DALLAS, Texas – The campus of SMU served as host on Saturday for the opening day of the BadgerSports 7on7 National Championship. Fitting for the fourth of July weekend, the event had a very national flair and some of the top players in the country were in attendance. We take a look at the top performers from the star-studded event.
Bryce Treggs was the most polished receiver we saw on Saturday.
1. Bryce Treggs, WR, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
One of the most polished and fluid wide receivers at the event, Treggs stood out from the first game on with his ability to plant and accelerate out of his breaks. He has the look of a receiver that has been honing his craft for years.
Recruiting: Treggs has stated that Cal is his leader and with his father – Brian Treggs - as a former Cal Bear wide receiver, we have a hard time seeing anyone else land the four-star.
2. Dennis Norfleet, APB, Detroit (Mich.) King
This kid just keeps showing up at events and making people take notice. He is without a doubt one of the most exciting players in this 2012 class. Norfleet is undersized but he is as quick as they come and a rare competitor. He did his damage on Saturday with a new quarterback but he wasn’t slowed at all.
Recruiting: Norfleet is on record with Michigan State as his leader but we believe that Tennessee could be a major factor as well following his upcoming visit.
3. Deontay Greenberry, WR, Fresno (Calif.) Washington Union
Similar to his dominating performance at the Badger Regional that launched him as a national recruit, Greenberry once again was dominating. He is imposing physically, uses his body well and has sticky hands. He is very complete as a big possession receiver with big play ability.
Recruiting: Greenberry is a solid commitment to Notre Dame.
4. Roger Lewis, WR, Pickerington (Ohio) Central
Light on his feet and explosive, Lewis is dangerous in the open field with the ball in his hands and also shows great burst out of his breaks as a route-runner. Even on defense, Lewis showed off some great instincts with several red zone interceptions on the day. We love this kid as a fairly unheralded prospect that will be special.
Recruiting: Currently Lewis only has BCS offers from West Virginia and Cincinnati but we believe many more are coming. If Ohio State offers, the Buckeyes would be tough to beat.
Jason Croom has a rare blend of size and speed.
5. Jason Croom, WR, Norcross (Ga.) High School
We think Croom could be a big receiver or grow into a tight end but in either role he has a chance to be special. Very few receivers have the blend of size, speed and ball skills that Croom possesses. If you’re a defensive back, it’s a scary sight to see Croom running down your toes vertically.
Recruiting: Croom is down to Mississippi State and Tennessee and will announce on August 18. We give the slight edge to the Bulldogs at this stage.
6. Troy Williams, PRO, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne
Williams doesn’t have the prototypical size at only around 6-1 but he is one of the most natural passers in the class of 2013. He showed a big arm, put touch on the ball when needed and plays with poise that belies his age. Eddie Printz and Nathan Bossory were two other 2013 quarterbacks that caught our eye.
Recruiting: It’s too early to tell definitively with Williams but Nevada, Washington and SMU are recruiting the hardest. We believe that many more major players are on the way.
7. Gabriel Marks, WR, Los Angeles (Calif.) Venice
Marks doesn’t blow you away with his size or physical presence but all he does is go out and perform. He’s one of the top performers in every setting he attends and Saturday was no different. He’s a fiery competitor, knows how to get open and catches everything that comes his way.
Recruiting: Marks lists UCLA, Utah and SMU as his leaders. He has visited UCLA on several occasions and will visit the Utes soon after his current trip to SMU. A decision could be forthcoming but we would give the slight edge to UCLA currently.
8. Darion Monroe, ATH, Reserve (La.) East St. John
Monroe is the type of prospect that just classifies as a football player. No matter where he is, he’ll find a way to make a play. Monroe played primarily cornerback on Saturday and was very active and disruptive to the pass game.
Recruiting: Monroe is firmly committed to Texas A&M and reiterated his commitment on Saturday.
9. Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, TE, Rocklin (Calif.) Whitney
One of the most physically imposing prospects at the event, Cope-Fitzpatrick found his way into the end zone on numerous occasions. He’s a mismatch and uses his size and frame to his advantage.
Recruiting: A recent commit to USC, Cope-Fitzpatrick is a solid verbal.
Odds and ends
- Five-star Shaq Thompson sat out the first game as he waited for cleats but he competed the rest of the day and did nothing to hurt his stock. He’s a safety with great size and athleticism. He was joined in the secondary by another elite defensive back in Tee Shepard. The two have the look as a pair of the best at their positions nationally.
- Oxford (Miss.) Lafayette athlete Jeremy Liggins was too erratic to earn top performer distinction but he is a very intriguing prospects nonetheless. Liggins may have the biggest arm at the event but he is very unpolished and has a low release. His 240+ size and athleticism that has seen him rush for 3,000 yards in his last two seasons could see him project to any number of positions on either side of the ball.
- Speaking of intriguing, Trent Corney out of Canada is a freaky athlete. At 6-2, 232 pounds, Corney runs in the 10.8-10.9 range in the 100 meters, bench presses 405 pounds, can rep 225 pounds 23 times. Corney readily admits that he has never been coached in Canada and has a lot to learn but his raw athleticism is fantastic and he is fluid in 7on7. He will be playing at Bear (DE)Red Lion Christian in the fall of 2011.
Gerry Hamilton and Steve Wiltfong contributed to this report.