LOS ANGELES - A number of underrated prospects showed up at the National Underclassmen Combine last weekend at Cathedral High and many made names for themselves but maybe no recruit helped himself more than Pomona, Calif., cornerback Jamal Overton.
The 5-foot-9, 178-pound standout had a 35.5-inch vertical leap and broad jumped 9 feet, 6 inches - both were best at the combine. Overton is super athletic, versatile and tough, too.
He said Northwestern, Iowa, UCLA and SMU have been sending mail but no offers have come yet. That could change if he continues to have more solid performances at camps this summer.
The defensive back position had two other standouts in Chatsworth, Calif., prospect D'Ondre Alexander and Corona (Calif.) Eleanor Roosevelt's Derek Ofoma.
Alexander is small at 5 feet 7 and 160 pounds but he's muscular and compact and he tested well especially with his 4.54-second 40-yard dash and 29.5-inch vertical leap. UNLV, Iowa and Northern Arizona are sending mail to Alexander, who had four interceptions last season.
Ofoma, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound recruit, had a 32.5-inch vertical and said he'd especially like to attend summer camps at Iowa and Northwestern.
Placentia (Calif.) El Dorado's Zach Kimble was one of the top defensive ends at the event and the 6-foot-1 ½, 211-pounder ran a 4.8-second 40 and had a vertical jump of 26 inches. Kimble said Maryland and Illinois are showing early interest and he plans to camp with the Terrapins and at Minnesota this summer.
Linebacker had some strong prospects with Lukas McCarthy and Jakob McCarthy, twin brothers from La Habra (Calif.) Sonora. Lukas jumped 32.5 inches and finished with 119 tackles last season. Jakob had a 31.5-inch vertical. Both are hearing from Northern Arizona at this point.
Other linebackers that stood out included Bakersfield (Calif.) Ridgeview's Kyrie Wilson, with early interest from Washington State, and Anaheim (Calif.) Esperanza prospect Mason Miller, who's hearing from Army.
Wilson was timed at 4.57 seconds in the 40 and jumped 31.5 inches. Miller, who said he's strongly considering West Point because his family has military ties, had a 33-inch vertical and looks like a quality tight end or linebacker on the college level.
E.J. Galvez, one of many top prospects coming from La Mirada in its 2011 recruiting class, said he'd prefer to play defensive line because of his aggressiveness but is also being considered as an offensive lineman. Nevada, UNLV and Air Force are on the early list.
One of the top overall athletes at the combine was Yucaipa, Calif., prospect Tyler Swinford, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound wide receiver/defensive back who clocked in at 4.57 seconds in the 40 and had a 31-inch vertical. He said Oregon State and Northern Arizona are involved so far.
Three other good-looking prospects were La Canada (Calif.) St. Francis wide receiver Ian Hamilton, a 6-foot-4, 202-pounder who said UNLV, Cal Poly and Northern Arizona have sent mail; Torrance (Calif.) North athlete Benjamin Brown, who's hearing from San Diego State, UC-Davis and Penn; and Bakersfield, Calif., safety Mercy Maston, who has Iowa, Army and Northern Arizona on his early list.
San Diego (Calif.) Madison all-purpose back De'Saan Hardwick was expected to work out but had to scratch because of a foot/ankle injury. Hardwick has an early list that includes UCLA, Stanford and San Diego State.