DALLAS, Texas – At the NLA 7on7 National Championship on the campus of SMU, two long hot days of competition gave players ample opportunity to display their abilities against some of the top players in the country. There were two five-stars on the campus and a host of other elite recruits but 11 players really separated themselves.
Whether on offense or defense, Dennis Norfleet had a motor that was amazing.
1. Dennis Norfleet, APB, Detroit (Mich.) King
This really wasn’t even a difficult call. Norfleet put his team on his shoulders throughout the tournament and continued to amaze us with a tank of energy that always seemed full. Norfleet was demanding the football on offense, was nearly uncoverable in man-to-man and then wouldn’t miss a beat as a lock-down cornerback on defense. There isn’t a team in America that couldn’t use Norfleet’s ability and attitude.
Recruiting: Michigan State leads but Tennessee could be a factor following his visit to Knoxville.
2. Troy Williams, PRO, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne (2013)
The only thing missing from Williams’ game is the prototypical size. From a quarterbacking perspective, he looks like he just has “it”. The kid is remarkably poised and confident, has a great arm and really throws a pretty football. Look for Williams to be among the top quarterbacks in the nation in 2013.
Recruiting: Things are just getting started for Williams who has offers from Nevada, SMU, Bowling Green, Washington State and Washington.
3. Bryce Treggs, WR, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
For the second consecutive day, Treggs made some really spectacular plays look easy at wide receiver. He’s not a big kid but he’s big enough and he showed Velcro hands, crisp route-running and the ability to make a lot of big plays vertically.
Recruiting: Cal is the leader and it should be just a matter of time before Treggs commits to Jeff Tedford.
4. Darion Monroe, CB, Reserve (La.) East St. John
Though he plays quarterback for his East St. John High School program, Monroe showed some fantastic instincts in the secondary. He has the ability to get tunnel vision and just lock down a single receiver in man coverage if that is his assignment but Monroe also impressed with his ability to diagnose plays and drift off his man to affect throwing lanes.
Recruiting: Monroe remains a firm pledge to Texas A&M.
Darion Monroe was one of the top defensive backs on both days.
5. Tee Shepard, CB, Fresno (Calif.) Central East
Sometimes lack of activity is a good thing when referring to a cornerback. Tee Shepard was rarely tested this weekend but that was because the big corner rarely gave an inch to opposing receivers. Shepard’s physicality at the line of scrimmage was terrific and he has positioned himself for a major rankings boost.
Recruiting: Shepard is a solid commitment to Notre Dame.
6. Jeremy Liggins, ATH, Oxford (Miss.) Lafayette
Liggins played quarterback at 6-3/270 over the weekend. That isn’t a typo. He’s massive and he’s rushed for over 3,000 yards in the past two seasons. We think he could be a future NFL 3-4 DE or 3-technique. Amazingly he could probably even be a linebacker in the right system. He has one of the most impressive wing spans we’ve seen. Liggins’ stock is on a serious up-tick.
Recruiting: Liggins’ top four is Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and LSU. He has been to Alabama the most but Ole Miss is the hometown program and will be tough to get away from.
7. Roger Lewis, WR, Pickerington (Ohio) Central
Lewis did it all this week. He was crisp and explosive as a receiver on offense and was one of the top underneath defenders as a linebacker on defense. We really like Lewis’ ability and think he will continue to see his stock rise among college coaches.
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.
8. Michael Henry, WR, Flint (Mich.) Northwestern
One of the top wide receivers at the event, Henry really emerged on Sunday. He’s got a real springy athleticism, made some circus catches and he was consistently creating separation and easy targets for his quarterbacks. Henry saw his stock rise on Sunday.
Recruiting: Henry committed to Western Michigan on Friday and that is a steal for Broncos. If Michigan State were to offer, that would likely shake things up, particularly with his high school coach being former Michigan State great Andre Rison.
9. Gairus Coleman, WR, Farmington (Mich.) Harrison
Coleman reminds us a lot of 2012 Top247 athlete Bralon Addison. He’s small, and really has the look of a running back or all-purpose back but he is always open and catches everything. Coleman is just a natural fluid athlete that is a nightmare to cover.
Recruiting: Michigan State is Coleman’s dream school. His uncle Mill Coleman starred for the Spartans before playing in the NFL for the Chicago Bears. Bowling Green and Cincinnati have been showing him the most interest to date.
10. Devian Shelton, CB, Inglewood (Calif.) Inglewood
There was not a better looking cornerback physically in Dallas than Shelton. He has great length at a shade under 6-2 and he is extremely explosive and sudden as an athlete. With only one year of cornerback under his belt, we think this is a kid with phenomenal upside.
Recruiting: Shelton only holds offers from Idaho, San Diego State, New Mexico and Washington State. His dream school is Tennessee and he has also been receiving serious interest from Washington, Oregon State, Colorado and others.
11. Kenny Lawler, WR, Upland (Calif.) High School
Lawler had a good day on Saturday but took things to a new level on Sunday. The big receiver showed some of the strongest hands at the event and at times, he was the go-to receiver for the talented B2G squad. He doesn’t wow you athletically, but as a possession receiver he is very effective.
Recruiting: Lawler is a soft commit to Arizona State. He hopes to take all five official visits during the fall but this spring visits to Nebraska and Oregon State have really stood out to him. He has also visited Oregon and SMU.
Gerry Hamilton and Steve Wiltfong contributed to this report.