Posted on: August 26, 2011 10:35 am
Edited on: August 26, 2011 10:36 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
- Players in the state of Illinois are making early commitments, a trend that is happening nationwide.
Cal, USC and Oregon State among others have commits in this list of top Los Angeles area wide receivers.
Darreus Rogers is a USC commit and pass-catching playmaker.
Michigan won't rush defensive lineman Danny O'Brien into making a decision.
Oklahoma's class of 2010 was the best freshman class under Bob Stoops.
Bubba Starling made the right choice by playing baseball instead of going to Nebraska to play football.
It will be Georgia, South Carolina or Vanderbilt for defensive back Chaz Elder.
Quarterback Robert Gregory is making his decision on September 2 and has Arkansas number one on his list.
Posted on: July 25, 2011 4:32 pm
ORLANDO -- Some of the nation's top recruits descended upon Disney's Wide World of Sports complex this past weekend for the third annual Gridiron Kings tournament. Here's the best of the best on defense from the final recruiting event of the summer.
Defensive back Ronald Darby (Oxon Hill, Md.), Committed to Notre Dame
It seemed to take Darby a little bit to get warmed up each game but after that he was in shutdown mode. He might have been the fastest player at Gridiron Kings and his closing speed was very, very impressive. He still seems to fit better as a safety that can roam the field and make plays but he still was solid in man coverage closer to the line.
Defensive back Chaz Elder (College Park, Ga.)
The only uncommitted player on this list will be a steal for one program. Elder was part of a talented secondary for the Southeast and he really impressed at how he went after the ball. He moves well and mirrors receivers step-by-step no matter what the route. After watching him, it seems like he'll fit in well as a corner that plays the cover-2 extensively.
Defensive back Devante Harris (Mesquite, Texas), Committed to Oklahoma
Harris blew everybody away on Sunday because he was a ball hawk, grabbing at least four picks and flying around the secondary. He's got decent height but is extremely skinny. At the end of the day though, he was just a playmaker, high-pointing the ball in the air and often outmuscling bigger defenders. He was playing safety for the Southwest due to team needs but he'll likely end up as a nickelback or corner in Norman.
Defensive back Joshua Holsey (Fairburn, Ga.), Committed to Auburn
Holsey was a fighter and did a great job of getting into his man then making a play. He was really good near the goal line and seems like he'll be very good in press coverage. He also impressed when turning and running with receivers, displaying good hips and a very nice feel for where they were heading.
Linebacker Keith Brown (Miami, Fla.), Committed to Miami
Brown really impressed with his skill set at the event and he was extremely good in coverage on Saturday. He took good lines when dropping into coverage and closed quickly on slot receivers and running backs to break up several passes. Brown is a sideline-to-sideline type of backer and did very well in a 7-on-7 setting where the position is hard to get a read on.
Linebacker Kwontie Moore (Norfolk, Va.), Committed to Virginia
If you saw a big guy in a red jersey running the other way, it was probably Moore. He was the rock for the Midwest defense and kept them in games with his timely pass breakups or picks. He came close to being the defensive MVP despite being on a team that only won one game. Moore had an 80-yard pick-six and outran some very fast players and managed to snag an interception on the goal line that helped his team beat the heavily favored Southeast.
Athlete Deontay Greenberry (Fresno, Calif.), Committed to Notre Dame
Greenberry was, quite literally, all over the field during the weekend. He played linebacker, safety and wide receiver and would be on the top performers list at any of the three. He really competes at these events and brings a certain swagger that, and not necessarily a cocky way, says that he's one of the best players on the field. He breaks on the ball well on defense and he could be a really good safety if the Irish choose to move him there.
Posted on: July 24, 2011 1:23 am
Edited on: July 24, 2011 9:35 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
ORLANDO -- Gridiron Kings, the final recruiting event of the summer, kicked off at the Wide World of Sports complex Saturday afternoon near Disney World, featuring some of the top talent in the country.
Divided into four regions, the players from the Southeast continued their impressive dominance of the event, going undefeated in the first two games of pool play in an event the team has won every year since its inception.
