By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Bakersfield High graduate Phillip Thomas, projected as a second- or third-round draft pick on NFL.com, ran a 4.65-second 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine Tuesday.
Thomas, a safety who led the nation with eight interceptions as a senior at Fresno State, posted one of the slower 40 times among participating defensive backs. Darius Slay of Mississippi State ran the fastest time among defensive backs at 4.36.
According to NFL.com, Thomas' strengths include being an "athletic, physical defender" with "nice ball skills." His weaknesses, the website says, are that he missed all of 2011 with a broken left leg and that he is "not corner-like in his change of direction ability in man coverage against quicker receivers."
Also Tuesday, Thomas had a 35-inch vertical jump, 122-inch broad jump and 14 reps on the bench press. Shamarko Thomas (Syracuse) led defensive backs with 28 bench-press reps, five players led with a 401/2-inch vertical leap, and Eric Reid (LSU) and Earl Wolff (North Carolina State) led with a 134-inch broad jump.
Former Liberty High player Nathan Williams, who moved to Ohio during his high school career and played for Miami Trace High and then Ohio State, is also participating in the combine.
The 6-foot-3, 241-pound defensive end clocked a 4.88 time in the 40, had a 35-inch vertical leap, 113-inch broad jump and did 24 bench press reps.
The NFL Draft is April 25-27.
3 BC players all-WSC
Bakersfield College's Conroy Lester was selected to the All-Western State Conference South basketball team for the second straight year. BC's Damian Robinson and R'mand Harp were named honorable mention All-WSC South selections.
BC rolls in baseball
GLENDORA -- Bakersfield College hit three home runs and Darion Nunn pitched six strong innings as the Renegades cruised to a 9-3 victory over Citrus College in a Western State Conference South game.
Nunn (1-0) struck out four and allowed only four hits in six innings for BC (11-2, 4-1), which is ranked No. 4 in Southern Cal.
Cole Hallum had three hits, including a solo home run in the seventh, and Erik Williams followed with a 3-run blast in the eighth.
Blayne Ontiveros, who had two hits, got things started for BC with a solo homer in the first to ignite a 15-hit attack.
Kyle Nixon had three hits, and Justin Martinez and Luc Pomales had two apiece for the Renegades, who play host to Citrus (8-6, 2-3) -- ranked 12th in SoCal -- at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Taft College made the most of three walks, two errors and two wild pitches to score five unearned runs in the first two innings and held on for a 7-4 victory over Fresno City College, ranked sixth in Northern California.
Josh Roelofs had an RBI single to cap a three-run second and give the Cougars (4-9-1, 1-3 Central Valley Conference) a 6-0 lead.
Brandon Van Stone (2-1) got the win, scattering nine hits in six innings, allowing just one earned run. Matt Gunderson pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to record his first save for Taft.
Travis Tessandori and Luis Trinidad were each 2-for-4 for the Cougars, who play at Fresno (7-6, 2-2) at 3 p.m. Thursday
Armor beats Jam
Willie Reed scored 17 points and hauled down 12 rebounds to lead the Springfield (Mass.) Armor to a 99-89 victory over the Bakersfield Jam, ending Bakersfield's six-game winning streak.
James Nunnally led the Jam (23-10) with 20 points, making 5-of-6 3-pointers. Brian Butch posted his 17th double-double of the season, with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Stephen Dennis recorded 15 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and three steals.
Bakersfield led 25-21 after one quarter but scored only 13 second-quarter points and trailed 44-38 at halftime.
The game was a remake of Feb. 9's weather-related postponement. Bakersfield's next game is against the host Los Angeles D-Fenders at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.