Posted on: July 5, 2011 10:52 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Lots of FBS-caliber talent at the Badger Sports/New Level Athletics 7-on-7 National Championship this weekend. Here's plenty of highlights from some of the top matchups of the tournament.
Round robin play
1925 vs. B2G
1925: Troy Williams, Tyler Stewart, Jorday Payton, Bryce Treggs, Mike Davison, Chris Harper, Jaydon Mickens, Deontay Greenberry, Ishmael Adams, Randall Goforth, Richard Smith, Tee Shepard, Johnny Johnson, Shaq Thompson, Jeremiah Allison, Marc Phillipi.
B2G: Marc Evans, Matt Morin, Derrick Turner, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Trenton Irwin, Robert Lewis, Gabriel Marks, Michael Robert, Kenny Lawler, Kahlil Pettway, Shannon Edwards, Jeff Coprich, Devian Shelton, Jermaine Ervin, Seth Jacobs.
1925 vs. Goon Squad
Goon Squad: Zeke Pike, Eddie Printz, Charless Davis, Gehrig Dieter, Elliot Fareber, Goose Cohorn, Jason Croom, Roger Lewis, Jeremy Graves, David Williams, Jesse James, Darrion Hutcherson, Ike Spearman, Deaysean Rippy, Steven Longa, Justin Combs, Jalen Mills, Brandon Simmons, Graham Gillispie, Edward Parris.
1925 vs. Team Houston
Team Houston: Jordoan Scott, Kaylon Melancon, Shane McCarley, Javonte Collins, Ashton Bennett, Tavares Garner, Xazier Murry, Josh Martinez, Seth Lensford, Chris Dismutte, Richard Rose, Jared Ambres, Allan Scott, Selwyn Green.
Tags: 1925, B2G, Badger Sports 7-on-7 National Championship, Brandon Simmons, Bryce Treggs, Charless Davis, Chris Harper, Darrion Hutcherson, David Williams, Deaysean Rippy, Deontay Greenberry, Derrick Turner, Devian Shelton, Eddie Printz, Edward Parris, Elliot Fareber, Gabriel Marks, Gehrig Dieter, Goose Cohorn, Graham Gillispie, Ike Spearman, Ishmael Adams, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Jalen Mills, Jason Croom, Jaydon Mickens, Jeff Coprich, Jeremiah Allison, Jeremy Graves, Jermaine Ervin, Jesse James, Johnny Johnson, Jorday Payton, Justin Combs, Kahlil Pettway, Kenny Lawler, Marc Evans, Marc Phillipi, Matt Morin, Michael Robert, Mike Davison, Randall Goforth, Richard Smith, Robert Lewis, Roger Lewis, Seth Jacobs, Shannon Edwards, Shaq Thompson, Steven Longa, Tee Shepard, Trenton Irwin, Troy Williams, Tyler Stewart, Zeke Pike
Posted on: July 5, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 11:09 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
There was enough talent at Gerald Ford Stadium on the campus of SMU over 4th of July weekend to make the old Mustang teams of the late 1980's jealous. California All-Star team 1925 took home the trophy at the end of the day but there were plenty of individuals who shined with their performances at the tournament. Here are a few names that stood out in the Texas heat:
Harbor City (Calif.) quarterback Troy Williams
Williams was the most polished passer at the tournament and led his 1925 team to the national championship after falling short of a title in several other tournaments. Even when it came down to crunch time and his team needed a score, Williams was calm and collective. He showed nice touch on his deep ball and could really spin the ball on short and intermediate throws. He should be one of the top quarterbacks on the West Coast in 2013.
Greenbelt (Md.) quarterback Shawn Petty
Petty threw one of the nicest balls at the tournament and could really move it downfield. He's a big lefty and delivered a nice, catchable ball to receivers, constantly placing it right where it needed to be. After watching him throw it around this weekend, Petty really looks like he'd be a good fit at Maryland.
Encino (Calif.) running back Mike Davison
The smallest player on the field was electric every time he touched the ball. He could stop on the dime and more often than not, left defenders grasping at air while trying to tag him. He's a perfect player for 7-on-7 and was arguably the Team MVP for eventual champions 1925.
Detroit (Mich.) running back Dennis Norfleet
Make no mistake, Norfleet was the man this weekend for his team, almost single-handedly carrying his Michigan-based squad. He rarely, if ever, came off the field and played both ways. As a running back, he was able to find open space and dart away from defenders. As a corner, he managed to shut down often bigger wide receivers. He's a top-flight athlete and could be a steal on the recruiting trail.
Jacksonville (Fla.) receiver Ahmad Fulwood
Fulwood was a bit of an unknown coming into the competition for Team Louisiana but he quickly made a name for himself as the team's biggest offensive threat. He's got a great frame at 6-foot-4 and moves very fluidly. He's got big hands and, as an underclassman, could develop into one of the top guys in North Florida in next year's class. He already holds a dozen scholarship offers from Florida, South Carolina, Notre Dame and others.
