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Colbert Combines Skills to Impress Recruiters

Football: Hueneme High junior places first in two of four tests at Ventura County showcase.

May 20, 1999|MITCH POLIN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

OXNARD — Keary Colbert of Hueneme High certainly knows how to leave a lasting impression.

The junior, who will turn 17 Friday, wasn't the most heralded athlete at the fifth annual Ventura County football combine on Wednesday at Rio Mesa.

But Colbert made an impact, finishing first in two of the four skills tested.

The event, coordinated by Rio Mesa Coach George Contreras, featured 80 of the most promising college prospects from county high schools.

Thirty-six colleges, mostly NCAA Division I schools, sent coaches to the event.

"This allows for one-stop shopping, so to speak," said George Darlington, an assistant at Nebraska for 27 years. Darlington said the Cornhuskers will attend a combine at Littlerock High tonight.

"It allows us with limited recruiting time to evaluate every top recruit in Ventura County, and we don't have to pull a kid out of class to do it," Darlington said.

Most Pacific 10 Conference schools, including UCLA and USC, were represented.

Ron Carragher, wide receivers coach at UCLA, said performances at past combines helped cement the school's decision to recruit current Bruin quarterbacks Ryan McCann of Agoura and Scott McEwan of Thousand Oaks, and incoming tight end Mike Seidman of Westlake.

"This doesn't tell you everything about how good an athlete is, but it sure is a good measuring tool," Carragher said.

That could bode well for a player such as Colbert, who clocked 3.91 seconds in the pro shuttle run and 4.40 seconds in the 40-yard dash, both top marks at the combine.

Lineman Mike Kohr of Camarillo finished first in the 185-pound bench press with a combine record of 29 repetitions and wide receiver James McCowan of Oxnard was first in the vertical leap at 34 inches.

For his part, Colbert doesn't want to make too much of his results.

"A lot of schools have already talked to me, so I'm not really trying to prove anything here," he said.

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