The Ghierry ShowGheirry Vanderkup, athlete from Hialeah, Fla., stole the show this past weekend at the 7v7. He caught our attention with his side arm release and throwing motion. He fired plenty of strikes in the endzone throughout the weekend including several to his high school teammate Hansley Fleurejus. He is very athletic and loves to compete. He suffered an unfortunate ankle injury on the last play in the championship game.
Mr. GarciaCollege coaches are not always attracted to linebackers who are less than 6-feet tall, but they will notice Andy Garcia right away once they see him in action. This player is a workaholic. Garcia's coaches were praising him throughout the weekend, and for good reason. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound prospect made plays all across the field. He does a great job reading plays and has quick instincts. He had several pass break-ups and interceptions in the two-day event. Garcia ran four miles and worked out on Saturday night after a long day of competition in round robin play. He has an SEC offer from Vanderbilt and ready for college coaches to visit this spring.
Lockdown"Lock-Down, Lock-Down, Lock-Down." The 'Team Fire' defense screamed it loud, and proud every time they stepped on the field. They did a real good job getting in their opponents' head before each play. They had confidence and swagger. Two or three defensive backs would swarm in the area every time the quarterback threw the ball. Shout out to the defense led by Andy Garcia, Adrian Burton, Dion Witty, Larry Hope, Chris Bivens and Joshua Wright.
Teams with several prospectsThe 7-on-7 tournaments are a good way to watch several of the top recruits compete. Teams are normally stacked with the best from each state, but only a few teams fit the bill this past weekend. 'Team West Tennessee' was loaded with talent including the top four players in the Volunteer State, Brian Kimbrow, Nate Cole, Jovon Robinson and Will Gross. 'Team Georgia' featured Alabama commitment Kenyan Drake, Georgia commitment C.J. Curry, N.C. State commtiment Niles Clark, Jason Croom, Chaz Elder, Ray Buchanan and 2013 quarterback Eddie Printz.
The boys from the Sunshine State, "Team Fire', have some of the best athletes assembled on a team, and you assume several of the players have the Florida, FSU and/or Miami offers. The 'Team Fire' players don't hold any offers from the big three, but they continue to stay undefeated in 7-on-7 play. They do have several players with offers, and the biggest gamer on the team is class of 2013 member Ahmad Fulwood. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound receiver will rank as one of the state's premier prospects.
'Team Mississippi' had a few big names, and it helps when a player like Channing Ward is on the roster. Mississippi State commitment Deonte Evans, wide receiver D'Arthur Cowan and athlete Adarrius Perkins were headliners on the team.
'Team Louisiana' could have been the most stacked team, but a few players did not make the trip. LSU commitment Travin Dural, Texas A&M commitment Trevon Stewart and Jordan Batiste were present for the weekend.
Several other talented players were spread out throughout the field of teams. Highly-touted Deaysean Rippy, four-star outside linebacker, played for 'Team Tsunami', cornerback Kelton Brackett, played with Southern's Finest and linebacker Richie Brown played wth 'Super South Elite'.
Mr. VersatilityJovon Robinson, four-star running back from Memphis-Wooddale, Tenn., is arguably the top player in Tennessee. Robinson has worked very hard in the off-season, and solid as a rock at 6-foot-1, 215-pounds. He worked at running back, slot receiver, cornerback and safety. Robinson moves light on his feet. He is quick and can make defenders miss in the open field. He doesn't play defense, but did a great job running stride-for-stride with some of very talented receivers this past weekend. Robinson is a running back and one of the most heavily sought after prospects in the South.
Cocked and LoadedEddie Printz's father, Eddie Printz, had a pretty good feeling heading into the tournament that 'Team Georgia' would win the event. They certainly had the talent and experience. The players received a nice wake-up call when they lost in the first game of round robin play on Saturday. They gained their composure and quickly became a team others dreaded to play. In large part due to the performance of the 2013 quarterback.
Printz has been one of the most talked about signal callers in the South for the past year. Several schools have visited and offered. His father withholds the list of schools from his son who have extended scholarship offers trying to keep him grounded.
Printz had a stellar performance even though 'Team Georgia' suffered a tough loss in the championship game to 'Team Fire'. Printz had plenty of options and made his teammates look real good by placing the ball where only his receivers could make the catch.
Jason Croom is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound receiver who was a tough match-up for defensive backs throughout the weekend. He could grow into a tight end or stay on the outside. Kenyan Drake, C.J. Curry and Jordan Marshall all had solid performances as well.
Pass RusherThe top overall prospect in attendance was Channing Ward, National 100 defensive end from Aberdeen, Miss. Ward is the No. 2 rated prospect in the Magnolia State behind the nation's No. 1 defensive tackle Quay Evans. Ward is a physical specimen. He is athletic, very quick, but that's when he's coming off the edge. He seemed a little lost on the field at times, but only because he wasn't pass rushing the quarterback. He was trying to cover scatback athletes like Brian Kimbrow coming out of the backfield. He did show ability to run with guys like Kimbrow, but his strong suit is nailing signal callers which is not allowed in these events. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound prospect is one of the nation's best recruits because of his ability to rush the passer, and that is where he will stay at the next level.
Little Prep Time'Team Alabama' has been one of the most loaded teams of prospects the last couple of years in the Badger tournaments. Players like Demarcus Milliner, Solomon Patton, Jarrick Williams, Jonathan Rose, Danny Woodson, Christion Jones and Coty Blanchard have well represented. A team had formed which featured five-star linebacker Kwon Alexander, but that team did not compete. Head coach Otis Leverette put together a team of players on Friday to compete in the weekend tournament.
The team wasn't stacked with talent, but several players are making waves this spring. Elijah Jenkins, quarterback from Parker High School, is a terrific athlete who played quarterback and receiver. C.J. Perry, athlete from Bessemer Academy, lined up at tight end and linebacker. He continues to see his stock rise. He is physical and can run. Another player who stood out was Nyck Young, wide receiver from Homewood, who has good size and long arms. He does a great job catching the ball with his hands.
No ShowsMore talented teams and players were expected, but several factors kept numerous players from making the tournament. Among the top recruits who failed to make it to Samford University for the weekend included Landon Collins, four-star safety from Lutcher, La., Geno Smith, four-star cornerback from Atlanta-St. Pius X, Ga., T.J. Holloman, outside linebacker and South Carolina commitment from Atlanta-St. Pius X, Ga., Latroy Pittman, wide receiver and Florida commitment, and teammate Sean Price, Scout 300 tight end from Citra-North Marion, Fla., and Kelvin Rainey, three-star tight end from Yulee, Fla.
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