NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Exposure Camp presented by In Full Motion and Next Level Training took place on Sunday afternoon at the Tennessee State University indoor facility. It featured a number of the top prospects from around the state of Tennessee as well as some elite talent from the likes of Virginia and Georgia.
Michael Sawyers recently added Tennessee to his offer list.
While one prospect in particular stole the show, a number of prospects left their mark on the event. 247Sports was on hand to bring you the best of the day.
Top overall performer
Michael Sawyers, DT, Nashville (Tenn.) Ensworth – Physically, there wasn’t a more dominating presence at Sunday’s camp than Sawyers. The thick defensive tackle beats offensive linemen in a number of ways but it usually starts with a powerful punch and quick hands. Sawyers is stocky and low to the ground, uses his leverage well but he generates tremendous power with his hands and gets offensive linemen off balance in a hurry.
On Sunday, there was a deep group at defensive line and a limited number of quality offensive linemen present. Consequently, Sawyers stepped over to offensive line and was equally dominant in that role to what he was doing on defense. His power is just as effective on offense and his finishing mentality is an ideal mindset for the trenches.
Recruiting: Sawyers remains open in his recruitment with Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech and Miami among his favorites to date. Currently he has no decision timetable.
Top offensive performer
Jack Jones, OT, Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Oakland – Jones was part of a thin group at offensive line so he was the recipient of a healthy dose of reps and he made the most of his opportunity. Jones is very athletic and despite playing in a run-heavy offense, he has already developed a very obvious comfort level in his pass set. Jones moves like an athlete and can handle speed off the edge very effectively.
At 6-foot-4.5 and 265 pounds, Jones has yet to play his junior season and still has time to develop physically. As he adds more mass to his frame and maintains that athleticism, the 2015 standout has a chance to emerge as one of the state’s top linemen for his class.
Recruiting: Jones currently holds one offer from Middle Tennessee State. He is also very high on both in-state programs of Vanderbilt and Tennessee and has visited both on multiple occasions.
Top defensive underclassman:
Kyle Phillips, DE, Nashville (Tenn.) Hillsboro – Phillips was on familiar ground on Sunday competing at Tennessee State University as his mother Teresa Phillips happens to be the athletic director. After Sunday, and after his 12-sack sophomore season, we expect Phillips will be known around the athletic community on his own name before long.
Phillips ran a low 4.6 40-yard dash on hand clocks at 245 pounds. Once the competition kicked in during one-on-ones, Phillips quickly put on a show with his edge quickness, tenacity and motor. Some of the best battles of the day were between Phillips and Jones in pass rush 1on1s.
Recruiting: Phillips is still waiting on his first offer but Vanderbilt, Duke and Clemson all look to have significant early interest.
Top offensive underclassman
A.J. Morris, WR, Nashville (Tenn.) Pearl-Cohn – Morris is a thick, muscular wide receiver to be only a freshman but his route-running skills were on par with anyone at Sunday’s event and when the ball got there he showed outstanding ball skills, even reeling in a one-handed catch over the middle at one point in the day.
Only a 2016 prospect, Morris didn’t get significant opportunities to catch the ball as a freshman but he displayed the skill-set on Sunday to quickly emerge as a national recruit when he gets in front of college coaches. Despite a stocky frame that looks almost like it’s on a linebacker’s trajectory, Morris is fluid and quick in and out of his routes and has a chance to develop into a physically domineering target.
Recruiting: The process is just beginning for Morris who wants to play in a big-time, prestigious program.
- Though most programs are recruiting Rashaan Gaulden at defensive back, the three-star out of Independence High School worked out at wide receiver on Sunday and had a good day there. Gaulden wanted to get extra work in at receiver for his high school preparation but he is getting recruited by Purdue and some Big Ten programs for offense. Currently Tennessee, Vanderbilt and South Carolina remain his favorites with Florida State as a program looming that has yet to offer that may shake things up.
- 2015 standout Jauan Jennings out of Blackman High School already holds offers from Vanderbilt and Duke and many programs see the 6-4, 185-pounder as a safety on the next level but Jennings worked out at quarterback and was one of the most effective arms in attendance.
- While Sawyers had a dominating day at defensive line and offensive line, his 2015 Ensworth teammate Myles Douglas also put together a strong effort and will be a name to watch in Ensworth’s talented 2015 class. Currently Douglas is hearing the most from Vanderbilt and South Carolina and is extremely high on the Commodores.
- Keep an eye out for 2016 lineman Jean Phill. The 6-1, 285-pounder was predictably raw as a freshman but he had some solid tools to work with and certainly showed the desire to compete.
- Wide receiver Dontavious Fort is slightly undersized at 5-10, 170 pounds but aside from Morris, he was probably the most effective pass-catcher at the event. He was able to create separation regularly and went up and made some spectacular catches. Currently his interest consists of local programs such as Tennessee State, Murray State and Western Kentucky.