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February 27, 2005

Passing the test

COLUMBIA, Mo. - College coaches use a number of different ways to measure potential prospects up, but there is one thing that they often use as a first indication as to if a player has the goods or not to make it to the next level. That test is the eyeball test, and of the more than 70 players at the Rivals.com Junior Day at the University of Missouri on Saturday, nobody passed it better than St. Louis Vashon defensive end Jerry Brown.

Brown measured in at 6-foot-4 and 262 pounds, and he definitely looks like a menacing type of pass rusher that was still long and lean with a great frame to build on. The heights were measured on an official height chart that was put in the Missouri weight room by NFL coaches and each player was asked to remove their shoes.

"I've always kind of thought of myself as a Jevon Kearse type player," Brown said. "My playing style is to try to get into the other player's head by beating them one time. Then after the first time, I feel like I can own him the rest of the game and beat him any time I want."

He did as a junior.

Brown was a first-team all-league pick and many consider him to be one of the top five junior prospects in all of Missouri - but his stock might soar once college coaches see how impressive looking he is in person, which is why the eyeball test can be a good thing for a prospect.

Brown already reports a scholarship offer from Kansas, and he listed his stop teams as Iowa, Florida State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Missouri and Purdue. He said he plans on camping this summer at the NIKE Training Camp at Kansas State, Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Yet Brown wasn't the only player that looked impressive physically.

Missouri commitment Tim Barnes of Hughestville (Mo.) Northwest Pettis County measured in at 6-foot-3 and 316 pounds. Throughout the Junior Day, Barnes and his father, Jeff Barnes, made it very clear that they were excited to be Missouri Tigers. Both walked into the Tom Taylor football office where registration was held with a big smile and Tiger baseball hats on.

Much has already been talked about quarterback Josh Freeman of Grandview, Mo., and his stock as one of the nation's top 100 prospects is definitely on the rise. Freeman measured 6-foot-5 and 226 pounds, and he recently added a fifth scholarship offer from Iowa State to go along with Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska. Freeman indicated that one local team, Kansas State, isn't going to be a likely destination for him and that Kansas and Nebraska are the two teams on the top of his list in the early stages of his recruitment.

Another impressive looking player was St. Louis Cardinal Ritter linebacker Quentin Davie. He measured in at 6-foot-3 and 192 pounds. Davie has been a name that has just recently started to surface as one of the Show Me State's top prospects.

One of the best finds of the event from the eyeball standpoint was the discovery of Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest defensive end Chris Earnheardt.

The class of 2007 grad showed up to the event with several of his teammates and definitely looked the part of college prospect. He measured in at 6-foot-5 and 233 pounds.

If he can play a lick of football, and his all-conference honors in 2004 says he can, he might be one of the top prospects in the region next year.

The teams on his early list include Missouri, Kansas State, Kansas, Arkansas and Memphis. He plans to camp this summer at Missouri, and he'll attend the NIKE Training Camp at K-State.

A few weeks back Columbia (Mo.) Hickman outside linebacker/safety Aaron Cawlfield picked up a scholarship offer from the hometown Tigers.

He also self-reported that he was 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds. He measured in at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds on Saturday. Along with Missouri, he listed Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, Kansas State and Arkansas as his top teams.

There were others that also looked impressive physically:

-Farmington, Mo., inside linebacker Tyler Epstein measured at 6-foot-1 and 208 pounds.

-Wildwood (Mo.) Kennedy kicker Mickey Masucci, one of the top kickers in the Midlands Region, measured at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. He was joined by fellow kicker Kevin Kinsall of O'Fallon, Ill., Kinsall, an all-state pick as a punter and a kicker, is one of the best kickers in the entire nation. He measured in at 5-foot-11 and 158 pounds.

-St. Louis SLUH all-purpose back Stephen Simmons measured at 5-foot-7 and 173 pounds. He is considered one of the top overall players in St. Louis in the class of 2006.

-Salina (Kan.) St. John's Military School all-purpose back Raymond Parker measured at 5-foot-8 and 188 pounds.

-Kingsley Ehrie (5-10 , 200) of Springfield Hillcrest, Ray Wagner (5-7 , 153) of Kansas City Park Hill, Byron Hightower (5-11 3/4 , 208) of Raytown (Mo.) South, James Daley (6-3, 237) of Springfield (Ill.)Chatham Glenwood, and Harry Peterson (6-3 , 218) of Farmington were some others that passed the eyeball test.


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