Moving from North Carolina to Missouri kept Aleric Mullins under the radar a bit, but the…
"In The Trenches" Part Three
I personally get the chance to coach the offensive and defensive linemen at each combine. After each combine I'll present my personal evaluation of what we saw "In the Trenches", this will focus on the big boys. The people who do not get the press, but they are responsible for a large amount of a team's success. My third report focuses on the linemen who attended our Illinois combine. Our third combine was on Saturday, April 23 at the University of Illinois. Offensive Line: Finally, we had a combine where the linemen were the stars of the show including Hamilton Heights (Ind.) standout Cody Faulkner (right), 6-5.5 and 305 pounds. The fiery red head first caught my eye in San Antonio at the U.S. Army All-American Combine in January. Faulkner did not disappoint in Champaign either, he was consistently tough during the one-on-one portion of the event. He did receive a stiff challenge from Caruthersville (Mo.) stalwart Aleric Mullins. Like most big battles, both competitors bested each other a few times, and earned one another's respect by the end of the evening. Faulkner posted a (4.8) shuttle, (24.5") vertical, (8.31) 3-cone drill, (5.58) 40-yard dash, and a (98") standing broad jump. Scouting Report: Faulkner has tremendous lower body strength, and he has great knee bend. He slides well laterally; he is quick off the snap. He anticipates the defenders movements. Delivers a quick punch, and uses his hands well. The only negative I saw with Faulkner is the same with any lineman when he gets high he loses his balance, and is slow to recover. He is a very intense competitor and absorbs coaching like a sponge. Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central Center/guard Jason Onyebuagu (left), 6-1 and 292 pounds, got my respect when he spit out a mouth full of blood and was back in the rotation two plays later. "Jay-O" impressed me with his quick feet, and his ability to use his leverage to his advantage. He is a relentless blocker, he like Faulkner took on all comers, and he won the majority of the time. He posted a (4.85) shuttle, (27.5") vertical, (8.53) shuttle, (5.37) 40-yard dash, (92") standing broad jump. Scouting Report: Onyebuagu has some weight room work to do, but he is a player. Most people see 6-1 and say the kid can't play D-1, but I don't buy it. He uses his leverage and low center of gravity too consistently get low and control his opponent. He has amazingly quick feet, and outstanding knee bend. He does not possess great size or an outstanding frame, but he is a technician, and is tenacious in always finishing his blocks. Now if anyone had told me at the beginning of the combine I would be including Plainfield (Ill.) offensive tackle Perry Dorrestein (right), 6-6.5 and 276 pounds, in this article, I would think they were crazy. Dorrestein showed me one thing that you cannot measure with a scale or a stopwatch, and that is heart and guts. This kid was so nervous and pressing himself that he could not block anyone. After pulling Dorrestein aside, tweaking his mechanics and building his ego back up the kid was not beat the rest of night. I thought he was going to leave the combine he was so mad, but he gutted it out and when he left that evening he left with a smile on his face and that to me makes this job worthwhile. Scouting Report: Dorrestein is a raw prospect, who needs to work on his footwork. He does have a great frame, and an outstanding reach. He could put on 30 pounds and carry it well. I love his determination and grit, he's a warrior. He has good power angles, and uses his hands well. With solid coaching and a few years to allow him to grow, Dorrestein can be a very productive college football player. Defensive Line: In the week leading up to the combine I heard a lot about Caruthersville (MO.) defensive tackle Aleric Mullins (left), 6-1.5 and 292 pounds, ok you can call me a believer now. Defense is all about intensity, and it is tough to find a more intense competitor then Mullins. He tackled our quarterback dummy as if he wanted to hurt it, which was impressive to see a kid with D-1 offers exert that kind of effort. Some kids get that primadonna attitude after a while, not Mullins. Unstoppable very often during one-on-ones, he should patent his swim move. He posted a (4.96) shuttle, (8.31) 3-cone drill, (5.04) 40-yard dash, (90") standing broad jump. Scouting Report: Mullins is one of the most explosive defensive linemen I have seen this year. He does not possess the prototype size that most would like, but he uses his quickness and strong base to beat most opponents. Mullins is very competitive he stepped up against anyone who wanted to match-up with him. I appreciate seeing well-coached prospects, being a former coach myself. There are few better coached than Bolingbrook (Ill.) defensive tackle Maurice Hill (right), 6-0, and 260 pounds. Hill also receives my "Silent but Violent" award for this week. I watched this kid continuously swim opponents as if it was second nature. A good offensive lineman will adjust his game to stop that move or slow it down, one problem though you have to beat him off the snap first. Hill would swim most linemen before they were out of their crouch. He posted a (4.56) shuttle, (28.5") vertical, (7.87) 3-cone drill, (5.09) 40-yard dash, (84") standing broad jump. Scouting Report: Again if you spend your time waiting for a 6-3 and 300 defensive tackle they by pass Hill, if you want a football player look him up. Hill has a tremendous base; his thighs are like oak trees. Extremely athletic, Hill also plays fullback for Bolingbrook. Hill has a tremendous burst off the line of scrimmage, very tough to block due to his quickness, strength, and low center of gravity. Kankakee (Ill.) outside linebacker Dustin Jefferson (left), 6-1 and 201 pounds, gets my respect because he worked out with the big boys and not the linebackers. Jefferson more then held ground, providing a tremendous challenge off the edge. During every single drill, you could see the tremendous feet and athleticism in this prospect. The most impressive sight was watching him battle straight up against kids 100-pounds bigger then him, and he rarely lost. Jefferson reminded me a lot of DeKoda Watson whom we saw at our Duke Combine. He posted a (4.33) shuttle, (31.5") vertical, (7.65) 3-cone drill, (4.75) 40-yard dash, and a (106") standing broad jump. Scouting Report: Jefferson's future is at outside linebacker, where he should prosper as an edge rusher. He uses his tremendous reach to gain control of opposing linemen. Needs to get a little thicker, and add overall body mass. Very explosive prospect.
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