Tag:Tanner Mangum
Posted on: January 27, 2012 10:54 am
Edited on: January 27, 2012 11:19 am
 

Non-BCS Signing Day Overview



Posted by Chip Patterson


National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. For a snapshot of the Non-BCS recruiting scene, we will take a close look at independents Notre Dame and BYU, as well as the five schools headed to the Big East in 2013: Boise State, Houston, San Diego State, SMU, and UCF.


MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings, Non-BCS
College Commits Top 100 Moving
14. Notre Dame 17 4

Top storylines

1. How quickly will Gunner Kiel see the field at Notre Dame?

One of the storylines of Gunner Kiel's recruitment was the star quarterback's inability to make up his mind. Some have suggested that playing time is a big concern for Kiel, and there is no guarantee on when he may take the starting position. The first-string quarterback spot is there for the taking, but head coach Brian Kelly has already shown a happy trigger finger when it comes to switching signal-callers. How is Kiel, who seemed to be always eyeing greener grass, going take it if and/or when he is sent to the pine.

2. Will there be an effect from the assistant coach changeover at Boise State?

2012 kicked off with Chris Petersen losing two valuable members of his coaching staff to BCS schools. Will Muschamp tapped offensive coordinator Brent Pease to join his staff in Florida, then special teams coach Jeff Choate left to join Mike Leach's staff at Washington State just a week later. Both coaches played a big role in recruiting the 2012 class, and there was some concern that the staff shakeup could have an effect in recruiting. A firm commitment from QB Nick Patti after Pease's move to Florida was a good sign for Boise State. This class still stacks up well against previous groups, but you wonder if/when we will start seeing an on-field effect of this assistant exodus.

3. Schools on the move

Navy recently added themselves to the group of schools headed towards the Big East, leaving Army, BYU, and Notre Dame as the last FBS independents after 2015. The Black Knights have been fairly grounded in their independent status, but both the Irish and Cougars have flirted with the notions of joining one of the power conferences. In announcing their move to the Big East, Navy school officials mentioned the scheduling difficulties associated with being an independent. As more schools hold future dates for conference play, it had become increasingly difficult to assemble a competitive schedule without that built-in slate of opponents. If the Big 12 comes calling again to BYU, Navy's move might have the Cougars reconsidering their options.


Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
2. Gunner Kiel QB Notre Dame
13. Nelson Agholor ATH Uncommitted
16. Arik Armstead OL/DL Uncommitted
22. Jarron Jones OL/DL Notre Dame
27. Ron Darby ATH Uncommitted
30. D.J. Foster RB/DB Uncommitted
39. Tee Shepard CB Notre Dame
45. Deontay Greenberry WR Notre Dame
116. Ronnie Stanley OL Notre Dame
119. Sheldon Day DL Notre Dame
123. Troy Hinds DE BYU
148. Elijah Shumate RB/S Notre Dame
164. Tanner Mangum QB BYU
175. Justin Ferguson WR Notre Dame
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Bob Diaco and Mike Denbrock, Notre Dame
Sean Beckton, UCF
Carlton Hall, Houston
Tony White, San Diego State
Jeff Reinebold, SMU

Non-BCS school-by-school
School Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 QB Nick Patti
LB Ben Weaver
OL Travis Averill
The Broncos have been able to hold on to most of their prized prospects, despite the changeover of assistants.  CB Anthony Standifer is still on the radar, and could strengthen the secondary for the Class of 2012.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DE Troy Hinds
QB Tanner Mangum
LB Butch Pauu
The Elite 11 MVP Tanner Mangum headlines a solid class for Bronco Mendenhall.  Hinds is a tall, athletic pass rush specialist and was considered by many the best prospect in the state of Utah.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DT Donald Hopkins
DT Tomme Mark
RB Terrence Taylor
Not a lot of star power, but still one of the best classes in Conference USA.  The strength of the group is along the offensive and defensive lines.  Left on the board for Tony Levine is Oklahoma State de-commit OL Tim Hines.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 QB Gunner Kiel
OL/DL Jarron Jones
CB Tee Shepard
WR Deontay Greenberry
It was already a nationally ranked class, and then Kiel flipped from LSU to make it one of the best in the land.  Lots of talent at the skill positions and at 6-foot-6, 295 pounds; Jones is one of the most impressive linemen in the class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 DB Kendrick Mathis
OL Kwayde Miller
OL Austin Maass
 It's a good thing the Aztecs are welcoming some new transfers, because head coach Rocky Long's class is looking a little thin compared to last year's class.  Mathis is a dynamic in-state prospect (Ventura, CA), who also spent time playing quarterback in high school.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 DB Daniel Roundtree
OL Seaver Myers
LB Damien Neroes
LB Prescott Line
JUCO prospect Daniel Roundtree has enrolled and will be ready to contribute almost immediately, while June Jones' primary goal is to keep Myers from flipping to Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M at the final hour.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 QB Jonathan Wallace
WR Taylor Oldham
TE Blake Davis
Wallace, a 6-foot-2, 203 pound dual-threat quarterback from Alabama is the prized recruit in George O'Leary's class.  Wallace will be joined by a host of talented in-state prospects, including a pair (Davis and OL Kelly Parfitt) from the same school in Delray Beach.




