Mason Cox, the biggest athlete in the history of AFL testing, shines at international combine
THE TALLEST player ever to complete athletic testing in AFL conditions was the standout at the weekend's US International Combine in Los Angeles.
Mason Cox, from Oklahoma State University and Dallas originally, stands at 211.4cm, making him the biggest athlete – in Australia or abroad – to take part in the 20-year history of the League's testing.
Fremantle giant Aaron Sandilands is the tallest player in the AFL, listed at 211cm.
In front of recruiters from six AFL clubs who attended the three-day camp, Cox, 23, impressed with his speed and agility for a player his size, and his ability to handle the oval-shaped ball.
"He ran three seconds flat for the 20-metre sprint, and 11.59 minutes for the three-kilometre time trial," said Kevin Sheehan, the AFL's national talent manager.
"But it was more his skill overhead and his hands. He's mobile, agile, and a good decision-maker. He was the absolute standout, no doubt."
Another all-time record was broken at the weekend, which was the third time in the past 18 months the AFL has held a combine in America.
200cm prospect Justin Wesley's standing vertical jump of 91.4cm eclipsed the previous best in the past 20 years since the AFL introduced testing. Of current AFL-listed players, Sydney Swan Dean Towers has the best standing vertical jump of 85cm, which he produced in 2012.
"Wesley matched his jump with 2.81 seconds over 20 metres, which established the fact we had some genuine first-choice athletes," Sheehan said.
Others to impress include Naofall Folahan, Robert Curtis and Marvin Baynham. Baynham, from Miami, ran a 2.82-second 20-metre sprint and 8.14 seconds for agility.
"That's super elite. In the finish the average height of the group was 201cm, and generally it was an outstanding success," Sheehan said.
Curtis also attended the NFL Combine in February, and remains a chance to be drafted to an American football side.
"The six clubs were totally engaged in it, and there'll certainly be guys signed as a result of this. There's no doubt in the world. We are committed to bringing two athletes out for our NAB AFL Draft Combine later in the year and clubs will invite some for trials during the year as well," Sheehan said.
"The clubs were blown away to see it live – the actual genuine size and mobility, and their preparedness to try and learn a brand new game. We're pretty buoyant about the whole thing at the minute."
Americans Patrick Mitchell (Sydney Swans), Eric Wallace (North Melbourne) and Jason Holmes (St Kilda) joined their clubs as international rookies.