LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The first day of practice of the 2013 Under Armour All-America game is in the books. While the high number of injuries highlighted the workout, there were a number of standout performances with the defensive line and wide receiver positions shining brightest.
Mississippi State commitment Chris Jones continued to show he is one of the top prospects in the 2013 class.
1. Robert Nkemdiche, SDE, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson
The Nation’s No. 1 prospect certainly lived up to the billing on Monday. Whether he lined up wide or on the inside, the 6-foot-4, 285-pounder put together as a dominant of a performance in one-on-one’s as possible. It was the first step, the second step, the short space quickness and the power all combined that led to a dominant day. While LSU, Alabama and Clemson remain under consideration, expect Ole Miss to be the pick whenever he announces his decision.
2. Chris Jones, Houston (Ms.)
The Mississippi State commitment continued his string of big time performances coming on the heels of an MVP performance at the Alabama-Mississippi game. Even in this setting, the 6-foot-5, 255-pounders first step quickness stood out along with his ability to quickly turn the corner without ideal use of the hands. As he has shown all season, his motor also provides separation from his peers. Jones confirmed on Monday that Alabama did offer, and a number of others are also expected to follow suit in January – including Florida.
3. Carl Lawson, WDE, Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton
The soft commitment to Auburn has as quick of a first step as any defensive end in recent memory, and it showed today even in this setting. Not only did the 6-foot-2, 245-pounder get off the line in a blur and turn the corner in one-on-one’s, but he also showed the ability to power through a five-star offensive tackle in Dorian Johnson. While Lawson doesn’t have the ideal height or body type, his combination of first step quickness and understanding of leverage makes him an elite end prospect. Lawson is considering Ole Miss, Tennessee and North Carolina along with Auburn.
4. Alex Anzalone, LB, Wyomissing (Pa.)
The Notre Dame commitment is rarely out of position, and it showed today at outside linebacker. The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder was in the right place to the tune of two interceptions in the seven-on-seven portion of the practice. Anzalone was both fluid and confident dropping into coverage showing natural reactions to things moving through his sight line and breaking on the ball in the air.
5. Robert Foster, WR, Monaca (Pa.) Central Valley
The Alabama commitment was very quick and fluid off the line of scrimmage, easily beating all comers at corner. The 6-foot-2.5, 185-pound receiver made a number of impressive receptions on the day, including a high flying, arms extended grab on a comeback route. The area Foster will have to clean up as game day draws near is the playbook. He ran several wrong routes, and heard about it from the Team Highlight coaches.
6. Laquon Treadwell, Crete (Il.) Crete-Monee
Treadwell is as impressive as any receiver from a physical standpoint and a play finishing ability in traffic. While Treadwell did struggle early on getting off of press coverage, he adjusted quickly and began getting into routes quicker and using his physicality to dominate when the ball was in the air. Treadwell, who has a top three of Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, made a number of arms extended receptions in traffic and maximized the play after the catch.
7. Dorian Johnson, OT, Belle Vernon (Pa.)
The five-star prospect and Pittsburgh commit flashed his ultra quick first step and powerful initial punch throughout the practice. While Johnson has development ahead of his physically, both strength and weight gain, the 6-foot-5, 275-pounder baseline skill set is among the best in the 2013 class regardless of position.
8. Brice Ramsey, QB, Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County
The Georgia commitment whipped the ball around the field very well on Monday. Not only did the 6-foot-3, 196-pounder show his under valued feet throughout the practice, he also was very accurate in the seven-on-seven portion of practice, especially in the intermediate game. Ramsey threw a number of passes into closing windows with accuracy and velocity, as well as competing two or three deep balls with perfect trajectory in one-on-one’s.
Georgia commitment Brice Ramsey had the best day of the quarterbacks.
9. Holland Fisher, S/OLB, Midlothian (Va.) Manchester
As is seemingly always the case, the 6-foot-1, 203-pound versatile defender shined in coverage making a number of breaks on the ball. Fisher, who is playing outside linebacker this week, continues to prove he is one of the most instinctive prospects in the 2013 class. Look for the Virginia Tech commitment to also shine on special teams Friday.
10. Priest Willis, S/CB, Tempe (Az.) Marcos De Niza
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Willis jumped out early in practice making an impressive finger tip interception, as well as two other pass break ups while at safety. While Willis’ future position is in question, his ability to play the ball and finish plays with ball skills is not. Willis will likely play safety and nickel in the game.
- South Carolina commitment Kelsey Griffin (Hoschton, Ga./Mill Creek) could have easily been on the top performers list. The 6-foot-1, 290-pounder was more than his share of battles in one-on-one’s, and also made an impact in the team portion of the practice with a combination of first step quickness, power with arms extended and leverage.
- Team Nitro (white uniforms) tight ends Hunter Henry (Little Rock, Ar./Pulaski Academy) and Marcus Baugh (Riverside, Calif./John. W. North) made a number of nice grabs on the day. Henry, an Arkansas commitment, did a very good job of running through the ball and making arms extended catches down the field. Baugh, an Ohio State commitment, made a pair of nice receptions in traffic playing through contact.
- A trio of defensive backs drew praise from the Team Highlight (black uniform) coaching staff. LSU commitment Jeryl Brazil (Loranger, La.) showed his blazing speed and strength in press coverage and in recovery situations. He closed on the ball very well. Florida commitment Vernon Hargreaves (Tamp, Fla./Wharton) and the versatile Vonn Bell (Ridgeland, Ga./Rossville) also drew praise. Bell will play safety and nickel in the game.
- Texas A&M commitment Noel Ellis (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr) had a productive day with a number of pass break ups. While there are bigger, quicker and faster athletes playing the corner position, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Ellis has the ideal instincts and feel for playing the position. He reacts well, and does a good job of finding and playing the ball in the air.
- Denver Kirkland (Miami, Fla./Booker T. Washington) played right guard today, and had a very good day. In one-on-one’s he more than held his own, winning a trio of reps with active hands and feet, and the ability to react and mirror. Kirkland is expected to pick from Miami, Florida State and South Florida.
South Carolina commitment Kelsey Griffin was dominant at times on Monday.
- Florida commitment Alvin Bailey (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) was one of the top route runners on Monday. The slot receiver prospect was crisp in and out of breaks, creating ideal separation.
- The versatile Max Redfield (Mission Viejo, Calif.) lined up at safety on Monday, and made a number of plays in coverage. His interception of a Shane Morris underthrown deep ball was probably his top play, as he recovered on the play, and got his head around to make the leaping snag.
- Team Highlight offensive tackles Hunter Bivin (Owensboro, Ky./Apollo) and Ethan Pocic (Lemont, Il.) both impressed with knee bend, body quickness and the ability to pass set against ends more athletic than they have faced on Friday nights at the high school level. Pocic, in particular, impressed staying balanced and active with his feet throughout practice.
- Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, La./University Lab) flashed the same elite athletic ability he did in June at LSU camp. The 6-foot-3, 227-pounder with 4.58 speed and a 38-inch vertical was one of the top edge rushers on Monday. Williams lists Miami, Florida State, Alabama and LSU as his final four with all official visits slated for January starting with the Crimson Tide Jan. 11.
Keith Niebuhr, Luke Stampin and Chris Nee contributed to this report.
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