FSU Pro Day Speedsters…Penn State Recruiting Speed?

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

According to Gil Brandt’s NFL.com Florida State held a pro-day and had several eye-popping 40 yard dash times.  Several highlighted players were cornerbacks Tony Carter and Michael Ray Garvin, whom I mentioned in a previous blog for running the 60 meter dash at ACC Indoor Championships a few weeks ago.  Also mentioned by Brandt was FSU running back Antone Smith. 

It is no surprise that Michael Ray Garvin ran a reported 4.24 and 4.28 40.  He was a state champion 100 meter sprinter (10.50) in New Jersey and participated in multiple NCAA Track Championships.  He was a pretty good corner and kick returner for FSU and wasn’t just another “track guy” trying to play football.  I believe an NFL team might get some production out of him, particularly if he can return kickoffs. 

Tony Carter is similar to Michael Ray Garvin in that he’s a bit small for the NFL.  However he was quite productive at FSU with 8 career interceptions and proving he could return punts this past season.  According to Brandt, Carter ran 4.41 and 4.42 at the recent pro-day.  He was a state meet qualifier in high school running both the high (14.41) and intermediate (39.15) hurdles also running a leg on a 4×100 relay squad (42.17) finishing seventh.   

Antone Smith ran 4.33 and 4.36 40′s.  Smith is small, but benched 31 reps at 225, and probably not a full-time running back in the NFL.  While he did disappoint in some eyes while at FSU, he’s another speedster with potential game-breaking abilities.  He just didn’t show it much at FSU and probably won’t be drafted very high if at all.  Like the others, Smith did flash his speed as a high schooler running the 100 meter dash (10.85) finishing runner-up in Florida and third in the 200 meter dash (22.11).  Although he did run as fast as (10.63) and (21.71) at his regional meet. 

On a different note I saw an interesting article claiming that Penn State was focused on recruiting speed after the loss to USC in the Rose Bowl.  Apparently the Penn State coaching staff sensed that USC’s roster to-a- player was faster than their’s and really went after speed in this year’s recruiting class.  The first half of the Rose Bowl certainly exposed some deficiencies of Penn State and overall team speed was probably number one.   

All I can say is Big Ten look out for Michigan in the coming years.  No I’m not the first or only one to say Michigan will rise soon but my reasons might be different. Michigan’s recruiting has set it apart from nearly all others, it has signed 13 “Tier 3″ athletes in the past two years and Rich Rod’s not finished yet.  No other team in the Big 10 is even close (except perhaps Ohio State)…the speed and athletic gap will continue to increase in Michigan’s favor and we’ll begin to see it this year.  Now if they can get a quarterback…

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