"It's been a great experience so far, I'm playing with some of the best talent from the Southeast," Fairburn (Ga.) defensive back Joshua Holsey said. "We're playing against everyone from around the country and that's a great experience. We're having fun and since we're winning, it's really fun."
The Southeast lucked out in its two wins, however. The deciding touchdowns in each game came with less than a minute remaining, but the find-a-way attitude was just part of the spirit the athletes from the South exuded.
"Our offense just brings us back and our defense just tries to do what we can to stop the offense from scoring," Holsey said. "We all pretty much know each other from The Opening. We all have a close bond, either in the locker room or on the field, it's just like playing with each other (for years), we know what each other does and likes. That's the greatest thing."
Though most of the players at Gridiron Kings are already committed to a school, that didn't stop the Auburn-bound Holsey from trying to get a few players to join him on The Plains.
"Yes, I'm trying to get as many recruits to come to Auburn as possible," Holsey says without hesitation. "Me, JaQuay (Williams), we always talk about getting the best guys. We want to go down there and win, we're trying to win the national championship ourselves. We're trying to build a class that can go down there and compete and have fun."
Holsey has been committed to the Tigers since May and points to one thing above others as being the reason he is firmly a part of Auburn's recruiting class.
"Just the coaches," he said. "They're really nice to me. The players, the whole facilities, it just feels like a family and a place where I can spend the next four years there."
Adams close to decision
If there was one team really looking forward to toppling the Southeast, it was the West squad. Westlake Village (Calif.) cornerback Ishmael Adams helped the squad to a 1-1 mark, with the lone loss coming thanks to a pass that was tipped by a defender right into the hands of a Southeast receiver for a score with less than 30 seconds left. Despite the close loss, spirits were high throughout the day for a dangerous squad come the knockout round.
"It's a great time with all the fellas, just hanging out," Adams said. "We're putting in work."
Adams and his West teammates are closer than the other three regional teams in part because they've seen each other early and often this summer.
"Just from camps and doing all these different things, we're very comfortable with each other," he said. "The chemistry is there. We're looking to do well."
Doing well also includes a bit of trash talk between the squads. For the West, according to Adams, that means shouts of "West Side All Day," or "West Side is the Best Side." He is also pretty talkative on the field with his teammates about what to expect from the offenses and didn't mind talking about his recruiting either.
"I'm very close," he said of a decision. "I'm still going to take all my official visits but I'm pretty sure with where I want to go right now. I'm taking my visits to see what the other schools have. I want to make the decision before I go into the season."
Holding offers from most of the Pac-12, Adams has always looked to stay somewhat close to Southern California and has narrowed down his list to include programs with strong ties to the area.
"UCLA, Cal, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona State," he said were his finalists. "UCLA and Cal, they're on me real big, then ASU. I've also always talked to the Oregon coach and he's told me he's not really hard on calling me every day. He just let me know that he wants me at the school and if I want to come, it's my decision."
Adams added that fellow West teammate Bryce Treggs, who committed to Cal two weeks ago, was heavily recruiting him for the Bears.
-- Tampa (Fla.) athlete Nelson Agholor wasn't supposed to be at the event but was a late -- and impact -- substitution for the Southeast squad. He's a fluid athlete who was a favorite target on offense and could really get off the line. He's tremendous at safety, but the way he can influence a game on either side of the ball, it's no wonder schools are just recruiting to get him on campus and then figure out a position later. He said he didn't want to talk recruiting and instead wanted to focus on what happened on the field.
-- SMU commit Robert Lewis and Texas A&M commit Trey Williams were the two most impressive players out of the backfield. Lewis was able to find soft spots in the defense and exploit them at all three levels of the passing game. Williams had two highlight plays when he shaked and baked his way down the field for a big gain and then followed it up with a touchdown on a seam route.
-- Tight end Sean Price continues to impress this summer. The Citra (Fla.) product was once again a matchup issue for linebackers who either couldn't handle his speed or couldn't handle his size. He has a good release off the line, but it can get better, which will only make him more dangerous in the passing game. Price made one of the best catches of the day when he dove for a ball and caught it one-handed for a touchdown.
