With the rain coming intermittently on Saturday it turned out to be a very
long day. All of the tests and drills did not finish until nearly 8:00 PM, and
the vast majority of the campers were still there giving their all. That in
itself showed the character and work ethic of the kids involved this
As always there were several players at each position that stood out, and here
is a quick look at the guys that I thought were the best of the best on Saturday
and Sunday. (TheInsiders/MSL Combine was two one day events, so there was a
completely new set of kids on Sunday).
The state of Georgia had a freak year for quarterbacks last year sending more
than 10 to the Division 1 ranks. This year will not be as deep, but there are
still several guys that will get looks at the Division 1 level.
Tray Rutland of Tri-Cities
is a two time participant at TheInsiders/MSL Combine. He was a standout last
year, and he was the top quarterback this year as well. He has an easy release,
and he had gotten considerably faster in the past 12 months as well. Rutland
will have the ability to hurt a lot of teams running and throwing this year.
Jeff Witt of Parkview
was probably the most fundamentally sound passer on the weekend. He delivered a
tight, accurate spiral all day on Sunday. He's going to give the Panthers a
downfield threat this year.
Eric Ward of Southwest
Dekalb has a very nice frame on him. I previously had him listed at 6-2, but
he came in and measured at 6-3. He showed well enough this weekend that he is
going to get some looks from colleges this fall.
Tony Pastore of Sequoyah
was another big quarterback with a big arm. Pastore is going to do himself a lot
of good at several college camps across the south this summer.
Dexter Anoka of Banneker
had maybe the liveliest arm on the weekend. He is a big undersized at 5-9, but
that isn't going to help Bannerker's opponents this year. Anoka will team with
Carlos Thomas to form a deadly pitch and catch combo this year. They went for
800 yards last year.
I had been looking for a big, fast back to come out of Georgia for the past two
years. Kregg Lumpkin fit the bill in the Class of 2003, but there wasn't that
big back in the Class of 2004. Matt Dunham has good size, and Stephone LaFrance
of Creekside looks
to have the whole package. LaFrance measured in at 6-1 and 206 pounds. He had a
vertical jump of 34 inches, and he turned in a 4.56 on the soggy astroturf at
Clark. I have no doubt that he is going to be measured in the low 4.4's at
different camps this summer as fast as he was on Sunday. Kevin Whitley has taken
over the head job at Creekside, and I have a feeling we're going to be seeing A
LOT of Mr. LaFrance this fall.
Several coaches I spoke to on the day had the same reaction I did when I saw
Anderson Russell of Marist,
"I didn't know he was that big!". Russell checked in at 6-0 and 200
pounds, and he looked solid in drills all day. He caught the ball well out of
the backfield. With three seniors vacating the State Champion's backfield,
Russell is going to have a chance to get a lot of carries this year.
For those of you that have watched Wheeler's
Richie Rich on TheInsiders Video have seen what a great back he is. About the
only question that college coaches have had is "Is he tall enough".
Rich measured 5-9 and 181 pounds standing barefoot, so the answer to that
question is "yes". With offers from the likes of Oklahoma already,
there aren't too many schools out there worried about his height. I'm certainly
Dacula's Dre Gibbs
has been an outstanding back at camps for several years now, and he showed
Sunday that he is ready for a break out season.
The state of Georgia has had few lights out receivers the past two years like
Sean Bailey and Calvin Johnson, but there has not been a lot of depth in the
past two classes. A few of the players this weekend helped themselves immensely.
The East Hall
coaches went out and recruited the basketball team at their school and found a
potential gem. Keldrick Coleman (pictured having fun with the camera) looked raw
in his drills, but that's to be expected for being so new to the game. What
didn't look raw was his 6-2 and 200 pound frame. He vertical jumped 39 inches,
and he long jumped nearly 10 feet (anything over 9 is considered outstanding at
this level). East Hall showed well on the day, Marquez Jackson looked razor
sharp in drills and catching the ball. East Hall is going to have a lot of
weapons to throw the ball to this fall, because we're not done...
Courtland Fuller of Kendrick
showed out well on Saturday. He is pictured here after making a nice catch.
Fuller could play any one of several positions on the next level, but on
Saturday he drilled with the receivers.
Several other receivers that aren't pictured but deserve a mention for their
good work on the weekend include Adairsville's
Tarvis Scott. Scott measured a shade under 6-5, and he jumped 33 inches. He has
a lot of potential on the next level. Michael Locke-Barry of McEachern
had several nice catches and showed good route running. Larry Johnson of Towers
also had one of the best catches of the day.
Sunday turned out to be the day of the tight end.
Stephen Gowland of Parkview
is not the typical Gwinnett County tight end that is going to move to offensive
line in college. He is a lean, strong 6-4 and 220 pounds. He ran extremely well
in all of his drills and can catch the ball. He had a vertical jump of 30 inches
and popped out 20 reps on the bench press. Here Gowland
If Gowland wasn't the most impressive tight end of the weekend, then East Hall's
Travis Stevens was. They looked almost identical physically, and Stevens really
separated himself during the one on one passing drills vs. the linebackers. As
stated above, East Hall is going to have some weapons this Fall.
It was a good weekend for the big men on the offensive line as well. There were
some top players to be expected, and there were several players that will become
Pictured for left: Barrett McMillan of Collins
Hill, Paul Duncan of East
Paulding, and Trevor Scott of Peach
Paul Duncan was the big name of the group coming in, and he didn't disappoint.
He was a lean 6-6 and 288 pounds. One could picture adding 40 pounds in his
chest and shoulders alone. He is already huge, and he is going to be even bigger
Barrett McMillan was a player I didn't know much about coming in to the camp on
Saturday, but he is one that I will definitely track through the year. He has a
bit of a mean streak, and he moved very well. I am very curious to pop on the
Collins Hill tape, because this kid looks like a masher.
Trevor Scott of Peach County was a player I knew, but didn't have hard heights
and weights on him. Well, he came in and measured 6-2.5 and 260 pounds. He is
mobile with quick feet. He reminds me a lot of Lovejoy's Anthony Parker. He's
not quite the player yet that Parker was last year, but he is a little taller.
Zane Bruhin of Powell, Tenn. made the trip down to compete on Sunday, and the big man did very well for himself. At 6-4.5 and 319 pounds Bruhin posted and impressive 28.5 inch vertical leap. He moved well enough in his drills to warrant a look from several colleges this spring.
Finally on the offensive side of the ball, I didn't know where to put him,
because he didn't know where to put himself, but one of the most impressive
campers on the weekend was Mays'
Ramon McElrathbey. McElrathbey took part in drills at running back, wide
receiver, and I think I saw him playing a little defensive back. He will take
over at quarterback for Calvin Booker this year, and he brings running element
to the position that is going to be very dangerous for opponents.
McElrathbey may end up at corner on the college level, but he is dynamite with
the ball in his hands, and he is going to make Mays a lot of fun to watch this
Next Up... Defense...