Posted by Bryan Fischer
Although there wasn't a ton of highly recruited juniors at Santa Monica College for the Los Angeles Under Armour Combine Sunday afternoon, several underclassman managed to catch the eye of those in attendance. The event, which is designed to test players in various events before they receive coaching from former NFL veterans, had about 220 players participate.
One of the standouts was Sherman Oaks (Calif.) running back Khalfani Muhammad. The talented back is already MaxPreps' number one sophomore running back in California and he justified the ranking by being one of the more impressive players at the combine.
"It's something to look forward to," he said. "I'm just coming out here with a bang and show some of the big dudes what a little dude can do."
The 5-foot-7, 156 pound Muhammad turned in the third fastest 40 yard dash at the combine (4.56) and is already receiving the attention from several college coaches.
"I have a few, they can't really inform me until my junior year but I get some mail from several schools," Muhammad said. "Right now I'm just keeping all eyes open, I still have two more years and I'm just going to take it day-by-day."
The Notre Dame High standout will attend the Badger Sports 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas and the Los Angeles Nike Camp at USC later in the summer. The Trojans are one of two teams that Muhammad is looking forward to hearing more from.
"I'm really looking forward to USC and LSU, those are my two top schools I'm looking at that I want to get some letters from." he said. "My dad went to (USC) so he's an alumni. We've been around a lot, going to home coming games and activities they have.
"With LSU, every kid has a school and that's mine. Every since I went down to Louisiana, I just really liked LSU."
Muhammad's father, Luis Morales, was a track letterman at USC and one of the fastest sprinters in the country in the mid 1980's. It appears the young running back could be making a name for himself in a different sport as Muhammad is certainly someone to keep an eye on over the next few years. His sophomore year highlights are below.
Gilmore looks the part
The only player at the combine with multiple offers was Lakewood (Calif.) wide receiver Malik Gilmore. Physically impressive at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Gilmore did not run a 40 yard dash due to being a bit tight but turned in a very good 4.38 shuttle time and a ran the L-cone in 7.3 seconds.
Gilmore actually just returned to Los Angeles after attending Cal's Junior Day on Saturday.
"It was awesome. Beautiful campus and I just loved everything up there," he said. "The basketball game was a blowout and the crowd was amazing, really loud. They're one of my favorites."
Holding offers from Notre Dame, Michigan, Duke, San Diego State and Washington, there's really not one school in particular that is standing out at this stage in his recruiting.
"Notre Dame, Michigan, Arkansas, Oregon, UCLA, just a bunch of schools, I haven't really narrowed it down yet," Gilmore said. "I'll probably go to some other Junior Days and spring ball and stuff like that to go check out some other schools."
Gilmore has not set any particular plans to unofficially visit any of the out of state schools at the moment and may officially visit schools like Arkansas and Notre Dame instead.
"I don't really have a date, it's kind of up in the air right now," he said. "I just want to go see the different schools and meet the coaches before I make my final decision.
"I'm open. Staying close to home will be nice and everything but I kind of want to get out and stretch my legs some and have fun."
Top Combine Results
40 yard dash
1. Spokane (Wash.) wide receiver Chase Naccarato (4.55)
2. Phoenix (Ariz.) linebacker Jordan Leal (4.55)
3. Khalfani Muhammad (4.56)
1. Chase Naccarato (35.5")
2. Elk Grove (Calf.) running back Mark Jenkins (34")
3. Caminillo (Calif.) defensive back Jordan Nunnery (33.5")
1. Long Beach (Calif.) linebakcer Tanner Wrout (4.19)
2. Redlands (Calif.) defensive back Trevor Douglass (4.22)
3. Jordan Leal (4.22)