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January 2, 2009

Top linemen do battle in one-on-ones

The U.S. Army All-American Combine gave the country's top 2010 prospects an opportunity to go head-to-head and see who was still left standing. That's exactly what happened today when arguably the best offensive and defensive linemen went toe-to-toe during one-on-ones.

"That was a different experience," offensive lineman Robert Crisp said. "I really had never faced a guy that big and that powerful, being that I'm a tackle."

The individual that Crisp went up against wasn't an average defensive end either. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Nick Acree had been the talk of the combine with his cut off shirt and mammoth figure.

"It was a different experience," Crisp said. "I talked to Nick yesterday and it was a real nice conversation. It was good going against him today."

The two constantly called out each other during one-on-one drills. At the end of the day, it's safe to say that it was a split decision between the two.

Crisp was able to take a stand against the aggressiveness of Acree. Afterwards, he had a bloody lip to show for it.

"It gets physical," laughed Crisp. "With linemen, that's what happens."

What also happened was the opportunity for Crisp to learn more about his game and the aspects that need improvement.

"I learned that since Nick is so powerful and so strong, I just can't lunge at him," Crisp said. "So instead, I have to get back faster than he did.

"One time, he hit me with a swim move and I forgot that all I needed to do was hit him with a swim move and get him out of the way."

At 6-foot-7, 299-pounds, Crisp showed during the testing period that he has the speed to dominate at the next level as well.

"He ran a 5.3 on field turf," Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barry Every said. "That equates to a 5.15 on grass and he's not even filled out.

"I love Crisp. He's a guy that not only has a good frame but also has room to fill his shirt with more body weight. He has super long arms. Once he gains weight, he's going to get stronger. He's struggling with guys who get low and bull rush him but once he gets stronger that won't make a difference."

There are almost 40 offers out for the Chapel Hill, N.C. product. Every stated that even if Crisp doesn't make his commitment to a fan's favorite collegiate program, there's always a chance that he could one day be drafted in the first round by their professional team.

"I really liked him a lot," Every added. "He's one that's going to be an NFL football player."


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