Bellflower (Calif.) receiver Bryce Treggs
Easily the most productive receiver over the weekend, Treggs was often found celebrating a long touchdown catch in just about every game. He has one of the smoothest releases despite being a smaller guy and can flat out fly down the field. He runs routes like the best of them and caught everything thrown his way. He could be a very good slot receiver that stretches the field at the next level.
Upland (Calif.) receiver Kenny Lawler
Lawler was the leader for B2G over the weekend and emerged as their go-to guy. He's got a great pair of hands and they're about as soft as his verbal commitment to Arizona State. He's not overly fast or the most athletic guy on the field but he catches the ball and makes plays.
South Bend (Ind.) receiver Gehrig Dieter
On a team (Goon Squad) with lots of big time players, Dieter was the most consistent player for them all weekend. He fits the label of a very good Big Ten wide out with great speed and reliable hands. Dieter showed off his athleticism by going up for some balls when he wasn't toasting defensive backs with his speed down the field.
McKees Rocks (Pa.) linebacker Deaysean Rippy
Rippy impressed with his coverage skills over the weekend and did so looking like a linebacker that was ready to head to college, not his senior year in high school. He had a good drop and roamed well in coverage. These events allow players to show off their athleticism and Rippy certainly did that.
Fresno (Calif.) athlete Deontay Greenberry
One of the most athletic players on the field, Greenberry was a red zone stud on offense and a shut down safety on defense. He played with swagger both days and was unstoppable on jump balls. Rangy and quick on defense, he allowed only a handful of balls to be completed on his half of the field.
Reserve (La.) cornerback Darion Monroe
Monroe was the defender that stood out for Team Louisiana and pretty much was the definition of shut down. He locked up receivers man-to-man and was savvy enough to drop back into passing lanes during zone. He can really change directions quickly and he had the speed to keep up with everybody he lined up against.
New Rochelle (N.Y.) cornerback Justin Combs
Combs, son of rapper Diddy, was one of the big surprises of the tournament with his play. He grabbed several interceptions over the weekend and managed to stay stride for stride with just about every opposing wide out. He's not the biggest player on the field but he did come to play.
Tags: Ahmad Fulwood, Arizona State, B2G, Badger Sports 7-on-7 National Championship, Big East, Big Ten, Bryce Treggs, Darion Montroe, Deaysean Rippy, Dennis Norfleet, Deontay Greenberry, Diddy, Florida, Gehrig Dieter, Goon Squad, Justin Combs, Kenny Lawler, Maryland, Mike Davison, Notre Dame, Shawn petty, SMU, South Carolina, Troy Williams
Posted on: July 3, 2011 1:55 am
Edited on: July 3, 2011 11:54 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
DALLAS – The sun was out, the weather was hot and the games were fierce at SMU's Gerald Ford Stadium Saturday afternoon for the Badger Sports 7-on-7 National Championship tournament. Teams from across the country rolled into town with high expectations as round robin play began and while no one made it through the day undefeated, the competition level was high from goal line to goal line.
The most talked about player at the event was easily Westlake Village (Calif.) receiver Jordan Payton. After becoming USC's first commitment for the class of 2012, the savvy wide out spent most of the spring and summer worried more about his own game than the recruiting game. However, since decommitting from the Trojans last week, he's been checking his phone a lot more often for information from college coaches.
“I've been 'monitoring' it,” Payton said with a laugh. “That's what I call it. I've been emailing back and forth with Michigan and several other schools.”
It should be noted that Payton was still out on the fields in the Texas heat running the same routes, making the same great catches and finding the end zone when he wasn't moonlighting as a safety for his 1925 All-Star team. Still, things were just a little bit different now that he was no longer committed.
“All of the schools, it's weird because they offer you and then they didn't talk to me as much because I was committed,” he said. “Now, Michigan, Cal, Arizona State, Florida (are talking to him). I'm interested to hear what Florida State's going to say.
“It's like I'm in a different area, I don't know what to do. I've only been committed. But I'm feeling good and I'm happy and taking it slow.”
The MaxPreps Top 100 receiver is still considering the local team, USC, and will meet with coaches next week to discuss his options. The biggest reason in pulling his verbal pledge back was to give the staff a chance to figure out their limited scholarship numbers and Payton knows that having to sit across from the coaches and talk with them about his place in the program going forwards is going to be a bit awkward when it happens.
“I'll be down there to talk with them so we'll see how that goes,” he said. “I have no idea what to expect to be honest with you.”
Kind of like talking with an ex-girlfriend?
“Exactly,” he said.
Payton does have a short list of schools he's considering and there tends to be a common theme as he tries to figure out where he'll eventually wind up signing with.
“All the schools I'm talking with all have great business schools,” he said. “Second, I just want to feel comfortable. I'm not saying I didn't feel comfortable with USC but I just felt it was that time. I'm just not sure that I want to be in LA.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder will likely play most of his recruitment close to the vest before announcing and one of the key reasons why is the fact that he's trying to orchestrate a few other players to join him at his eventual destination.