Posted on: November 1, 2011 12:11 am
 

Boise State grabs nearby athlete Dean

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Boise State was on a bye this past week but they did some work on the recruiting trail, grabbing a commitment from Eagle (Idaho) athlete D.J. Dean Sunday night.

“It’s close to home. I know a lot of people don’t like that, but for me, all my family is here and it will give them an opportunity to see me play,” Dean told the Idaho Statesman. “Everything I love to do is in Idaho. I didn’t have a reason to leave or keep looking at schools. When I got the offer, I knew it was what I needed to do.”

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety/wide receiver also held an offer from Idaho and is teammates with BYU commit Tanner Mangum.

“They said they’re leaning toward receiver, but that’s not 100 percent,” Dean said of which position he would play for the Broncos.

Dean's pledge gives Boise State 16 for the class of 2012.
Posted on: July 23, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Elite 11 Top Performers

Posted by Bryan Fischer

MALIBU, Calif. -- The 2011 edition of the Elite 11 quarterback competition wrapped up on Friday on the gorgeous campus of Pepperdine University. With 24 of the country's best signal-callers in attendance, it was tough to narrow down the list to 11. The staff at the event had their list of 11 and here's a breakdown of how CBSSports.com saw it after watching everyone throw (in alphabetical order).

Neal Burcham (Greenbrier, Ark.)

Burcham rolled into the Elite 11 as an unknown with only one offer (from Central Arkansas) but left with everyone excited to see how his recruitment will take off - because it will. There was no glaring hole in his game and he was able to make all the throws. He's got good height but might be a tad on the thin side, nothing to scare teams off though. He makes a quick decision during 7-on-7 drills and 99% of the time it's the right one. The coaching staff were shaking their heads at how he could be so lightly recruited and after seeing him, so were we.

Bart Houston (Concord, Calif.), Committed to Wisconsin

If there's one thing you think when watching Houston, it's how he really is a perfect fit for Wisconsin. He's cerebral in the pocket and can diagnose what is going on quickly, then delivers a precision strike. There's nothing that jumps off the page with him but that's because he's solid in every area you look at. He knows when to check down and didn't seem to force anything all week.

Chad Kelly (Buffalo, N.Y.), Committed to Clemson

Kelly has had a productive July, looking good at The Opening and turning in another good performance at the Elite 11. He has a strong arm and was able to get the ball to the perfect spot. Kelly was outgoing on the sidelines with his fellow campers but once he was on the field, he got very serious. Just an overall good performance by the Clemson commit.

Zach Kline (Danville, Calif.), Committed to Cal

Kline had the best arm out of anyone in Malibu and one of the receivers even remarked he was surprised at how quickly the ball got to him. He tossed some beautiful fade routes and there really wasn't any spot on the field he couldn't get it to. There are times where he'll be a bit wild or take a chance he shouldn't but Kline no doubt proved he was the top quarterback on the West Coast.

Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind.)

Kiel is the nation's top quarterback and number two overall player and did nothing at the Elite 11 to suggest otherwise. He's one of the most polished prospects to come out of high school in some time and has great mechanics and a very strong arm. He lapsed at times but nevertheless showed everything you look for in a future all-conference quarterback.

Jeff Lindquist (Mercer Island, Wash.), Committed to Washington

Lindquist turned in his best performance of the summer and showed why it might be a tighter battle with fellow Washington commit Cyler Miles when they both get to campus. He was actually one of the few quarterbacks to have the arm strength to complete one drill that focused on using only the upper body. Lindquist threw a tight spiral all week and delivered a really catchable ball to the right spot just about every time.


Tanner Mangum (Eagle, Idaho), Committed to BYU

Not sure anyone has had a better month of July than Mangum. He proved he could not only hang with players more nationally recognized but that he was in the conversation to join them. Mangum has a really strong arm, sound mechanics and was a cerebral type who got the ball to where it needed to go. After watching him in action, he might be a better prospect out of high school than current Cougars starter Jake Heaps was.

