CARSON, Caif. – Last Thursday, Junior Rank held its annual Proving Grounds combine, an event showcasing the top underclassmen in the country. We take a look at the event’s top performers.
Armanti Foreman was the fastest man and the best performer at the Junior Rank Proving Grounds combine.
1. Armanti Foreman, WR, Texas City (Texas) High School
Foreman was on a different level at Thursday’s combine than any other prospect in attendance and was our offensive MVP for the event. The Oklahoma commit swallows up defensive cushion almost instantly and his fluidity as a route-runner was second to none. At 5-11, Foreman isn’t a towering target but he’s a finisher and he can run. In the two-heat fastest man competition, Forman took home the title. In Foreman Oklahoma has landed one of the best 2014 wide receivers in the nation.
2. Naijiel Hale, CB, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
It became evident very early in the competition period that Hale was special. He competed frantically at every rep, raking at the football and rarely allowing a completion in coverage. His quickness out of his break is outstanding and though he is just a shade under 5-11 right now, he plays like a big cornerback. Currently Hale is hearing from Oregon, UCLA and Northwestern but look for Hale to emerge as one of the top cornerbacks in the country.
3. Rafe Peavey, QB, Bolivar (Mo.) High School
Arkansas landed an early commitment out of Peavey and at first glance, it looks like they’ve landed a good one. Peavey has a relatively stocky, muscular frame and he spun the ball more effectively than any other quarterback in attendance. Even when receivers weren’t making plays for him the ball was put in the right place. Look for Peavey’s profile to grow significantly as he’s evaluated more this off-season. He’s the real deal.
4. Matt Zolper, OL, Schaumburg (Ill.) High School
With regard to body structure and the “look test”, Zolper is a FCS prospect but when the competition took place, there wasn’t anyone better. In one-on-ones, there wasn’t even a close second to Zolper. He is extremely strong, showed great balance and has a punch that jolts much bigger defenders. Zolper may well end up at a BCS program but he showed a lot of ability on Thursday and was named the JuniorRank Proving Grounds MVP for his performance.
5. Enoch Smith, DT, Chicago (Ill.) Mount Carmel
Smith is athletic, jacked up defensive tackle that was the most athletic defensive interior player in attendance at the Proving Ground Combine. Smith is a defensive tackle with muscles everywhere with burst and power out of his stance and the quickness to counter anything offensive linemen through at him. Already Smith holds offers from Notre Dame, a host of Big Ten schools and more.
6. Koa Farmer, CB, Riverside (Calif.) Notre Dame
Farmer was without a doubt the most physical cornerback at the event. His jam at the line of scrimmage was stoning most receivers in their place and disrupting there ability to get into their route effectively. A Cal commit, Farmer also ran well in the 40 and showed good size and versatility.
7. D’onte Foreman, RB, Texas City (Texas) High School
The only player at the Proving Grounds event that was faster than D’onte in the fastest man competition was his twin brother Armanti. D’Onte Foreman is a back that clearly has speed but he’s also a big kid who looks the part of a between the tackles, every-down back. At the event last week, Foreman separated as a pass catcher. The 6-0, 207-pounder is still waiting for his first offer but we expect his recruitment to spike soon.
8. Jaleel Wadood, CB, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Though he isn’t the biggest cornerback, Wadood maintains a big presence in the secondary. He was tremendous in and out of his breaks and accelerates to the football quickly. Look for him to be one of the more highly-recruited defensive backs in California.
9. A.J. Greeley (2015), CB, Fresno (Calif.) Edison
For much of the camp, the 2015 prospects were separated from the 2014 prospects but as soon as the two groups merged, Greeley rose quickly to the forefront. Only a sophomore, Greeley is already physical in coverage and looked confident and comfortable every rep. He looks like the next great defensive back poised to emerge out of Fresno Edison.
10. Tyrone McNiel, DE, Philadelphia (Pa.) George Washington
There were several good defensive linemen competing in California but McNiel may have been the most athletic edge rusher in attendance. He stands 6-3 and 212 pounds so he’ll need to continue to develop physically and add weight but his quickness off the corner looked elite. Currently his interest has come from the likes of Temple, West Virginia, Duke and Rutgers.
Others notable performances; Jacob Daniel, DT, Clovis (Calif.) North (2015); Ricky Town, QB, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure (2015); Korey Robertson, WR, Greenwood (Miss.) High School; Preston Woods, DT, St. Paul (Minn.) South