Tampa Bay players flourish at local combine

An estimated 50 local rising juniors and seniors stole the show at a local combine that welcomed nearly 100 prospects on Saturday at Larry Sanders Sports Complex.

Best Overall performance; “Combine King” – Zach Benjamin, 2013 WR Tampa Catholic

Benjamin was virtually unstoppable, dominating each and every defensive back who tried to cover him during 1-on-1’s. He shined during individual combine testing as well turning in a 4.45 shuttle time and 4.65 forty yard dash. His 9-foot 10-inch broad jump was best at the combine by and astonishing nine inches.

Benjamin has great footwork and is learning how to use his size to his advantage. At 6-feet 5-inches, Benjamin says he hopes to put on 10 pounds before he graduates to tip the scales at 200 pounds.

Overall TE MVP – Jeremy Kerr, 2013 St. Petersburg

Since I did not see much of St. Petersburg last year I was blown away by Kerr. At 6-feet 6-inches Kerr is more than a big body, he is an athlete. Quick feet, soft hands and runs well. He may grow into an offensive tackle, but for now Kerr would be a dominating force at tight end if he was able to flourish in a more pass-heavy offense.

2013 WR MVP – Domenic James, Clearwater Central Catholic

Somewhat overshadowed by a dominating rushing attack in 2011, Domenic James is a good-looking prospect out of CCC. At 6-feet 190 pounds he has a nice frame and runs solid routes.

2013 DL MVP  – Devyn Salmon, Plant City

Quick feet and violent hands are his two best tools. Being 6-feet 2-inches tall and 282 pounds doesn’t hurt either. Salmon’s stock is continuing to rise as he is beginning to garner national attention. He dominated 1-on-1 drills showing good quickness off the ball and the ability to shoot gaps.

2013 OL MVP –  Robby Garcia, Jesuit

Garcia is an interesting player to watch. He’s listed as a defensive end and tight end for the Tigers, yet his frame is more fit to play guard at the next level. Interest surrounds Garcia, who is still waiting on his first offer, who coaches are looking at to convert to the offensive line.

Garcia held his own during 1-on-1’s and said after  the combine that although he hasn’t played much on the offensive line that he knows the basic techniques and is a sponge soaking up information.

2014 OL MVP – Brad Smith, Gaither

Smith is a competitor. He has nice technique and wants to go against the best of the best. Smith has some growing to do, but as long as he continues to work hard in the weight room he could grow into a formidable prospect. He runs well and will probably succeed in Gaither’s new offense in 2012.

2013 QB MVP – Jake Shade, Clearwater Central Catholic

Shade stood out throwing some of the tightest spirals at the combine. He struggled a little bit throwing the deep ball, but has a quick release and good accuracy throwing the short comebacks and slants.

Other noteable performances:
Alex McGough, Gaither, QB, 2014
Harry Brown, Largo, LB/RB, 2013
Riley Barr, St. Petersburg, LB, 2014
Canaan Brown, Clearwater Central Catholic, LB, 2014
Cedrick King, Plant City, DE, 2014
Jameel Garrett, Durant, DB, 2013

Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleBennettUT