May 11, 2006

Players emerge from combine season

The combine season is always a great opportunity for a player to get the attention he may have been lacking. With three major combines occurring in or around New Jersey in May, a number of Garden State prospects rose to the occasion and put their hats into the recruiting ring. Here are a few of the players that saw their stock soar because of their combine performance, plus a quick look at the top performers from the National Underclassemn Combine.

1. Chaz Cervino - DePaul
It's hard for Cervino to escape the comparisons between himself and Anthony Ferla of St. Joseph's (Montvale), who signed with Temple in February. Cervino came into the Elite College Combine with no offers and left with the defensive backs MVP award, which is exactly what happened with Ferla last year. Cervino performed well during the testing portion, as he ran a sub 4.5 and was excellent in the shuttle run, but it was his physical style and hustling nature in the one-on-ones that made college coaches take notice. He especially took advantage of his one-on-one duals with WR Greg Little of North Carolina, who is considered one of the top receivers in the country.

2. Terrance Fox - Piscataway
It's easy to see how Fox may have been overlooked at Piscataway, playing alongside two players, Anthony Davis and Tony Logan, who already have over 15 offers each. But at the Nike Camp at Rutgers, Fox proved that he's a Division I player. Although he's undersized, he's very quick, runs great routes, cuts quickly and gets separation. He also has the natural ability to adjust to the ball while it's in the air. Look for Fox, 5-foot-8 and 160-pounds, to get a D1 opportunity as both a slot receiver and a kick returner.

3. Ben Pooler - Lawrenceville Prep
With an impressive amount of overall talent at the Elite College Combine, Pooler stood out as the best linebacker in attendance. He is impressive physically, quick and excellent in coverage. All of this helped Pooler, 6-foot-1 and 238-pounds, stand out during the one-on-ones, as he also showed the ability to change direction quickly and made several plays on the ball. Pooler's performance earned him Linebacker MVP honors at the combine, and also resulted in an offer from Maryland a few days after.

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