Cyler Miles (Denver, Colo.), Committed to Washington

Miles was one of the bigger players at the event and looked more like some of the college players then the other high schoolers. Miles didn't have the strongest arm but he can make the throws. He had a really good week during 7-on-7 and was making the right reads. The event didn't allow him to show off his athleticism but he used it to showcase his quarterback IQ.

Nick Patti (Orlando, Fla.), Committed to Boise State

Patti wasn't perfect all week but still threw the ball well enough to get on this list. Everyone brings up his height and if he were a few inches taller, he'd be on everybody's radar. Based on what he showed at the Elite 11, it doesn't matter how tall he is, he's a flat-out player. Patti can deliver the ball on a rope but also knows when to put some touch on the ball. He was a little off on downfield throws but very good on short to intermediate routes.

Chad Voytik (Cleveland, Tenn.)

Voytik is very compact and drops back very quickly and fluidly. There's no doubt he had one of the strongest arms at the camp and the ball just flew out of his hands. It was really impressive to seem him spin the ball and he proved that he deserved the national recognition that he was craving.

Jameis Winston (Hueytown, Ala.)

Winston really had a good week and was at the top of his game. He's been playing mostly baseball and was a bit skinny but still could spin the ball well. Watch Winston in a game and his athleticism pops out but in a different setting this week, he showed in he is a complete player by making reads and every throw the playbook.

Just missed the cut: Shane Dillon, Zeke Pike, Patrick Towles, Travis Wilson.
Posted on: July 20, 2011 2:30 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 2:38 am
 

Winston evolving into complete QB at Elite 11

Posted by Bryan Fischer

MALIBU, Calif. -- With everybody settled into their picturesque surroundings at Pepperdine University during day two of the Elite 11, the throws were sharper, the completion percentage was up and - perhaps just as important - so was the level of competition.

"It's been good out here with all these great quarterbacks," Bessemer (Ala.) quarterback Jameis Winston said. "I'm just out here competing, that's the main thing."

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound signal-caller was the top performer Tuesday and was really spinning the ball well during a brisk morning throwing session. Despite the effort he put in on each throw, Winston understands that he's still evolving from an athlete into a quarterback and that there are several parts of his game that he can work on.

"Drops," he identifies immediately almost before the question is even asked. "I want to also work on my hips more. I have to get my hips open more so I don't hurt anything down low. So I just have to work my hips more and get open. I've got to get better everyday."

Winston was almost like a little brother on the field to college counselor E.J. Manuel out of Florida State. The two have similar builds (though Winston is much thinner) and a similar throwing motion. Often conversing between snaps, the college starter had no problem mentoring the high school star.

"E.J. helps me a lot on making sure I'm staying on top of the ball and not squeezing the ball," Winston said. "He's helped me a lot and he's at one of my final schools, Florida State."

Down to three schools in his recruitment, Maxpreps' second ranked quarterback and 21st overall player in the class of 2012 is considering the Seminoles and hasn't been shy about asking Manuel about the program.

"I've asked him about Florida State and their program," Winston said. "He's been pretty real with me. He's told me the ups and downs - there's not many downs but he told me some."

The other finalists for the five-star quarterback are both SEC powerhouses, one close to home and the other a few hours away by car. With distance not a huge factor for Winston, he's had to look closer at what each program brings to the table for him.

"Alabama is the home school," he said. "I mean, there's no place like home. I've been there a million times, just over and over. LSU, it's just a great competitive atmosphere and I want to be in that competitive atmosphere wherever I go, especially with baseball and football."

Winston is a top high school baseball player in addition to his success on the gridiron. While Florida State and LSU are perennial contenders at the College World Series, the success of the baseball program at any of the three schools he's considering is only a small factor in his decision.

"Yes," he says before cautioning," but Alabama's baseball program is coming up."

Projected by some to go as high as the first round draft in next year's MLB Draft, Winston knows it's possible he'll have to make a decision similar to Nebraska quarterback and Kansas City Royals first round pick Bubba Starling.

"Yes I've followed him," Winston said. "I'm going to consider (going pro). I don't know right now because I'm not as advanced as he is. He got there this year and I'm just considering it. Thinking about it but trying to have fun. It's in the back of my mind."

Slated to make one fan base very happy when he ultimately picks a school on August 3rd, Winston revealed that he's already decided where he'll play his college ball - football and baseball - but didn't offer any hints as to where that might actually be.

"I know where I'm going," he said. "The coaches know."

