« Mike Leach highlights big UA weekend | Main | TrainersRUs Combine this Saturday »

Local stars shine at Under Armour combine

Teddy Bridgewater doesn't consider himself "a combine guy." He says running laser-timed 40-yard dashes under the watchful eye of coaches he doesn't know -- or care to know -- simply doesn't bring out the same intensity in him as when he's being chased by defensive players trying to knock his head off.

Columbus WR Tacoi Sumler was among the stars at Sunday's Under Armour combine That's why the 6-3, 175-pound junior quarterback from Miami Northwestern -- and the top 2011 recruit in the state of Florida -- wasn't bothered much by the fact he was clocked at 4.88 seconds three times during Sunday's Miami Under Armour Combine.

"To me, the game is what you're evaluated by -- not the numbers," said Bridgewater, who threw for 2,546 yards, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season while rushing for 379 yards and five more scores. "When I run a 40, I just run a 40 to see how I run. When I'm on the field, I'm running to win the game."

Bridgewater (LISTEN TO HIS INTERVIEW) didn't need to win over any scouts inside the practice bubble at the Miami Dolphins practice facility Sunday. They know what he can do. But for most of the other close to 250 local participants from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties who participated in various drills such as the 40-yard dash, the three-cone drills, the short shuttle, the bench press, and vertical leap, Sunday's final day of the Under Armour combine was a great opportunity to draw more eyeballs and potentially college scholarship offers.

And there were definitely a few locals who stood out. My Combine MVP awards went to Columbus receiver Tacoi Sumler, Nova High defensive tackle Nile Lawrence, and Plantation linebacker Ryan Shazier. Here are a few tidbits on our camp MVPs and a few other standout participants...

> There weren't many who had a much better day than Sumler. The 5-8, 175-pound receiver/cornerback who recently transferred from Gulliver Prep, ran a 4.33 40-yard dash and the L-cone drill in 6.73 seconds, a drill made especially to demonstrate the ability to cut and change direction quickly. Later on in one-on-one drills, he burned several cornerbacks who tried to cover him for easy touchdowns. Already with 12 offers from schools like South Carolina, West Virginia, Florida State, FIU, Tulane, Arkansas, Clemson and Stanford, Sumler, who had over 900 all-purpose yards and scored 20 touchdowns as a junior, is expecting to get offers from Florida and Cal soon. He said he talks to University of Miami coaches often and grew up a UM fan. He said he is waiting to see if the Canes will offer him.

> Another receiver who was hard to miss was St. Thomas Aquinas' Phillip Dorsett, who was more than happy with his 4.41 time in the 40-yard dash. Dorsett, listed a 5-9, 165, said he's received offers from Ohio State, Notre, Dame, Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida and said he likes the Buckeyes because they were the first team to offer him and because they have former teammate Duron Carter. But he grew up a UM fan and said he would love to get a Hurricanes offer. "That's always been my dream school," Dorsett said. "Santana Moss is my favorite player." AUDIO INTERVIEW

> Northwestern's Eli Rogers (5-10, 175) doesn't have a formal offer from any school yet, but said the Hurricanes are on him hardest and he gets letters daily from Florida, Florida State, Oregon and Alabama. Rogers wasn't happy with his 40-time of 4.57 seconds, but showed everyone how talented he can be in the open field during 7-on-7 and 1-on-1 drills, catching passes and making big plays. AUDIO INTERVIEW 

Plantation defensive end Ryan Shazier, an All-Broward First Team selection, ran a 4.44 in the 40-yard dash. > Defensively, it seemed, there were plenty more impressive players. The easiest one to spot was Ryan Shazier (6-2, 205) -- especially with his cleanly shaven head. The All-Broward First Team selection, who had 19.5 sacks last season, ran an eye-opening 4.44 in the 40-yard dash and had a 34.5-inch vertical leap. He also performed well during one-on-one drills in pass coverage. Shazier said he has nine offers, including one from Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina and is waiting for the Hurricanes to offer him. "I like them," Shazier said. "I know I can fit their program. If they don't want me, they don't want me. But you always like to have a program that's close to home."

> Shazier's new teammate Jeremy Cash, formerly of Ransom Everglades, already has plenty of big name schools after him including Miami, North Carolina and Ohio State. The 6-2, 195-pound safety didn't disappoint at the combine, running the 40 in 4.58 seconds and knocking away several passes in seven on seven drills. His father, Byron Martin, said Jeremy is interested in going to a school with a good medical program. Cash plans to graduate early and enroll in January.

> If there is one player whose recruiting stock is rising quickly, it is Lawrence (6-2, 270). The former middle linebacker who continues to grow, impressed recruiting analysts with 32 reps on the bench of 185 pounds. He also ran an impressive 4.9 in the 40-yard dash, showing he has the motor to go with the strength. Lawrence, whose only previous offer had come from Colorado, said he was offered by Florida State recently. He said he likes the Seminoles a lot.

Nova DT Nile Lawrence had 32 reps of 185 on the bench, the most by any competitor Sunday at the combine.  > Lawrence wasn't the only defensive line prospect to shine. Jackson defensive end Ruben Carter (6-4, 270) said he already has offers from FIU, Georgia Tech and Rutgers. He said he ran the 40 in 5.28 seconds and bench pressed 185 pounds 20 times. Carter is also being looked at potentially as an offensive linemen. Booker T. Washington's Elkino Watson (6-3, 260) had a stellar junior season for the Tornadoes after transferring from Carol City and followed it up Sunday with solid numbers. He ran the 40 in 4.81 seconds and had 22 reps on the bench.

> Southridge defensive back standouts Gerod Holliman and Andrew Johnson both participated with the elite group Sunday. Holliman (6-1, 180) wasn't happy with his 4.65 time in the 40-yard dash, but the All-Dade Third Team selection thought he did well in other events. Johnson (5-10, 160) ran a 4.57. The All-Dade Second Team selection had seven interceptions as a junior. Both said they play to visit the University of Miami unofficially this week, where they hope to land offers.

> Monsignor Pace defensive back Jabari Gorman (5-10, 175) is another player who hopes to enroll in school early. Boasting a 4.17 GPA and a score of 19 on the ACT, its no surprise that Gorman has already gotten offers from more than a dozen schools including UM. Among the others are Mississippi, Tennessee, LSU, Ohio State, Oregon, Florida, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Iowa. Sunday, he ran a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash and leaped 9.1 feet in the standing long jump. AUDIO INTERVIEW

Under Armour is expected to release more numbers from this weekend's combine as early as Monday morning. Check back for full results later this week...