McDONOUGH, Ga. – More than 420 prospects competed in Sunday’s MVP Camp Atlanta, with nearly 100 persons having to be turned away from the overflow crowd of walk-ups.
'14 Pierce County quarterback Tyler Harris flicked bullet passes with ease Sunday.
247Sports had a team of reporters roving the Avalon Park fields for further evaluations on known prospects as well as combing for future talent that merits tracking.
Event co-owner Rusty Mansell, as well as analysts Gerry Hamilton, Paul Strelow and Charles Power, discuss the key names they carried away from the competition:
What was the biggest takeaway?
Mansell: “After doing these camps for three years now, I was very impressed with crop of quarterbacks. There were some kids in that group that will be big-time recruits if they continue to progress. I thought Brice Ramsey had a very good day. I was just as impressed with 2014 quarterback Tyler Harris of Pierce County. He has a monster arm at 6-foot-3 and he should get big-time attention soon.”
Hamilton: “My biggest takeaway from the MVP Camp Sunday was also the quality depth in the 2013 class in Georgia, and the talented group of quarterbacks on hand spread through the 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes.
“The quarterback position, overall, may have been the most impressive. Of course, Ramsey’s talents are a known commodity, but watch out for Harris. He was a guy to "check out" on Sunday, and ended up being one of the most impressive prospects on hand. Blessed with the desired size at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, and with a howitzer for a right arm, he needs just time and work on changing ball speeds in the short and intermediate game to become a nationally recruited signal caller. Surprisingly with that special right arm, he does not play baseball, and that figures to be key in his recruitment. Class of 2015 right-handed quarterback Tyler Queen was another young pro-style signal caller than impressed, and one can’t mention the quarterbacks and leave out the intriguing 6-7, 203-pound Elijah Staley from Wheeler in Marietta. The lefty already has a number of big time basketball offers with football likely not far behind.”
Strelow: “Yeah, Harris’ father asked me the best method for his son to get exposure. I’d say those passes that rifled off receivers’ hands were good first steps. Worth noting that Harris transferred in from Brantley and is now working with Ramsey’s passing tutor.
“I left with a mixed bag of feelings toward the group of higher-ranked offensive linemen, including Shamire DeVine, Joshua Outlaw, Delando Crooks and 2014 Orlando Brown, whose reported size is reaching mythical proportions. Now, one-on-ones put offensive linemen in unrealistic scenarios, so only so much you should cull from them. I’d entered with concerns about how much DeVine might be impacted by his current physical composition, but he dispelled that by bending and moving awfully well – to the point he might not need as much work as I'd imagined. Really like Crooks’ frame and skill set, but from that small sample size, would like to see more bite from both him and Outlaw. Brown exhibited an edge and is indeed huge, but his size can be as much a detriment as strength.”
Defenders continue having trouble staying with Ryan Jenkins out of his breaks.
Power: “Ramsey and Brendan Langley entered the camp as the two most touted prospects on hand and did nothing to question their status. Neither had anything to prove by participating, so their presence and desire to get better is notable in itself. Langley particularly impressed showing fluidity in coverage, the ability to turn and run, and read receivers. The Marietta (Ga.) Kell standout took what in my opinion was the best rep of the day when he made an interception while covering Ryan Jenkins in one-on-ones. Jenkins beat Langley off the line, but Langley showed impressive recovery speed to catch up with Jenkins, didn't bite on a pump fake, and then made a leaping interception near the end zone.
Which prospect or sleeper raised his stock the highest?
Mansell: “I really thought (cornerback) Dashawn Benton of Grady was impressive on Sunday. He had a great day and showed he can be physical and turn and run with the wide receivers on hand there.
“After seeing David Johnson at Georgia Junior Bowl, I thought he was pretty good. He showed another gear on Sunday and how explosive he can be. I see his stock rising for sure after a performance like that. Jenkins may be the quickest prospect in Georgia if Alvin Kamara is not. Jenkins gets in and out of his breaks as good as any receiver I have seen so far this spring anywhere.”
Hamilton: “The prospects that raised their stock the most were Johnson, the lightning quick slot receiver Jenkins, and even the heavily recruited Langley. Jenkins' ability to instantly separate, run corners in circles with darting quick change of direction and play through contact in the few times that corners stayed attached was uber impressive. While Langley is a Top247 prospect, he showed that he has the ability to be a riser in the coming months. His size and speed (ran 4.51 Sunday) is impressive as it stands, but his ability to turn, recover and mirror stood out when going against a guy like Jenkins.