Kline reps the West Coast

Danville (Calif.) quarterback Zach Kline had one of the shortest commutes to the Elite 11 from the Bay Area and though he is used to going down to the beach or enjoying a cool summer day, the experience with 23 other top quarterbacks at the Elite 11 has been eye-opening for him.

"It's been awesome," Kline said. "Nothing is like it, ever. It's the best thing I've ever been to and you have the best players here."

The California kid was sporting a Rafael Nadal-like look on Tuesday with long hair and a headband. Though he was one of the most outgoing and relaxed players on the field, that masked his workman-like approach to learning as much as he could from the coaches and counselors at the event.

"A lot of things like making every throw count and the little things matter the most," he said about what he learned. "Even the smallest thing down to a drop, the fake on the play action matters more than anything and is the difference between a completion and an interception. And just kind of getting to know these guys and the things that they see."

In between meals and film sessions, the Cal commit has been able to take time to bond with his fellow campers, many of whom he is already close with.

"I know these guys real well," Kline said. "Connor Brewer I've been friends with for awhile, for a couple of years. Jake Rodrigues I've been friends with for a long time as well. Tyler Matthews same deal. Gunner Kiel, I was at the Elite 11 last year as a ball boy with him. He's the man, he's a great quarterback and just a cool dude to hang around with. Same for all of those guys, every single one of them."

Regarded by many as the top quarterback on the West Coast, the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder is confident in himself and showed that he can make all the throws on the field, going neck-and-neck with other highly ranked players like Winston and Kiel. Still, despite actually belonging with the best in the nation, Kline knows there's still something left for him to prove.

"Definitely," he says before identifying the biggest reason why. "Tanner Mangum is giving me a run for my money. He's good, a great quarterback and a great dude too. He's a good friend of mine as well and he's going to do big things at BYU, just an awesome quarterback, can't wait to watch him."

Appleby stars in the classroom

While Mangum wore a yellow jersey for being the winner of the Golden Arm competition on the field Monday, North Canton (Ohio) quarterback Austin Appleby sported a red jersey on Tuesday after taking home honors for best performance in the classroom. The chance to show off his quarterback IQ was a welcome one for someone who had prepared to do so for quite some time.

"I got a chance to get up in front on the board, in front of everybody, and impress Coach (Trent) Dilfer," Appleby said. "I put a lot of time and preparation coming into this. I've been hours upon hours into knowing this playbook and I take pride in being the most prepared at this camp."

With so much teaching on and off the field from instructors, Appleby made an apt analogy to schoolwork when talking about what specifically he'll take back to his high school.

"It's graduate level stuff," he said. "In my offense, I'm a little more advanced and making those checks and making those slide protections, or any audible I need too. So having this knowledge and understanding of how it's really supposed to work is really going to broaden my skill level from a mental aspect as well from the coaching we're going to get from a fundamental aspect."

The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder looks like he's physically ready to play on Saturdays and appears fully recovered from a knee injury he suffered last year. He throws a very catchable ball but can really put some spin on it if required. Even having the opportunity to showcase his quarterback skills alongside the other campers has been quite the experience for Appleby.

"It's awesome, there's no better place than to be here right now," he said. "The talent level is unbelievable. It's the top 24 for a reason and as the days go by and we get near the end, the elite will rise towards the top. Then we'll see who's number one and I have full intentions of being that number one."

Committed to Purdue, Appleby is in constant contact with the Boilermakers staff to keep them updated on his progress at the Elite 11.

"I'm going to be in contact with them and at the end of the day, I kind of update them with what's going on," he said. "It's kind of tough with the time zone, I keep forgetting how late it is over there. But I tell my high school coach as well and we're going to all together get better."

Clearly advanced mentally and physically, the senior to-be is undecided if he'll enroll early and take part in spring football with Purdue next year.

"I don't know at this point," he said. "We're looking into it but I don't know the details at this point."

Notes:

- Tanner Mangum won the Golden Arm competition for the second day in a row. After proudly sporting the yellow jersey on Tuesday, he will do so again during Wednesday's throwing sessions.

- Utah commit Travis Wilson has the frame to put on a few pounds of muscle but the 6-foot-6 quarterback has all the tools to make it at the next level. His release might be the best part of his game, as the ball comes out quickly and effortlessly.

- One of the surprises of day two was North Carolina commit Patton Robinette. He came in a close second behind Mangum in the Golden Arm competition but was sharp throughout practice. He did a good job hitting the receivers in the right spot and knowing just how much to put on the ball. Robinette also did a good job on throws to the outside and could really drive the ball on out routes.

