NFTC Chicago: Top Underclassmen

A.J. Epenesa

There were some underclassmen who proved precocious on Saturday at the NIKE Football Training Camp in Chicago. Here is Scout's top 11 with some honorable mentions, ranked based on performance, not necessarily future projection.


1. A.J. Epenesa
Defensive End | Edwardsville (Ill.) | 2017
Future big-time prospect who may end up with the entire country recruiting him. Big (6'5, 230) and athletic with advanced pass rush technique for a freshman.

2. Kentrail Moran
Running Back | O'Fallon (Ill.) | 2016
Made a few linebackers look silly in space, and this is in a "touch" setting. Athletic, explosive and a great receiver destined to continue adding offers over the next two years.

3. Josh Ross
Linebacker | Orchard Lake (Mich.) | 2017
Has bulked up to 210-pounds now but kept his speed and athleticism. Already has three BCS offers and more will come in time especially as he continues to grow.

4. Jake Heinrich
Guard | Urbandale (Ia.) | 2016
Tough, strong kid, but also plays with good knee-bend and a strong base. He was a dominant run blocker on film but showed he could pass-pro too.

5. Roderick Campbell
Cornerback | St. Louis (Mo.) | 2016
True cover man with good length (5'11, 170) and ball skills. Fluid, athletic, competitive and a kid who looks like he will draw a lot of college interest.

6. Blair Mulholland
Running Back | Kimberly (Wisc.) | 2016
After running a 4.44 at SPARQ on Friday, Mulholland showed off his elusiveness on Saturday. He left several linebackers standing. He's a good receiver and a great athlete.

7. Martell Pettaway
Running Back | South Lake (Mich.) | 2016
While camp settings may not necessarily favor a back like Pettaway, he showed he can catch the ball and play in space in addition to what we've seen him do with pads on.

8. Toren Young
Running Back | Monona Grove (Wisc.) | 2016
Thick-bodied, strong young back who already looks built for the college level. He looked good in drills and caught the ball well. He's one to keep an eye on the next two years.

9. Emmanuel Rugamba
Wide Receiver | Naperville (Ill.) | 2016
Rugamba is a smooth route runner who made at least one defensive back fall down. He's polished and catches the ball well, but needs to get stronger.

10. Ricky Smalling
Wide Receiver | Chicago (Ill.) | 2017
Smalling is impressive for a freshman. He's quick, has great burst out of his breaks and tracks and catches the ball very naturally.

11. Juan Harris
Defensive Tackle | Niles (Ill.) | 2017
Harris turned heads as a young pup who sits at 370-pounds. While he must get that weight down, he has impressive get-off and uses his hands well.


HONORABLE MENTION
Corey Malone-Hatcher, DE, St. Joseph (Mich.) - 2017
Donnie Corley, WR, Wyandotte (Mich.) - 2016
Martez Malone, WR, New Lenox (Ill.) - 2017
Jamahl Johnson, DT, Prior Lake (Minn.) - 2016
Caleb Bright, OL, Urbandale (Ia.) - 2016
Darius Powell, DT, St. Joseph (Mich.) - 2016
Thomas Schaffer, DE, Lake Forest (Ill.) - 2016


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