“I'm going to tell you this, it's going to be interesting the next couple of weeks for in recruiting,” Payton said. “You're going to see a lot of changes. Just think Fab Five.”
Knowing how the comment would sound, Payton was quick to clarify “like” the Fab Five and that it didn't mean they were for sure headed to Michigan.
Treggs burning up on and off the field
On the field and off, two of the most polished players on any team were Payton and Bellflower (Calif.) receiver Bryce Treggs. The two are friends and with Payton no longer a lock to go to USC, the two have started to explore the possibility of playing together at the next level instead of against each other on the turf at SMU.
“We're actually talking about that,” Treggs said. “That'd be pretty good. I mean, if me and Jordan go to the same school, it'd be pretty much unfair.”
When asked about Payton's 'Fab Five' remarks, the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder opened up a little bit more about the prospect of them playing together.
“Well you have all those players that went to Michigan and made it the program they are today,” Treggs said. “He's basically saying that we might be able to do that. Not necessarily that we're going to do it at Michigan but that's his idea. Him, me, Shaq Thompson, Ishmael Adams, a lot of guys.”
“The Cali Five, I guess.”
Treggs said he unofficially visited Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, UCLA, Arizona State, Stanford and Notre Dame over the past few months. Many observers have read the tea leaves and believe that he will eventually end up playing for his father's alma mater, Cal, though. It's easy to see why they believe that whenever Treggs is asked who is recruiting him the hardest.
“Probably Cal... definitely Cal,” he said. “It's not a lock, I'm going to look at all of my other options. I'm pretty sure I'm going to make a decision before the season so I can get it out of the way and focus on having a good senior year. I hope I can lead my team to a CIF championship.”
Treggs was blowing by corners with ease despite the sweltering heat, scoring several touchdowns by utilizing the fade route along the numbers Saturday. Running routes in 101 degree heat was a bit of an adjustment for someone used to ocean breezes and Santa Anna winds however.
“It was very hot,” Treggs said. “In California, we've got that breeze from the beach and stuff like that. After the first two games we adapted to it so we're fine right now.
“I would say I'm in the zone right now. We have so many receivers on our team, you never know when you're going to get the ball with so many weapons. There's not really one go-to guy so I just run my route hard every time and when Troy (Williams) picks me, I'm ready to make a play.”
Williams, a 2013 player who was one of the sharper quarterbacks at the event, and Treggs easily had the best timing at the event and it was not limited to deep routes. The connection between the two runs deep and was developed over years of playing together.
“The timing has been there since forth or fifth grade,” Treggs said. “We used to play Pop Warner for the Carson Colts together. So the timing is definitely there and it's good to be out here with somebody you know.”
Treggs, it seems, knows just about everybody and it will be interesting to see what coaching staff gets to know him the best through the recruiting process.
Rippy growing as a linebacker
It's often become common place for top recruits to come to camps or combines to be seen and heard but sit on the sidelines when it comes to competition time. MaxPreps Top 100 linebacker Deaysean Rippy, despite being from McKees Rocks (Pa.), was not one such player and battled the heat and humidity of Texas to focus on getting better against some of the best players in the country.
“We played some good teams, they were competitive,” Rippy said. “I'm working on everything, from being a linebacker to playing like a corner or strong safety in coverage. The drops, the backpedal, being aggressive, all of it.”
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Rippy holds offers from programs such as Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Penn State and Tennessee. With so many options to choose from, narrowing down the list is becoming a difficult task and one he's not sure when he'll wind up cutting down to a more manageable ten or fewer.
“I don't know to be honest,” he said. “I've got all these schools and don't get me wrong, they're all great schools and you're bound to go pro from whatever school. People go pro from IUP up in Pennsylvania so any school, it's just about playing.”
Like many recruits nowadays, Rippy has hit the road over the spring and summer to visit schools and see what the coaching staffs are like in person.
“Had a lot of unofficals up till now and I'm about to take a couple more visits,” he said. “I don't know where yet and that's the thing. One of the big things I've learned in the recruiting process is that when you get those first 10 offers, you want all of that attention. Then, once you get 20 or 30, you don't want that attention any more.”
“It's going to be hard to pick a school, it's going to be very hard.”
For a time, there was one program that stood out from the pack but as the attention has increased on his college choice, he's actually broadened his outlook instead of narrowing it down.
“At first, people knew that I favored Florida a lot,” Rippy said. “I came to realize that I'd rather keep it wide open. I'll go to Alabama or Auburn or wherever. Between now and August, I'm just going to going to weigh my options.”
Thompson looking at four
Yet another top 100 player who performed well at SMU was Sacramento (Calif.) safety Shaq Thompson. While he mostly was batting away balls that had too much air on them, day one of the tournament also allowed him to show his offensive attributes. Playing both ways was just one way the talented athlete showed off his love for the game.
“It's too hot out here. The turf is hotter, less wind, it's just a hot day,” Thompson said. “But it's a great day to play football and that always makes it a great day.”