- After a rough week at The Opening, Oregon verbal Jake Rodrigues has bounced back nicely at the Elite 11. It still seems like he gets a little bit too wide of a base but he was accurate and was able to get good power on just about every one of his throws.

- If there's anyone who could be labeled Mr. Consistent, it would be Bart Houston. He doesn't wow you out of the gate but he's got the perfect mix of arm strength, frame, throwing motion and accuracy to know he'll be a perfect fit at Wisconsin.

Posted on: July 19, 2011 3:16 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 10:04 am
 

All eyes on Kiel as Elite 11 kicks off

Posted by Bryan Fischer

MALIBU, Calif. -- Perfection isn't something that is easy to come by but 24 of the nation's top quarterbacks found the conditions to be as close to perfect as you could be on a picturesque Southern California day to open the Elite 11 quarterback competition on the campus of Pepperdine University

Amid signal-callers who had succeeded in high school, college and the NFL, the one player that drew plenty of attention with every throw was Columbus (Ind.) star Gunner Kiel. One of the handful of uncommitted players at the event, he was slated to have already made a decision last month and again in the middle of July. But those dates came and went and so everybody wanted know just who was standing out and when the top-ranked quarterback would pull the trigger on a school.

"I just decided to go and check out my options again and what was out there," Kiel said. "I tried (to set another date). I tried that next week but that didn't really work out. I'm done putting dates on it and whenever I feel ready to commit, that's when I'm going to."

Wearing his familiar white and orange shoes, Kiel was sharp throughout the two hour workout overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He threw a tight spiral on just about every throw and was one of the few quarterbacks who stayed balanced throughout the throwing motion.

Because he often declines interview requests, Kiel knows that there's intense interest in his decision and though he had no trouble answering any question that came his way from a throng of reporters, the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder wouldn't offer up many hints as to which program he was leaning towards.

"I like to keep it kind of personal, I'm always a team player too," he said. "I like to focus my time on my team and school work. I think of college stuff all the time but at the end of the day, I'm not going to make it a big thing. I'll probably tell the team and my family and it will probably gradually get out.

"It takes a lot out of you for a teenager but I have a strong family that's always by my side." 

Kiel's older brothers are quite familiar with the ins and outs of the recruiting process. Dusty is Indiana's possible starter this season while other brother Drew is reading defenses and calling out plays at Illinois State. While the conversations between the Kiel brothers might not always be about football, the pair have been an invaluable resource for Gunner to lean on.

"It's huge, they know what's out there and what's not," said the youngest Kiel. "I couldn't be more thankful for more blessed with a better family or better team."

Oklahoma, Indiana, Missouri and Alabama have mostly been the four teams out front for the five-star quarterback and many believe the Hoosiers are only on the list because of his brother. Ask Kiel though and he'll dismiss talk that it would be a "shock" if he were to play for the local team.

"I wouldn't say that," he said. "Indiana has a great coaching staff and they're definitely going to win football games. Coach (Kevin) Wilson is a fiery guy. My brother is going to be playing quarterback for them, which is awesome. I'll be at games and cheering him on. When I talk to him, I know they're going to win football games."

Kiel said that he does not plan to take any other visits and that he has already taken a trip to see all of his final schools. One notable thing he mentioned Monday was the fact that he would not go to a school that is looking to take two quarterbacks in the class of 2012. That would seem to rule out Oklahoma and Missouri, who both picked up players at the position in the past few weeks, but MaxPreps' top signal-caller wouldn't let on about any of his finalists in too much detail.

"There's some schools out there, i just kind of try and keep it low-key," he said. "I think everyone's great that I'm interested in. They have great facilities, great football teams, it's just kind of hard to make a decision right now.

"I'll probably decide before school."

Performing at events like the Elite 11 are one of the few times players get a chance to gauge how they stack up against competition nationally. Ranked as the second best player in the country overall, the red haired quarterback isn't feeling the heat from others and is focused only on improving himself throughout the rest of the week.

"There's always pressure out there," Kiel said. "At the end of the day, you've got to have fun and let it sling and not care. I know it's out there that I'm the number one quarterback in the nation but that's just a number."

Mangum continues to impress

As the camp counselors announced who won the final drill of the day, it was no surprise to hear them call out Eagle (Idaho) quarterback Tanner Mangum's name after the BYU recruit continued to show off his accuracy and strong arm on the final stop of the camp circuit.

"It feels good to come out on the first day and do well to start the week off right," Mangum said. "I know there's a lot of talented quarterbacks out here so it feels good to kind of get your name out there within the group."

Mangum was the top quarterback at last week's The Opening in Oregon and he picked up right where he left off in Malibu, winning the Golden Gun award for best accuracy during the final drill of the day.

