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-Supplemental Draft Update
-Free Agent Workout News
-Talent Outside the NFL
-Injury Update on Un-drafted Free Agent
-Prospect Updates, including Spring Workout Numbers
*LATER THIS WEEK: West Coast Updates; Fresno State, UNLV, Cal and others... All-Star Game News/Schedule of Events... Transfer News... and more Prospect Updates and Spring Workout Numbers!
PROSPECT UPDATE REGARDING NFL SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT:
Former CLEMSON wide receiver ROSCOE CROSBY (#25), who was named to the Freshman All-American team after the 2001 season, has decided to petition the NFL for entry in the upcoming (July) Supplemental Draft... while his paperwork has been submitted it will still have to be reviewed by the advisory committee before he formally becomes eligible for the draft... has spent the past 4-5 months investigating what would give him the best chance to continue his football career, as he had looked into several possible transfer points, but would not have had the time to complete the necessary course hours to become eligible by the fall... started working out with an eye towards the Supplemental earlier this year, as he was able to perform at Clemson's Pro Day on March 17th... ran between 4.48 and 4.52 in the 40... 36-38" vertical... has been timed in the 4.45 range in recent weeks... while also doing 20-22 reps of 225 pounds... currently weighs 6017, 214 pounds... top games of his freshman year (2001) came against Florida State, Louisiana Tech, Duke and Maryland... #25 on those game tapes... he was also a very sound blocker on those tapes... plays with good aggressiveness, both with and without the ball... "He's (Crosby) the best I've ever seen as a freshman... he does things out there that are just God-given abilities", said current South Carolina and former Clemson receivers coach Rick Stockstill after just four practices in the spring of 2001... had also been drafted in the second round of the MLB draft by the Kansas City Royals... lost three friends who died in a tragic car accident on their way to see him playing summer league baseball... to this day they are still identified as his "Brothers" by family and friends alike as all four had grown up knowing each other their whole lives to that point... had also suffered a right elbow injury, which led to a red-shirt season in 2002... split time between Royals' spring training and school early on, but was mislead by the contract he had agreed to, as the Royals decided not to pay for his tuition at Clemson in the spring of 2003, which led to a future arbitration case... throughout the entire period of time (8-10 months) between the summer of 2002 and the following spring of 2003 there were no outside attempts to help him deal with the loss of his friends until a private counselor worked with him through his families intervention... with a much clearer head he attempted to re-gain his eligibility at Clemson in the spring/summer of 2003, which is when the funding issue arose, stemming from the withheld payments from his contract... most insiders believe the Royals hoped he would give up on football and sign a new baseball contract... the arbitration case was finally completed in February 2005, which is the timeline of when he started working out full-time with an eye towards football... amazingly, his entire three-year ordeal, which includes having not played football in that period of time still leaves him at the tender age of just 22-years old... as his date of birth is 2/6/83... he was the Player of the Year in the state of South Carolina, according to USA Today, coming out of high school... scored an amazing 40 touchdowns in his final two years at Union High, while averageing over 20 yards per catch on 159 receptions... a quick look back at that year's Top-25 recruits shows that a total of 10 of those 25 players have been drafted in the first or second round of the past two NFL Drafts; Crosby was rated above all but one of those players (RB Kevin Jones, Detroit)... he is a quiet kid away from the field... does not speak much of the past or his situation other than to say he hopes to make the best of his new beginning... anyone who has read these reports for the past four years knows how much time and research goes into them before they are released... our staff has been aware of all of the decisions/moves made by Crosby and his family for nearly six months, but were not willing to make critical or passing remarks about his situation or upside potential until each item was carefully reviewed... this is the type of kid that could make-or-break a decision makers future, as he has shown first round ability, but it takes a close eye to reveal the talent that is still very much still present... once he is fully eligible for the Supplemental Draft, he intends to hold two "Pro Day" workouts in the Columbia, SC area with one coming in early June and the other towards the middle of the month... he has a highlight and workout tape/DVD available... please contact his advisors for more information, and to receive time/directions to his workouts.
