LIBERTY, Mo. — High School football players from three Platte County schools — Platte County, Park Hill and Park Hill South — gathered to participate in the 810 Varsity Combine on Saturday morning, May 5, on HyVee Field at Liberty High School.
The combine was billed as the largest football combine in Kansas City history.
More than 300 athletes from around the Kansas City area attended, including Park Hill’s Johnny Wilson, Haden Wallace, Darion Neal, Jaylin Noel, Park Hill South’s Xavier Jackson and Braeden Denney and Platte County’s Cade McNicholas, Trevor Scott and Cameron Scheib.
Each player at the combine participated in the 40-yard dash, broad jump, short and L-cones and team drills including 7-on-7 and lineman drills for the different position groups in front of countless coaches representing numerous colleges from the Kansas City area and across the Midwest from NAIA to NCAA Division I.
Wilson, a 6-foot-4, 275 pound sophomore defensive lineman was among those present that rendered the most attention. Wilson has already been receiving offers from some high-major football programs.
Wilson continues to move-up the recruiting boards and with continued growth the two-sport athlete — a state-wrestling qualifier in 2018 — should greatly improve upon his 46 tackles, 3 sacks and 14 hurries posted from last season.
Wilson is just enjoying the recruiting process and focusing on improving.
Wilson, didn’t test in Liberty, but posted a 5-flat in the 40-yard dash, 8-foot-8-inch in the broad-jump, 4.64 in the short and 7.69 in the L-cone at the 810 Varsity Combine on Apr. 28 at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School.
“The recruiting process is going pretty good. I just picked up my latest SEC offer from Arkansas, to go along with Iowa State and Kansas in the Big 12. School wise, I am just going to sign where I fit in,” Wilson said. “I just want to work on what I could’ve perfected and did better at the drills. Right now, I am just enjoying the process and I will make my decision when the time comes.”
Park Hill junior linebacker Wallace (6-2, 205) is another two-sport star (football and basketball) is also on the radar of college coaches. Wallace, posted a 4.82 in the 40-yard dash, 9-foot-0-inch in the broad-jump, 4.47 seconds in the short and 7.56 seconds in the L-Cone during testing at the combine.
Wallace contributed 85 tackles and 7 sacks to the Trojans’ defense last season and hopes to improve on those numbers showing scouts he’s ready for the next level as an impact defender.
“It’s been a fun process. I’ve spoken with North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Drake and some other schools on the FCS level,” Wallace said. “I am going to trust the process and keep on going. It’s been a fun and stressful process, but I’m just going to keep my head up and enjoy the process.
“I am just going to try and make myself better and try to win in my senior season at Park Hill.”
Noel (freshman) and Neal (sophomore) also participated in the combine and the drills like their Park Hill teammates. Both players ran 4.68 in the 40-yard dash.
Park Hill South had two underclassmen at the combine in Jackson (sophomore) and Denney (junior). Denney flew through the 40-yard dash posting a time of 4.53 good enough to place him inside of the top 10 at the event, just behind the flagship time of 4.40 recorded by Raytown’s Jaheim Burks.
Denney finished second in the broad-jump at 10-foot-4-inches, just two inches behind Lawrence Free State’s Keenan Garber who leapt 10-foot-6-inches.
Platte County, also had three players present — McNicholas (junior), Scheib (sophomore) and Scott (eighth grade). The trio showcased their skills in front of Pirates quarterback coach Wayne Baskerville, who was one of many high school coaches helping out at the event.
“We are going to be young this season and we expect some good things from these guys this season,” he said.