CORAL GABLES -- For South Lake receiver Patrick Harris, linebacker Jordan Montgomery and defensive back Nick Waisome, the opportunity to head south to compete against what many believe are the best athletes in the state, was well worth the 225 mile trip.
On Sunday, three of the best football players from the Central Florida region were among the 300 plus that showed up for the Nike Combine at the University of Miami.
Whether it was in the individual testing or 1-on-1 drills and competition, all three had the opportunity to get it done against quality athletes who flocked to the region for the opportunity to start the spring off in style.
"There are great football players all over this state, and of course Florida is known for producing great athletes, but there is something about coming to the Miami area and proving what you can do against the best," said Waisome, who is regarded as one of the top defensive backs in the state. "There was never a shortage of players to go against down here."
Waisome showed why many believe that he is one of the best as he locked down some of the best receivers on hand for the five hours of testing and competition.
While Waisome has become a household name with those who follow recruiting, Montgomery used the experience of the Nike Combine to his advantage. He was impressive during drills and was singled out several times for his quickness and ability to make plays.
"This was a great opportunity for me to come here and get my name out there against very good competition," Montgomery said. "There were a lot of scouts there watching, so going out and doing my best was important."
With Nike officials watching along with Rivals.com, Scout.com, Elite Scouting Services and many other local and national media representatives, players like Harris had the chance to go against some quality defensive backs. Harris was fluid, made catches and ran outstanding patterns.
"I have followed Patrick and knew what to expect from him," said Charles Fishbein of Elite Scouting Services. "I have to say that defensive backs were really very good out here, so coming up with catches was never going to be easy for anyone. Harris was very good."
While the trio from South Lake did well, this was an event that also highlighted some of Florida's top talent.
Among those Class of 2011 players who made an impression on offense were Miami Northwestern quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and teammate, receiver, Eli Rogers; Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas receiver Rashad Greene and offensive lineman, Bobby Hart; Tarpon Springs lineman Zach Debell; Miami Christopher Columbus receiver Tacoi Sumler; Naples Barron Collier tight end Jeff Heuerman; Fort Lauderdale Stranahan receiver Corey Tindal; Hialeah receiver Craig Wilkins; Plantation American Heritage receiver Marken Michel; running back Tre Mason (Lake Worth Park Vista); Coconut Creek North Broward Prep receiver A.J. Sebastiano; Boyd Anderson defensive back Robbie Anderson; Fort Pierce Central linemen Giorgio Newberry and Mike Marsaille; and Tampa Jefferson receivers Chris Moore and Andre Davis.
On defense, Homestead end Ricardo Williams Homestead, St. Thomas Aquinas cornerback Marcus Roberson, Hollywood McArthur defensive back Nick North, Stephen Montgomery of Miramar, Miami Monsignor Pace defensive back Jabari Gorman Pace, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna defensive back Jonathan Aiken, Plantation safety Jeremy Cash, Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast standouts and early FSU commits Keelin Smith and Lamarcus Brutus, Fort Pierce Central safety Wonderful Monds, and Pompano Beach Blanche Ely defensive back Courtney Hall all stood out.
"There was plenty of talent out on that field today," said former Florida Gator and Miami Dolphin safety Louis Oliver, who was one of the instructors of the camp. "The kids were in shape and ready to compete. I like that."
There were several other players who also made a solid mark on those in attendance. Players who are now off to work hard for spring practice and then get ready for summer of camps and 7-on-7 events.
Some of the top 2012 prospects who stood out included Palm Beach Gardens lineman Avery Young, Palm Beach Central defensive back Angelo Jean Louis, Glades Central athlete Jamie Wilson, Miami Booker T. Washington defensive back Amos Leggett, Miramar defensive back Malcolm Lewis, Oakland Park Northeast quarterback Kevis Jones and Hialeah American quarterback Abe Coleman.
All eyes were also on the nation's best Class of 2014 running back, Sony Michel of Plantation American Heritage, who dazzled with his ability.Copyright © 2015, CT Now