Hundreds of high school hopefuls attended the Nike Sparq Recruiting Combine in Oakland on Saturday, participating in various football drills throughout the day. Whether from local Bay Area and other California high schools, or from states as far away as Hawaii and Missouri, the athletes set out to perform well enough to garner interest from college scouts.
As expected, the 40-yard dash generated the most excitement among the athletes, and some of these guys came out blazing.
|John McDonald||RB/LB—2015||Lincoln (Stockton, Calif.)||4.54|
|Russell McClung||CB/WR—2015||Clovis (Calif.)||4.59|
|Austin Johnson||WR—2015||Mountain View (Calif.)||4.60|
|Sawyer Pittman||RB—2015||Sanger (Calif.)||4.60|
|Nate Phillips||QB—2015||Modesto (Calif.)||4.61|
|Priest Jennings||RB/CB—2015||Chavez (Calif.)||4.62|
|Bryce Oliver||RB/CB—2015||La Serna (Calif.)||4.62|
|Juiwan Brown||WR/DB—2015||De La Salle (2015)||4.63|
|Mason Saba||CB—2016||Centennial (Bakersfield, Calif.)||4.64|
|Dante Griffith-Johnson||RB—2015||Emory (Calif.)||4.64|
John McDonald of Lincoln High (Stockton, California) had the fasted 40-yard time on the day, at 4.54 seconds.
The running back played for Western Ranch (Stockton) in 2013 before transferring. In 2014, he got hurt and missed the latter half of the season. He doesn't have any offers yet, but a strong showing in the combine (he also ranked No. 7 of the top 40 performers in Oakland) could change that this summer.
Clovis High's Russell McClung had the next best time at 4.59. This is an improvement for McClung, as the wide receiver/cornerback previously posted a 4.72 at an earlier combine event, via Hudl. He also excelled in the cone drills, hinting at how agile and athletic he is on either side of the ball. He placed 11th overall of all performers on Friday.
During the offseason, McClung plays baseball for the Cougars.
Austin Johnson of Mountain View, California, had the third-best time of 4.60, and like McDonald and McClung, he was another top performer overall on the day (No. 9). He's started for the Bulls since his sophomore year after switching from wide receiver to running back. In addition to football, Johnson played basketball this past winter and is playing baseball this spring.
All three of these guys were invited to Sunday's Nike Training Football Camp, and another top performance there could garner each of them some interest from college scouts.