Champaign Combine - Super Sleepers

DB Shannon Cobb

We've already taken a look at the top performers from the Champaign combine, held last Saturday on the campus of the University of Illinois. Tomorrow, Scout.com, rolls into Auburn, Ala., for our next combine stop. Before we preview Auburn, let's take a look at a few sleepers from Champaign that we'll be keeping a close eye on in 2005.

1. DE Dustin Jefferson, 6-1, 205, Kankakee, Illinois

Jefferson isn't much of a sleeper. He already has some scholarship offers under his belt, including one from Illinois. The reason Jefferson is on this sleeper list is because of how he performed last weekend. Dustin competed against prospects 100-pounds heavier than he was and he dominated with his quickness. Jefferson was all business last weekend and he's going to have a huge senior season.

2. LB Eric Gordon, a 6-0, 220, Traverse City (MI) T.C. West

Gordon doesn't have the size that most D-1 schools are looking for in a linebacker but Eric showed up last Saturday and tested extremely well and did even better during the one-on-one drills. Eric had a tremendous junior season and he should be an all-state performer in Michigan this year. Gordon ran one of the fastest 40-yard times at the combine and his coverage skills were such that he could possibly be a safety at the next level. Cut in the same mold as Sean Consadine (Iowa) who was just drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles.

3. QB Jared Funk, 6-2, 175, Arlington Heights (Ill.) St. Viator

From a footwork standpoint, Funk has a lot of work to do. St. Viator runs a shot-gun offense and Jared doesn't have to worry about 5-and-7 step drops. What he does have is a fiery competitiveness. As a junior, Funk had his way with perennial power Joliet Catholic and almost led the Lions to an upset of the eventual state champions. Funk threw a beautiful looking ball. He showed touch when needed and he also showed the ability to put the ball where only his receiver had the chance to make a catch. Funk will be a very good college quarterback.

4. WR D.D. Hardy, 5-11, 160, New Haven, Michigan.

The Big Ten coaches love Hardy on film. He is a little slight but he has the frame to add weight. Hardy didn't disappoint at the combine. Hardy showed the ability to accelerate quickly, he was fluid and was very good at setting up the defensive backs. Very good change of direction and body control, flashes deep speed and big play ability. Best attribute is his make-you-miss ability in the open field.

5. DB Shannon Cobb, 5-11, 200, Normal (Ill.) Community

Cobb looks sensational in person. He definitely looks like a D-1 football prospect. Shannon is well put together and he tested, in my opinion, extremely well on a very slow track. If he lived in the Chicago area, Cobb would definitely be getting more looks. The former Jesse White Tumbler put on a show after the combine with some acrobatics. Also looked good while competing against the wide receivers. Cobb's senior year will be a big one for him. He'll need to show college recruiters that he has play-making ability and he'll also need to show that he's willing to hit people. My guess is he'll get the job done.

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