Long jumper state meet qualifier (over 20’00”)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie  (CB)  *Made some big plays for a rookie defensive back

Lakewood Ranch HS, Florida:  Long jumper (over 22’06”), triple jumper (over 46’00”) and (10.75) 100 meter sprinter

Adrian Wilson  (SS)

High Point Andrews HS, North Carolina:  (11.0) 100 meter sprinter and (22.8) 200 meter sprinter state meet qualifier

Roderick Hood  (CB)

Carver HS, Georgia:  100 meter sprinter and 400 relay state meet qualifier

Antrel Rolle  (FS)

South Dade HS, Florida:  110 meter hurdler and state meet qualifier, also ran on college track team at the U. 

Steve Breaston  (WR / KR)

Woodland Hills HS, Pennsylvania:  (48.60) 400 meter dash state champion and (38.60) 300 intermediate hurdler

Pittsburgh Steelers

Justin Hartwig  (C)  * Okay he had a really bad holding penalty for a safety…but he was a good thrower

Valley HS, Iowa:  Threw discus (164’07) state meet qualifier 

Willie Parker  (RB)  * Yup his nickname is “fast”…and he sort of was in high school

Clinton HS, North Carolina:  (11.1) 100 meter sprinter state meet qualifier and 400 relay sprinter

Santonio Holmes  (WR)  * Super Bowl 43 MVP

Glades Central HS, Florida:  (3:16.18) 1600 meter relay state champion and (49.85) 400 meter sprinter state meet qualifier

Brett Keisel  (DE)

Greybull HS, Wyoming:  State champion shot put and discus thrower and high jump state meet qualifier

LaMarr Woodley  (LB)

Saginaw HS, Michigan:  Threw shot put (54’04”) state meet qualifier

James Farrior  (LB)

Matoaca HS, Virginia:  100 meter and 200 meter sprinter and high hurdler 

Lawrence Timmons  (LB)

Wilson HS, South Carolina:  (21’05”) long jump state meet qualifier

 

Oh yeah, it is interesting to note that both quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger each lettered in football, basketball and baseball during their high school athletic careers.  That’s a follow up to the high school sports specialization post.