Jaquay Williams, a 2012 wideout from Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek High, proved to be the best receiver in a deep pool of candidates, including Miami commit Jontavious Carter and high-level prospects Jason Croom and Artimas Samuel.
“There was a lot of competition,” the 6-foot-4, 191-pound Williams said. “We had a lot of good receivers out there.”
Not only did he nab hardware for being the best pass-catcher on the day, Williams’ performance led to the distinction as Top Overall Performer.
“I thought it was great,” Williams said of the honor, especially pleased since over 350 players competed for the title.
“Williams has everything you look for in a wide receiver,” said Scout’s Southeast recruiting manager Chad Simmons. “He has the body; he has the speed; he has the body control; he has the athleticism, and he has the big play ability.”
Williams posted two times in the 40-yard dash in the low 4.5s, and won essentially every battle amid one-on-one drills.
“I just went out there and competed and had fun,” Williams said.
Williams holds offers from many schools and says he hears most from Auburn, Florida, Louisville, Ohio State, Michigan and West Virginia.
Williams said he was especially excited about gaining Top Player status because of the caliber of competition the MVP Camp Atlanta provided.
Many other competing players spoke in exciting tones about the level of play the camp offered.
“I think from last year to this year there was definitely a whole lot more talent at this camp,” said College Park (Ga.) defensive end Jordan Watkins. “And not just from this camp compared to the MVP camp from last year, but a lot of other camps and combines I’ve been to. It shows how much talent there is in the Southeast because kids came from many different states. There were a lot of players that people already know to be great, and others that people didn’t really know about were able to go against the great players and make a name, which provided for great competition out there.”
Indeed, over 350 players were drawn from five states to compete. The customary 40-time was clocked, but from there the camp’s schedule separated it from other combines, Williams said.
“I think this was the biggest one I’ve ever been to,” he said. “I don’t like camps that just do the 40 and other individual drills. Here, we actually got to do one-on-one drills and go against the best players from other positions.”
Players were divided by positions and went through individual instruction in the first portion of the camp. One-on-one drills separated the best of each group. And the day concluded after an intense period of one-on-one drills and extended defense versus offense tests featuring the best of the best.
“That’s what I was talking about,” said 2013 corner Shaquille Wiggins, named as Top Underclassman. “Most of these camps don’t really do what this does. I really like the camp. It’s very competitive and you get to see where you stand. Every camp you learn something. Yesterday I saw where I stood, and I know what I need to work on.”
Wiggins rises to the occasion
2013 cornerback Shaquille Wiggins of Westlake (Ga.) High quickly realized two points of interest early on during the Saturday.
He noted he was much smaller than the wide receivers he was attempting to thwart. But he was also proved he was able to hold his own.
“First, I’m not slow, and I’m probably the same speed as those guys,” said the 5-foot-9 Wiggins. “Those guys are really fast and strong so me being shorter made it kind of hard checking them. I like to check bigger receivers though because I like proving I can stop them.”
Wiggins did well enough to earn Top Defensive Back and Top Underclassman.
“I guess I won those by locking down the top receivers,” Wiggins said matter-of-factly.
Wiggins is still awaiting his first offer, saying he hears most from UCLA and Oregon, as well as most schools in the South.
“I might go to Dawg Night or to summer camp at Georgia,” he said. “I’ll probably go up there and try to get an offer.”
Love to see him perform
Always at the front of the line for every drill, 2013 linebacker Reuben Foster had a smile on his face most of the day.
Perhaps his happy expression was because he was performing so well. But his approach Saturday was par for the course, according to Scout’s Southeast recruiting manager Chad Simmons.
“You just have to love the way Foster plays the game,” Simmons said. “He loves to compete, he always has a smile on his face and he effortlessly showed why he is considered one of the top linebackers in the 2013 class on Saturday.”
Simmons ranked Foster at the head of his Top 12 Performers, and the 6-foot-1, 206-pounder already boasts offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and South Carolina.
Watkins impresses early
College Park (Ga.) defensive end Jordan Watkins couldn’t be stopped in initial one-on-one drills Saturday.
No offensive lineman could handle Watkins, standing at 6-foot-5, 267-pounds, but a prior family commitment forced him to leave the camp early.
Despite the early exit, Watkins still cracked Simmons’ Top 12 Performers, joining fellow 2012 linemen Kenderious Whitehead, of Monroe (GA) Monroe Area.
Defensive tackle Henry McClendon, of Cleveland High (Tenn.) took home Top Defensive Lineman, a title Watkins surely would have been in the running for had he been able to finish.
“I always think the defensive line is the best group out there,” Watkins said. “We had people always competing and working hard. After a while there was a little bit of trash talking and everybody was competing. There wasn’t—I really don’t think there was a worst defensive lineman out there. There wasn’t much of a difference from the best to the worst guy in our group. I don’t think you could say there was a worst player out there.”
Bringing the cred
High school football coaches from around the state of Georgia put players through rigorous drills and instruction all day, but two stood out for their NFL experience.
Former Georgia stars Robert Edwards (Head Coach at Arlington Christian School) and George Foster helped out, guiding the running backs and offensive linemen. Edwards, a former running back, was a first round draft pick by the New England Patriots in 1998. A major knee injury derailed his promising career.
Foster, an offensive tackle, played for three teams in the NFL from 2003-09. He is currently on the roster of the United Football League’s Omaha Nighthawks.