“Also, tight end Arshad Jackson and DeVine fall into this category. Jackson displayed excellent ball skills, timing and an innate understanding of how to use his body and get where he wants on the field. While there are more flexible and more fluid tight ends in the region and around the country, his size, ball skills and ability to adjust to the ball in the air are better than a number of other talented prospects seen this spring.
“DeVine certainly impressed in one-on-ones. In a setting in which smaller, quicker defensive ends and lineman normally dominate, the 6-6, 340-pounder did a very good job of playing with ideal extension, and not jumping/lunging. His base was solid and consistent, and when he got his hands on the smaller and quicker ends, the rep was over quickly.”
Strelow: “Couple of fringe or unheralded prospects caught my eye. Offensive lineman Cameron Fraser (Central, Phenix City, Ala.) is a bit of a tackle-guard ‘tweener and lacks offers. But he is thick, has long arms, fights and appears to have improved his strength.
Grady corner Dashawn Benton had observers looking up his name on the roster.
“Arlington Christian cornerback Demetrius Monday might have been the best corner not named Langley. Monday – who has only an Akron offer -- won’t wow with tools, but he’s sound fundamentally and thick enough to handle the bulky receivers. Speaking of which, Mays receiver Deangelo Yancey was a terror for most cornerbacks. He didn’t catch the ball as naturally as you desire, but he should be getting more than just mail from Duke and N.C. State.”
Power: Jenkins has been a prospect on the rise this spring with a few standout performances already under his belt. He put on a route-running clinic throughout the day. His outstanding acceleration, change of direction, and well above-average ball skills give him the skill set of a prototypical slot receiver. Look for his stock to continue its steady rise throughout the summer and his senior season where he'll be teaming up with four-star quarterback Eddie Printz in Lassiter's high powered spread attack.
DeVine was one of the more talked about lineman on hand and more than lived up to the hype on Sunday. It took him a while to get warmed up in position drills, but was unbeatable in one-on-one's once he got going. DeVine showed good lateral agility, functional strength, and competitiveness to go with his massive 6'6, 340-pound frame. He had the two most impressive reps that I saw of any offensive lineman throughout the day with one being a pancake in which he nearly threw a DL into a crowd of onlookers. The other standout rep came against Louisville commit Jacarthy Mack, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound outside linebacker. Mack is just the type of player that gives big linemen trouble off the edge, but DeVine stonewalled him at the line of scrimmage.
Which 2014 or younger prospect impressed the most?
Mansell: “Tough question, but to be a 2015 prospect, I think (quarterback) Tyler Queen of North Cobb has a chance to be special. He threw the ball with good touch and has really good arm strength. He started varsity as a ninth grader in Georgia class 5A, so he is going to get looks.”
Hamilton: “A pair of young prospects really stand out in terms of expecting big seasons in 2012 and beyond. Freshman running back and slot receiver Traveon Samuel (Phenix City, Ala./Central) was the quickest player at the event. Every step was full of burst and acceleration. He couldn't be covered by a linebacker at running back, and made a pair of leaping grabs on passes thrown high. There is little doubt he will be one of the more exciting players in Alabama in the coming years.
Class of 2014 cornerback Wesley Green has the body type and baseline skill set college coaches covet. He showed the willingness and physicality to play press against any receiver, and his reactions were quick. He has quality arm length and showed good hands in drill work.”
Strelow: “Branching out beyond the obvious, two guys to remember. Running back Richardre Bagley has played in Alabama signee Kenyan Drake’s shadow at Hillgrove, but the 5-8, 175-pound 2014 prospect showed off superlative acceleration, change of direction and pass-catching prowess in individual drills.
Calvary Day tight end Milan Richard (shown against Brendan Langley) is Herschel Walker's nephew. There, we have your attention.
Milan Richard flew under the radar at tight end and probably hasn’t had a ton of eyeballs on him, playing at Calvary Day in Savannah. But the 6-2, 226-pounder is athletic, has the frame to keep growing – oh, and he’s Herschel Walker’s nephew. Plus both his parents were All-American track athletes at Georgia in the early 1980s. So the bloodlines are there.”
Power: “The group of 2014 quarterbacks was exceptional. Harris had the strongest arm of anyone in attendance. He is more of a thrower than a passer at this point, but his ability to drive the ball down the field and fit it into small windows created a few ‘Did you just see that?’ moments on Sunday.
“Staley was certainly one of the more intriguing underclassmen on hand. We didn't get to see Staley take as many reps as Ramsey or Harris, but we saw enough to tell that he should be a coveted prospect in due time. Wheeler is known as a basketball powerhouse in the state of Georgia, so it's no surprise Staley is also a standout on the hardwood.”