Kansas Pregame profiles top performers at Saturday's Combine
The annual Sharp Performance Free Athletic Testing Combine returned to Salina April 17th after coronavirus concerns led to the cancellation of the free combine last spring. Dozens of athletes traveled to USD #305 District Stadium to test despite the cold temperatures and overcast skies. The event is free thanks to the generous support of sponsors like Salina Sports Medicine, providing patients a "home-field advantage."
Kansas Pregame profiles some of the top performers below and college coaches can find their Twitter handle next to their name to access even more information about each prospect. The first installment features athletes with last names beginning with the letters A through D. Look for more coverage of top performers from the event later this week.
Find complete results for the event at the Sharp Performance website under the Events tab at this link. Click on results under 2021 Free High School Combine.
Aldo Avalos, Liberal, 5-10, 218, 2022, OL/DL (@AldoAvalos5122): A two-time all-conference lineman, Avalos enters his senior year as one of the top interior players in the WAC and showed why at Saturday's Combine running a 4.9 40, powering up 17 reps at 225 on bench, recording a 30.3 inch vertical and adding an 8-3 standing broad jump. Avalos' Twitter shows the LHS standout doing single rep maxes of 335 on bench press and 500 on squat to go along with a 270 pound clean. Film shows a physical, aggressive presence on both sides of the ball who likes contact and performs consistently in spite of often matching up against much bigger players.
Braxton Bailey, McPherson, 6-3, 301.6, 2022, OL (@BraxtonBailey9): Bailey was unable to participate in most of the combine drills because of a nagging injury, but he did bench press and cranked out 16 reps at 225. Bailey has a big frame and has developed significantly the last two seasons, going from a part-time varsity player to a full-time varsity starter who earned honorable mention AVCTL recognition for his play. His Twitter feed shows a player who is willing to work and goes to great lengths to get creative to find opportunities to improve, even around his own home, which allowed him to make gains during the pandemic. If Bailey continues to add strength and improve his mobility there should be plenty of opportunities to play beyond high school.
Camden Barta, Topeka Seaman, 6-4, 198, 2022, S/QB (@camden_barta): One of the most impressive looking athletes at the April 17th Combine, Barta is long and muscular and displayed an excellent mix of size and speed. The 2022 safety ran 4.63 in the 40, posted a 34 inch vertical and was Top 5 in the broad jump with a leap of 9-7. Barta also tallied 8 reps at 225 on bench. If he displayed a weakness it was his lateral quickness and hip mobility, but a couple of slips in the pro agility may have held up his times. In addition to his role as one of the top safeties in the Centennial League, Barta could take over the QB position for the Vikings, who will welcome a new, as yet to be named coach this fall.
Rylan Basart, Stockton, 6-0, 196.6, 2022, RB/LB (@RylanBasart): Basart is a physical tackler and hard-nosed runner for the Stockton Tigers and should emerge as one of the top players in 8-Man football this season. The 2022 running back and linebacker had a solid day at the Sharp Performance Combine running in the 4.9 range in the 40 with a 29.1 inch vertical and 9-2 broad jump. He also posted 13 reps at 185 on bench. Basart is making noise in track this season as well, throwing 155 in the javelin and working his way up the 1A standings. Basart could emerge as a kicking prospect after making multiple field goals in his high school career - a rare achievement in 8-Man football in Kansas - including a 39 yarder. In the six games the Tigers had stats for Rylan last season he recorded 74 tackles with 14 for losses. He has 187 tackles in his career with 29 TFLs. Basart is also an asset in the classroom where he holds a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Holden Bass, Nemaha Central, 6-3.5, 258.4, 2024, OL/DL: Let us introduce you to Holden Bass. A 6-4, 260 pound FRESHMAN from Nemaha Central who started along the offensive and defensive lines for the Thunder last fall and is one of the top throwers in track in the Big 7 this spring (Shot, 44-5; Disc, 131-7). Bass showed off solid speed for his size at the SP Combine running a 5.1 40 and also posted a near 28 inch vertical jump and 7-8 broad jump. He posted 15 reps at 185 on bench and a 4.73 in the pro agility. In an interview with Kansas Pregame at the Combine he said he'd like to play college football for the University of Kansas after high school. He has earned the praise of Nemaha Central coach Warren Seitz who says he is one of the strongest players on the team.