POST-DRAFT WORKOUT OF UN-DRAFTED FREE AGENT:
Former Grambling State/Mississippi State wide receiver ANTONIO HARGO (#80), who played last season at GSU, worked out for a member of our staff late last week (Thursday)... special thanks to coach Tom Shaw and his staff for allowing us the use of his outdoor facility to complete this workout... Hargo, who was 6041, 190 pounds, ran 4.35 and 4.38 in the 40... on a track surface; wore flat rubber-soled shoes... 4.18, 4.21, 4.28 in the short shuttle on grass; wore football cleats... has done 36-38" on the vertical in recent attempts... 35 1/2" arms... 9" hands... was given the clearance to workout at MSU's Pro Day, but scouts in attendance said it would violate NCAA/NFL rules... his own Pro Day at GSU was the following morning, and he was not able to travel back in time, so he actually never ran for pro scouts leading up to the draft... had a total of just 20 catches for 308 yards and four touchdowns during his college career... averaged 15.1 yards per catch and scored on one out of five opportunities he was given... was often used at "Gunner" on special teams during practices, but remained idle during most games... after transferring to GSU, he saw the team's starting quarterback lost for the season in the first-half of the opening game of his senior year... has long arms... has the ability to easily bulkup to the 205-210 pound range... does not have as long of a stride, as a runner, as most receivers his size... showed good quickness once he learned the dynamics of the short shuttle... has more of a track runner's style in the 40, as one of Coach Shaw's chief assistants figured he could turn 4.3 or better times if he was under the guidance and training of a specialist for a short period of time... work-in-progress in terms of overall receiving skills... neither college team made use of his straight-line speed on kickoff returns... had an off-field issue that created some tension at MSU, but was invited back by Coach Croom and the new staff, but decided to transfer to be closer to home and receive additional playing time... was recruited to LSU, Miami and several other major programs coming out of high school... has also been a standout sprinter during his prep/college days... has shown some maturity since our initial conversation with him several years back... knows his role in the issue he had at MSU... has worked hard on his own, and offered to come down to New Orleans for the chance to workout... good kid who spoke freely and answered any/all questions before and after the workout... what our staff saw was a raw, but physically-gifted athlete who should time at 4.4 or better in any workout and show the upside talent to be considered for a practice squad or NFL Europe spot in the coming year... has a highlight tape/DVD available... please contact his agent for more information.
June 1st will be upon us within the next ten days, so there could be some interesting names that are released by teams for various reasons, although most of them will be cut in order to create cap space to either sign rookies or add free agents at other positions, depending on each team's situation... the two most likely names to hit the open market appear to be Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JOHNNIE MORTON and Chicago Bears cornerback/return man R.W. MCQUARTERS... the New Orleans Saints could make a run at Morton depending on his asking price... others that should be making plans for new fall destinations include safety Lance Schulters (Tennessee), cornerback Bobby Taylor (Seattle), running back Charlie Garner (Tampa Bay), safety Mike Logan (Pittsburgh) and linebacker Michael Barrow (Washington)... Schulters should be out of work the shortest amount of time with Atlanta, Dallas and possibly even Miami in the market for his services... two others that may be cut on-or-shortly after June 1st would be offensive tackle Kyle Turley (St. Louis) and defensive tackle Tim Bowens (Miami)... Turley's injury status and run-ins with head coach Mike Martz should lead to a breakup... too bad Oakland is not an option as have two people ever been more meant to be than Turley and the "Silver & Black"... meanwhile, Bowens' injury status has most believing the Dolphins would love to save some cap money, and possibly re-sign him at the veteran minimum at a later date... it would also figure that the losers of the Marques Anderson vs. Derek Gibson (Oakland) and Greg Wesley vs. Jerome Woods (Kansas City) safety battles might be cut later this summer... although Wesley or Woods could be dealt for a conditional draft pick to Dallas if they do not find a safety to their liking before then... early bets on where kicker Paul Edinger, who was released by Chicago, would be the Tennessee... but someone like Dallas, Buffalo, Kansas City or even Miami could take a closer look than expected... Minnesota has not shown any interest to date, which has surprised both Edinger and his player rep... free agent defensive tackle Keith Traylor as expected decided to sign with the Miami Dolphins... free agent safety John Howell will either re-sign in Tampa Bay or leave for a similar deal in Seattle... the Seahawks are also hoping that playing with his brother, Michael, will appeal to free agent defensive end/linebacker Peter Boulware, who is also being courted by Cleveland and Houston among others, all toll about 10-12 teams have spoken consistently with his player rep.