-- 2013 quarterback Shane Morris had a bit of an up-and-down day. He wasn't as sharp as he normally was in 7-on-7 settings, sometimes lapsing when making an easy throw and turning it into an incompletion. The lefty didn't have the athletes that some of the other quarterbacks did but he still should have performed better.
-- Texas A&M commit Matt Davis was one of four Aggies in Orlando and just flat-out moved the ball downfield for the Southwest team. He doesn't throw the tightest spirals, but he moves the chains and gets the ball to the right receiver.
-- Boise State commit Marcus Rios had a nice day and grabbed a spectacular interception off a deflection versus the Southeast team.
-- It's going to be tough to get past the Southeast team when they have players like defensive backs Chaz Elder and Travis Blanks. The pair hooked up on an interception with Blanks tipping the ball and Elder pulling down the turnover. The pair simply were ball hawks all evening.
-- The top wide receiver in the country, Texas commit Cayleb Jones, went down with a hand injury early in the day. Fellow Longhorn Thomas Johnson made sure he wouldn't be missed with a terrific day. He has great hands, runs good routes and catches everything.
-- The more athlete Ronald Darby plays defensive back, the more he looks like a top-flight safety prospect. The talented athlete has speed and burst almost unmatched and does a really good job of focusing on his man and reading what he does.
-- It was a very good day for Scottsdale (Ariz.) athlete Davonte Neal. There's still debate as to whether he's best suited for offense or defense and he played both equally well on Saturday. He's still a bit stiff in his hips when he turns and runs at corner but he nevertheless was an impact player on both sides of the ball and made several plays in the secondary.
Tags: Arizona State, Auburn, Boise State, Bryce Treggs, Cal, Cayleb Jones, Chaz Elder, Colorado, Davonte Neal, Gridiron Kings, Gridiron Kings 2011, Ishmael Adams, JaQuay Williams, Joshua Holsey, Marcus Rios, Matt Davis, Nelson Agholor, Oregon, Pac-12, Robert Lewis, Ronald Darby, Sean Price, Shane Morris, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, The Opening, Thomas Johnson, Travis Blanks, Trey Williams, UCLA
Posted on: July 10, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 4:28 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- As things wrapped up on Day 4 of The Opening, one couldn't help feeling a tinge of sadness on behalf of the nearly 150 athletes at the event. Knowing the end was coming and that they soon would have to hop on a plane home, many players couldn't believe the all-star event had come to a close.
"It's a very humbling, lifetime experience," Yulee (Fla.) running back Derrick Henry said. "I'll never forget it. All this competition, the whole 150, it's a blessing. It's nice getting guys' prospectives on different colleges and stuff like that, it's been good."
As one of three sophomores at the event, Henry was just trying to soak in the event. Playing with some of the top players in the country, The Opening was a chance to learn from the best in anticipation of coming back next year as the elder statesman.
"This is my first time coming up here, and I'm starting to enjoy the whole thing," he said. "But next time it's going to be business."
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Henry was one of the most impressive athletes, physically, at the event. Though he plays running back in high school, if he continues to grow, he might develop into a tight end -- a position he got reps at during the 7-on-7 portion of the event.
"It just gives me a chance to get out there and catch some balls and get some touchdowns," he said. "I'll do anything to get my team the win."
Though he was split out catching passes instead of running down hill, there's no question what position he wants to play at the next level.
"Oh running back, that's what I play," Henry said. "I'm just doing this because it's 7-on-7. You've got to do what you've got to do to get the ball."
The Opening also gave Henry a chance to talk with plenty of older, heavily recruited athletes such as Nelson Agholor, Terry Richardson and Dillon Lee just on his 7-on-7 team. Already solidified as one of the top players in the Class of 2013, Henry has been picking up scholarship offers at a good clip over the past few months.
"I got an offer from Stanford, North Carolina, Tennessee and some others," he said. "I know I'm over 50. It's a humbling experience. I thank god everyday for this opportunity. I just use it as motivation to keep working hard in the weight room and the classroom and the field. Hopefully I can give back to my teammates by using my talent and my name to get them opportunities for the young guys who are under (the radar)."