Jack Bauer, Olathe South, 6-4, 267.2, OL, 2023 (@Jack_Bauer7924): An intriguing 6-4, 270 pound offensive lineman from Olathe South in the class of 2023, Bauer - not to be confused with Kiefer Sutherland's lead character in the hit series "24" - showed good mobility and explosion for an athlete of his size with 40 yard dash times in the low 5.5s, a 7-8 broad jump, a 23.6 inch vertical and 7 reps at 225 in bench. Bauer split time at offensive guard and defensive tackle as a sophomore.
Samuel Becker, McPherson, 6-4.5, 198.2, 2023, TE/DE (@_Samuel_Becker): Just one of several impressive looking players back for the McPherson this fall. Becker has plenty of room to add weight to his frame and still maintain good mobility. Ran 4.9 at the SP Combine with a 4.6 pro agility, an 8-11 broad jump and a 31.3 inch vertical, a 4.5 second pro agility and 8 reps at 225 on bench. Becker was a second team All-League tight end last fall and had 10 catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He also posted 25 tackles with three TFLs and two sacks from his defensive end spot.
Camden Beebe, KC Piper, 6-2.5, 316.6, OL/DL, 2023 (@Cbeebe_56): The headliner coming into the event, Beebe displayed his size and raw talent. Beebe moved his frame across 40 yards in the high 5.4 range, broad jumped 6-11 and recorded a 4.99 pro agility to go along with 12 reps at 185 on bench. The younger brother of current K-State offensive lineman Cooper and former University of Minnesota tight end/H-back Colton - both former Kansas Pregame coverboys - Beebe is sure to develop over the next two seasons and is already one of the top prospects in his class.
Kolten Bennett, Spearville, 6-0, 181.6, ATH/DB (@KoltenBennett): Bennett is a player that should start to climb onto people's radar. The 6-foot, 181 pound senior to be nearly rushed for 1,000 yards last season and posted 62 tackles on defense. He looked athletic at Saturday's Combine recording a 4.39 pro agility, a 30.5 inch vertical and 40 times in the 4.7s. Film shows tremendous quickness and lateral movement and good decision making as a Single Wing style quarterback for 8-Man Spearville. Drake has recently started showing interest and other schools are sure to follow.
Nolan Bevan, Valley Center, 5-6, 152, RB, 2023: What Valley Center sophomore Nolan Bevan lacks in height, he more than makes up for in speed. The 5-6 running back for the Hornets consistently ran in the 4.4s in the 40 on Saturday and it's no surprise as he recently won the 200 meter dash at the Valley Center Invitational track meet in a time of 23.09 and was second in the 100 in a time of 11.12. He saw limited varsity reps at running back and defensive back for the Hornets last season behind upperclassmen, but should carry more of the load this fall. Bevan is also a key member of the Hornet wrestling team.
Christopher Cain, Mission Valley, 6-6, 247.2, OL, 2022 (@Christo52938768): Here's an unknown in the Class of 2022 from Mission Valley in Eskridge, Kan., 6-6 offensive lineman Christopher Cain. He appears to have tremendous upside with a massive frame that can add weight and good feet with a 40 in the 5.2 range, a 4.81 pro agility and a 23.9 inch vertical. Only did six reps at 185 but can add strength to go along with a good base of size and mobility and a wide wingspan.
Evan Cantu, Maize South, 5-10, 193.8, RB, 2022 (@evancantu22): Evan Cantu had a huge day at the Sharp Performance Combine in spite of visibly nursing a strained quad throughout the event. His 22 bench reps at 225 were the best on the day and he showed tremendous lateral quickness with a 4.29 pro agility. His unofficial 40 times were in the high 4.6 range and he added a 29 inch vertical all at 5-10, 193. He was a thousand yard rusher last season for the Mavericks and earned second team All-League honors, all after not starting until the fourth game of the season. Could be a workhorse for coach Brent Pfeifer this season who will be looking for answers at quarterback after the graduation of three-year standout Colin Shields.