TALENT OPTIONS OUTSIDE THE NFL:
Ottawa Renegades (CFL) quarterback KERRY JOSEPH (#4), a former standout at McNeese State who spent several years in the NFL (Seattle) as a defensive back, has quietly taken his career "North of the Boarder" and regained his previous touch and big-play ability as a signal caller... he has tremendous natural arm strength, as well as the athleticism and mobility that is now "En Vogue"... this will be the final year of his Renegades contract, so he will have the ability to be evaluated by NFL teams after this coming season... will turn 32 in October, but has young legs in terms of his pro lifespan... he is one of only five CFL quarterbacks to throw at least one touchdown pass in 15 straight games... missed a few games last season due to a left foot injury... games reviewed include Edmonton, Montreal (twice) and Saskatchewan... shows good touch and velocity on his deep routes... will throw a few poor balls... has had a few games where he has been streaky... but his hot streaks are very impressive... strong upper body, runs hard for a quarterback... very good leadership skills... had a few problems with fumbles in 2003; lost five, but it did not carry over onto last year's game tapes... was also used as a reserve punter in college... although he kicks with his left leg despite being a right-handed thrower... ran in the mid-to-late 4.5's coming out of college... but still would seem to be in the 4.6 range today... very well-conditioned athlete, was viewed late last week doing a pre-training camp workout in the New Orleans area for coach Tom Shaw... worth keeping an eye on his 2005 CFL campaign, as he has an interest in seeking a return to the NFL as a quarterback and is showing the potential to contribute with his all-around skill level.
Meanwhile, the AFL has also become another one of the training grounds used by the NFL... and to that end there are currently several interesting options in terms of free agent prospects that deserve a first or second look... a few that have stood out in recent weeks include ORLANDO PREDATORS (AFL) wide receiver JIMMY FRYZEL (#80), the former Central Florida standout, who is playing with a pair of recently broken ribs on his left side, posted one of the best games of his career on Sunday against New Orleans... he consistently went across the middle... took short screen plays back into the middle of the field... and was banged up against the boards for four quarters without showing any ill effects... pound-for-pound he is one of the league's toughest players... good quickness and has deceptive speed in the open field... while he might never be a full-time NFL starter... there is a lot of Wayne Chrebet/Ricky Proehl in him... defensive end/edge rusher E.J. BURT (#96), who formerly set an AF2 record for sacks in a season while playing for Cape Fear, has continued that trend in the AFL... the former Division III standout has been a natural pass rusher at every level of football... while under-sized by most standards (just under 6'2", 270 pounds) he has very strong hands, a quick first step and plays with a great motor... good pursuit defender and has amazing ability to create turnovers... he has caused 13 fumbles on 25 career AFL sacks... still only 27 years old... was a Division III All-American at West Liberty State... during his AF2 career with Cape Fear he recorded 26.5 sacks in one season... pass rushers are at a premium, so his skills are worth a closer look, since players like R-Kal Truluck, Willie Whitehead and Cullen Jenkins were found after similar backgrounds... and others like Asa Francis and Marlon Tickles have been signed after AFL or CFL stints, as well... two others worth mentioning for the potential to be situational or role player types at the NFL level were also in uniform on Sunday... NEW ORLEANS VOO DOO wide receiver/return man JACQUES RUMPH (#2), who was a Division II All-American return man at Carson-Newman, returned a kickoff 55 yards for a touchdown... while he lacks ideal size (5'8", 180 pounds)... he has an extra gear of speed... very good vision and quickness on returns... might be worth a look for his return skills even if it is just to give your coverage teams a different look during training camp... a second backup-type prospect in New Orleans would be defensive lineman MICHAEL LANDRY (#93), a former Southern U. prospect who has spent time in the NFL the past few years, he has bulked up bigger than before... two weeks ago when one of our staff members spoke to him post-game in-person, he actually seemed to be about 15-20 pounds heavier than the previous time, a year or so earlier, as he said he was "Around" 305-310 pounds now... while he was more of a DE prospect coming out of college... the now 26-year old has become versatile with the added weight... he has been very quick off the ball as an interior defender this season... says it has helped him develop as a runner defender... and that he now makes better use of his hands... with his relatively low cap number and combination of size (6'3", 305 pounds) with some interior pass rush potential off the bench... this is still a kid worth looking at for depth purposes.
