Tag:Max Ward
Posted on: February 28, 2011 10:29 am
 

Rutgers Badger Sports Elite 7-on-7 Top Players

Posted by Bryan Fischer

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Badger Sports Elite 7-on-7 started it's 2011 campaign on the campus of Rutgers this past weekend and many of the top prospects from across the Northeast were looking to make an impression over the course of the two-day event.

Here's just a few of the players who stood out from the crowd.

Quarterbacks

Casey Cochran, 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, Monroe, Conn. 
One of the top quarterbacks on day one, Cochran was an impressive signal caller. He lacks ideal height but makes up for it with a very strong arm that can make every throw. He has a good release and throws a very pretty, catchable ball to his wide outs. He's ok on the move and can work on his weight transfer and keeping his feet closer together when in the pocket. The ball just jumps out of his hand though and he should be adding to his only offer from Boston College.

Blake Rankin, 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Bloomsburg, Pa. 
Rankin has ideal size for a pro-style quarterback and had a very nice deep ball, putting just the right amount of touch on most of them. He doesn't have the strongest arm but is very accurate and could develop into a very well-rounded quarterback. He currently has an offer from Rutgers.

Max Ward, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Steelton, Pa. 
One of the impressive things about Ward was his tight spiral on just about every ball he threw. A gunslinger, he has a cannon on his shoulder and that makes up for what he might lack in ideal height. He currently has an offer from Akron.

Kevin Olsen, 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Wayne, N.J., class of 2013 
Despite being younger than many of the quarterbacks in the competition, Olsen was near or at the top. He has an excellent frame but needs to add a few pounds to it. He was a little indecisive with some throws but he also had a very quick release and above average footwork. The younger brother of Chicago Bears tight end Greg, several programs are showing interest early on.

David Sills, 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Bear, Del., class of 2015 
Sills was the big name at the event as the large number of cameras trained on his every drop back would attest. The first thing you notice is his impressive size for just an eighth grader. He had a good understanding of what the defense was doing but still tried to force a few throws. He wasn't as accurate as he has been at other competition but he was maybe the most vocal leader. Seeing him go through an event like this shows why Lane Kiffin offered him a scholarship as a eighth grader.

Brandon Napoleon, 6-foot, 175 pounds, Jersey City, N.J. 
Napoleon is being recruited as an athlete but he was impressive as a quarterback at the event. He threw a nice ball with some zip and a spiral every time. He's light on his feet and can make every throw on the field. Holding double digit offers, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and North Carolina among them.

Ryan Burns, 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, Ashburn, Va., class of 2013 
A big quarterback with a decent drop back, he showed off a very big arm and quick release better than most of the older quarterbacks. His feet get too wide at times which causes him to use almost all arm on some throws. That said, he can throw the ball into any window and already has an offer from Boston College.

Wide receivers

Deontay McManus, 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Baltimore, Md. 
One of the top players at the competition, McManus is being pursued by just about every program in the country. A long-strider when he gets going, McManus is more fast than quick. He displayed some impressive ball skills and attacked the ball in the air, rarely letting anything get by him that was thrown his way. Despite his skills at wide receiver, it wouldn't be too surprising to see him move to safety or even outside linebacker in college. His double digit offer list includes Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State and Tennessee among others.

Stefon Diggs, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Olney, Md. 
Diggs was easily one of the top receivers in the competition and was explosive everywhere he went. One of the fastest players on the field with great feet that allowed him to turn on a dime, Diggs was very aware of where the defenders were and would slow it down in order to find open spots in zone coverage. An Army All-American Bowl invitee, he has offers from Alabama, Cal, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Notre Dame and others. He said he will likely pick a school outside of the northeast.

Anthony Cooper, 6-foot, 180 pounds, Virginia Beach, Va. 
A speedy wide out on a team full of them, Cooper stood out with his impressive ability to catch and run. He also plays defensive back and had a very nice back pedal and good change of direction. Local programs Virginia and Virginia Tech have already offered.

Romond Deloatch, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Hampton, Va. 
Physically the most impressive receiver at the event, Deloatch was a nightmare for opposing defensive backs to cover. He's still a bit raw but displayed quick feet and a good ability to turn on a route quickly. Very fluid while running routes, he's a bit reminiscent of class of 2011 receiver Quinta Funderburk. During one play, he snatched the ball out of a corner's hand on a fade route. He has offers from Florida State, North Carolina and Virginia.

Tight end

Charles Tapper, 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, Baltimore, Md. 
One of the most physically imposing recruits at the event, Tapper didn't play too much. He will likely be a defensive end or outside linebacker in college but he did flash some potential at tight end. He just picked up an offer from Oklahoma and should be receiving more as the weeks go on.

Kalief Joyner, 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Middle Village, N.Y 
More of a receiving tight end in this event and likely at the next level, Joyner has good height and does a solid job of getting off the line. He's not super fast or quick but he does go over the middle and finds spots in zone coverage. He has great hands and several programs are on the verge of offering.

Devin Funchess, 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Farmington Hills, Mich. 
A very tall target, Funchess needs to start packing on the pounds to play tight end. He doesn't have great speed as a receiver but could be very good at tight end with his hands and moves in space. Michigan and Michigan State are among the schools to offer.

Defensive back

Brandon Banks, 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Brandywine, Md. 
An impressive performance over the weekend from Banks, who might have been the top corner on the field this weekend. A bit skinny, he still wouldn't give up any ground to opposing wide receivers. Fast and smooth, he sinks well when playing in cover-2 and excelled in man coverage. He got to top speed quickly and no receiver was able to create much separation. He currently has an offer from Maryland but should be collecting more soon.

