WESTMINSTER, Md.- Just considering attendance and performance by elite prospects in any class, Saturday’s Baltimore Nike Football Training Camp may have been the best of what has been a special NFTC season to date in that regard.
Class of 2013 cornerback Kendall Fuller could be a five-star prospect in the near future according to 247Sports.
The event featured the top two prospects in the country for the 2014 class and several Top247 prospects who are among the best in the country at their respective positions in the 2013 class.
The following prospects were invited to “The Opening”, the all-star summer camp presented by ESPNHS July 5-8 on the Nike Campus in Beaverton, Ore.: Alex Anzalone, Tre Bell, Taquan Mizzell, Kenny Bigelow, Kendall Fuller, Dorian O’Daniel, Derrick Green, Adam Breneman, Da’Shawn Hand, Doug Randolph and Eli Woodard.
Here we take a look at the top 10 prospects at the event regardless of class. This list is judged on a combination of camp performance and projection at the college level and beyond.
Note that there were more than 10 prospects that stood out at the event. Stay tuned for top underclassmen, insider recruiting tidbits and more Baltimore NFTC standouts in our forthcoming features from the event this week.
1- Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Woodbridge (Va.) (Class of 2014)
Hand measured in at 6-foot-5, 239 pounds and was everything we thought he would be in this setting. The thing that separates Hand is that on film you can see that he plays with a great deal of toughness, heart and tenacity. In this setting, the tenacity is there, but he routinely wins reps with elite quickness and hands, so the finesse side of his ability is showcased. Hand received an invite to “The Opening”, which takes very few underclassmen. We feel like he will more than hold his own in Beaverton, Ore., this summer against many of the nation’s top 2013 offensive line prospects. East Carolina offered at the end of the week and Georgia could early next week. Hand is already closing in on 35 verbal offers.
2- Andrew Brown, DT, Chesapeake (Va.) Indian River (Class of 2014)
Five-star 2014 defensive lineman Andrew Brown was dominant during Saturday's Nike Football Training Camp at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.
Brown measured in at 6-foot-3, 287 pounds and was dominant during one-on-ones, routinely using both superior quickness/hands an and a strong desire to compete. Brown actually may be more rare than Hand because even though he is nearly 290 pounds, much like 2012 cycle No. 1 Mario Edwards, he is certainly athletic enough to line up on the edge at end. With that, it’s an absolute mismatch on the inside. Guard Khaliel Rodgers (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) is a dominant offensive lineman in this setting and has been for going on two years. He was no match for Brown at least twice. Alabama offered this week and he has had a parade of coaches come by his high school this spring. Brown is currently a five-star prospect and the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect by 247Sports for the Class of 2014.
3- Kendall Fuller, CB, Olney (Md.) Good Counsel
Fuller, who measured in at 5-foot-11, 186 pounds, is likely moving to five-star status on 247Sports when we update our 2013 rankings in a couple of weeks. He was close anyway as performance in a camp setting typically does not count any more than 10 percent of a prospect’s grade in most instances, but what we saw Saturday was enough to put him over the edge. Throughout the event, he was a shutdown guy at cornerback. His size allows him to play physical at the line, but then you turn around and he’s attached at the hip to the receivers he was toying with in one-on-ones. Credit to four-star athlete Delando Johnson, who held his own against Fuller in one rep and appeared to be getting open, but Fuller used his recovery speed to break up what would have been one of the only completions he gave up on the day.
4- Kenny Bigelow, DT, Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian
Bigelow is what you would call “very physically developed” at a chiseled 6-foot-3, 295-plus pounds. That being said, he hasn’t lost his quickness that allowed him to emerge on the recruiting radar as a sophomore defensive end. Bigelow has embraced the defensive tackle position and like Brown, is a complete mismatch for offensive guards on the interior of an offensive line. He will likely move to five-star status on 247Sports in the near future as his transformation from big, young defensive end to stud defensive tackle prospect is complete. Bigelow is committed to USC, part of the beginnings of what could be the nation’s top 2013 class when all is said and done.