"I'm trying to keep the momentum going," he said. "I'm playing well right now and hopefully I can keep it up the rest of the week. It definitely feels good to come out here and play well."

As the one of the few players from Idaho to receive much attention nationally, competing with the top players from around the country - and more often than not beating them - has been welcome preparation for the next level.

"You've only been here a few hours but you can already feel the competitive nature that these guys have," he said. "They're here for a reason. It's good to get to know these guys on a level other than football."

The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder will get to wear a special gold jersey throughout Tuesday as a result of being the top performer in the final drills.

Pike loving the experience

Auburn commit and Edgewood (Ky.) quarterback Zeke Pike has already been around the country for 7-on-7 competitions but walking off the field at Pepperdine was an altogether new, and very welcome, experience for the 6-foot-5, 230-pound football player.

"It's great just coming out here and competing with the top guys in the country," Pike said. "Even better than that is to be out here in California and Malibu. It doesn't get much better than this."

Pike is still recovering from minor shoulder surgery but was throwing the ball well at the end of the day after starting a bit slow. As someone who is a bit raw, picking up tips and tricks from the instructors has been vital to becoming a better quarterback. 

"It's fun to come out here with guys who know what they're talking about and be able to pick up teaching points," he said. "It's a lot different but it doesn't get much better than this, practicing football with the ocean in the background."

With camp counselors such as Florida State's E.J. Emanuel and Michigan State's Kirk Cousins, Pike has dedicated himself to soaking up anything and everything they and others have to offer as advice.

"You just try to take anything you can get back," Pike said. "You're working with Trent (Dilfer) and Jordan Palmer was in our group, he's five minutes from where I live. It's kind of good to come out here and meet him, we'll probably work a little when I get back. You just try and take something to improve your game."

Posted on: July 11, 2011 4:13 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 4:40 pm
 

The Opening: Top Offensive Performers

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Quarterback Tanner Mangum (Eagle, Idaho), committed to BYU

Mangum was the top quarterback at the event and impressed with his strong arm and decision making. He's got a good release that was evident in the 7-on-7 setting and was probably the most accurate signal-caller on the field. He was a leader and was on the same page as his teammates early on, so it's no surprise he guided them to the championship game.

Quarterback Tyler Matthews (McPherson, Kan.), committed to TCU

One of the bigger quarterbacks on the field, he was a big guy who delivered a catchable ball right where the receiver was expecting it. He's got a strong arm that can get the ball downfield and displayed nice touch on corner routes and when trying to hit guys against a cover-2. He seems as if he'll be a perfect fit in Fort Worth with his skill set and football IQ.

Athlete Nelson Agholor (Tampa, Fla.)

One of the top athletes in the country, Agholor could play on either side of the ball but spent his time at The Opening as a receiver. He's got the size to be very effective and can really flash his speed and create space for the offense. The only thing that we didn't see was for him to take over during 7-on-7 play and dominate but he was certainly a top performer based what he showed last week.

Running back Johnathan Gray (Aledo, Texas), committed to Texas

It seemed as if Gray touched the ball on just about every series for his 7-on-7 team (fellow Texas commit Connor Brewer was the quarterback by the way) and he ended up showing great burst and change of direction as soon as he snagged the ball out of the air. Ranked at the best running back in the nation, Gray showed he was a complete package and someone Longhorn fans should get very excited about in Brian Harsin's offense in 2012.

Wide receiver Deontay Greenberry (Fresno, Calif.), committed to Notre Dame

Greenberry has put together two dominant performances in back-to-back weeks against national competition. He's athletic and fast and is one of the few players who stood out as really being able to take over a game. He was, quite simply, dominant and able to get any ball he wanted. He sometimes gets a little lazy running his routes, but his talent is off the charts.

Wide receiver Jaydon Mickens (Los Angeles, Calif.), committed to USC

Mickens almost looked as if he was on the JV compared to some of the players at the event but that didn't matter as he is a flat-out player. He turned in the play of the day Friday by zigging across the field several times and stopping on a dime. He's fast enough to pull away from just about anybody, and even if you think you're close to "tackling" him, he more often than not can scoot away.

Tight end Taylor McNamara (San Diego, Calif.), committed to Arizona

There were plenty of weapons on McNamara's 7-on-7 team, but he was its most consistent target. He's got the size to create match-up issues with linebackers and safeties alike. He's still rail thin but has the size and skills to develop into another great tight end in the desert. He gets off the line well and also has a solid pair of hands.

