COLUMBUS, Ohio – The maize and blue of Michigan and the scarlet and gray of Ohio State were flying around the field in Columbus at the Ohio Nike Camp as commitments of both programs were teeming all over the field alongside the commitments of several other Big Ten programs and beyond.
David Dawson had a mean streak to go with his athleticism.
That set the stage for a competitive environment in the Midwest, raising the level of play in what was already a talented roster. We take a look at our top performers of the day.
1. David Dawson, OL, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech – There were Michigan commits out in droves on Saturday, all wearing their Wolverine gear and waving the flag in Ohio State country but none represented quite as well as David Dawson.
A player with good length, Dawson showed good athleticism as an edge protector in one-on-ones but really separated himself with his finisher’s mentality. Dawson really fought to win his reps in one-on-ones and many of those reps he won with authority.
2. Malik McDowell, DE, Detroit (Mich.) Loyoa (Class of 2014) – Only a sophomore, McDowell is still unshaped clay with lots of development still in his future but already he is a major handful for offensive players. He has long arms and a lengthy frame and he has really good burst off the snap.
Though he is still learning the technical side of rushing the passer, McDowell has a natural instinct to press the edge with a good leverage and can react to naturally to offensive line counters. This is going to be a fun one to watch develop.
3. Lovell Peterson, OC, Dayton (Ohio) Maine – A much more well-put-together body than we expected, Peterson was among the most athletic offensive linemen in attendance on Saturday. Similar to Dawson, Peterson has a real nasty streak and enjoys the physical side of the one-on-one battles. Peterson has great feet, good strong hands and has the flexibility and size to win the leverage battles.
4. Ross Douglass, CB, Avon (Ohio) High School – The defensive back group in Columbus was very strong and had a lot of depth to it. On this day, Penn State commit Ross Douglas was our pick for the top player of the talented group. He doesn’t have the height and length that is ideal in a corner prospect but he was the most fluid and natural defender in coverage at the event.
Douglas has great feet, flips his hips with ease and he also has some make-up speed to recover in tight spaces. The only thing he seems to be missing is that prototype height.
There is nothing sloppy about Lovell Peterson's build.
5. C’sonte York, WR, Harper Woods (Mich.) Chandler Park Academy – With only offers from Toledo and Bowling Green York continues to quietly go about his business, demanding more offers with his play. For much of Saturday, the wide receiver group seemed to be screaming for someone to step up and emerge as a challenge to the defensive backs and during one-on-ones, York did exactly that.
The 6-2 prospect took countless reps, winning most of them and showing great ball skills, route-running and mismatch size. York has impressed us in several different settings and he deserves a lot more college interest than he is receiving.
6. Jarrod Clements, SDE, Dayton (Ohio) Trotwood-Madison – An Illinois commitment, Clements is a heck of a pickup for the Illini. He’s a stocky defensive end body that was an immediate standout on Saturday in position drills showing great feet and quickness. He continued his standout performance by moving really well through the bags showing power, body control and rhythm. In one-on-ones he put it all together and was clearly one of the top performers before a knee injury set him out for the remainder of the day.
7. Jon Reschke, ILB, Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice – Surrounded by Michigan and Ohio State commitments, Reschke was rocking the Michigan State green and represented his committed program well. He’s a strong well-built linebacker that moves naturally in coverage and great closing speed to the football. On pass rush drills he was tough to handle, in pass coverage drills he had a much better presence and feel for the position than almost any other linebacker. We really like this pickup for Michigan State.
8. Luke Del Rio, QB, Littleton (Colo.) Valor Christian – On Friday, Luke Del Rio made a splash with a strong performance at the Elite 11 regional. On Saturday, he showed that his performance was no fluke and won the quarterback MVP award. Del Rio really looked comfortable all afternoon, showing a big arm, sharp accuracy and some leadership skills to boot. Del Rio was one of the few quarterbacks that could make hit the comeback route from the far hash with ease and proved that there really aren’t any throws he can’t make.
With only one offer in from Colorado State, Del Rio looked fully capable of playing at the highest level of college football and could see a lot more interest come his way over the course of the summer.
9. Damon Webb, WR, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech (2014) – While some receivers were fighting the football, struggling to get in and out of their routes with ease and generally making the position look tougher than it should look, Webb was the complete opposite. He is a smooth glider as a route-runner and he has natural ball skills. There was a marked difference between Webb and most of the other receivers in attendance that was easy to see within a few steps of every route. Though he’s still waiting on his first offer, Webb will likely be a national recruit.
10. Chauncey Scissum, CB, Henrietta (N.Y.) Rush-Henrietta – If there is ‘super sleeper’ recognition to be handed out in Columbus, Scissum is probably the recipient. Though he has a few offers, they consist of FCS and low major programs (Old Dominion, Towson, Buffalo). That is to be expected for a player hailing from the football coldbed of Rochester, N.Y. But Scissum is ready for big-time college football.
At 6-2, 190 pounds, Scissum was one of the most physically impressive defensive backs. In drills he also showed great feet, hips and change of direction and terrific ball skills. Though he needs some polish in coverage, Scissum has loads of upside at the cornerback position.