Core 6 Winter Showcase: Recap

Once again Chicago's best came out to Core 6 Winter Showcase, but they were challenged by outstanding performers from Indiana and Michigan as well. Here is a look a who the standouts were.

The overall MVP of the event was Fort Wayne (Ind.) Carroll's Justin Tranquill. An athletic defensive back, he went against the event's best receivers and broke up more passes than he allowed to be caught. He has good closing and make-up speed, technique and really good ball skills. Corner in college is not out of the question, but free safety is also a likely option. He has a few offers, including Purdue, but more should be on their way.

He had many spirited battles with Lemont (Ill.) wide receiver Flynn Nagel. Nagel is a great route runner with great feet, quickness and change of direction that allows him to create separation. He also has very sure hands. He should make for a very dangerous slot guy at the next level. Even when the quarterbacks couldn't get the ball to him, he was wide open on many plays and left a few would-be defensive backs in his wake.

Chiacgo Brother Rice's Marcus Jones won fastest man and offensive MVP, largely off the strength of his outstanding pass blocking. He was physical and stronger than his physical stature might suggest. He's also a great receiver out of the backfield. He's certainly a kid to keep an eye on.

The rest of the wide receivers group was equally strong. Lombard (Ill.) Montini's Leon Thornton has been picking up offers quickly. He is a nice sized kid who is physical and made a few tough catches in coverage. We'd like to see him be a little more consistent, but he's definitely deserving of his recent BCS offers.

In the 2016 class, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers' Austin Mack and Farmington (Mich.) standout Desmond Fitzpatrick should be among the best in the country, not just the region in their class. Mack has great size, is physical, and is a very natural pass catcher who consistently won his one on one battle. Fitzpatrick is a technician who runs crisp routes and does a great job snatching the ball away from his body. Fort Wayne (Ind.) Snider's Malik Bramley is another sophomore to look out for as he is a long, athletic prospect.

Two sleepers from Champaign (Ill.) Centennial emerged. Steven Lee is big (6'3, 215) and consistently was able to get deep and use his size to make catches down the field. Teammate Dominic Stampley is not as big, but was aggressive about takig reps and also made a number of tough grabs in traffic. It would not be surprising to see both receiver more college attention in the coming months. We also like Addison Trail (Ill.) junior Jaavion Bradley, who has good size and athleticism. At tight end, Providence Catholic's Nate Vejvoda has a nice frame and natural pass catching ability. He just needs to keep filling that frame out. He has a Toledo offer currently. Fort Wayne (Ind.) Wayne's Keion Powers is a quick slot guy who made a couple of "wow" catches on the day.

In the secondary, Rich Central (Ill.) junior Akeem Gordon won defensive MVP after displaying excellent quickness and footwork. Fort Wayne (Ind.) Wayne's Deion Powers and Fort Wayne (Ind.) Concordia's C.J. Morris represented the Hoosier State well, making plays in 1-1s. Powers is quick and aggressive and Morris has the size you like in a corner. Nazareth Academy (Ill.) junior Kevin Jackson is a long 6-foot-3 prospect who projects to safety. Grayslake (Ill.) North's Titus Booker has good makeup speed and length.

Chicago (Ill.) Phillips has two intriguing juniors in Jamal Brown and Dwayne Collins. Both pass the eye test. They are long, athletic kids who look built for college already. Both did well in drills and one on ones. Collins is the team's quarterback, but also got in work as a defensive back and we believe safety is the spot for both come college. Fenwick (Ill.) cornerback Aaron Garland is a physical kid with good size. And one of the lesser known kids who really emerged was Shawntrez Spates, a cornerback from Decatur (Ill.) Macarthur. He is a nice sized kid who may end up as a safety but should draw plenty of FBS looks.

At linebacker Jack Hockaday had a really nice day. He looked good in drills. He's quick, has good footwork and goes hard in every rep. He did a nice job in coverage and broke up several passes in one on ones. Elkhart (Ind.) Central's Vincent Schnell is a junior who impressed us with how he moved in drills.

At quarterback, Glenbard (Ill.) North's Brett Gasiorowksi is a big, athletic junior who threw the ball well. We believe FBS offers are near. Champaign (Ill.) Centennial's Jimmy Fitzgerald is another quarterback who moves well and shows good athleticism at his size. He has several FBS offers already. Gary (Ind.) West Side's Ramone Atkins is much thicker and bigger than he was a year ago when we saw him and threw the ball with noticeably more velocity. Naperville (Ill.) North junior Evan Kujawski was not the biggest guy in the group but spun it well. Two sophomores from Fort Wayne, Bishop Luers' Noah Wezensky and Carroll's Aiden Smith showed they are on their way to being highly recruited. Wezensky already has an Akron offer, but Smith showed he also deserves attention as he has a nice arm for a young prospect.

Offensive line MVP Jack Shutack has great size (6'6, 275) and bends and moves well at that size. He had a nice day in one on ones. Continuing to get stronger and filling out will be important, but he is without a doubt an FBS prospect. Peyton Truitt came in from West Lafayette (Ind.) and showed his talents. He looks like a college guard and had several nice reps in one on one. Crystal Lake (Ill.) South sophomore Kevin Armen is still young and learning, but has the size and tools to be an FBS recruit.

On the defensive line, Byron (Ill.) junior Ross Sealby is a kid we think could grow into a defensive tackle. He currently has a brother at Iowa. St. Josephs (Mich.) freshman Corey Hatcher competed with the big boys and more than held his own.

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