Combine attracts top talent

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The organizer of Saturday’s Tupelo Combine, Scout.com’s Steve Robertson, gathered the players at the yearly event in a huddle near midfield Saturday morning at Tupelo High School and shot straight with them.
His words of advice transcended personal life lessons into football lessons: Good workouts at this growing camp have proven to yield results. Colleges have taken notice of the players at Robertson’s combine.
The event is perfect for a player like Keshon Heard, an incoming sophomore running back from Hamilton.
“I ran my fastest 40-time here,” Heard said. “My routes, I want to work on that.”
Heard ran a 4.46 40-yard dash and was in the final running for the camp’s fastest man.
There is a hot morning full of drills and one-on-ones with players and coaches from the North to the South parts of the state.
North Pontotoc receiver Marcus Green clocked a 4.43 and is expected to see his stock rise as a senior this season. Green’s size – 5-foot-9, 180 pounds – can get him overlooked. But this combine is built to help players prove against their perceived limitations.
Two Tupelo teammates, junior defensive back Jayland Dillard and senior wide receiver Rodney McIntosh ran in the 4.4s with new offensive coordinator and camp worker Jon Keith looking on.
“I’m very happy with my times but I would like to run better,” Dillard said. “This shows me what I need to work on and what I need to do better.”
Green said he was impressed with Jamoral Graham, a four-star Newton County wide receiver/safety and Mississippi State commit. Graham ran a 4.48 in the 40.
Grenada quarterback Nate Evans (4.39) and North Panola’s 2016 class running back Justin Conner (4.45) were two of the camp’s more pleasant surprises.
Green said he wants to work on his explosiveness and noted there were plenty of players there to gauge himself with.
“A lot of competition,” Green said. “My times were pretty good.”
brandon.speck@journalinc.com