Much was expected when Scout.com showed up early Sunday morning at Cincinnati (Ohio) Princeton High School for the latest stop of the Scout.com Combine series.
In its fifth year, the Scout.com combine has become the destination for many of the elite football prospects across the country. Cincinnati was no different except for the amount of talent seen at the quarterback position.
With Michigan verbal commitment Devin Gardner in attendance the Scout.com team knew they’d have one of the elite athletes at the quarterback position.
But Gardner didn’t come looking to impress with his quarterback skills. Instead the super athlete stressed he was looking to impress everyone with his ability as a wide receiver and overall player.
Gardner would take a few snaps as a quarterback but he also took part in all the testing and had one of the top forty times by posting a 4.57 electronic timed forty. Gardner didn’t disappoint anyone and took home overall combine MVP honors. This feat wasn’t easy as several players looked to push for the events top honors.
Jay Bucher (Bellbrook/Ohio) was another quarterback that left his mark for the second straight year in Cincinnati. Bucher has great physical size and an arm as strong as anyone at the event. Bucher only holds two offers but many feel it’s just a matter of time before the signal caller picks up even more attention.
Caleb Watkins (Middletown/Ohio) already holds several offers and showed why he’s getting the interest of teams from several BCS programs. At 6-foot-2, 200-pounds Watkins has the swagger you love to see from a quarterback and a strong arm to hit all the throws. Watkins has continued his development the past two seasons and had a great day after taking part at a quarterback event at Penn State on Saturday and getting back home on Sunday morning around 2:00 a.m. from the event. Not only did Caleb have to fight off fatigue he also fought not having his cleats as he’d placed his in the back of his fathers truck and they were wet from rain.
Also making their mark were two super-sophomores who almost stole the show from the seniors to be.
DaMarcus Smith (Louisville/KY/Seneca) showed the Class of 2011 doesn’t lack at the quarterback position. A super athlete, Smith showed better than expected mechanics and an arm as strong as the older signal callers. He’s also got the ability to be a dual-threat with his athletic ability.
But Patrick Coyne (Hamilton/Ohio/Badin) had everyone talking about his top performance. Coyne has yet to start a varsity game but his arm strength and top-notch mechanics gained praise from combines quarterbacks coach Badre Bardawil as well as Scout.com staff member Bill Greene.
“When the football comes out of his hand you can here it cutting through the air,” Greene said after the combine. “His ball is tight with great velocity and receivers must be ready because the ball gets there in a hurry.”
If not for the great overall performance of Gardner many felt the next most impressive player and deserving MVP was Coyne.
Another young signal caller who looks to have a high ceiling is Collin Michael (Lexington/Ohio) a freshman quarterback who didn’t even plan on being at the combine due to an AAU Basketball tournament. Michael already has the height college coaches look for and an above average arm for a player of his age. How bad did Michael want to be at the combine? He had his father drive him from Ft. Wayne, Indiana after his final hoops game and arrived at his hotel at 2:00 a.m. and went through the combine with basketball shoes since he didn't have his cleats.
In all this was the best overall group of quarterbacks to take part in the Ohio stop over the past few years.