5- Quin Blanding, S, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside (Class of 2014)
Blanding, a third state of Virginia prospect to already receive a five-star rating for the 2014 class from 247Sports, displayed elite coverage ability during the event and was a physical mismatch (he measured in at 6-foot-2, 196 pounds) for most of the receivers he faced during the event. While Blanding is likely going to play safety in college, what makes the nation’s No. 12 prospect for 2014 so special is that he could easily play corner at his size right now, so his value to a defense is extremely high based on his versatility. Tennessee was one of the latest to offer Blanding, who was named to the roster for “Gridiron Kings”, a national 7-on-7 all-star event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in July. Blanding was the first non-quarterback underclassman ever selected for the event.
6- Alex Anzalone, OLB, Reading (Pa.) Wyomissing Area
These types of settings are good to judge athleticism at the linebacker position, but Anzalone, who measured in at 6-foot-3.5, 231 pounds, displayed plenty of it. The four-star prospect can move his feet well and has quick hands that he uses to knock down passes in coverage. He was outstanding in pass skel drills moving laterally from an inside linebacker position as well. Anzalone, who recently de-committed from Ohio State, is looking at Florida, Notre Dame, Penn State and a host of others.
7- Eli Woodard, CB, Vorhees (N.J.) Eastern
The Ohio State commit measured in at 6-foot, 185 pounds and outside of Fuller was the most impressive cornerback at the event. Woodard’s size and length are elite and he uses excellent technique and footwork to hang with nearly every receiver. Since we last saw him in person, he’s matured physically and this performance, combined with the toughness and grit he displays on film against the running game, make him a strong candidate to move up in the next release of the 2013 247Sports prospect rankings.
8- Holland Fisher, LB, Midlothian (Va.) Manchester
Fisher worked out at linebacker this week and won the MVP award at that position after working out at safety last week at the Charlotte Nike Football Training Camp and earning an invite to “The Opening”. When you watch Fisher at linebacker, it’s pretty obvious that this position is a more natural fit for him from an athletic standpoint. It’s just a mismatch in coverage (he had two interceptions in pass skel) and his elite lateral ability means he covers a lot of ground. The Virginia Tech commit is going to be quite useful in Bud Foster’s versatile scheme and his stock is definitely on the rise nationally as a linebacker prospect.
9- Derrick Green, RB, Richmond (Va.) Hermitage
Green is as impressive of a running back physically (eyeball test) as we’ve seen in a camp this year. He’s nearly 230 pounds with elite quickness and feet. Like linebacker, you can’t really judge more than that on a running back in this setting, but in pads, between the tackles, we’ve seen enough of Green to put it all together. Fellow four-star Virginian Taquan Mizzell was the running back MVP, was better in the drills and honestly would be No. 11 on this list, but we went with Green here because of everything he is as a prospect. We are talking a high value back for a team that likes to run the ball. Clemson, Alabama (which offered this week), Virginia Tech, Ohio State and others are in the mix for Green.
10- Matt Rolin, LB, Ashburn (Va.) Briar Woods
Rolin measure in at 6-foot-3.5, 210 pounds and has excellent feet, quickness and instincts for a taller linebacker prospect. Had it not been for the overwhelming showings by Anzalone and Fisher, Rolin would have probably rated as the top linebacker prospect. Many times, you see taller ‘backers on the high school level and they are basically waiting to be moved to defensive end because they lack the ability to move laterally. That’s not the case with Rolin. South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Florida and Georgia make up Rolin’s top five. The Gamecocks and Hokies sit No. 1 and 2 as he has family ties to both programs.
Quarterback: Shane Cockerille, Baltimore (Md.) Gilman
Running Back: Taquan Mizzell, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside
Wide Receiver: David Coggins, Waterbury (Conn.) Sacred Heart
Offensive Line: Spencer Bibb, Woodberry Forest (Va.)- Class of 2014
Defensive Line: Kenny Bigelow
Linebacker: Holland Fisher
Defensive Back: Quin Blanding
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