Although many had considered him a Florida State lean early on, it's another in-state program that has moved out in front nearly a year and a half before he eventually signs a letter of intent.
"Florida is my leader, then Georgia, Florida State and Alabama," Henry said. "I'm open to any school; it's just where I feel comfortable and at home at, that chemistry I have with the coaches and where my family likes."
Reeves down to two
With so many talented players on the fields at the Nike campus, tempers were bound to flare given the level of competition. But, surprisingly, things were mostly limited to some good-natured trash talking because of the bond the players had formed over the past few days.
"It's very competitive out here,” defensive back Armani Reeves said. “But they're all good guys. When we go inside the lounge in there, we're all family and have a good time. But when we come out to (the fields), that's the time to compete and that's what we do.”
Things have been competitive on the recruiting front for the Roxbury (Mass.) corner. Reeves recently narrowed down his list of schools to two and talked about both, starting with Notre Dame.
"They're a great school academically," he said. "Coach (Bob) Diaco, Coach (Brian) Kelly, they're trying to turn that program around and make it a championship school. When they talked they had a lot to offer. When they showed me around, the campus was beautiful and I got to hang out with a bunch of the players. I had a good time there.”
The Irish are not the only program in the running for Reeves' services, as the Nittany Lions are neck and neck with them in Reeves' eyes.
"As far as Penn State goes, it feels like home," he said. "Coach (Joe) Paterno, I talk to him every time I see him. We even Skype now. All of those coaches treat me like family and express how much they want me. I'm just enjoying the process and trying to think about everything."
Several recruits have reported they have Skyped with the coaching legend and like the others, Reeves feels it's a unique connection to one of college football's icons thanks to a bit of modern technology.
"Yeah it's pretty cool," Reeves said. "He was cracking jokes with me. He's new to the whole thing so when you have an old guy like him doing something like Skype, it's just fascinating. He was just talking and we forgot about recruiting, telling me stories and stuff. It was really fun, I had a good time."
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound defensive back returned from unofficial visits to both schools shortly before heading to Oregon for The Opening. While he is officially down to two schools, a timetable for a decision on which one he will commit to is up in the air.
"Hopefully I'll make a decision soon but if not, I don't mind waiting," he said. "I just came back from those visits like two or three weeks ago so I'm just taking this time enjoying my time out here with these fellas."
Elder getting closer to decision
Proving that defensive backs can also have a pair of good hands, College Park (Ga.) corner Chaz Elder made one of the defensive plays of the day when he caught a beautiful over the shoulder interception in the end zone to prevent a touchdown.
“My teammate told me to watch for the corner,” Elder said. “So I went over to try and get over the top. I got over there a little to late, but luckily the wide receiver missed it and I was able to catch it.”
Coming a long way from home and making plays is something new for Elder, but the overall experience in Portland has been a rewarding one for the talented cornerback.
“It's been great,” he said. “This is the furthest I've ever been outside of Georgia. I like it. (The plane ride) is kind of long. It's very long but it's alright.”
One of the top players in a deep pool of talent in Georgia this year, Elder has more than 25 scholarship offers from major powerhouses, but he has narrowed his list to three schools.
“With (Georgia), I like the fact that me and Coach Mark Richt have a good relationship,” Elder said. “South Carolina, I like the fact that they're known for having good DB's. Plus I like the defense they run because it's similar to what I run now in high school. With Vanderbilt, they're upcoming and I could help change the face of the program.”
Vanderbilt is making news in the recruiting world by picking several major commitments, including one from Top 100 running back Brian Kimbrow. The momentum the school has under new coach James Franklin is something that matters to Elder.
“That's a big factor,” he admitted.
Elder won't open up as to which of the three programs is out in front but plans to make a decision soon, likely in August before his senior seasons begins.
Howard staying open
There were plenty of players who had fun at The Opening, but it was hard to top the excitement about the event that Miramar (Fla.) defensive back Tracy Howard had following a 7-on-7 win.
