COLUMBUS, Ohio – There was plenty of buzz surrounding the talented defensive linemen and defensive backs that were flying around the field at Ohio State over the weekend but if you looked you could find some offense talent as well and some very elite talent at that.
Dwayne Stanford led a strong receiving corps.
The wide receiver position may have contained the most depth among the offensive groups and one of the headliners among that group was four-star Dwayne Stanford. The Top247 prospect and teammate of fellow four-star Adolphus Washington certainly has size and has good vertical ability. He’s a stretch-the-field type threat with good speed who showed good change of direction and feet in position drills.
Stanford’s recruitment remains wide open listing national programs such as Michigan, Alabama, LSU, Miami, Florida and Florida State as schools of interest along with the home program of Ohio State.
Another four-star in attendance was Monty Madaris out of Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller. Madaris, though not quite as big as Stanford, is a more polished receiver that also possesses a goood combination of size and athleticism. Madaris catches the ball naturally away from his body, gets in and out of his routes with ease and looks the part of one of the top receivers in Ohio.
Though he isn’t as highly touted as Madaris or Stanford, Pickerington (Ohio) Central wide receiver Roger Lewis certainly made his presence felt on Saturday. Lewis has size at 6-1+, he has good quick twitch burst and after he catches the football he can do some good things with it and make defenders miss. Currently, Lewis’s offer list consists of mid-major programs but he is the type of receiver that could be a real impact player in the right situation at a BCS school.
Out of the Bluegrass State, Mekale McKay may be a prospect to keep an eye on. McKay has offers from Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville and UCF but seeing him alongside Dwayne Stanford, it seems clear that he is deserving of a much more extensive list. Mckay stands at around 6-4, he can get upfield and change directions with ease and he has very natural ball skills with the ability to snatch the football away from his body with ease.
One of the better tight ends in attendance was Josiah Price from the small town of Greentown (Ind.) Eastern. He has eight offers and will look to land a few BCS additions this summer. He's an athletic versatile prospect that could also play defensive end on the next level. As a tight end, Price is a physical kid that catches the ball extremely well.
Other receivers of note: Maurice Fleming, Chicago (Ill.) Curie Metropolitan; Kyle Echols, O’Fallon (Mo.) Fort Zumwalt; Tre Parmalee, Overland Park (Kan.) Bishop Miege; Jeremy Graves, Cleveland (Ohio) Garfield Heights; Kevin Davis, Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central
Cincinnati commit Deionte Buckley had a strong showing.
As one of several Cincinnati commits that had strong performances on the campus of Ohio State Deionte Buckley came to play over the weekend. Buckley is a thick and compact 5-9, 200-pounder that was among the best running backs in every drill. Whether it was blocking, open field work or catching passes in one-on-ones, Buckley continuously separated himself. He’s truly a complete back that is both physical and athletic on the perimeter.
Similarly, Jordan Hughes out of Indianapolis (Ind.) Arsenal Tech also had a strong complete showing. Hughes has good size and athleticism and began to separate himself in the pass protection drills. He displayed great feet, balance and leverage battling against bigger defenders and he also proved to be tough to corral in the pursuit drill. Hughes claimed a number of mid-level BCS offers following the event and could see his recruitment continue to climb.
Other running backs of note: Ray Harris, O’Fallon (Mo.) Fort Zumwalt West; William Mahone, Youngstown (Ohio) Fitch
The unenviable task of trying to slow down the defensive line group in attendance was assigned to a group of offensive linemen that didn’t contain very many high profile prospects. The MVP of the group went to Kye Knapp out of Portage (Mich.) Central who possesses offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Toledo and more. Knapp is likely a guard on the next level and though he’s not a massive kid he does move well and was able to lock horns and stymie several elite defenders.
One positive amongst the offensive linemen was the presence of some underclassmen that look well on their way to major college interest. The most polished and advanced of the underclassmen was Ethan Pocic, a 6-7, 280-pounder out of Lemont, Ill. who already holds offers from Illinois, Purdue and West Virginia. Pocic used his long arms and athleticism to protect the edge effectively, showing the ability to get off the line quickly and into his pass set against speed rushers.
Also out of the 2013 class, a pair of Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech offensive tackles look as though they will present a formidable pair of bookends for the next two seasons. David Dawson and Dennis Finley are both massive at 6-5/305 and 6-6/285 respectively. Coming into the event, Dawson had the bigger profile and though Dawson certainly backed up that reputation, Finley also demonstrated a raw toolset that could develop into something special. Cass Tech certainly will once again be a destination visit for college coaches recruiting Michigan over the next two years.
Other linemen of note: Deyshawn Bond, Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central, James Hawkins, Indianapolis (Ind.) Arsenal Tech, DeAndre Herron, Avon (Ind.) High
While most of the quarterback evaluations were done at Friday’s Elite 11 regional, Shane Morris put together strong back-to-back performances that deserve a mention. Following a good day at the Elite 11, the Michigan commit took home the quarterback MVP award at the camp as a 2013 prospect. The left-hander has everything you want in a quarterback: arm strength, clean delivery, athleticism and charisma. Look for him to be among the top quarterbacks in the country in his 2013 class.
While Zeke Pike struggled on Friday during the loaded Elite 11 Regional, credit the five-star for coming back on Saturday anxious to compete again and stepping up his play. Pike had a much better day on Saturday, showing more consistency and better spin. As always, you have to tip your hat to a committed, highly-rated prospect that is anxious to continue to compete and measure himself against others.