Easily the most impressive defensive back on the field from a physical standpoint, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Thompson has a host of programs who are heavily pursuing him ever since he decommitted from Cal awhile ago.
“I'd say Washington and Cal and Notre Dame,” he said. “Mainly Washington, they've been calling me, hitting me up and see how I'm doing. They're getting there but I'm still open. I'm ready for anything.”
Though it appears there will be no more unofficial visits for the four-star safety, he's already moved on to figuring out who will receive an official visit as the calendar inches closer to the date prospects can begin visiting in a formal capacity.
“During the season I'm probably going to take a trip to Washington,” he said. “Cal, UCLA or Notre Dame, one of those too.”
Thompson said his top four schools were – not surprisingly - Cal, Washington, UCLA and Notre Dame. The distance from home for the two non-California schools likely won't be a huge factor but is still something he's considering.
“Not really, I've got family basically all over,” Thompson said. “It's just the people I grew up with are the people that I'm most comfortable with. So I'll probably stay closer to home.”
- The most anticipated game of the day matched up B2G and 1925, who have played against each other several times in championship settings like Saturday. There was a little bit of trash talk and a lot of plays being made. Notre Dame commit Deontay Greenberry would probably had taken home an award for most swagger and was nearly unstoppable in the red zone for 1925. Receiver Gabe Marks and Arizona State soft verbal commitment Kenny Lawler starred for B2G.
- Quarterback Jeremy Liggins was the primary signal caller for Team Louisiana and he stood out for his size (6-foot-3 and about 260-pounds) and the ability to get rid of the ball quickly when he wanted to. He was able to get the ball downfield to several speedy receivers as well. Darion Monroe, a Texas A&M commit, was a standout on the defensive side of the ball.
- Five-star quarterback Zeke Pike was a bit inconsistent on intermediate routes but made several nice tosses down the field. He looked better than he did at the Ohio State Nike and Elite 11 camps and had plenty of targets to throw to. Fellow Auburn commit Darrion Hutcherson looks like he could suit up on the Plains tomorrow and tight end Jesse James, who's headed to Penn State, were both big mismatches due to their size and ability to find an open spot on the field. Also on the team was receiver Jason Croom, who said he's nearing a decision and will announce next month.
- It's easy to overlook Detroit (Mich.) athlete Dennis Norfleet when you're walking by him on the sideline but it is not, however, easy to overlook him when he steps on the field. The 5-foot-9 (maybe) scatback was simply a playmaker on Saturday, catching everything thrown his way and making defenders miss often.
Tags: Alabama, Arizona State, B2G, Badger Sports 7-on-7 National Championship, Bryce Treggs, Cal, Darion Monroe, Darrion Hutcherson, Deaysean Rippy, Dennis Norfleet, Deontay Greenberry, Elite 11, Florida, Florida State, Gabe Marks, Ishmael Adams, Jason Croom, Jeremy Liggins, Jesse James, Jordan Payton, Kenny Lawler, Lemming Top 100, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State Nike Camp, Oregon, Oregon State, Penn State, Shaq Thompson, SMU, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Troy Williams, UCLA, USC, Washington, Zeke PIke
Posted on: April 4, 2011 2:07 am
Edited on: April 4, 2011 2:19 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
LOS ANGELES -- Some of the best players on the West Coast descended upon the campus of USC for the annual Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp Sunday afternoon. Although there were several hundred skill position players that came out to leave their mark, it was Defensive Line MVP Aziz Shittu that literally and figuratively stood out from the crowd.
"I did pretty well, I just came out here to get better," Shittu said with a smile. "I keep trying to work on my speed and quickness on my get off."
The Atwater (Calif.) defensive tackle has seen his stock soar as of late. He recently picked up a scholarship offer from Utah to give him one from a majority of the Pac-12 schools and should be in line for a few more nationally based on his performance during the camp.
The barrel-chested Shittu was one of the most physically imposing defenders to participate in drills and displayed good speed and quickness off the line. Though many considered Monrovia (Calif.) defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy to be the favorite for the MVP award, there was little doubt that Shittu proved himself against the best of the best.
"It means a lot, there's great competition out here in Southern California so to come out and do well, it means a lot," Shittu said. "It shows I can play."
Encino (Calif.) tackle Jordan Simmons was named Offensive lineman MVP and was one of the biggest players at the camp. Though it took him awhile to get warmed up, the 6-foot-5, 320 pounder easily stood out as the best at the camp.
"I started off a little sluggish but I picked it up at the end," Simmons said. "I just came out here to compete against everybody else. It's great competition out here and I just wanted to go against it."
The highlight of the camp featured the two MVP's facing off against each other in one of the last reps of the day. Though the play lasted just three seconds, it was well worth the wait after Shittu used a very quick swim move to get around Simmons and sack the tackling dummy.
"I just read what he was doing," Shittu said. "I got a few hints from my teammates about what he was doing since they were on the O-line. So I tried to get a feel for what was going on."
