Tag:Elite 11
Posted on: May 24, 2011 12:54 am
 

Ohio State Nike Camp Top Performers: Offense

Posted by Bryan Fischer

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Some of the best from all over the Midwest and East Coast came to play on the campus of Ohio State for this past Saturday's Nike Camp. Here's a few of the top performers on the offensive side of the ball from the camp: 

Quarterbacks

With the final stop for the Elite 11 and a good number of talented quarterbacks in the Midwest, Ohio State hosted some of the best signal callers in the nation. With three of the top four guys in the MaxPreps Top 100 in attendance, there was some very good play from the most important position on the field. Zeke Pike struggled during the Elite 11 but bounced back with a solid day during the Nike Camp.

Gunner Kiel

The top quarterback in the nation and number two overall player, Kiel easily lived up to the hype. He was the best quarterback at an Elite 11 event this year and has the size, arm and accuracy you look for. Physically, he looks ready to play right away and is smooth from drop back to follow through. He can still improve but he's got a presence to him and is a very polished prospect overall. 

Jameis Winston

Tall and lanky, Winston was another top player who lived up to his high ranking. He's light on his feet and though he runs the ball well, he's got a very good arm and throws the ball effortlessly. He can really spin the ball and threw a very pretty fade route. During a two-minute drill simulation, he showed off a calm demeanor and playmaking skills. He's not as polished as some other quarterbacks but he's got everything you look for in a college quarterback.

Shane Morris

A rising junior, you can tell why Michigan made Morris the cornerstone of their 2013 class. He has good size and really nice footwork. The lefty throws a nice ball and throws the ball well on the move. He is accurate and had a surprisingly quick release. Morris had the confidence of an older quarterback and was eager to learn at the same time. 

Running backs

William Mahone

There weren't a ton of great running backs in attendance but Mahone stood out with his combination of size and speed. Though he wasn't the fastest guy running routes, he did show a good burst and nice hands. He's not going to reverse field on you a bunch of times and looks like a downhill runner. He's one of the top backs in the Midwest but still has some room to improve.

Wide receivers

Dwayne Stanford

Stanford might have been one of the most heavily recruited players at the camp and you can see why after a few minutes of watching him. He's got the frame to fill out a little and is ideal height as an outside receiver who can also play out of the slot. Stanford gets into and out of his breaks quickly and is a good route runner. One thing that sticks out is his long arms and very big hands, which just snatch the ball out of the air. He creates separation from opposing defensive backs and while he's not the fastest guy out there, he still manages to do what ever he wants.

Corey Smith

The Tennessee commit should fill a slot receiver role quickly. He's fast and has really good feet which allow him to turn on a dime. He's not as polished as others and had a drop or two but was solid throughout the camp. He seemed to improve as the day went on and if he gets bigger, could be a nice addition for the Vols.

Kevin Davis

Davis is another smaller guy who will end up as a slot guy who can stretch the field. He's small but silky smooth running routes. Davis has a solid pair of hands but needs to work on really driving some of his routes to create more separation with his man.

Offensive linemen

Kyle Knapp

Knapp took home MVP honors and was solid and consistent all day long. He's good tackle size and doesn't have much bad body weight. Knapp can get a little stronger in his upper body to handle the bull rush but he's athletic enough to keep moving and maintain an advantage. He also has a very quick kick step and can get back in pass protection quickly and stay balanced. 

Austin Stock

A little smaller than others, Stock is more of a guard but he might excel as a center. He's got good feet and pulls around to block very well. During one-on-one drills he kept his man in front of him and didn't let his man out leverage him.

DeAndre Herron

Herron definitely projects as an interior offensive lineman and needs to get rid of some bad body weight. That said, he was very good in pass protection and moves his feet nicely. His arms are long and he does a good job at keeping the defender from getting into him too much. Every once and awhile he'd get off balance and lean too much however. Herron did well at the camp overall and might see his offer list pick up as he was one of the better players there.

Posted on: May 21, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: May 24, 2011 12:59 am
 

Winston, Kiel impress at Ohio State Elite 11

Posted by Bryan Fischer

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The sixth and final stop of the Elite 11 quarterback competition turned out to be one of the best stops of the entire spring camp circuit. Three of the top four quarterbacks in the MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 showed up and just about everyone met or exceeded expectations.

Hueytown (Ala.) signal caller Jameis Winston had the longest trip out of just about everyone who showed up Friday afternoon but came out throwing and looked sharp throughout the two and a half hour throwing session.

“I think it was a productive day. I did some good things, I could have done better on some things but I don't think I did anything bad,” Winston said.

Ranked as the second best quarterback in the class of 2012 by MaxPreps, the 6-foot-4, 195-pounder threw a very nice ball and was exceptional on fade routes where he could show off his arm. Winston was light on his feet during drills, moving well and showing off improved footwork – one area of his game where he felt he could have improved on even more.

“Drops,” he zeroed in on. “I'm not that comfortable with the five step drops, the seven step drops. When I'd hitch, I was on my back leg a lot. My arm made up for it but I've got to get better at it.

“What people don't know is that my whole life I was a Wing-T quarterback. I've only had two years in a spread system. I've really only had two years throwing the football.”

A true dual-threat quarterback who can beat a team with his arm and his legs, Winston admits he is still a little more comfortable when he's throwing on the run outside of the pocket.

“Well, god gave me the legs to do it,” he said with a smile. “I am comfortable running just because I have more space but I'm more comfortable in the pocket as well.”

Winston doesn't really have a preference for what type of system he plays in college and certainly has his pick of whichever spread or pro-style system suits him best. With well over 25 scholarship offers with his name on it headed to Hueytown once coaches can send written offers, Winston is only beginning to pare down his recruiting.

“I'm starting to narrow it down, but not quite (all the way down) yet,” Winston said. “I plan on committing in July. I've just got to get out more, my parents haven't been out with me a lot.”

The trip to Ohio State for the Elite 11 will afford Winston the opportunity to take an unofficial visit to see the Buckeyes. He'll be visiting with the coaching staff and see all the school has to offer on Saturday before returning home.

“I hope Terrelle Pryor is up there so I can meet that big guy,” he said, only half-joking. “I just want to meet with the coaches, talk with coach (Jim) Tressel a little bit. This is a dream, being up here. I'm practicing on the same field as people like Eddie George and all those guys.”

An unofficial visit to LSU is in the cards for next week and there are several more penciled in on the calendar as Winston looks to keep to his schedule and commit in July.

“I've got to take my parents down to Florida State, I've got to take them down there because that's a place where I could see myself playing at,” he said. “LSU, Florida State and Oklahoma too. Oklahoma is my favorite school growing up so I'm going to try and get down there. And Vanderbilt, I like Vanderbilt a lot too. I'm going to try and go out west and visit schools like UCLA and Stanford.”

Both in-state schools, Alabama and Auburn, are also heavily pursuing the star QB. Winston says he's open to leaving home however, and is searching for a school that meets his criteria because he isn't worried about staying too close to home.

“First of all, people say academics but I actually am looking at academics,” Winston said. “I have a good GPA, I'm at a 4.1 right now. So I'm looking for academics but I'm also looking for players around me that want to win, that's the main thing.”

A two-sport star, Winston is one of the top high school baseball players in the country. A five-tool player who stars in the outfield, at shortstop and as a pitcher, several baseball scouts think he could go in the first three rounds of the upcoming MLB draft. While he is leaving the football/baseball decision for another day, wrapping up spring football at his high school last week means it's time for him to shift gears and go grab his glove.

“Baseball is going great,” he said. “I start summer ball next week. I'm going to be out there hitting home runs and striking people out.”

Winston said Alabama's baseball program is recruiting him the hardest and if he were to redshirt his first year in college football, he'd try and focus on baseball before competing to be the starting quarterback in the spring. While the strength of a school's baseball programs seems to be secondary to that of its football program in terms of Winston's recruitment, it is still a factor.

Based on the way he threw the ball around the Elite 11 however, it would seem that his future belongs on the gridiron first and the diamond second.

Pike not pleased with his performance

Five-star quarterback Zeke Pike came into the Elite 11 excited to prove that he was one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. After nearly three hours of throwing in the humid Columbus air however, the talented player didn't feel like he brought his “A” game to the competition.

“I did alright,” Pike said. “I didn't throw the ball as well as I thought I would. I'm kind of sore, I've been working real hard this week because it's the last week of summer ball. No excuses but I did preform the way I wanted to.

“That's part of being a quarterback, you're going to have a good game and you're going to have a bad game and you've got to bounce back.”

The Edgewood (Ky.) quarterback struggled at times during the competition, usually with his accuracy. He tended to overstride a little and didn't throw as tight a spiral as he normally does. There might be a little bit of truth to his arm being just a little bit tired as he has had a non-stop schedule since the beginning of the year. On top of leading a 7-on-7 travel team, Pike's high school just wrapped up spring practices right before he made the trip up.

“It's going good, we finished our last thing yesterday,” he said. “We're done for the rest of the school year and then we'll start back up June 1st so it's exciting.

“I'm going to 7-on-7 in Dallas later this summer. I'll probably go down to (Auburn's summer camp) and throw. I'll probably go down there a few more times but we'll see.”

As Auburn's only commitment in the MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 – he's 30th overall – Pike is the cornerstone in the Tigers' recruiting class. He plans on doing a bit of recruiting for the school at Saturday's Nike Camp and talked glowingly about his connection with the school and the coaching staff.

“It's a place I kind of fell in love with,” he said. “It's where I knew I'd be happy and I'd love going to school there for four or five years. When it all comes down to it, it's about more than just football. It's about where you'll be happy at, where you can be successful at and I felt it there and that's where I felt the most comfortable at too.”

While he's a solid verbal commitment to the Tigers, that hasn't stopped several schools from continuing to pursue the him.

“They still send me a lot of mail and emails and messages,” Pike said. “I don't really read them anymore. I don't talk to as many coaches anymore but I try to keep the lines open with a couple coaches just in case anything ever happens, you never know. But I'm committed to Auburn and I'm going to be loyal to them.”

Kempt an underclassman to keep an eye on

The Elite 11 events are always a good time to see how underclassmen perform against top competition. Massillion (Ohio) quarterback Kyle Kempt was one of several at the event to catch the eye of observers and with good reason as he flashed all the tools he needed to be successful at the next level.

“I felt very good. I felt like I did very well in the drills,” Kempt said. “I was pretty accurate and I didn't try and do something I couldn't do. I just did everything I could to make it a catchable ball for the receiver and come out and show what I've got.”

The 6-foot-5, 190 pound Kempt throws a very catchable ball in a tight spiral. He seemed a bit neverous at the beginning but grew more comfortable as the event went on and was sharp when throwing routes to wide receivers.

“In reality, you're just competing against everybody,” he said. “It's a lot of fun. You have some of the best quarterbacks in the nation here and it's awesome to be able to come out here and compete with them.”

Kempt performed at the Elite 11's first stop, in Orlando, but decided to come back and go through the ringer once again. It's all part of his strategy to go to as many camps as possible to both learn from instructors on how to be a better quarterback and also show off what he can do in hopes of picking up more scholarship offers.

“For college camps, we're going down to Alabama, we're going to go to USC, hopefully Stanford, then Oregon State and Washington.” He continued, “Then we're going to come back here and go to Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan. We're going to do Notre Dame and Boston College and any other area camps we can find.”

Just a rising junior, Kempt already holds a verbal scholarship offer from Stanford and plenty of other schools are giving him a look.

“There are other schools showing interest,” he said. “I'm just going out and trying to prove myself and prove that they need to show a lot of interest in me.”

The offer from the Cardinal was a significant one for Kempt, not only because it was a major Division-I offer from a prestigious school, but because of the coach who saw something in him while he was just a sophomore.

“It meant a lot to me,” Kempt said. “Stanford is a great academic school. The guy who offered me was Coach (Jim) Harbaugh and (the offer) is still standing. Just to get it from him, from an NFL guy, it really meant a lot.”

Kempt is originally from Portland (Ore.) and moved to Ohio almost a year ago. While he now has roots in both the Midwest and the West Coast, where he eventually goes to school doesn't matter as much as some of the other criteria he is looking for in a program.

“A great campus, great academics,” he said. “I'm more of a pro-style offense quarterback so that's definitely the type of school I'm looking for. I really want a coaching staff that I can relate to and that I know I can go to for anything.”

Kempt's older brother was a backup quarterback at Oregon a few years ago and while he has talked with the Ducks a little, their spread system isn't the best fit for him so it's unlikely he'll head to his brother's alma matter. He is, however, already knee deep in the recruiting process and is able to go through it with ease thanks to the experience the family had with his brother.

“I've made an unofficial to Oregon State, I've made an unofficial to Washington,” he said. “I was actually here (at Ohio State) when they played Penn State and that was a great game. It was awesome, great atmosphere and some of the nicest people you'll meet.”

Based on his performance on the Ohio State practice fields Friday, don't be surprised to hear Kempt's name come up more and more as he makes his way around the country.

Notes

- Another underclassman who caught just about everyone's eye was Warren (Mich.) quarterback Shane Morris. While it probably had something to do with the way he was spinning the ball during the competition, he made sure everybody knew who he was by wearing a bright yellow Michigan shirt and cap. The recent commit to the school has good size and has an accurate arm. He plans on doing a bit of recruiting for the maize-and-blue at Saturday's Nike Camp.

- The country's top-ranked quarterback and number two overall player Gunner Kiel showed up and did not disappoint. He had to leave as soon as the camp was over but he was impressive from the first snap to the last. He's got a cannon for an arm and throws a really tight spiral. Kiel was the best looking quarterback at any of the Elite 11 stops and was extremely accurate in all phases.

He has plus footwork and physically looks ready to play at the next level immediately at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. He can shave a few ticks off his release but it's pretty good as is. His downfield throws were beauties, turning over the nose of the ball perfectly. Mechanically sound, he kept the ball high and should be a great pickup for whatever school lands him.

- North Canton (Ohio) quarterback Austin Appleby already has a double digit offer list but should see increased interest from BCS-level schools in the near future. He's got great size and a very strong arm. His release is a little long but has the makings of a BCS-level signal caller. His most recent offer was from Miami of Ohio and he's receiving heavy interest from Michigan State, Michigan and others.

“We really covered a lot of Big East schools during the spring,” Appleby said. “Louisville, Syracuse, Connecticut they all said I'm very high on their board. In the SEC, Vanderbilt seemed very impressed. A lot of them are real close and they say they it's just going to take a camp date (to get an offer).”

- Monroe (Conn.) quarterback Casey Cochran was sharp in yet another camp and should continue to get more interest as the year goes on. He just picked up an offer from Boston College and plans to go to camps at UConn, Temple and Syracuse among others.

- Buffalo (N.Y.) quarterback Chad Kelly can really move and has the arm to throw it around the field, he was sharp all day and can really spin it.

- A few others who impressed were TCU commit Tyler Matthews, Matt Alviti from Park Ridge (Ill.), Sean Maguire of West Orange (N.J.) and Brian Blackburn from Detroit (Mich.).

Posted on: May 17, 2011 9:37 am
 

5/17 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

- A Q&A about Washington recruiting with a few thoughts on quarterback Jeff Lindquist.

- Illionis continues to be active in extending scholarship offers during the Evaluation Period.

- UConn has some work to do on the recruiting trail this year.

- Michigan coach Brady Hoke was quite excited to receive the commitment of quarterback Shane Morris.

- Plenty of top quarterbacks from all over the Midwest will be at this week's Elite 11 in Columbus.

- Arkansas visited several players in California and Georgia yesterday.
Posted on: April 16, 2011 5:36 am
Edited on: April 16, 2011 2:51 pm
 

Nkemdiche stars at Georgia Nike Camp

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.

Notes

- 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.

Posted on: April 11, 2011 9:16 am
 

4/11 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Good day weekend at TCU for the Elite 11 and Nike Camp. Several Lemming Top 100 players were in attendance and many other players made a name for themselves.

- Offensive lineman Trey Keenan said his visit to Arkansas was very good and a few other tidbits here.

- Johnny Strahl was named quarterback MVP of the Orlando 1on1 Showcase camp.

- A few notes about Michigan recruiting, including an update on top defensive end Noah Spence.

- Despite being early in the process, many of the top inside linebackers are already committed to a school.

Posted on: April 10, 2011 12:58 am
Edited on: April 10, 2011 1:01 am
 

Dewey shines at TCU Elite 11

Posted by Bryan Fischer

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Some of the top quarterbacks from Texas and the Midwest descended upon TCU's campus for the second stop in the 2011 edition of the Elite 11 Regional Quarterback Camp Saturday afternoon.

Although several quarterbacks impressed on a slightly windy but otherwise picturesque spring day, Austin (Texas) quarterback Preston Dewey threw a tight spiral and displayed a strong and accurate arm to take home the Golden Gun Award as the top signal caller at the camp.

"It felt really good, all the hard work I've been doing paid off today," Dewey said. "I just came out here to do what I can do and show everybody that I can play at the next level."

Dewey might have been the best quarterback at either Elite 11 camp this year in terms of being a complete player. He had good footwork and never got off balance too much when throwing. He held the ball tight and has a good release that gets the ball to where he wants it quickly. Dewey has a very good arm that can make all the throws.

The 6-foot-3, 210 pound quarterback is as intriguing off the field as he is on it. Previously at Austin-area powerhouse Westlake High, Dewey transferred to local private school St. Andrew's Episcopal. Taking advantage of transfer regulations, he reclassified to the class of 2012, giving him an extra year of high school.

"A couple people have done it and it's not real common," he said. "Brock Mansion did it at Cal and T.J. Millweard did it at (private Fort Worth school) All Saints. I checked out all the NCAA stuff and if I can be eligible and I can. There's no problem with that. I want to be where I am right now and I want to be recruited by who I am right now instead of going to a smaller school or walking-on."

The 18-year-old Dewey is using the extra time at the prep level to his advantage. Not only did the transfer allow him to start right away at quarterback, it also meant that he could have more time learning from St. Andrew's head coach and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Ty Detmer.

"It's awesome," Dewey said. "With his background, he has all the knowledge in the world. He's helped me out a ton. I think I've learned more about football this past year than I have my entire life just because of everything he knows about the game. I couldn't have asked for a better coach."

As a result of a strong "junior" season last year under Detmer, Dewey is seeing his recruiting picking up. He is up to four scholarship offers, including two from the Pac-12.

"UCLA I actually had never talked to (until recently)," he said. "I was in school and my dad texted me that UCLA just offered. I was like, 'Are you serious?' That was my first big offer.

"Utah and Wyoming both sent me an email and said call them. So I did and they both offered me on the same night. It's pretty exciting knowing Norm Chow and Rick Neuheisel, guys who have been around the game and know what they're looking for in a quarterback, have offered me a scholarship. It's humbling and gives me a lot of confidence."

Because his offers are from schools located around the country, Dewey realizes he will probably be leaving the state to play college football. He was hoping to play for Texas A&M, where his father played football, but the Aggies already have a quarterback for the class of 2012 in San Antonio (Texas) signal caller Trevor Knight. Texas showed some interest but backed off after picking up a commitment from Scottsdale (Ariz.) quarterback Connor Brewer.

