April 22, 2007

Sleepers highlight Tallahassee camp

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- A big-time talent at wide reciever, the emergence of multiple sleeper prospects and a deep, talented pool of Class of 2009 prospects highlighted Sunday's Tallahassee NIKE Camp on the campus of Florida State University.

North Florida Christian's Melvin Ray showed why many consider him to be one of the best prospects at his position in the country with his performance Sunday. Ray has everything you want in a receiver: size, speed, hands. Plus, he is advanced in terms of knowing how to run routes and knowing how to get open and get separation from defensive backs.

During the agility and one-on-one drills, Ray shined.

On the recruiting front, Ray has multiple scholarship offers, including Florida State, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and others. It's not a stretch to say that most N.F.C. products end up playing at Doak Campbell Stadium, right across from the practice fields Ray shined on Sunday. The Bulldogs also are a factor here.

Ray was named the Most Valuable Player at his position by the NIKE Camp coaching staff.

Citra (Fla.) North Marion's Darius Morgan is tall and has good hands. He is the type of player that needs some polish, but could be a contributor during his freshman year in the right situation. He was good during agility drills and during one-on-ones.

Morgan claims offers from Florida State and Alabama.

Tampa (Fla.) Plant won the Florida Class 4A championship last season thanks in part to wide reciever Derek Winter. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder caught 90 passes, most of which came from Class of 2006 Miami signee Robert Marve.

The sure-handed Winter, who is more quick than fast, was outstanding at Sunday's camp and showed why he will soon emerge as one of the better reciever prospects in the Sunshine State. He runs precise routes, catches nearly everything that's thrown his way and is very crafty in dealing with defensive backs and finding holes in defenses.

Other recievers who impressed include O'Neil Chambers of Harmony (Fla.), D'Maci Williams of Orlando Jones, tight end Ken Adams of Enterprise (Ala.) and tight end/defensive end Toshman Stevens of Crescent City (Fla.).

Running back

Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian's Jamie Harper has excellent size, burst, speed and football instincts. As impressive as his film is, he's even more impressive in person. He's quick and strong and has good feet.

Interest in Harper has been picking up of late and it would not be surprising to see an avalanche of offers in the next few weeks.

Tallahassee (Fla.) FAMU High's Richard Watson looked solid. He has soft feet for a big running back.

Onlookers could not stop talking about Moss Point (Miss.) dynamo Meco Brown. The 5-foot-5 waterbug could not be caught and drove linebackers crazy during one-on-one drills. Brown proved that he has a place in Division I-A somewhere.

Tallahassee (Fla.) Florida High's Santuan McGee and Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes' Darriet Perry also were impressive along with Class of 2009 prospect Chris Thompson.

Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore's Cameron Daniels was named the Most Valuable Player at his position by the NIKE Camp coaching staff.

Offensive line

A Class of 2009 offensive line prospect, Corey Gaines of Tallahassee Godby was the top prospect at the event. He figures to be one of the top prospects in Florida at his position in next year's cycle.

Centreville (Ala.) Bibb County center Ben Jones was very aggressive during one-on-one drills and was named the Most Valuable Player by the NIKE Camp coaching staff.


Defensive line

The defensive line was the deepest and most talented position on that side of the ball Sunday.

Class of 2009 defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel of Madison (Fla.) Madison County is one of the better defensive tackles at any camp anywhere during the past year. He has a low center of gravity, has an extremely quick first step and quick hands and uses a variety of techniques to ward off potential blockers.

McDaniel should be one of the top overall prospects in the Sunshine State in the Class of 2009. He was named the Most Valuable Player by the NIKE Camp defensive line coaches.

Thomasville (Ga.) tackle Brandon Thompson would have been the top defensive lineman had it not been for McDaniel. Thompson is very strong and active and is ready to step in and contribute at the college level, provided he learns how to play the position on the collegiate level.

On the recruiting front, Thompson holds scholarship offers from a number of schools, but is favoring Clemson. The person who walked into the camp with Thompson (likely his father) was wearing a Clemson hat.

Tampa (Fla.) Middleton defensive lineman Moses McCray has been working out and has dropped extra bad weight since March. That's made him quicker and he showed that off during the one-on-one drills Sunday.

He said after the camp that he still likes Florida, but also has a lot of interest in Florida State.

Gainesville (Fla.) defensive end Earl Okine, a Florida commit, has the frame to grow into an excellent player at his position.

Defensive back

Moss Point (Miss.) cornerback Dominick Tolliver is a wide-bodied corner who was excellent during the one-on-one drills. Tolliver has excellent speed and hips and approaches the game with a tremendous tenacity. He didn't back down from any challenge that was thrown at him and made a great play more times than not during the drills.

It will be a shock if interest in Tolliver, who currently has no offers, does not receive plenty during the coming weeks (provided his grades, etc. are in order).

Madison (Fla.) Madison County athlete Travis Arnold was good during the camp. He's built well, has excellent speed and plays the game with a high level of intensity. Arnold likely projects as a safety in college.

Jacksonville (Fla.) Bartram Trail cornerback Xavier Brewer was solid during the day, but wasn't as impressive in coverage during the one-on-one drills as one would think.

Dominique Battle of Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage has good closing speed and ball skills. He looked very good during all drills at the camp Sunday.


Florida State commitment Vincent Williams of Davenport (Fla.) Ridge Community won Most Valuable Player honors for the camp.

Williams is strong and moves well for a middle linebacker prospect.

Class of 2009 prospect Willie Ferrell also impresses.


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