The very humble Simmons, who played at both tackle and guard during the camp, had no problem giving credit where credit was due either.
"Yeah, he actually got me," Simmons admitted. "He gave me a swim move that was pretty good."
The Nike Camp offered a chance for many of the West's elite to compete against each other and test players who are almost always the best on the field wherever they go. The focus on competition at the camp also allowed players to improve their skils just as much as their stock among those that follow recruiting closely.
"It was fun and really intense, I liked a lot of the work we did today," McCarthy said. "Today I really wanted to learn some new stuff to take back to my school so I can work on it and get better. Today I wanted to get lower and really get off the ball."
Several other defensive linemen looked good on Sunday, including Riverside (Calif.) tackle A.J. Fanene and Fresno (Calif.) sophomore end Jaylen Ruiz. The offensive line also had plenty of standouts, including Anaheim (Calif.) guard Travis Averill, Las Vegas (Nev.) tackle Ronnie Stanley, Orange (Calif.) tackle John Lopez and Compton (Calif.) guard Dejon Allen.
Marks pulls in everything but MVP Award
Just a few weeks are impressing observers at the Las Vegas Badger Sports 7-on-7 tournament, Los Angeles(Calif.) wide receiver Gabriel Marks once again put on a show in the afternoon sun. Usually lining up against the top defensive backs, Marks pulled in impressive catch after impressive catch all day and was not afraid to be vocal about it either.
"Whenever you come to the the LA Nike Camp, you're going to get the best of the best," Marks said. "When you come out here, everybody is going to be here. All of the cameras will be out and if you mess up, everyone will see."
In a slight upset, Marks did not pull in the position MVP, which went to Long Beach (Calif.) wide out Randall Goforth. Marks won the award last year and though he didn't end up making it two MVPs in a row, he did end up making himself better.
"I just came out to hit it hard and learn stuff from some really great coaches," Marks said. "I felt I did alright. I had some things that I felt I could have done a little better on my releases but I caught a couple of deep balls."
"I really wanted to work on my speed. You can always work on your routes because you will never be perfect at running your routes. I want to get better so it's always something I'm working on."
Marks holds offers from SMU and Idaho and recently picked up one from Utah. In addition to Goforth and Marks, Bellflower (Calif.) wide out Bryce Treggs, Los Angeles (Calif.) receiver Kodi Whitfield, Lakewood (Calif.) receivers Darius Powe and Malik Gilmore and Inglewood (Calif.) receiver Derrick Woods all stood out at the position. San Diego (Calif.) tight end Taylor McNamara was tops at his position and solidified his status as the best at the position on the West Coast.
Morin grabs top quarterback honor
The Los Angeles Nike Camp in particular has always been known for it's quarterback play and was the launching pad for several highly recruited players such as USC's Matt Barkley and Boston College's Chase Rettig. Though the group this year was not as strong as in the past, it still had several good players able throw the ball with precision and Temecula (Calif.) quarterback Matt Morin ended up as position MVP after displaying a strong arm.
"I think it's such an honor," Morin said. "I didn't think I was going to get it but I guess I proved myself to the coaches with what I was able to do today. I'm really proud of myself and hopefully recruiting starts picking up in the next couple of months. I'm just honored to have this award right now."
Morin does not hold any offers yet but after impressing at the Nike Camp for the second straight year, the 6-foot-2 signal caller is starting to see the interest level from schools pick up.
"Right now, USC and Washington and Notre Dame are showing interest," he said. "Those are the top three right now and that's pretty solid. I took an unofficial visit to Notre Dame in November and fell in love with the school. My family is a bunch of Notre Dame fans so I know it's an awesome school. I don't know where else I'm going to visit but I'll figure it out in the next few months."
Scottsdale (Ariz.) quarterback and Texas commit Connor Brewer, Shane Dillon of El Cajon (Calif.) and San Clemente (Calif.) quarterback Travis Wilson also stood out as the top players at the most important position on the field. For Morin however, it was an adjustment to his mental game that allowed him to preform just a tad bit better than the others on the day.
"I was a little bit shy going into camps last year," he said. "I wanted to come out here and show everybody who I really am. You have to have confidence. That's what I'm working on and I think I honestly proved that today. My footwork can always get better and everything else too but being a quarterback, it's the mental part of the game you have to have work at."
Underclassman Hayden Rettig out of Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral High also impressed and looked a lot like his older brother, Chase, throwing the ball around.