“It's been one of the best experiences of my life,” Howard said. “To come way out to Portland, Oregon, I know I haven't been this far from home. The only place I've been is the Bahamas on a cruise. It's definitely a blessing to get out here with the top talent and compete against those guys.”
A talkative player on the field, Howard doesn't mind finding a player on the opposing team and talking a little trash to back up his coverage skills
“Oh Sean Price,” Howard responds almost instantly about who he talks the most trash with. “We're good friends, it's not bad talk, we're just getting each other better.”
Though Howard has been leaning toward Florida for a good portion of the recruiting process, he's narrowed his list of schools he's considering and looking at all of the options equally.
“I'm just staying open right now,” he said. “I'm down to a few: Miami, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, LSU, South Carolina and Notre Dame.”
-- Very impressive day by defensive linemen Sheldon Day and Ellis McCarthy. Though Day was named position group MVP, McCarthy was unblockable during one-on-ones and went around and through his man, all on a bad ankle. Aziz Shittu rebounded from a sub-par day Friday to perform well. Curtis Riser was the top offensive lineman of the group on Saturday to go with good performances from Vadal Alexander and Issac Seumalo.
-- No matter what position he played, Fresno (Calif.) athlete Deontay Greenberry was a flat-out player. From skying on jump balls in the end zone to intercepting passes during limited time on defense, the Notre Dame-bound Greenberry was consistently a top performer over all three days of competition.
-- Geismar (La.) safety Landon Collins was named the 7-on-7 MVP and overall MVP of The Opening. He was everywhere on the field and quite literally had too many interceptions to count over the two days of 7-on-7. He more than lived up to his billing as a top 10 player in the class of 2012 and might even be underrated based on what he has done this summer.
-- Another defensive back that stood out was Clemson commit and Tallahassee (Fla.) safety Travis Blanks. Blanks had two interceptions in the opening game Saturday (and nearly had two more) and continued his stellar play throughout the day. He is one of the most versatile defensive backs in that he's equally good as a safety and cornerback.
-- There weren't many of them, but the walking wounded on the sidelines generally sported cardinal and gold. USC commits Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (stitches) and Jabari Ruffin (fractured wrist) were both out of action Saturday.
-- Team Alpha Talon, with honorary coaches Josh Freeman and Dwayne Bowe, won the 7-on-7 tournament. The team featured Bralon Addison, Nelson Agholor, Deon Bush, Landon Collins, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Trae Elston, Justin Ferguson, Derrick Henry, Germone Hopper, Chad Kelly, Duke Johnson, Dillon Lee, Kaiwan Lewis, Steven Longa, Lamar Louis, Marcus Maye, Armani Reeves, Terry Richardson and Randy Uzoma.
-- The overall offensive line MVP was Vadal Alexander while Sheldon Day took home the same honors on the defensive line. Offensive tackle Kyle Murphy and defensive end Jamal Marcus were one-on-one champions.
-- The 7-on-7 All-Tournament team was Travis Blanks, Cyrus Jones, Johnathan Gray, Deontay Greenberry, Marcus Maye, Bryce Treggs and Tee Shepard.
Tags: Alabama, Armani Reeves, Aziz Shittu, Bob Diaco, Bralon Addison, Brian Kelly, Brian Kimbrow, Bryce Treggs, Chad Kelly, Chaz Elder, Clemson, Curtis Riser, Cyrus Jones, Deon Bush, Deontay Greenberry, Derrick Henry, Dillon Lee, Dillon Lee, Duke Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Ellis McCarthy, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia, Germone Hopper, Issac Sumalo, Jabari Ruffin, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, James Franklin, Joe Paterno, Johnathan Gray, Josh Freeman, Justin Ferguson, Kaiwan Lewis, Lamar Louis, Landon Collins, LSU, Marcus Maye, Mark Richt, Miami, Nelson Agholor, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Penn State, Randy Uzoma, Sean Price, Shledon Day, Skype, South Carolina, Stanford, Steven Longa, Tee Shepard, Tennessee, Terry Richardson, The Opening, The Opening 2011, Tracy Howard, Trae Elston, Travis Blanks, USC, Vadal Alexander, Vanderbilt
Posted on: July 5, 2011 9:07 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 9:13 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Hope everyone had a great 4th of July. Now back to the recruiting grind with plenty of links:
- The Sporting News has released their list of 125 of the top recruits from the class of 2012 and starts out with Nos. 125-76.