Finally, although he has faired well during his initial two stints in the MLB, as an outfielder and leadoff-type hitter with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and not mentioned the idea of looking at the NFL to date... JOEY GATHRIGHT also has a football background, which included playing wide receiver, defensive back and return man in high school before turning his attentions to baseball full-time... he has twice been sent back to the minors because of a crowded outfield situation... but the Louisiana native, who prepped at Bonnabel High School was un-officially timed at between 4.19 and 4.22 in the 40 during his high school years... he actually has a clause in his baseball contract prohibiting him from of all things... "CAR JUMPING"... that's right he has and upon reviewing this with my own eyes leaped over a standing vehicle door-to-door (so running from the side)... he's only 5'10", 175 pounds, but would without a doubt be one of the fastest and quickest athletes seen to date... a second name that fits this category is former University of Washington two-way performer NATE ROBINSON, who played cornerback early in his college career, before turning his attention to being the school's point guard full-time... he recently declared for the NBA Draft, but at 5'9", 181 pounds, some experts are saying that he may not be a guaranteed first round selection... he initially showed impressiive speed and quickness and some potential balls skills as a defender... also is strong for his size... school officials say he ran in the 4.3's in the 40... plus he has been known to hit 40"-plus on the vertical... based on the results of the NBA Draft, he could look to the NFL as a viable option by next spring.
INJURY UPDATE ON 2005 PROSPECT:
WISCONSIN-WHITEWATER cornerback FULTON "TREY" BELL (#3), a Division III All-American who had a solid week of practices at the Hula Bowl, is currently rehabbing a partially torn right Achilles tendon, which he suffered in February, the surgery was done the first week of March (3rd)... he is expected to be back to 100% and available for workouts by mid-to-late June... his rehab may soon be transferred to CES in Atlanta, where he would be under the care of Chip Smith and his staff... prior to the injury he was running between 4.37 and 4.42 in the 40... while bench pressing over 400 pounds... weighed 5103, 186 pounds... played mostly left cornerback for U-WW, but was also used on both kickoff and punt returns... recorded 34 tackles, four interceptions, nine pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble... tapes reviewed include Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Wisconsin-LaCrosse... additional information will be made available on him over the coming weeks, as he gets closer to being back to full-strength.
PROSPECT UPDATES, INCLUDING SPRING WORKOUT RESULTS:
TEXAS A&M senior quarterback REGGIE MCNEAL recentlty stated that he ran 4.38 in the 40 during his spring workout for NFL scouts... TEXAS senior defensive back MICHAEL HUFF ran 4.38 in the 40 for members of the coaching staff during a recent workout with the team... he is a member of the school's Track & Field team, so he did not workout for scouts in the spring... also weighed between 200-205 pounds, as he had lost a few pounds for the track season... senior defensive tackle RODRIQUE WRIGHT and senior offensive tackle JONATHAN SCOTT did not run the 40-yard dash for the coaching staff, but posted solid 10-and-20 yard times, according to members of the staff... ARIZONA STATE senior wide receiver DEREK HAGAN has repeatedly stated that he ran 4.40 in the 40 during his spring workout for scouts... CLEMSON senior quarterback CHARLIE WHITEHURST has not looked overly impressive this spring... his body-type and lack of definition has made several people around the program question whether he has committed to the weight room with the type of authority necessary to become an All-ACC type signal caller in his final college campaign... N.C. STATE senior defensive end MANNY LAWSON and ARIZONA senior defensive end MARCUS SMITH are two names to keep an eye on as they enter their final year of eligibilty... both players have shown natural pass rush skills, while also having the athleticism and size/speed combination to be viewed as possible DE/OLB types come the post-season... LAWSON has often wowed his coaching staff with his 38-40" vertical and 11'7" broad jump... there have been several occasions that he has "Out-Verticaled" the weight room's vertical machine... SMITH has been quoted as being one of the "Best" athletes ever seen by head coach Mike Stoops, which speaks volumes when you consider the college players he has seen or coached... SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI senior linebacker/safety TREVIS COLEY should continue the school's excellence on the defensive side of the ball... the former safety will be moved up to the linebacker position full-time as a senior with the hopes of using his speed, instincts and tenacity to create havoc for opponents... while he may not enter the season as a "House-Hold" name in Conference USA... there are several insiders who believe that he could be a true "Darkhorse" candidate for Defensive Player of the Year honors by year's end... former SOUTH CAROLINA standout defensive end MOE THOMPSON, who was dismissed from the team earlier this year following an off-field incident, will most likely suit up at Benedict College, a local area Division II program... meanwhile current SOUTH CAROLINA senior offensive lineman FREDDY SAINT-PREUX, who admitted involvement