Tags: A.J. Fanene, Aziz Shittu, Boston College, Bryce Treggs, Chase Rettig, Connor BRewer, Darius Powe, Dejon Allen, Derrick Woods, Ellis McCarthy, Gabriel Marks, Hayden Rettig, Idaho, Jaylen Ruiz, John Lopez, Jordan Simmons, Kodi Whitfield, LA NFTC, LA Nike Camp, Malik Gilmore, Matt Barkley, Matt Morin, NFTC, Notre Dame, Pac-12, Randall Goforth, Ronnie Stanley, Shane Dillon, SMU, Taylor McNamara, Texas, Travis Averill, Travis Wilson, USC, Utah, Washington
Posted on: March 31, 2011 10:42 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Springfield (Mo.) wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham is the top wide out in the nation according to CBSSports/MaxPreps Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming but there's a lot of football to be played between now and Signing Day. Here's five other wide outs - in alphabetical order - who you need to keep an eye out for this year. Each of them has a chance to move Green-Beckham off the top spot and become the top pass catcher for the class of 2012.
Avery Johnson (Blanche Ely High, Pompano Beach, Fla.)
Weight: 180 pounds
Committed to LSU
What's to like: Johnson isn't the athlete his big brother, former LSU corner Patrick Patterson, is but he is fast and can adjust his body whichever way he needs to make a catch. He's good very reliable hands and is one of the better players when it comes to attacking the ball in the air.
Needs to work on: Johnson is rail thin and and is somewhat reminiscent of A.J. Green in that respect but it doesn't mean he couldn't add a few pounds of muscle. Working on his speed and refining his route running are two other things Johnson can work on this upcoming year.
Cayleb Jones (Austin High, Austin, Texas)
Weight: 200 pounds
Committed to Texas
What's to like: Jones has great size coming out of high school and combines that with terrific speed running down the field. He's athletic enough to get a jump ball in the end zone and can two-step his way their off of a screen. Jones can really control his body well and position himself between the ball and defensive backs.
Needs to work on: Jones could stand to polish his route running by making sharper breaks and getting in and out of them better.
Durron Neal (DeSmet High, St. Louis, Mo.)
Offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, USC, Wisconsin
What's to like: Neal is a true athlete and can be used all over but is a firecracker in the slot. Just as quick as he is fast, Neal can cover some ground and has is simply electric when he has the ball in his hands. He actually looks like a dynamic running back when he gets the ball on reverses or fly sweeps and that's not a bad thing in Neal's case.
Needs to work on: Despite great athleticism, he could still improve his vertical jump and really going up after the ball in the air. At this point, it would be nice to see Neal focus on just being a receiver but it would be a tough task considering he has to do just about everything for his high school team.
Jordan Payton (Oaks Christian, Westlake Village, Calif.)
Weight: 200 pounds
Committed to USC
What's to like: Payton has been one of the top wide outs in the country since he was a freshman and committed to USC extremely early in the process. He's a pretty polished route runner and has very big hands that make it easy to grab the ball out of the air. Payton is also pretty savvy out on the field, knowing when to slow down when he finds a spot in zone coverage.
Needs to work on: Payton is not the fastest wide receiver out there so improving his top gear speed and quickness is one thing he can do. He also is inconsistent catching the ball at times.
Bryce Treggs (St. John Bosco High, Bellflower, Calif.)
Weight: 165 pounds
Offers from Arizona State, Cal, Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.
What's to like: Treggs really gets off the ball well and explodes into his route. He's really dangerous on a slip screen and is best suited to the slot in college. He's got a great pair of hands that just seems to suck the ball in and not let it go no matter where it's thrown. Once he gets into the open field, defenses have a tough time catching up to him.
Needs to work on: Though he's never going to be 200 pounds and be able to keep his speed, Treggs does need to get into the weight room like most of the kids on this list. Treggs works mostly on the outside but will probably have to transition into the slot in college.
Tags: A.J. Green, Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Avery Johnson, Bryce Treggs, Cal, Cayleb Jones, Dorial Green-Beckham, Durron Neal, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Jordan Payton, Kansas, Kansas State, Lemming 100, LSU, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Patrick Patterson, Stanford, Texas, Tom Lemming, UCLA, USC, Washington, Wisconsin
Posted on: March 22, 2011 9:04 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2011 9:05 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
LAS VEGAS - One of the top corners at the Las Vegas Badger Sports Elite 7-on-7 tournament this past weekend was Ishmael Adams of event runner-up Team 1925. A big reason why he was routinely shutting down opposing teams' best receivers is the on and off the field work he puts in.
"I never feel like I'm at the peek of my game," Adams said. "I'm working on my speed with Maurice Greene. Out on the field, Brian Kelly is helping me with my footwork and hands. Keyshawn Johnson is helping me with my alignment and reading wide receivers and what they're going to do. Kelly helps a lot with cover-two because he's been to the pros where they practice that a lot."
Holding offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Oregon, SMU and Washington, Adams is planning on taking a few unofficial visits to get to know some schools a bit better.
"I'm going to Oregon's Junior Day," he said. "I'm going to visit Washington and try and go to a Cal camp. I'm going to try and get to UCLA, I think I'm going to try and get up there next week or the week after that. I'm also trying to get to a USC camp."
"With Adams' recruitment figuring to heat up over the coming months, especially with the May Evaluation period on the horizon, the 5-foot-10, 185 pound corner is looking at all schools but does see one standing out from the pack.
Not yet, I'm just keeping everything open right now," Adams said. "Washington talks to my family a lot so I talk with them and they're being real with me."
One of the first things Adams is looking for in a school is a strong dentistry program, which is what he would like to major in. Facilities and coaching staff are two other factors that will influence his eventual decision.
Utah athlete Hansen impressing at multiple positions
One of the most intriguing players at the competition was Highland (Utah) athlete Chase Hansen. A true embodiment of the athlete label, the talented recruit was working on one side of the ball during most of the tournament.
"I've been working on a lot of quarterback things but I'm out (at 7-on-7) mainly working all defense," Hansen said. "I'm definitely trying to work on defensive back/linebacker type stuff like footwork and whatever else I need."
Hansen likely projects best as a safety on defense with his 6-foot-3, 210 pound frame and good speed. However, he displayed a strong arm in limited action as a junior and has seen a number of teams also give him a look on the offensive side of the ball.
"It's been mixed. Basically what they've been saying is athlete," he said. "Some schools have said quarterback, other schools have said linebacker. Utah has said athlete while Washington has said just quarterback.
"Whatever position I'll be best at but I've been kind of working towards quarterback. We'll see what happens because I feel like I can play defense. But quarterback is definitely something I'll be working towards."
Holding just two scholarship offers, Hansen is starting to see interest from several Pac-12 schools increase and could be on the verge of several more offers.
"Just BYU and Utah right now," he said. "Stanford is recruiting me pretty heavily as a safety/quarterback and Washington as just a quarterback. As far as BYU and Utah, I'm just waiting to see what happens and get an idea of what I want to do."
Hansen is planning on taking in one-day camps at Stanford, USC, BYU and Utah over the next few months to continue to get noticed by college coaches. He recently took an unofficial visit to see the Cardinal in person and is in the process of planning several others.
"I just took one to Stanford and might take one to Washington as well as Oregon," he said. "Stanford was awesome. I mean it's Stanford. I've always kind of wondered what the visit would be like and it was good, if not better than I thought it would be. The facilities, the tradition, the field was awesome. The city where it's located is awesome too."
Hansen plans on taking his time and waiting for more offers to come in before making a decision.
Cope-Fitzpatrick sees recruiting pickup
Rocklin (Calif.) tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick is one of the top pass catchers on the West Coast and is starting to see his list of scholarship offers reflect as much.
"I picked up two from Colorado and Nebraska," Cope-Fitzpatrick said. "It's nice getting an offer from Nebraska, outside the Pac-12. Florida said they are going to offer in May. A lot of schools said when they come out (for the May Evaluation Period) they're going to offer."
Though the May Evaluation period may see his stock take off even further, Cope-Fitzpatrick is planning to tone things down between now and then on the recruiting front.
"It looks like I'm going to take a break right now," he said. "I've got spring ball so no visits or anything. Right around May things should pick back up again. I'm going to the Stanford Nike Camp because it's closer to where i live in the Sacramento area. It's convenient so I can take more trips. I'm going to do some college camps but I don't know which ones yet. Maybe to some ones that I don't have an offer to so I can show them."
Cope-Fitzpatrick recently took in Cal's Junior Day and throughly enjoyed his visit the Berkley. The Bears are one of his five Pac-12 offers but he doesn't plan on narrowing the list anytime soon.
"My main thing right now is to just get quantity," he said. "I'd like to get as many as I can until July and then cut it down to eight and stick with my eight all the way through December. Then I'll make my decision in early December. Definitely before Signing Day, I want schools to know I'm their guy."
News and Notes
- 2013 Bingham (Utah) defensive end Lowell Lotulelei was named Defensive Line MVP while Encino (Calif.) tackle Jordan Simmons was named Offensive Line MVP.
- Upland (Calif.) wide receiver Kenny Lawler said his recent commitment to Arizona State, "Was a soft verbal." He'll take all five of his official visits in the fall and will visit UCLA's spring practice and go to the Nike Camp at USC. Lawler also plans on attending the Arizona State Junior Day on April 2nd.
- Marc Evans was the top quarterback at the event and led his team, B2G, to a comeback win in the championship game. Though he doesn't have an offer, he said Cal and Oregon State are the front runners. He added that he plans on taking in Oregon State's spring game next month.
- Wide receiver Bryce Treggs said he was still sitting at eight offers, including ones from Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Stanford and UCLA. He is in the process of attending Junior Days over the next few months in order to get to know the coaching staffs of several schools.
"I'm going to ASU Junior Day and Notre Dame on the 16th," he said. "I was at Cal Junior Day and that was pretty good."
- Quarterback Jeff Lindquist reported offers from Washington, Washington State, Stanford and Northern Colorado but it appears that the Huskies might have the upper hand in his recruitment.
"It's really exciting, that's been my childhood school," he said. "I like the coaches and it's a really good school. Both my parents went there and I like that it's close to home."
- Wide out Kodi Whitfield is holding an Arizona State offer and recently picked up one from Washington. The Atlanta-born Whitfield said he plans on checking out several SEC schools such as Georgia in addition to taking a closer look at several Pac-10 schools.