Tight end Sean Price (Citra, Fla.), committed to USF

Every time you turned around it seemed Price was catching a touchdown or making a big play. He's done well in these types of competitions, and against top talent at The Opening, he was no exception. He's got great size and, with is gigantic hands, seemed to nab everything thrown his way. Though he's not the fastest guy, he's got football speed and just finds a way to get open.

Offensive tackle Vadal Alexander (Buford, Ga.)

Alexander showed remarkable improvement from the Georgia Nike Camp over a month ago and was solid throughout the week. He was named position MVP and did so by rarely losing one-on-ones and showing off good athleticism for someone his size.

Offensive tackle Zach Banner (Lakewood, Wash.)

Easily the biggest player at the entire event, the 6-foot-7, 340-pounder was able to handle much quicker defensive ends surprisingly well considering that is something he normally struggles with. Banner was dominant in the run-blocking drills and though he didn't win every one-on-one rep, managed to move his feet well and keep his man in front of him most of the time.

Offensive lineman Josh Garnett (Puyallup, Wash.)

With so many tackles at the event, Garnett decided to move inside and get several reps at guard and he left many observers impressed. One of the calmest, nicest players off the field, he had a mean streak on the field and was like a brick wall. He's got the athleticism to play just about every position on the line and showed it during the event.

Offensive tackle Patrick Miller (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

Miller is tall and lean but surprisingly moved well side-to-side and handled fast, big defensive lineman pretty well. He still needs to get stronger but he more than held his own and showed off a bit of a mean streak during drills. There were times when he got a little bit off balance but for the most part, he was a difficult match up for all the defenders. 

Offensive lineman Curtis Riser (Desoto, Texas), committed to Texas

Riser was dominant throughout the entire week, and it was a bit of a surprise that he didn't get MVP honors. He was excited for each rep and had a good celebration whenever he stopped one of the defensive linemen. He's very big and certainly looks to be the part of a guard but still was able to move fairly well. The one thing that stood out was how powerful he was, often driving back the defensive linemen coming at him.

Posted on: July 1, 2011 11:18 am
Edited on: July 1, 2011 11:28 am
 

Elite 11 Roster Unveiled

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The roster for the 2011 Elite 11 quarterback competition has been released, and it features some of the top signal-callers in the country. There are a few changes to the event itself, which expands the roster from 11 to 24 and goes from a four-day event to five. The annual competition will be held at the picturesque Pepperdine campus in Malibu, Calif.

Notable alumni at the event include Mark Sanchez, Matthew Stafford, Troy Smith, Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Tim Tebow and Blaine Gabbert. This year's lineup features the following players from the class of 2012:

Austin Appleby (North Canton, Ohio)
Committed to Purdue

Connor Brewer (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Committed to Texas

Neal Burcham
(Greenbrier, Ark.)

Tyler Cameron (Jupiter, Fla.)

Preston Dewey (Austin, Texas)
Committed to Miami

Shane Dillon (El Cajon, Calif.)
Committed to Colorado

Bart Houston (Concord, Calif.)
Committed to Wisconsin

Chad Kelly (Buffalo. N.Y.)
Committed to Clemson

Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind.)

Zach Kline (Danville, Calif.)
Committed to Cal

Jeff Lindquist (Mercer Island, Wash.)
Committed to Washington

Tanner Mangum (Eagle, Idaho)
Committed to BYU

Tyler Matthews (McPherson, Kan.)
Committed to TCU

Cyler Miles (Denver, Colo.)
Committed to Washington

Tyler O’Connor (Lima, Ohio)
Committed to Michigan State

Nick Patti (Orlando, Fla.)
Committed to Boise State

Zeke Pike (Fort Mitchell, Ky.)
Committed to Auburn

Patton Robinette (Maryville, Tenn.)
Committed to North Carolina

Jake Rodrigues (Rocklin, Calif.)
Committed to Oregon

Grant Rohach (Moorpark, Calif.)
Committed to Iowa State

Patrick Towles (Fort Thomas, Ky.)
Committed to Kentucky

Chad Voytik (Cleveland, Tenn.)

Travis Wilson (San Clemente, Calif.)
Committed to Utah

Jameis Winston (Hueytown, Ala.)
Posted on: May 16, 2011 1:28 am
 

Stanford Nike Camp Top Performers: Offense

Posted by Bryan Fischer

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Football is a sport played in the elements and the hundreds of top athletes from all over the West Coast got a dose of rain, wind and hail during Sunday's Nike Training Camp on the Stanford campus. Here's a few of the top performers on the offensive side of the ball:

Offensive linemen

One of the strongest groups at the camp, the offensive linemen might have welcomed the chance to play in a little bit of rain the most. It's a good year for linemen on the West Coast and this group was very reflective of that.

