Team Nitro and Team Highlight hit the field at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Sunday for Day one of practice for the Under Armour All-America Game. With 90 of the top prospects in the country on the field at one time, there was no shortage of top talent on display. Here are 11 players that caught the eye of 247Sports recruiting analysts.
Hand was unstoppable on the first day of practice.
1. Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge): Hand was unstoppable on the first day, using an array of counter moves while displaying an up-field burst that gave the offensive tackles fits. When matched up against guards, Hand was able to power off the shoulder and drive the offensive lineman into the backfield.
2. Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr): Even though he played mostly quarterback in high school, Noil picked up right where he has left off at any camp setting, displaying electric agility and the ability to consistently move in and out of crisp routes. Working almost exclusively at outside wide receiver, Noil has done nothing to tarnish his reputation as the consensus No. 1 receiver in the 2014 class so far. Natural playmaking instincts make Noil a scheme-versatile wideout.
3. Cameron Robinson (Monroe, La./West Monroe): Earlier this fall, Robinson appeared to be in need of some reshaping of his upper body, which restricted his balance somewhat. Now Robinson looks to be in great shape, and actually had many onlookers whispering “NFL-ready” when discussing his physical makeup. He did a great job pulling and using his long arms and incredible punch to knock defenders into the second level. One of, if not the most physically impressive offensive linemen to come out of high school in the last five years.
4. Tony Brown (Beaumont, Tex./Ozen): Brown looks like the new age prototype at cornerback, and on Sunday he showed elite cover corner ability that could put him in the discussion for top overall cornerback in the 2014 class. He was in receivers’ hip pocket throughout one-on-one’s and pass skeleton, and shut down virtually all intermediate routes, breaking up several passes. Brown was not tested deep too much though.
5. Bo Scarbrough (Bradenton, Fla./IMG Academy): Scarbrough wins the “get off the bus” award as the 6-2, 225-pound athlete is freakishly sculpted. Working out with the wide receivers and running backs in drills, Scarbrough showed soft hands and made several safeties look bad downfield. There is not much Scarbrough can’t do on the football field.
6. Chad Thomas (Miami/Booker T Washington): Even at 6-foot-5, 240-pounds, Thomas looks lean in pads and on first glance he would appear to be more of a speed rusher . On several occasions, offensive tackles would underestimate his power, and subsequently Thomas would use his lower body strength to push the blocker back.
7. Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway): The ball was flying out of Harris’ hand with more velocity than any other quarterback Sunday - with passes zipping along on intermediate and deep routes with solid accuracy. While there were a few shorter throws that could have used more touch, Harris has a very quick delivery, and even though his motion needs some tweaking, when his feet were set he was throwing dimes and hitting his target in tight spots.
8. Rod Taylor (Jackson, Miss./Callaway): A physical mauler in the trenches, Taylor used his impressive size to stonewall defensive linemen and gave Hand the toughest battles of the day. While his hand use is still raw, the tools are there for Taylor and it is clear that his best football is ahead of him.
9. Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin): Physically speaking, Garrett might have been the most impressive-looking prospect on the field not named Bo Scarbrough. The 6-5, 250-pound defensive lineman backed it up by using his size/speed combination to give blockers fits, and was in the backfield multiple times. He does a nice job of diagnosing run/pass as well.
10. Gerald Willis (New Orleans/Edna Karr): Willis looked a little lighter than his listed weight of 275-pounds, but in 11-on-11, he used very low pad level and extremely violent hands to really disrupt the blockers in front of him. Forced the offense to utilize double teams during the second session.
11. Laurence Jones (Monroe, La./Neville): Some had questions about Jones’ projection as a safety at the next level, but on Sunday, Hootie was outstanding in coverage, breaking up several balls and moving very well vertically while maintaining a fluid backpedal. Jones is a ballhawk and showed the best range of any safety on the field today.