"I still want to go to a big school that can compete for a national championship," Dewey said. "I've kind of accepted the fact that I'm going to have to go out of the state and pretty far from home. I really don't have a problem with it."

Dewey says he would like to make a commitment at the end of the summer or right before the start of the season. He's already taken unofficial visits to several schools, including Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Clemson and South Carolina.

Tech commit Nicholas looks sharp

Abilene (Texas) quarterback Clayton Nicholas was one of the few campers in attendance who actually had already committed to a school. A Texas Tech pledge, he preformed well throughout the session and displayed a strong arm but wasn't perfect as he readily admitted.

"I did alright, I missed a throw here or there but you've got to learn from it," Nicholas. "You've got to get the ball downfield and do what you have to do."

The 6-foot-3, 200 pound Nicholas had a very quick drop back and delivery but tended to drop his arm angle at times. He needs to work on throwing over the top a bit more which will should translate into improved accuracy for his otherwise strong arm. Nicholas understood that the camp was also an opportunity to work on things mentally in order to improve as a quarterback.

"I really come out here to work on leadership, command, knowing what all the players are doing what the route is, everything," he said. "All the things an Elite 11 quarterback would work on."

While it is almost common place for verbal commitments to continue to look around as part of the recruiting process leading up to Signing Day, Nicholas seems to be sold on the Red Raiders and firmly committed.

"I am solid with them," Nicholas said. "They're the only school really talking with me and they're the only school I'm looking at. It's a good school for me and they like to throw it around which is what I'm made for.

"All of the offensive coaches have been really good to me."

Nicholas was unsure if he was going to show up Sunday for the TCU Nike Camp but if he did, he might do a little recruiting for the Red Raiders.

Other quarterbacks of note

Underclassmen who made an impression at the event were 2013 quarterback Kenny Hill of nearby powerhouse Southlake Carroll High and 2014 quarterback Jerrod Heard. Seniors-to-be Brady Burgin of Highland Park (Texas), Houston (Texas) quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe and Allen (Texas) quarterback Alec Morris also stood out. Grand Prairie (Texas) quarterback Jared Johnson also looked good and was very accurate but will likely be recruited as an athlete due to his height (about 5-foot-10). Virginia Tech commit and local quarterback T.J. Millweard did not show up.

Posted on: March 16, 2011 9:28 am
 

3/16 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Certainly an entertaining start to the NCAA tournament with the First Four in action last night. We're slowly getting closer and closer to the real madness this weekend.

- USC has finally signed defensive end Steve Dillon to a letter of intent. Dillon did not sign with the Trojans on Signing Day due to academic issues.

- Some more on Mario Edwards Jr.'s decision to commit to Florida State last night.

- Wide receiver Austin Aikens of Florida powerhouse Plant High has picked up an offer from Vanderbilt.

- Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas Tech are just some of the schools who are heavily recruiting offensive lineman Keenan Allen.

- Quarterback Colby Brown was one of the youngest players at the Orlando Elite 11 last weekend but he was also one of the most impressive.

- Offensive lineman Dan Voltz has committed to Wisconsin.

- Miami is off to a pretty good start with the class of 2012.

Posted on: March 14, 2011 9:22 am
 

3/14 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Not a ton of links today, I think there's some basketball thing that is taking up everybody's time.

- Quarterback Mike Tamburo is transferring to Georgia from Boise State.

- 2013 quarterback Kevin Anderson was one of the standouts at the Elite 11 this past weekend and he was glad to get the attention.

- Abram Elam, a safety for the Cleveland Browns, thinks Palm Beach Country is the fastest in the country. Based on the NFLers in the article, he may not be far off.

- FoxSports.com has more on the issue of street agents and 7-on-7 tournaments. Part one is on reputed street agent Will Lyles; part two on the recruitment of Oregon running back Lache Seastrunk; part three on 7-on-7 tournaments and part four on the long and winding road of tight end Chis Barnett.

 
 
 
 
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