NFTC Chicago: Offensive Preview

Drake Harris

A star studded cast of offensive prospects should make for an exciting time at Sunday's Chicago NIKE Football Training Camp.

The wide receiver group is very strong, lead by several prospects who are committed to BCS schools or have BCS offers. Michigan commit Drake Harris of Grand Rapids Christian is one of the top ranked pass catchers in the country. Smooth and with great ball skills, we are looking forward to seeing him in this setting, as he was playing basketball last spring and summer. Carmel (Ind.) junior Austin Roberts is big, physical and has an impressive list of major offers. He is being looked at potentially as a tight end, so we are interested in seeing where he may fit this weekend.

Iowa State commit Allen Lazard and Michigan commit Maurice Ways are both long, athletic prospects. Harvey (Ill.) Thornton's Jauan Wesley is a quick, explosive slot type who was great at a couple of Winter camps. The Indianapolis area sends over a big, physical prospect in Cameron Polk and a speedy playmaker in Terry McLaurin.

In the sleeper category, two to keep an eye on are Toledo Whitmer's Christopher Boykin and Clawson (Mich.) product Marquian Johnson, both big juniors who are still somewhat under the radar. East St. Louis (Ill.) junior Treevon Prater is long, athletic and can play defensive back as well. A couple of underclassmen who are already making a lot of noise are Lincolnshire Stevenson (Ill.) sophomore Cameron Green and Farmington Hills Harrison (Mich.) freshman Desmond Fitzpatrick.

The running backs feature a few good ones from the Chicago area, Niles Notre Dame Prep's Chris James, a four-star with a handful of BCS offers, and Mikale Wilbon, a speedy Vanderbilt commit from Chicago De La Salle. Chicago Mt. Carmel's Matt Domer holds several offers as does Chicago St. Rita's Tommy Mister, who can play several positions. Western Michigan commit Robert Spillane (Fenwick HS) could play several positions in college, but is working out as a running back. Ramadi Warren is coming up from Tennessee boasting two offers, including one from North Carolina. Jeff Jones of Minneapolis Washburn is a Minnesota commit and a four-star prospect.

We are also looking forward to seeing some talented youngsters, including East St. Louis (Ill.) sophomore Natereace Strong, who just picked up an Ohio State offer and DeKale (Ill.) High's Dre Brown, who has a couple of offers as well. O'Fallon (Ill.) freshman Kentrail Moran is expected to be the next major recruit out of that school. A sleeper we will be looking for is Martayveus Carter of East Chicago (Ind.) who does not have any offers yet, but has a number of schools watching closely. Another is Mt. Pleasant (Mich.) junior Michael Tweh, who has had a very productive career thus far. Minneapolis Washburn (Minn.) junior Raymonte Maynard was very productive last season and is looking for his first offer.

The tight end position features four-star prospect Daniel Helm (Chatham, Ill.), who recently committed to Tennessee. There will be a MAC battle between Central Michigan commit Jonathan Carson (Milwaukee, Wisc.) and Western Michigan pledge Lucas Bezerra (Troy, Mich.). Proviso (Ill.) West's Denzel Tolliver has an early offer from NIU and Highlands (Ky.) prospect Nick True is big and recently picked up an offer himself from Western Kentucky.

On the offensive line, Chicago De La Salle's Jamarco Jones, who holds a large, impressive offer list, is the headliner. Michigan State commit Chase Gianacakos (St. Charles, Ill.), Wisconsin commit George Panos and Chanhassen (Minn.) tackle Frank Ragnow, who has a handful of BCS offers, are a few more of the big names. Prairie Ridge (Ill.) junior Shane Evans also holds a few offers, as does Chicago Mt. Carmel's Nate Oquendo, who always performs well at camps. Western Michigan commit Jordan Van Dort (Zeeland, Mich.) and Nick Padla (Berrien Springs, Mich.) are two Division-1 prospects from West Michigan. One sleeper to watch is Chicago De La Salle's Aaron Roberts, who does not have any offers, but has size and talent. One young guy to watch is Scared Heart Griffin (Ill.) sophomore Quinn Oseland.

The nation's top signal caller, Kyle Allen of Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain will be in attendance along with Naperville Central (Ill.) junior Jake Kolbe, who has two offers. Devon Palomino is another who impressed during the Elite 11 competition on Friday.

Some of the other quarterbacks attending the event include Shelby Spence (Chicago De La Salle), Ramroth Finnegan (Columbus Whetstone), Ricardo Johnson (Cretin Derham Hall), Sean McGuire (Franklin, Wisc.), Sam Straub (Ames, Ia.), Keaton Studsrud (Benilde-St. Margaret's, Minn.) and more. Trent Sherfield of Danville (Ill.) is being recruited as a defensive back, but may work out at quarterback, his high school position, as well.

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