"I have a lot of interest in Washington and I want to take a visit up there and will probably go up there for their spring game on April 30th," he said. "I'm thinking about going to Arizona State's Junior Day on the 2nd. I've taken a Junior Day visit to UCLA and have been receiving mail from Pac-10 schools like Oregon, Stanford, USC, Cal and some Big 10 schools like Northwestern."
Tags: Arizona State, Badger Sports, Badger Sports 7-on-7, Big Ten, Brian Kelly, Bryce Treggs, BYU, Cal, Chase Hansen, Colorado, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia Tech, Ishmael Adams, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Jeff Lindquist, Jordan Simmons, Kenny Lawler, Keyshawn Johnson, Kodi Whitfield, Lowell Lotulelei, Marc Evans, Maurice Greene, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-10, Pac-12, SEC, SMU, Stanford, Team 1925, Team B2G, UCLA, UNLV Badger Sports, UNLV Badger Sports 7-on-7, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State
Posted on: March 21, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2011 1:22 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Elite travel teams B2G and Keyshawn Johnson's 1925 staged a back and forth competition for the Badger Sports 7-on-7 West Region Championship at UNLV on Sunday.
Check out some highlights of the game featuring B2G quarterback Marc Evans, wide receiver Gabe Marks, tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, cornerback Kevon Seymour and 1925 standout wide receivers Jordan Payton, Kodi Whitfield, Bryce Treggs, corrnerback Ishmael Adams and linebacker Jeremiah Allison.
Posted on: March 20, 2011 8:58 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2011 12:31 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
LAS VEGAS - On another dreary day on the campus of UNLV, defending champion Team B2G proved that - especially in Las Vegas - it's hard to knock off the champ. Running the two minute drill to perfection to tie the game, the defending Las Vegas Badger Sports 7-on-7 champions pulled out the narrow victory over Keyshawn Johnson's Team 1925 in a thrilling, back and forth game between California based all-star teams.
Following the game-tying touchdown with no time left on the clock, B2G grabbed a quick 10 yard completion to pull out the win in a longest yard-format overtime. The come from behind victory over rival 1925 made holding up the trophy that much sweeter for many on the team.
"it was amazing. To win twice, I feel like this one was even better than last year," Rocklin (Calif.) tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick. "We did so bad yesterday and this is my last time out and I'm going out a winner. I'm going out on top.
"This should have been a TV show."
There were plenty of camera crews in attendance at the popular event but Cope-Fitzpatrick would likely tell them to erase the tape of B2G's round-robin play from Saturday, when the team went 1-3. They ended up seeded 27th out of the event's 34 teams but the talented group of all-stars ended up pulling things together for day two.
Thanks to several great plays from USC-bound wide receiver Jordan Payton early in the game, Team 1925 took a 22-16 lead ahead of B2G's final posession. Though they gave up the game tying touchdown, 1925 almost had a chance to win the game in overtime but highly regarded wide receiver Bryce Treggs couldn't quite get to a deep pass along the sidelines for the win.
"I tried to adjust to it but the wind pushed it a little bit," Treggs said. "You just have to adjust to it, you can't use the wind as an excuse."
B2G ran through their section of the bracket to reach the championship game, finding the end zone with ease using a move-the-chains attack. The impressive play Sunday afternoon was a much different sight from the day before when the team struggled to score offensively.
"We were a lot more focused today. We fixed a lot of the little things, looking the ball in, coverages and everybody's energy was up," Cope-Fitzpatrick said. "(Marc Evans) lit it up. Michael Bercovici did the same thing last year."
Evans, a lightly recruited quarterback stole the show from many of his talented teammates. Rarely throwing an incompletion, the 6-foot-2, 210 pounder out of Ventura (Calif.) displayed poise and a strong arm as he led his team to the championship.
"It was really fun out here with all my teammates," Evans said. "All these players are D-1 talent and I can go to any one of them. It's really just what the defense gives me. Just take what they give you because sometimes you don't know what coverage they're going to be in. I always just look for the open man."
Evans played well throughout the day and took the reigns of his team as the only quarterback taking snaps once single elimination play began. He had good touch and was impressive in looking off defenders and going through his progression. The very humble Evans never seemed to get caught up in the moment and came into the day focused on just getting better.
"Mainly working my deep ball," he said. "Quicker release, throwing off my back foot too."
Though Evans does not hold any offers, Cal and Oregon State are among the schools that have showed interest. He plans to unofficially visit the Beavers while they go through spring practice. Likely to receive more attention based on his performance the past two days, Evans is looking for one offer in particular.
"UCLA is probably my main one," he said. "I've always liked them ever since I was a little kid. I went to the Oregon State-UCLA game and I really liked it. I've always wanted to play there."
Based on his performance at the Badger Sports 7-on-7 tournament, it wouldn't be all that surprising if the now championship-caliber signal caller gets his wish.