The temperature reached the 100-degree mark Sunday afternoon at St. Thomas More High School, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm and energy shown by a good-looking group of football prospects at the Lafayette NUC.
Cecilia athlete D'Andre Dartez was named Combine King. At 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, Dartez can play a variety of positions, and he primarily worked out with the running backs on Sunday.
Dartez dished out plenty of hard hits from his strong safety position last year for Cecilia, and he has great bloodlines (cousin of former Tulane RB Jamaican Dartez). Dartez clocked a 4.48 and a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, and he runs effortlessly.
St. Thomas More RB Jon Juneau, the Overall MVP, made a huge spash. He weighed in at a ripped 200 pounds and was the fastest player (4.43) at the combine. The 5-foot-11 back ran a 4.2 shuttle, posted a 10-3 broad jump and a 36-inch vertical. Vanderbilt and Tulane are among several schools that are showing interest.
Jake Juneau, Jon's younger brother, was the '13 WR MVP. Jake recorded a 33-inch vertical and 19 reps on the bench press (with 155 pounds). He'll be the third wide receiver in STM's rotation this fall.
The Leadership Award went to Ouachita's Jarrett Triplett. When the players walked in to register, Triplett easily stood out as having the most impressive physique. He plays nose guard for the Lions, but the 5-foot-8, 200-pounder worked out with the running backs on Sunday.
Triplett ran a 4.48 and a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash, and he had the most reps of anyone on the bench press (185 X 26). This spring, Triplett finished fifth in the state in the shot put at the Class 5A meet. He also jumped 40 inches at the recent FCA Combine. Triplett's dad proudly informed that his son has a 20 on the ACT and a 3.7 GPA.
Devin Eaglin (5-9, 210) was another compact, sturdy back who did well in drills. Last year, Eaglin was a workhorse for the Class 3A Westlake Rams, logging over 200 carries for approximately 1,500 yards and 20-plus touchdowns. He didn't run as well as he hoped during testing, but Eaglin put his moves on display on the STM turf.
Breaux Bridge seniors Lamar Louis and Travin Dural - both LSU commits - were on hand to lend support to their teammate, RB Adrian Menard (5-9, 185). Menard caught the ball well in drills and ran in the 4.60 to 4.67 range. Breaux Bridge won't have any problems moving the football during the '11 season.
Louis and Dural were joined on the sidelines by Teurlings Catholic QB Dshaie Landor, who many consider to be the best signal-caller in the state. Landor had just arrived back in town from a road trip to Western Kentucky's football camp.
Khristopher Watkins (6-2, 215) of Jennings won the TE MVP, but he's equally likely to line up as a WR on the next level. Watkins, who ran in the 4.6-range, has the build of a linebacker. He gave DBs fits in the one-on-one drills. TCU, UL and Central Arkansas are recruiting Watkins, who says most programs want him as an H-Back. Jordan Murray (St. Thomas More) is another TE who has a future playing on Saturdays.
Paul Babineaux (STM) and Zach Burch (Acadiana) shared the LB MVP. Neither has ideal size, but both showed nice dexterity in drills. Burch's footwork was excellent. His teammate, LB Darius Ridgeway, was named Strongest Man. With Burch and Ridgeway returning, Acadiana is ready to defend its 5A state championship.
LaMarcus Allen (New Iberia Senior High) and Blake Miller (Notre Dame) shared the WR MVP. Miller ran a 4.46 and displayed exceptional hands. Zack Cart (Barbe) won the DB MVP, while another Acadiana prospect - Dondre Chanet - was the DL MVP.
Will McMillan (St. Thomas More) was the OL MVP. McMillan was very aggressive during drills. He got into several spirited contests with opposing defensive linemen during the one-on-one matchups.
Dre Fusilier (NISH) was the '13 LB MVP and Jermaine Antoine (Loreauville) was the '13 DB MVP. Fusilier had a nice sophomore season for the Yellow Jackets. He showed a nose for the football and a knack for being the right place (several fumble recoveries) last year.
Antoine, who battled Juneau ('13 WR MVP) tooth and nail in the one-on-one matchups, is an NUC veteran.
"I locked the wide receivers down," he said. "I swatted down a lot of passes today. I didn't run like I wanted to in the 40, but I had a 4.49 shuttle and a 33-inch vertical."
Landon Fredieu (Many HS) made a strong case for '12 DB MVP. Many coach Jess Curtis has been raving about Fredieu since spring training, and his senior star lived up to the hype Sunday. Despite suffering from the lingering effects of food poisoning, Fredieu ran a 4.54 and a 4.61. His build (5-11 1/2, 200) is strikingly similar to that of Jon Juneau.
"I lost seven pounds since I got food poisoning last week," said Fredieu, who has an offer from Northwestern State. "I was able to do 17 reps on the bench, though."
Cecilia ILB Jeremy Doucette ran well (4.70) for his size (225-230 pounds). He makes a ton of players for the Class 4A Bulldogs. Doucette is one of the top overall track and field performers in the Acadiana area.
Northside DB Brandon Lard also enjoyed an above-average showing (ran in the 4.6 range). He's a player to watch this fall.