SAN ANTONIO -- The prestige of the U.S. Army Junior Combine is evidenced by the depth and talent that makes its way to Texas every year to compete.
The 2013 edition of the event took place on Jan. 4 and featured some of the country's top 2014 talent, while also giving us a preview of some of the nation's rising stars in the classes of 2015 and 2016. In fact, Berea (Ky.) Madison Southern sophomore running back Damien Harris was so impressive he earned first-team all-combine honors despite an extremely deep running back group.
Gallatin (Tenn.) Station Camp wide receiver Josh Malone, a Rivals250 to Watch list member, was tabbed as tops among all offensive performers, earning Combine Offense MVP and punching his ticket to the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Others, such as quarterback David Cornwell, running back D'Ernest Johnson and offensive tackle Jackson Barton, topped their respective position groups.
Here is the Rivals.com All-Offense Team from the 2013 U.S. Army Junior Combine:
Rivals.com U.S. Army National All-Combine Team: Offense
There were few who were so clearly tops at their position as Cornwell, who is an early four-star prospect and Rivals250 to Watch list member. At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, Cornwell has the ability to reach back and rip the ball with outstanding velocity. But Cornwell proved to be more than just a big arm. His footwork is very precise and his drops were especially impressive for a quarterback who plays out of the shotgun in his high school offense. Kaaya (6-foot-4, 224), the second-team performer, did not come into the event with as much fanfare as Cornwell, but displayed an impressive combination of mechanics, arm strength and accuracy.
There was, arguably, no stronger position top to bottom than running back, and so an unconventional number earned first team honors. Just a sophomore, Harris ripped off two of the fastest 40-yard dash times from the entire combine at 5-foot-10 and 197 pounds. Johnson and Mixon both dominated the one-on-one sessions of the camp, showing their versatility as receivers. At 5-foot-10 and 209 pounds, few running backs in attendance were as physically impressive as Scott, and he too was dominant in the one-on-one portion of the event.
At the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge this summer, the 6-foot-3 Malone showed he had the tools to be a high-BCS receiver prospect. Since then, however, he has added bulk to his frame to measure in at 184 pounds and he also appeared more explosive. Close on Malone's heels was Bayes, another 6-foot-3, 184-pound receiver who insisted on challenging four-star defensive back Jalen Tabor in every rep and won his fair share. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Farrar arrived in great shape, was physical at the line of scrimmage and caught everything thrown his way.
The tight end position had a decent amount of depth compared to years past, but few elite prospects. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Edwards arrived with several scholarship offers to his credit and stuck out as the position's top performer. However, second-team performer Kaden Smith proved he is going to be a major Division I target in the coming years. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound freshman made one of the best receptions at the event when he elevated with a defensive back draped over him and pulled in a fingertips grab.
The offensive line group was highlighted by several impressive-looking offensive tackle types. Barton (6-foot-6, 282 pounds) and Grimm (6-foot-6, 320) are nimble, big-bodied prospects who possess all the tools to play high-BCS ball. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Hoge does not have quite the size of Grimm or Barton yet, but he does have the frame to get there and his performance in one-on-ones was as good as any of the upperclass prospects. Foster and Mayes are two brawling interior line prospects who also dominated when they attended the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge in Dallas last summer.