ESS Observations

Lake Gibson High School welcomed upwards of 200 prep football athletes to compete in the 2012 Elite Scouting Services Combine. A number of Tampa Bay prospects were in attendance including quarterbacks, runningbacks, tight ends, offensive linemen, defensive linemen and defensive backs.


The Bay Area brought the crop of the QB class with Christian Strong, Countryside ’13, had arguably the best showing of all QBs present. He is a extremely under the radar because of his recent move to Tampa Bay from Canada. Strong featured a powerful arm, solid footwork and keen accuracy. He has big shoes to fill stepping in behind Gray Crow, but he appears to be up for the task.

Other top QB performances:
Brad Mayes, Berkeley Prep ’15 – Mayes is a young prospect with a very high ceiling. At 6-2 the freshman has a nice base to built on. He has a lively arm and the ability to place the ball wherever he wants, especially over the top.
Landon Galloway, Plant City ’14 – Galloway was a pleasant surprise. The prototypical slot receiver appears to be in line to be the Raiders starter and is ready to do so. He has solid feet, plus arm strength and could grow into a formidable signal caller.


Emmanuel Stewart, Gibbs ’13, and Ja’ Juan Pollock, Manatee ’13, stole the show. Stewart competed with a brace on his knee, but if you only watched him from the waist up, you would have never noticed. The stocky back boasted 21 bench press reps at 185 lbs and was shifty throughout the combine.

Pollock is a speedster and showcased it today. He clocked a 4.41 forty yard dash an burned by linebackers/cornerbacks during 1-on-1 drills.

Trench Warfare:

Highlighted by defensive linemen Jordan Sherit, Hillsborough ’13, and Devyn Salmon, Plant City ’13,  a number of Tampa Bay prospects had strong showings. Seth Crowell, Plant City ’13 OL, saw his stock rise the most. The offensive guard has good size and uses his hands well. He has good technique and quick feet.

Jarrett Gretebeck, Strawberry Crest ’13, also had a very impressive day coming off the edge. Although more fit to play LB Gretebeck is quick off the line and uses his go-to rip/swim to get around slower, bigger, offensive tackles.


Maurice Hall, Gibbs ’14, has a problem; or a gift; or a bit of both. Noone knows where he is going to play – not even his head coach. While a number of people project him to grow into an outside linebacker he may be a better fit at strong safety, or corner, or even receiver. Today he spent most of his time on the offensive side of the ball carving DBs up. He runs crisp routes and has explosive quickness off the line.

Vincent Jackson, Jesuit ’14, spent most of his time at TE today, but saw limited snaps with the amount of receivers at the combine. Jackson continues to propel himself to the front of the 2014 class with his size, strength and skill.

Kyle is a recruiting analyst for Big County Preps. You can email him at and follow him on Twitter @KyleBennettBCP.