Ronald Darby, 6-foot, 180 pounds, Oak Hill, Md. 
Darby was one of the top players at the event and has seen just about every program send out an offer to him. One of, if not the, fastest players running around the field, he played mostly on defense at safety before eventually playing on both sides of the ball. He was very impressive in coverage with a good backpedal and quick turn to break on the ball. He holds offers from Miami, Florida State, USC, Notre Dame and others and has five-star potential at multiple positions.

Devin Fuller, 6-foot, 185 pounds, Old Tappan, N.J. 
Fuller played on both sides of the ball but stayed mainly in the secondary. He could play a number of positions in college, from quarterback to cornerback to receiver and is being recruited as such. He has very quick feet and reacts well to what is being thrown at him. He was very fluid at cornerback and safety and might be best suited there. He currently has offers from Michigan, Florida State, Maryland, Rutgers and Penn State among others.

Linebacker

Dorian O'Daniel, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Olney, Md., class of 2013 
A running back and linebacker, O'Daniel looked a tad better playing on defense for the Maryland Speed. He has excellent closing speed but did tend to guess a little bit after his initial drop into coverage. He's very physical and despite being just a sophomore, already holds offers from Maryland, N.C. State, Pitt and Virginia.

Eli Ankou, 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 
Easily the best player at the event from north of the border, Ankou turned a few heads with his size and agility. He was pretty good side-to-side and played on the balls of his feet. His hips are a bit stiff in coverage but he runs well enough to chase faster players down.

Kenny Bigelow, 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Bear, Del., class of 2013 
He will play defensive end at his size but he came out and competed at linebacker at this event. He was a little too upright and needs to bend at the hips more when standing up but for a young defensive end, did pretty well. At his size, he could develop into a strong side defensive end or slim down and play outside linebacker if needed. He has an offer from Auburn already and is very impressive for a sophomore.

Abner Logan, 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, Salem, Mass. 
One of the best linebackers in coverage, he could be a great fit at outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. He was a tad stiff at times but he has a great base and is very fluid when moving around. He might be a name that starts to receive offers by the bucketload as the summer progresses based on what he showed over the weekend.

Jazzmar Clax, 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, Freehold, N.J. 
Already on the 2012 All-Name team, Clax looked like a good fit as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. He was above average on his coverage drops and opened his hips nicely to turn and run. He has an offer from Rutgers.

Posted on: February 27, 2011 12:49 am
 

Several QB's impress on BadgerSports 7-on-7 Day 1

Posted by Bryan Fischer

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - They came from far and wide (and even from north of the border). They came to throw. They came to pass.

But mostly, the over 700 players that attended the first Badger Sports 7-on-7 tournament came to compete.

The 32 team field that converged on Rutgers’ indoor practice facility had some of the most talented players from Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Canada. One of the most competitive groups of the day took place late in the afternoon, headlined by Red Lion Christian Academy and USC quarterback commit David Sills and defensive end Kenny Bigelow.

Despite the hype on Sills - he’s not even a freshman but has been committed to USC for over a year - Monroe (Conn.) class of 2012 quarterback Casey Cochran was the most impressive signal-caller of the group with a strong arm, quick release and a cannon on his shoulder.

“After the state championship game, I hurt my ankle so I really couldn’t do a lot of things,” Cochran said. “This feels great coming out here and working things. I try not to go crazy, I want to stay with my progressions. A lot of guys, they come out and they try and force some balls. That’s the biggest things, try not to force balls and go through your progressions.”

Cochran already holds a scholarship offer from Boston College while Rutgers and Connecticut could be on the verge of extending an offer soon. The 6-foot-1, 200 pound quarterback was particularly impressed with what the new UConn coaching staff has said. Cochran displayed good anticipation when throwing but does need to work on his balance, as he throws off his back foot and leans back sometimes.

Sills was nevertheless one of the top quarterbacks to throw Saturday. His 6-foot-3 frame is impressive and he certainly fits into the USC mold of pro-style quarterbacks. Most impressive is Sills’ knowledge of the passing game and leadership skills. Though he was easily one of the youngest players at the competition, he was calling out plays and making sure his receivers were properly aligned.

The one flaw in Sills’ game Saturady was that he forced several balls into coverage and threw three interceptions as a result - which may be, as Cochran said,  a product of 7-on-7 competitions. It's easy to understand the hype around him when you see him throw (as the four or five cameras he almost hit with every dropback would attest).

Looking like a very good year for Northwest quarterbacks

After several down years for producing quarterbacks, 2012 is shaping up to be quite nice if Saturday's competition is any indication.

The PA Playmakers team actually had two of the better quarterbacks throwing in Bloomsburg (Pa.) Blake Rankin and Steelton (Pa.) Max Ward. The 6-foot-4, 200 pound Rankin certainly has the build of a pro-style quarterback and had good touch on several of his deep balls. His arm is not the strongest however, while Ward’s seemed like he was firing balls out of a rifle. Impressive wide receiver Greg Garmon caught most of what was thrown his way. Although he's not the fastest wide out, he does have good body control and attacks the ball when it is in the air.

2013 quarterback Kevin Olsen also stood out from the crowd. The younger brother of Chicago Bears tight end Greg Olsen, the 6-foot-3, 210 pound signal-caller could be one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, if not the Northeast. A little thin and somewhat hesitant in the pocket, Olsen was still one of the most accurate QB's in attendance. If he can refine his throwing motion into something a little more compact, he could be someone who racks up offers in the coming months.

Jersey City (N.J.) athlete Brandon Napoleon was also sharp in the pocket. Holding offers from North Carolina and Rutgers, he threw a nice, tight spiral and had a very powerful arm. Because of his size (6-foot, 170 pounds) he will likely be offered as an athlete at BCS-caliber schools but it wouldn't be surprising if he were giving a shot at quarterback in the right system.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com