Erik Magnuson

Magnuson has a great frame and could fill out even more into a monster at left tackle. He's got a bit of a mean streak and was very competitive all day, especially in one-on-ones. He uses his hands well and keeps the defender in front of him very well. He was very flexible and probably could play either right or left tackle at the next level.

Kyle Murphy

Another big tackle prospect, Murphy showed why he's receiving attention from schools all over the country. He stays upright with the proper bend at the hips and had one of the better kick steps. He knew which angle the defender was taking during one-on-ones and adjusted well to stay between him and the quarterback. He can improve his footwork just a tad but it's already some of the best in the West.

Isaac Seumalo

Seumalo took home position group MVP and was the most technically sound and consistent offensive lineman at the camp from start to finish. You could tell his dad is a coach (at Oregon State) and how he was ready for just about anything thrown at him. He's got good size and can play either offense or defense because of his quickness. Seumalo looks like he could really be an asset run blocking with the way he gets after things and drives defenders off the ball.

Running backs

It wasn't a particularly strong group at running back with only a handful actually holding offers. Lewis, an SMU commitment, was the best of the best and nabbed the MVP award.

Robert Lewis

Seeing Lewis up close, it's hard to see him being a 15 carry a game back. At the same time, he's a huge threat to score with his combination of speed and quickness; he moves side-to-side extremely well. Lewis can catch the ball well and he can really excel at the next level in the slot or even as a multipurpose threat like Oregon State's James Rodgers.

Wide receivers

Probably the deepest group at the camp, the wide outs were very impressive despite the less than ideal pass catching weather. Arizona speedster Davonte Neal took home MVP honors and couldn't find a matchup out of the slot he didn't like.

Deontay Greenberry

Greenberry has seen his stock take off the past few months and he did nothing to slow it down at the Farm. He accelerates into top gear quicker than just about everybody and is very fluid while running his routes. It actually was difficult for the quarterbacks to throw to him because they often wouldn't anticipate him running so fast. Greenberry tended to round off his routes and not get into and out of his breaks however.

Jaydon Mickens

Mickens and Neal were the two guys out of the slot that just about everyone had trouble covering. Mickens has a pair of good hands and does a good job of taking off towards the end zone as soon as he's secured the ball. A bit on the small side, he's just too quick for anybody to really get a hand on him for that to matter.

Kenny Walker

Walker holds a host of offers and seems to be on the cusp of going from a good wide receiver to a great one. He's got good size and is similar to Greenberry in terms of speed and quickness. He caught just about everything thrown his way and was able to create separation with defensive backs on deep routes.

Ian Taubler

Taubler might have been the biggest player at the event that was not an offensive lineman. Despite being a big tight end, he showed he could move and has surprisingly decent speed. His routes are pretty sharp and he comes off the ball well and gets into and out of his breaks quickly. In terms of looks and game, he's somewhat similar to Nick O'Leary out of the 2011 class but not quite as big.

Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick

Cope-Fitzpatrick was stating his case for the top tight end in California and did a good job. He's built very well physically and likely can come in as a tight end that can be a threat in both the passing game and blocking for the run game. He's one of the faster tight ends but still needs to improve his route running a bit.

Quarterbacks

The quarterbacks got the spotlight on Friday and just about everyone - with the notable exception of Connor Brewer - returned for another go around at Stanford's practice fields. Once again Zach Kline made a big impression by showing off his big arm and took home position group MVP.

Zach Kline

There's not much for Kline to do at this point after shining two days in a row and collecting his second MVP award in as many Bay Area Nike Camps. The Cal commit has an arm that is one of the strongest in the class of 2012 and he can really put the ball wherever he wants to on the field. Kline has good fundamentals and his footwork is excellent. Overall, just he's very balanced from snap to throw and it wouldn't be surprising at all to see him play early.

Tanner Mangum

The BYU commit also followed up a good Elite 11 performance with what might have been an even sharper Nike Camp performance. He stands tall in the pocket and is very accurate at all three levels. He doesn't quite have the arm strength as Kline but it is still very good. At this point, it's hard to argue Magnum being the top prospect in Idaho based on what he's shown on the field and during the camp circuit.

Matt Morin

Morin was MVP of the LA Nike Camp and had another good showing up North. While he wasn't quite as good as he was earlier, Morin was still sharp and the lefty displayed one of the strongest arms on Sunday. He would go through spurts where he wasn't as accurate but most of the day he was spinning the ball very well.
 
 
 
 
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