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NLA Midwest top performers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The Watson and Tressel Indoor Facility at Youngstown State University was the home of the New Level Athletics 7-on-7 Midwest Regional Tournament on Saturday.

K.J. Williams was dominant o offense.

With hundreds of prospects in attendance, 247Sports takes a look at the top fifteen performers from this past weekend’s event.

1) K.J. Williams – Bethlehem (Pa.) Liberty
Williams was easily the top player on the day and to be honest, it wasn’t even close. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound receiver was borderline unstoppable on Saturday and he showed why schools are coming after him so hard as of late. Williams has done a great job of molding his body into terrific shape and he has gotten much more physical than he was at the end of his junior season. He made plenty of acrobatic catches on the day and showed off outstanding leaping ability, especially in the red zone. He caught the ball well throughout the tournament and displayed impressive route running.

2) Quin Blanding – Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside
Blanding came into the tournament as the top safety in the country and he showed that all day long. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound prospect was the best player on the field during each one of his games on Saturday. What stands out most about his game is his ability to read a play. He is rarely out of position and if a catch is made, he is there to make the stop at the point of the reception. However, he rarely gave up any catches. He broke up multiple passes and had half-a-dozen interceptions on the day. His speed, versatility and leaping ability were also all on display throughout the competition.

3) Michael Weber – Detroit (Mich.) Cass Technical (Class of 2015)
It’s not always easy for running backs to standout at a 7-on-7 competition, but that’s exactly what Weber did at this event. Everyone knows that the 5-foot-10, 210-pound running back can get it done on Friday night under the lights, but on Saturday, Weber displayed clean route running, the ability to catch the football with ease and his agility made defenders look foolish at times.

4) Montae Nicholson – Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway
Smooth and effortless would be two ways to describe the play of Nicholson on Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound prospect played on both sides of the ball for “Team 412” and was both, one of the top receivers, as well as safety performers on the day. Nicholson was the only prospect to beat K.J. Williams on a deep ball, as he flew across the field and leaped over Williams for the interception. At receiver, he showed an ability to get off the jam with easy and his route running was one of the most impressive on the day.

5) John Reid – Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joseph’s Prep (Class of 2015)
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound sophomore locked down the opposition more than any other cornerback in attendance. He looked very smooth in coverage and his technique was very impressive. His footwork looked quite polished and it was very difficult for any receivers to get any separation due to his speed and physicality. At one point, Reid left his man and broke on the pass in the center of the field and made a diving pass break up, which created a lot of buzz among those watching the game.

6) Tyler Wiegers – Franklin (Mich.) Detroit Country Day School
Wiegers threw the ball well all day long and was arguably the top quarterback on the day. Although listed at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, he looked much more physically developed and closer to 205-pounds. He displayed very impressive mechanics and had a ton of zip on his passes. The most impressive part of his game was probably his touch on the football. He throws it with a great deal of velocity, but his touch on the passes over the middle of the field and his timing throws were on point on Saturday.

7) Damon Webb – Detroit (Mich.) Cass Technical
Webb had to leave the competition early due to a tooth injury, but while he was on the field, he looked the part as one of the nation’s top cornerbacks. He has long arms and when he locks in on receivers at the line of scrimmage, you can forget about throwing on that side of the field. He was very physical with the receivers on Saturday and at one point, the Ohio State commit ran a receiver into the ground on the sidelines, displaying is impressive strength.

Quin Blanding showed why he is the nation's top safety prospect.

8) Jamil Kamara – Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan Catholic
Kamara was a touchdown machine on Saturday and although “Team 757” didn’t win the competition, he was a major reason for their success. He was open all day long and did a good job of mixing in short and deep routes, while showing above-average route running. One of his early touchdowns came when an opponent tried to jam him at the line of scrimmage. Kamara threw him to the ground and caught a wide-open 10-yard pass for the touchdown.

9) Delvon Randall – Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway
Randall is the lesser-known athlete from the ‘big four’ on the Gateway roster, featuring Montae Nicholson, Anthony Davis and Ricky Rogers, but he was the second most impressive prospect on Saturday. Randall played well on offense, but it was his effort at cornerback that really turned some heads. He didn’t have the interceptions that Nicholson had, but he consistently locked down one side of the field for “Team 412”. He has very impressive speed and his ability to break on a pass was one of the best in the competition.

10) Ryan Brand – Detroit (Mich.) University of Detroit Jesuit (Class of 2015)
Brand was the most polished quarterback at the event on Saturday. He displayed terrific mechanics, got the ball out quickly and threw the ball with accuracy. He is an ideal fit for a short, quick passing game and 7-on-7’s are a great opportunity for a quarterback with his attributes. He is only 5-foot-10 and 182-pounds and although he hasn’t heard from any schools at this time, his play shows that he is one to keep an eye on over the next two years.

11) Jonathan Sutherland –Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) Lester B. Pearson (Class of 2017)
The 8th grade wide receiver put on a show on Saturday. Sutherland ran extremely smooth routes and was very tough to contain out of the slot. With plenty of time until his recruitment heats up, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound receiver looks to be a heavily recruited prospect in a few years.

12) Drue Tranquill – Fort Wayne (Ind.) Carroll
Tranquill showed excellent play in the secondary on Saturday. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound prospect can flat out fly around the football field and he can really move for a man of his size. He got his hands on a ton of passes, intercepting some, and he displayed great range at the safety spot.

13) Ron Brown – Pittsburgh (Pa.) Renaissance Christian Academy
Brown, the transfer from Imani Christian Academy, was a nightmare for linebackers on Saturday. The 5-foot-7, 185-pound prospect displayed above-average speed and excellent footwork.

14) Chris Godwin – Middletown (Del.)
Godwin is very physically gifted and he used his size and speed to his advantage on Saturday. At 6-foot-1 and 195-pounds, with an outstanding ability to high-point the football, Godwin makes it very difficult for defenders. One of his more impressive plays was when he leaped over two defenders for the touchdown catch during the evening session.

15) Deandre Scott – Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute Charter
Scott did more talking than anyone on Saturday, but he backed it up with his play on both sides of the football. Scott played a great deal of cornerback this weekend and was one of the most physical athletes throughout the tournament. His ability to play press coverage is very impressive and it’s evident that he can get in the heads of his opponents.

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