in the on-campus theft/damage, which occured after the team forfeited its post-season chances after their on-field fight against Clemson, has been entered and accepted the chance to complete an intervention program for first-time offenders, which could clear his record upon completion... NEBRASKA senior safety DANIEL BULLOCKS recently stated that he was timed at 4.39 in the 40 this past spring... he is the brother of New Orleans Saints second-round choice Josh Bullocks... oddly enough, although it would be hard to believe, considering the position his brother Josh was taken, #40 overall, most insiders know that growing up and all through high school before they both signed with Nebraska... that Daniel and not Josh was known as the football standout... as he was always a little bigger, faster and more physical... should he prove to still be all of those things... the senior version of the Bullocks brothers might just eclipse his siblings draft status... MIAMI, OHIO will once again become a "Hot Spot" for area scouts this fall, as they should have no-less than six legitimate senior prospects... two of those being senior cornerback DARRELL HUNTER, who was timed at 4.32 in the spring, but has run as fast as 4.29 in previous years for the coaching staff... while senior linebacker TERNA NANDE will be one of next year's NFL Combine "Workout Warriors" as he has posted times in the late 4.4's to early 4.5's on a consistent basis to go along with a 36-38" vertical... his weight room numbers are equally impressive, plus he has added a yoga class to his routine in order to increase his flexibility and quick-twitch movement... Nande does best moving forward, as of today... his pass coverage skills are still developing... and he tends to get caught up at times at the line of scrimmage or on misdirection plays... has much better straight-line speed... so an increase in flexibility might help him turn-and-run better and make him a more fluid athlete... one of our staff members (Matt Jansen) who has watched tapes on him recently made a good comparison to Boomer Grigsby (Kansas City) in terms of similar strengths/weaknesses entering their senior campaigns... SW MISSOURI STATE senior cornerback DARREN BARNETT, a former Wisconsin transfer, was not listed on the team's roster or depth chart in the spring... although a school representative said they did not have any kind of official update on his status, Barnett himself stated last week that he is/has been attending a local area junior college, and has been assured by members of the staff that he will be allowed back in school and re-join the team for fall drills if he completes his JC course work... former MISSISSIPPI STATE senior safety DARREN WILLIAMS, who was dismissed for violating team rules earlier this year, has not been released from the school in his attempts to transfer to Division I-AA contender Murray State... Williams is hoping to join ex-Bulldogs running back NICK TURNER, who played at Murray State last season, but the fact that the two schools faceoff in the Week One opener this fall... is likely playing a big role in the stalemate... one other possible transfer point for Williams seems to be another strong Division I-AA program, Northwestern State, LA... where another ex-Bulldog, linebacker MARVIN BYRDSONG landed earlier this year... if those options fail then he would likely turn to several MEAC, SWAC or possibly even schools like McNeese State, SE Louisiana or Tuskegee... two names that will be familar to those who have reviewed these sections in previous years have finally made positive strides in their hopes to rekindle their pro aspirations... former JC All-American and USA Today High School honorable mention selection, junior defensive end/linebacker J.J. GRANT has received a scholarship to attend FRIENDS UNIVERSITY, a NAIA program based in Kansas... he was recruited out of HS and JC by nearly all SEC and some Big 12 programs... he struggled to get his math credits secured before finally being cleared earlier this year... while usually listed as being 6'6", 240 pounds... he is more likely to be 6044, 245-250 pounds... has been timed in the 4.6 range, as recently as last spring... he will have two years of eligibility to play at the NAIA level... meanwhile, HUMBOLDT STATE linebacker TREY RANDALL, a double transfer from JC and Louisiana-Lafayette, has been fully cleared to participate in fall drills and will take the field for his senior campaign... he will continue to wear jersey #10, as he did at UL-L... the coaching staff has agreed to work him out later this summer, so we will provide those numbers to you as they become available.
*Be sure to listen to ESPN (Florida) radio's Thursday night program (7-9pm) leading up to the start of NFL Training Camps and the start of the College football season featuring Orlando Alzugaray... you can find out more by visiting www.espn1080.com.
*Be sure to listen to Sirius' NFL Radio program each day leading up to the start of NFL Training Camps.
*Next Level Scouting Staff members Dean Zarafonetis (Midwest), Matt Jansen (Southwest), Pat Schuster (National) have contributed to previous reports, as have Carlos Holmes (Midwest), Josh Buchanan (Mid-Atlantic).
*All rights reserved by NextLevel Scouting, Inc. and John Murphy... any use of the material enclosed without the express written or verbal consent of NextLevel Scouting, Inc. or John Murphy is prohibited... John Murphy can be reached via phone or email at 504.415.9979 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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