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Best of Rutgers NFTC

PISCATAWAY, N.J.- Sunday’s Nike Football Training Camp at Rutgers featured a bevy of top talent from the Northeast. Here’s a look at ten top performers, plus some others who impressed at the event.

Cornerback Wayne Morgan was the most impressive Class of 2012 prospect at Sunday's Nike Football Training Camp at Rutgers.

Wayne Morgan, CB, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Erasmus Hall (Top 2012 prospect)

Morgan was outstanding in coverage for the entire day and backed up an excelllent performance at the Badger 7-on-7 at Rutgers in February and subsequent debut at No. 33 overall (No. 4 cornerback) nationally in The247. Morgan is effortless in his change of direction, speed turn and transition and finished plays with interceptions. He has good ball skills and displayed an understanding of the coverages, likely because he is a quarterback for his high school team. Morgan confirmed that Rutgers, Connecticut and Syracuse are his current top three. The Scarlet Knights are considered the team to beat at this point.

Kenny Bigelow, DE/DT, Bear (Del.) Red Lion Christian (Top 2013 prospect)

Bigelow checked in at 6-foot-4, 276 pounds and has the frame to carry more than 300 pounds in time. We think long-term, he’s an explosive, dominant defensive tackle. He’s naturally strong (especially in his lower body) and showed that off, along with his explosiveness. Bigelow already has a double digit verbal offer count, including Auburn, which signed Angelo Blackson out of Red Lion Christian in the Class of 2010. Bigelow will camp at Ohio State this summer.

Ryan Brodie, OT, Long Branch (N.J.)

Brodie, the nation’s No. 22 offensive tackle prospect, has excellent athleticism and feet and looked fluid during drills. He also battled hard during one-on-one drills. Brodie’s ability to fill out in the lower body with muscle mass likely will determine his ceiling as a player. Brodie holds offers from Boston College, Rutgers, Connecticut, South Carolina and Purdue. Miami (Fla.) is expected to offer the first of next week and Alabama and a number of other programs have been by the school to check on him recently.

Alex Figueroa, ATH, Stafford (Va.) Brooke Point

Figueroa was somewhat of an unknown coming into the event. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder impressed both physically and athletically. While the quick and explosive prospect worked out at receiver, we feel that his greatest potential at the college level is on the defensive side of the ball- at end or linebacker. Figueroa claims verbal offers from Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Virginia, North Carolina and Miami (Fla.). Alabama also has stopped by the school and shown interest.

Steve Longa, LB, Saddle Brook (N.J.)

Longa was hands down the best linebacker in coverage during the weekend (at both Nike Camps). The 6-foot-1, 214-pounder used his combination of long arms, quickness and ability to turn and run to lock up running backs and tight ends throughout the day. Longa holds offers from Rutgers, Maryland, Temple, Florida International and Western Michigan. Connecticut, Minnesota, Syracuse and Pittsburgh are showing serious interest. Longa attended Rutgers‘ spring game on Saturday. 

Sean Maguire, QB, Orange (N.J.) Seton Hall Prep

We first saw Maguire at the Badger 7-on-7 in February and came away impressed with his feet and arm strength. On Sunday, he showed us the same, along with seemingly improved accuracy. Maguire received praise from the NFTC coaching staff on numerous occasions and it’s easy to see why Florida State has already offered. Maguire says that Connecticut has told him he’s the top quarterback on the Huskies’ board and that they will offer after seeing him throw in person next week. Miami (Fla.), Wisconsin, Penn State and Minnesota all are showing interest.

Dorian Miller, OG/DT, Metchen (N.J.) (Class of 2013)

Miller, the younger brother of current Oklahoma receiver Dejuan Miller, impressed at offensive guard throughout the day, but he may be better suited to play on the defensive side of the ball at tackle. The 6-foot-3, 294-pounder got out of his stance quickly and finished with power when asked to pull in offensive line drills. His explosiveness off the snap and strength should also be assets. Miller has current verbal offers from Rutgers and Pittsburgh and has interest from Oklahoma, Clemson, TCU, Alabama, Oregon and Penn State. He did not hesitate to say that the Sooners were his early favorite.

Khaliel Rogers, C/G, Bear (Del.) Red Lion Christian (Class of 2013)

Rogers, who was named the offensive line MVP by the coaches, was the most physical prospect in attendance. He attacked every rep with max effort and proved to be a finisher. Rogers packs a powerful punch featuring natural strength in spades. He doesn’t blow you away with the eyeball test, but once you see him in action, you find out what the 6-foot-1, 294-pounder is all about. He’s also played defensive tackle during his career and you can’t rule him out at that position. He lists LSU, Ohio State, Florida and USC as his childhood favorites. He will camp in Columbus this summer with his teammate, Bigelow.

Elijah Shumate, S, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep

Shumate was one of the most physically-impressive prospects at the event. He runs extremely well, has quick feet and hands and good ball skills. The question will be if he plays in the box or back at the safety position in college. The nation’s third-ranked safety prospect, Shumate has more than 30 offers and currently favors Rutgers and South Carolina.

Nate Smith, S, Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood

Smith, who has toyed with the idea of playing receiver at the next level, showed Sunday why most colleges believe he’s a defensive player. Smith is extremely smooth and natural at the safety position. He looked natural playing the ball in the air with impressive closing ability. He had multiple interceptions during the one-on-one portion of the event. Smith has offers from West Virginia, South Carolina and Temple, but we expect more to come during the course of the evaluation period. 

Also considered

Eli Ankou, DE, Ottawa (Can.) St. Peter Catholic
Tashawn Bower, DE, Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata (Class of 2013)
Kevin Olsen, QB, Wayne (N.J.) Wayne Hills (Class of 2013)
Desmon Peoples, RB, Warminster (Pa.) Archibishop Wood
Julian Pinnix-Odrick, DE, Montclair (N.J.)

National Recruiting Analyst JC Shurburtt contributed

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