- Depth at offensive tackle is one of the things this year's recruiting class has that last year's didn't.
Defensive back Chaz Elder is down to Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
Maryland wide receiver commit Malcolm Culmer is a speedy deep threat for the Terps.
Oklahoma State has lost several commits and that's something Mike Gundy calls 'disappointing.'
Texas and Texas A&M seem to be out front nationally according to some analysts.
Some updates on Michigan targets Josh Garnett, Aziz Shittu and Jordan Payton. The Wolverines still need some help at defensive tackle.
Defensive back Julian Whigham committed to Syracuse.
Posted on: April 16, 2011 5:36 am
Edited on: April 16, 2011 2:51 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
ATHENS, Ga. -- Hundreds of players from all over the Southeast braved an oncoming thunderstorm to showcase their skills at the University of Georgia in the latest edition of the Nike Football Training Camp and Elite 11 Quarterback Competition Friday night.
Once again, Georgia had a strong display of BCS-caliber talent at the camp and the state continues to show why recruiters from across the country are anxious to get a look at the next wave of talent coming out of the Peach State. The class of 2012 is loaded with talent along the defensive line and several of the state's 33 recruits with FBS offers made their way down to the camp.
While many of the highly regarded juniors flashed their skills during drills, it was not hard to see that Grayson (Ga.) sophomore defensive end Robert Nkemdiche was not only the most talented of the group, but easily the top player at the camp.
"They called me out and I did it," Nkemdiche said matter of factly. "It felt good."
His home state might end up sending close to 50 players to an FBS school from the defensive line come February but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who looks as good as Nkemdiche does at first glance. The 6-foot-4, 265 pound end was a physical specimen, showing up fit and ready to dominate older competition.
On top of a quick initial burst, he displayed several polished pass rush moves that even much older college players don't have. Making the most of a lightning quick spin move or just relying on a straight speed rush, Nkemdiche was impossible to stop in one-on-ones all night long. Thought he will continue to grow and mature at the position, the gifted pass rusher is already thinking ahead at what he wants to work on the rest of the summer.
"I want to work on my speed," Nkemdiche said. "I real fast right now, like a 4.5 (40 yard dash) but I want to drop my time. I want to be the best I can be and the coaches want that too."
Nkemdiche's high school coaches also want to win, which is why he'll also try his hand at running back next season for Grayson. As terrifying as it might be to some opposing players to see someone of his size and skill running at them, Nkemdiche is equally excited at getting the chance to run over (and past) a few defenders to reach the end zone on offense.
"I can't wait," he said. "It's going to be great."
In spite of having almost two years before inking his signature on a letter of intent, the talented sophomore is already sitting on multiple scholarship offers. Given his unique blend of size, speed and pass rushing ability, it's easy to see why some schools feel the need to extend an offer early in hopes of making Nkemdiche's recruitment a quick one.
"Auburn was the last offer I got, maybe late January or early February," he said. "I don't know how many but I have over ten.
"Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and that's all I know off the top of my head right now."
Several programs' annual Spring Game is Saturday and Nkemdiche was planning on going to Alabama's "A-Day" but will instead catch most of the day's action at home. He'll continue to exploit offensive linemen on Sunday however, when he'll head to the Atlanta Under Armour Camp.
Utilizing his unique skill set is something Nkemdiche will continue to do throughout the summer and has already planned out a few unofficial visits and camp stops between now and the end of July.
"In the summer I'm going to go to a couple schools," he said. "LSU, Alabama and Auburn's camps. Just (visit) as many schools as I can."
Nkemdiche was one of only two sophomore to walk off the field as a position MVP but based on his performance Friday night, he might as well have been holding the title of top recruit in the Southeast for 2013.
And you'd find few who would be willing to argue if he snagged it either.
