Akron Combine MVP: Jeff Cumberland
Jeff Cumberland
Jeff Cumberland
Scout.com - East
Posted Jun 1, 2005


There was a noticeable buzz about the University of Akron Indoor Football Complex on Saturday, and it centered on an unbelievable athlete. Throughout our 11-city tour we have tested some of the best high school football players in the country; perhaps none were more physically impressive as Jeff Cumberland who walked away as the Scout.com All-American Invitational MVP for its Akron Combine.

At 6-4 and 221 pounds Columbus (Ohio.) Brookhaven athlete Jeff Cumberland is a physical specimen. On Saturday (May 28th) he did more then just look the part. Cumberland not only was the most impressive at Akron, he may have been the best kid we've tested period.

The buzz began when Cumberland tested in the L-Cone, a drill that tests your speed, quickness, flexibility, change of direction, body control. Cumberland posted a (7.23) which took Peach County (Ga.) head coach Rance Gillespie by surprise when I went to the station to talk to him.

"Keep you eye on the big kid with the grey shorts, he just ran a (7.23) and he looked good doing it," Gillespie said.

Next, for Cumberland was the 20-yard shuttle. He promptly went to that station and busted out a (4.28) the shuttle run measure's an athlete's lateral quickness, coordination, and change of direction. Cumberland's efforts caught the eye of Scout.com Southeast Analyst Ryan Jordan.

"That kid is a freak, he just ran a (4.28) at that size," Ryan Jordan said.

At that time I had decided to follow this athlete closer and see if he tested that well in everything, by the time I had made it to the 40-yard dash station, I asked Scout.com's South Analyst and combine director Scott Kennedy what the most impressive 40-yard dash time was, and he pointed to Cumberland and said (4.47). Anyone who knows Scott can tell you he does not impress easily, not out of arrogance but through experience he covers some of the fastest kids in the nation. He was even impressed by Cumberland's efforts.

"I don't know if I have one kid in the South that I could compare him to over the past three years. Xavier Carter maybe, but that kid is 30 pounds heavier," Kennedy said.

Cumberland then went on to the standing broad jump which measures Leg explosion, quickness and lateral burst. The soft-spoken athlete jumped (9'-8").

He finished up his testing efforts with the vertical jump which measures Vertical leg explosion. Cumberland went on to post a (34") vertical. Then it was time for the one-on-one drills, show time if you will. This is when we get to see the match-up's of the top wide receivers versus the top defensive backs, the top tight ends versus the top linebackers, and so on.

Cumberland of course excelled at that part of the combine as well. When he rotated to wide receiver he showed explosion, he proved he was polished with his route running, and he has real time speed to burn most opposing defenders. He has outstanding ball skills, and uses his body and his leaping ability to catch everything.

When Cumberland decided to rotate over with the tight ends it was equally as impressive, except no one could keep up to him. He is physically strong enough to get separation, once he separates it's game over.

Playing in a run-oriented offense, Cumberland told Scout.com that he had 19 receptions for 375 yards and 9 touchdowns as a junior. He earned All-City, and All-District honors. Cumberland currently claims offers from Penn State, Minnesota, Michigan State, Akron, Marshall, and Illinois. Who is he focused on right now?

"I like Miami, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, and USC," Cumberland said.

One thing is for certain after his performance in Akron; Cumberland should pick up quite a few new offers in the upcoming weeks.


Related Stories
Video Interview - Jeff Cumberland
 -by BuckeyeSports.com  Jun 1, 2005
Bucknuts TV - Scout.com Combine Testing
 -by BuckeyeSports.com  Jun 2, 2005
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