AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Avondale High School hosted a very competitive Michigan Elite/IMG 7-on-7 Regional qualifier on Saturday and Sunday, highlighted by a few of the Midwest’s top prospects, and a few others that came in under the radar but definitely continued to make a name for themselves.
Treadwell was big on both sides of the ball for Core 6.
247Sports takes a look at the Top-10 overall performers from the weekend. A photo gallery and recap will come over the next few days.
1. Laquon Treadwell: Ranked as the nation’s No. 7 receiver and No. 84 prospect overall, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Crete (Ill.) Monee standout made big plays on both sides of the ball in helping lead his Core 6 team to the tournament finals and a second place finish. A smooth route runner, Treadwell is a physical player that does a superb job of catching the ball away from his body and making catches with the cornerback draped on his back. Whether he was going over the middle, leaping over a defender, or catching the ball back shoulder, Treadwell was good for a few wow moments a game. He also has some yards after the catch ability. Defensively, he played safety and came through with several plays on the football. Treadwell said he’s still talking with roughly 10 schools, but Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are his best relationships at this point in the recruiting process.
2. Jaylon Smith: After dominating the last few events he’s participated at, the memo is out for teams to stay away from the nation’s top outside linebacker and No. 6 prospect overall. Out of Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers, the 6-foot-3, 218-pound mostly covered the slot, however the football generally went to the opposite side of the field he was on. In helping lead his AWP (Athletes With Purpose) squad to the tournament championship, Smith often used his 4.4 speed to get to other side of the field and be a factor in the play. When the ball did come his way, the long-armed playmaker usually swatted down the pass and on another occasion ran an interception back for six points. Smith's hips and footwork are just flat out special, and heading into the summer, he currently favors Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC.
3. Jared Murphy: A one-man wrecking crew during the fall for Columbia City (Ind.) High, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Murphy isn’t getting the respect he deserves on the recruiting trail. Still waiting for his first offer, Murphy won tournament MVP honors, after living in the end zone for AWP in its run to the championship. The sure-handed, fast, elusive Murphy did some of his best work in the semifinals and finals, making plays against Michigan commit Jourdan Lewis in one contest, and scoring on a 40-yard catch and run against Core 6 in the final. Murphy is receiving attention from most of the MAC conference as well as Indiana and Purdue. Along with teammates Isaac Griffith and Jamitreus Crockham, AWP was able to hurt teams in the passing game from every direction.
4. Shane Morris: Methodical, accurate, and easy like a Sunday morning best describes the future Michigan quarterback commit's performance over the weekend. The strong-armed Morris spread the ball around well among his Maximum Exposure Boom teammates, as his team finished third overall. Morris led Maximum Exposure to the IMG National Championship last year in Bradenton, Fla., thus they already had an automatic invite. Ranked as the nation’s No. 2 pro-style quarterback and No. 18 prospect overall out of Warren (Mich.) De La Salle, Morris has really improved in making the right read and delivering the football with the proper touch to the open man. This weekend, that was normally fellow Michigan commit Csont’e York, his De La Salle teammate Jack Wangler, and another player much deserving of an offer in Michigan Collegiate’s Teo Redding.
5. Connor Iwema: Outside of Treadwell, there wasn’t a more important two-way player than the Warren (Ill.) Township receiver/safety. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Iwema was big for his North Shore Elite club, constantly finding a way to gain yards after the catch while also playing a strong centerfield defensively. South Dakota is the only program currently showing personal interest, but Iwema proved in this setting he could hold his own against the best of the best.
6. Clifton Garrett: Smith was the top linebacker, but no team had a better group of linebackers than Core 6, led by the Plainfield (Ill.) South rising junior, who checks in as the nation’s No. 2 inside linebacker and No. 41 prospect overall in the class of 2014. Along with fellow 2014 standout Nyles Morgan and senior-to-be Reggie Spearman, the three flew around the football field on day two, making it tough for the opposition to get anything in the flat or over the middle. One of the more physical players in the country, the hard-hitting Garrett also excels in the 7-on-7 setting, and on several occasions used his 6-foot-5 wingspan to dive in front of a pass to register a break up. Garrett is an instinctual player that seems to always be around the football.
7. Cameron Thomas: Splitting snaps with rising 2014 quarterback Tyler Wiegers, the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Thomas has a calm poise about him. Like Morris, the Michigan Elite signal-caller spread the ball around well, and really did a fine job of looking off defenders and making completions to the other side of the field. Thomas throws a catchable ball that usually splits the numbers. Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan have already offered.
Five-star OLB Jaylon Smith continues to go about his business on the 7-on-7 circuit.
8. Tyrone Pierre: Along with his 2015 quarterback Michael O’Connor, the Canadian duo put on a show for the Gridiron Academy team. A 2014 prospect, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Pierre shined on a team short on numbers as O’Connor’s go-to target, and as a roving safety. Pierre has above average speed, and proved over and again he could make the tough grab in traffic. He visited Michigan on Friday before the tournament, and he’s also hearing from the likes of Michigan State, Rutgers and UCLA.
9. Jourdan Lewis: The four-star cornerback out of Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech was a blanket on receivers throughout the two-day competition with Murphy being the only player to have any kind of success against him. The Michigan commit played press coverage and lived in the back pocket of whoever he was checking. When needed, he also provided a boost offensively at receiver for the Maximum Exposure team.
10. Andrew Spencer: The cornerback out of Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers drew the toughest receiver assignment in each game for AWP, and frustrated the opposition with a physical style of play. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Spencer came up big when needed the most, breaking up a couple Shane Morris passes in the semifinal win over Maximum Exposure, and then attaching himself to Treadwell’s back in the final. Spencer is currently receiving interest from most of the MAC conference.