Alexander, Eligwe share the spotlight
Just as impressive as the defensive line group, the linebackers in attendance received their share of publicity and right fully so. With eight players holding multiple BCS offers, there might not have been a better position group all year. In fact, many of the camp instructors had a hard time thinking of a better group of linebackers in the decade long history of the Nike Camps.
Fittingly, the position MVP award was one of the toughest decisions of the night so the coaches ended up making Oxford (Ala.) stud Kwon Alexander and Stone Mountain (Ga.) linebacker Ukeme Eligwe co-MVPs.
"I feel like I did great and showcased my talent," Eligwe said. "There was a lot of great players out here today."
"I really just wanted to do my best and learn from everybody," said Alexander.
Eligwe made the case to be the top linebacker in the state - if he wasn't already - thanks to his size and very good quickness. He opened his hips well and hardly let anything get past him during drills. A top performer in all of the one-one drills, the 6-foot-2, 220 pounder also wouldn't mind an extra rep or two against Alexander to settle who really was the top linebacker at the event.
"That would be nice," Eligwe said with a smile. "He's a good player also so I don't feel different, it's all good. I came out here to have fun and do what I have to do."
The speedy Alexander was quite confident who would eventually prevail and would have loved to see another play to decide top dog.
"Yeah I want another," he said with a grin. "I want to be the best out there."
Both players have seen the amount of offers rolling in slow to a trickle due mostly to the fact that they have a scholarship awaiting from pretty much every major school in the country. Alexander is known for his speed out on the field and is mainly focusing on track this offseason and keeping recruiting in the outside lane for the time being. Despite being 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Alexander runs an 11.2 second 100 meters and also stars in the 200 meters. All of the time spent on the track working to shave off a few seconds means the bulk of his recruitment will come during the summer and into the fall.
"There's no one standing out right now," he said. "Everybody's still the same. After track season I'm going to do a few unofficial (visits) and then once the season starts I'll do my official visits.
"I'll take all five official visits. I'm going to take one to Oregon, USC, UCLA. I'll take a couple of them down (in Alabama)."
Eligwe isn't as involved with track as Alexander and as a result is able to narrow down his list of suitors somewhat.
"My most recent offer was last week but I can't really remember," he said, adding that they've all blended together a bit. "Florida State's standing out. More than likely I'll be at their Spring Game."
Florida and Georgia are also standing out according Eligwe, who received an early morning phone call Friday from South Carolina's staff on the first day of the May Evaluation Period. With so many schools vying for his attention Eligwe is starting to look a bit closer to home as to where he might attend college.
"More than likely yes but I wouldn't just say I'm going to stay in the area," he said. "Those are just some of my top schools right now"
Alexander also received an early morning phone call Friday and the SEC staff who made it ended up making an impression on the talented linebacker.
"Arkansas called me about six," he said. "It was good because they were the first team that called me. I didn't know that today was there time to call me so that surprised me when they called. They just asked what's up and everything."
The Hogs are not the only school who is in hot pursuit of Alexander, though. Several schools from both the Pac-12 and the SEC are heavily recruiting him.
"Oregon, Auburn, Alabama, USC, LSU," Alexander said. "I don't mind where I go, it's just where it makes me feel a part of a family."
No stranger to campus, Elder looks solid at the camp
There are few players who actually are defensive backs. You have safeties, you have corners and a few times you even find a nickel corner among the bunch. College Park (Ga.) defensive back Chaz Elder however, lives up to the label.
The 6-foot-2, 290 pound Elder played a bit of both Friday during drills and one-on-ones and displayed the speed and agility to excel as either a big corner or a prototypical safety. Even he didn't get caught up in what position he ran out on to the field for, it was all about the reps.
"I actually have no idea, I just play," Elder responded when asked which position he's better at.
It's hard to disagree, especially if you're a college coach. Holding a double-digit offer list, Elder has his pick of the litter and has schools recruiting him at both safety and corner.
"Some colleges say I'll be a good-sized corner,” he said. “Others say I'd be good at safety. It doesn't matter to me. Again, I just want to play."
Elder recently picked up another offer, the latest being from Southern Miss. Even though the offers keep rolling in, the Georgia native is starting to narrow down his list and sees three schools separating from the pack.
