Four Rutland High School linemen put themselves on the line Friday at the Pro-Style Combine at their high school, pushing themselves to get the best possible results as a way to enhance their college options.
Seniors Mattingly Colvin, John Miles and Matt Creed, along with junior teammate Toby Jakubowski, were the Raider linemen being put through their paces in tests administered inside the gym and out on the turf of Alumni Field.
Creed and Miles are those prototypical linemen at 6-foot-4 that college coaches love on the offensive line these days. Creed tips the scales at 295 and Miles at 255.
Miles had participated in this combine last year and for Creed it was a first-time experience.
“It’s a good way to get a baseline reading going into your senior year,” Creed said.
The players were tested in the vertical leap, shuttle run, 10-yard sprint, 40-yard spring and the L run, which measures explosiveness and the ability to cut.
The combine is part of the week-long Vermont Football Camp held at Rutland’s Alumni Field each season.
“The 10-yard sprint is what they look for in linemen,” Camp director Chadde Wolf said. “That’s the biggest one they look at.”
Wolf was impressed that Creed did the 10-yard dash in 1.8 seconds.
“That is very good for a 300-pounder,” Wolf said.
Creed is also an excellent student and is eyeing some of the best academic schools like RPI, WPI and Middlebury.
“I had an offer from Middlebury,” Creed said. “I have some options.”
He acknowledged that Middlebury was a front runner at this time.
“Coach Norman (the Rutland head coach) knows the coaches at Middlebury and a lot of the college coaches. He is a great resource,” Creed said.
Miles also wants to play at the next level and has a visit scheduled at Castleton University on Aug. 3, a campus visit he arranged with CU head coach Tony Volpone at this camp.
Miles said he improved his performance from last year in the 10- and 40-yard dashes and in the vertical jump.
Jakubowski turned some heads with his speed in his long jump of 7 feet.
Another local player was Otter Valley senior tailback Nate Blake, who showed his burst with a 4.66 in the 40-yard sprint.
Blake came to this week’s camp at the urging of Otter Valley teammate Alex Polli.
Blake also said he wants to play college football, adding that he is looking at schools outside Vermont right now.
Normally, the sprints are done with electronic timing but due to the threat of rain the coaches used hand-held timing devices.
There is some excitement surrounding Rutland High football for the coming season.
“We have our offensive line and most of our defense returning,” Creed said.
“Go as high as you can, really explode,” Wolf said as the players prepared to have their vertical leap measured. They were allowed to take one step and then had to jump and touch the apparatus.
It was an environment of encouragement as Wolf and coaches from Norwich University and Springfield College led the players through the testing.
The four Rutland linemen are anxious to see the season come, feeling they can make some noise this year after falling to Mount Mansfield in the Division I game last season.
Colvin, Jakubowski, Miles and Creed brandished plenty of athleticism to go with their considerable size at Friday’s combine, a big reason for the optimism that surrounds Rutland football as the Raiders prepare to open the season on Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. at CVU.