Alan Chairez, Garden City, 6-.5, 191.8, 2023, LB (@AlanChairez4): The younger brother of former Garden City offensive line standout Refujio Chairez, Alan got some varsity playing time last year at linebacker and is expected to be an impact player this fall. Ran in the high 4.7s in the 40, posted an 8-7 broad jump, 28.2 inch vertical and 8 reps at 185 on the bench press.
Nick Clayton, Salina Central, 5-11.5, 202.4, ATH/LB (@NickCla61470367): Two inches taller and Nick Clayton might be among the top college prospects in Kansas. He showed off quality speed in the high 4.6/low 4.7 range, a 4.41 pro agility drill, a 37.8 inch vertical and 20 reps at 225 on bench at the April 17th Sharp Performance Combine. Clayton is the son of former K-State football player Eric Clayton and is heavily interested in finding a Division I opportunity to play football and pursue a degree in Engineering. In addition to his role as outside linebacker Clayton is expected to get more opportunities on offense this fall for a Central team that welcomes back one of the state's top quarterbackes in Parker Kavanagh.
Bryce Cohoon, Maize, 6-2.5, 177.6, WR, 2023 (@Bryce_Cohoon9): One of the most impressive all-around athletes at the April 17th Combine, Maize 2023 wide receiver Bryce Cohoon looks ready to join forces with elite 2023 quarterback Avery Johnson to create one of the best QB-WR combos in the state. The 6-3, 180 pound Cohoon ran 4.59 in the 40, 4.28 in the pro agility, posted a 34.6 inch vertical and did 7 reps at 185 on bench and all after running a 22.53 200 at the Shocker Pre-State meet on Friday, good for third place in the Elite Division. Cohoon caught 15 passes for 242 yards last fall and is sure to be a bigger target for the Eagles this season.
Kieran Courter, Atchison County, 6-1.5, 169.2, QB/RB/DB, 2022 (@courterkieran1): A returning starter for the ACCHS Tigers, Courter rushed for 544 yards and 6 TDS last season and made the switch to running back from quarterback partway through the 2020 season. Courter posted a 4.64 40 and a 29.5 inch vertical jump at the SP Combine and could be ready for a solid senior season for new coach Kyle Gurss.
Kayson Dietz, Salina South, 6-1, 293.2, OL/DL, 2022 (@Kayson76368067): The 2022 lineman from Salina South had a nice day at the Sharp Combine posting a 5.2 40, a 7-6 broad jump and a 21.9 inch vertical to go along with 13 reps at 225 on bench. Dietz earned second team all-league honors for his play last fall and finished sixth in the 285 pound class of the 5A State Wrestling Tournament in February. Film shows a violent defender with an excellent understanding of how to fight pressure, the ability to pursue up and down the line of scrimmage and one of the best spin moves out of a double team you will ever see. Dietz is one of the top players returning in 5A and if he were a couple of inches taller would likely be major FBS recruit.
William Doolittle, Kapaun, 6-1, 225, 2022 (@williamdoolitt9): An intriguing outside linebacker/defensive end prospect who has added over 15 pounds of muscle to his 6-1 frame since football season. Ran in the high 4.8s in the 40, a 29.9 inch vertical and 7 bench reps at 225. Was likely a bit of an off day for Doolittle who may still be figuring out how to move with the added weight and is just three months out from a surgery to repair issues with his collar bone and AC joint. Film shows extreme quickness and physicality and an exceptional understanding of defensive football. Uses his hands to shed defenders and is an excellent tackler. Diagnoses plays quickly and makes excellent decisions. Very difficult to block one-on-one. Doolittle is also pushing for a state medal in track as well with PRs of 154 in the discus and 46 in the shot, but adds he is now throwing the shot over 50 in practice.
Check back later this week for more profiles of top performers from last Saturday's Combine.