"It's between Illinois, Clemson and Georgia," Elder said. "It's mostly Clemson and UGA because I've visited them the most. I came up (to Georgia) for one of the spring practices. At Clemson, it's mainly the coaches and the people (I like)."
Despite his top two being pretty close to home, Elder added that he would have no reservations about heading off aways for school if he found the right fit.
- Position MVPs were McDonough (Ga.) defensive back D.J. White, Florida-bound running back Mike Davis of Stone Mountain (Ga.), Alexander and Eligwe at linebacker, Lithonia (Ga.) offensive lineman Joe Harris and Nkemdiche on the defensive line.
- Gainesville (Ga.) wide receiver C.J. Curry was looking forward to going up against Tallahassee (Fla.) defensive back Travis Blanks and the two did not disappoint, waging several good battles during one-on-ones.
"I'm not going to make any excuses, he got me," Curry said. "He had a good day and worked hard to get the W today."
A Georgia commit, Curry also didn't mind bringing up the Bulldogs to a few of more well known recruits at the camp.
"It's always fun," Curry said. "I was trying to talk to Blanks (about Georgia). Other than going against him, I didn't really see him though."
With Georgia's class of 2011 nicknaming themselves the “Dream Team,” Curry said he was working on a nickname for the class of 2012.
- It was not a particularly strong group of quarterbacks for either the Nike Camp or the Elite 11 and the howling winds and light rain didn't help things either. Orlando (Fla.) quarterback Nick Patti showed off his arm again and continues to impress on the camp circuit. If it were not for his height (5-foot-10) he'd be getting offers from a lot of BCS programs. Cleveland (Tenn.) signal caller Chad Voytik also impressed with his accuracy and was probably the top guy at the event but did not participate in the Nike Camp portion. The finals of the Elite 11 were cut off due to inclement weather.
- Buford (Ga.) offensive tackle Vadal Alexander, who has offers from just about everybody, was one of several recruits to get a 6 A.M. phone call from the USC coaching staff. Alexander said he spoke to Ed Orgeron and James Cregg for several minutes and was surprised by the call. At this point, he has already been to LSU, Alabama and Auburn but says all schools are in the race to land his services.
- If you were looking for Louisville commit Larry Jefferson, you wouldn't find him catching passes Friday night. Although he is being recruited at tight end, Jefferson made the trip to Athens to learn a few new tricks for his other position.
"I'm a tight end but I went to defensive end because I play D-end in high school too," he said. "I just wanted to learn more stuff about the position."
When asked why he wants to play on offense in college, Jefferson was quite honest with his answer.
"I love getting the ball," he said with a nice laugh. "I like scoring touchdowns and everything. I'm committed and done, stress is off my shoulders."
- A few others who impressed were linebacker Dillon Lee out of Buford (Ga.), Powder Springs (Ga.) offensive tackle Kofi Amichia, Dublin (Ga.) 2013 linebacker Johnny O'Neal, Stepheson (Ga.) linebacker Raphael Kirby, Norcross (Ga.) receiver Jason Croom, 2013 defensive end Reginald Carter out of Stephenson (Ga.), Hillgrove (Ga.) athlete Kenyan Drake, 2013 Autauga (Ala.) tight end O'Terrius Howard and Charlotte (N.C.) linebacker Nick Dawson among others.
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Atlanta Under Armour Camp, Auburn, C.J. Curry, Chad Voytik, Chaz Elder, Clemson, D.J. White, Dillon Lee, Ed Orgeron, Elite 11, Florida, Georgia Elite 11, Georgia NFTC, Georgia Nike Camp, Illinois, James Cregg, Jason Croom, Joe Harris, Johnny O'Neal, Kenyan Drake, Kofi Amichia, Kwon Alexander, Larry Jefferson, Louisville, LSU, Mike Davis, NFTC, Nick Dawson, Nick Patti, Nike Camp, O'Terrius Howard, Oregon, Pac-12, Raphael Kirby, Reginald Carter, Robert Nkemdiche, SEC, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Travis Blanks, UCLA, Ukeme Eligwe, USC, Vadal Alexander