The one player who jumped out the most because of his pure athletic ability was Armwood defensive end Ryne Giddins. Because it was a 7 on 7 event that generally features skilled position players, Giddins wanted to compete so he came out as a linebacker and looked very impressive running around the field at 6-foot-4 and about 230 pounds. His drops, his breaks on the ball, and his straight ahead speed give you reasons to understand why he's such a force as a pass-rushing defensive end at Armwood. Athletically, it'll be harder to find a more impressive defensive end at that size. He's clearly a four-star caliber player.
Teammate Petey Smith also came and worked out as a middle linebacker. He's huge and very physical. He's probably in the 6-1/255 range and can flat out knock you out. However, in this event, it's not about knocking people out and he still moved around very well for a big guy and it was easy to see why he's considered a major Division 1 prospect.
The championship team featured two very good and athletic linebacker prospects -- King's Academy's Toney Moore and Pahokee's Brandon Hawthorne. Moore is right around 200 pounds and runs really well and covers a lot of ground. Hawthrorne runs very well too and just isn't as big as Moore.
The South Florida Express, which took second in the event, featured a very strong group of linebackers. The best one was four-star Frankie Telfort. While he's not the biggest kid out there, he can fly and always seems to be around the ball. So does Cypress Bay's Shane Gordon, who had about three would-be interceptions hit him in the hands. Phil Walker and Quan Fletcher also displayed excellent athletic ability and showed why they're considered major Division 1 prospects.
Miami Northwestern's Kenneth Dillard played a key role defensively for his team, as did Dr. Phillips linebacker E.J. Carter. Both showed why they're considered Division 1 prospects.
Auburndale's Jaccari Alexander, who was an All-Combine pick at the Under Armour/Scout.com Event in Jacksonville last month, continued his climb up the charts with a strong performance. Right at 6-feet and about 225 pounds, Alexander runs well and has some big play flair. In fact, his four interceptions were probably the most of any other linebacker at the event.
Stay tuned, as we'll continue our position breakdown of the event by looking at the premier defensive backs at the event. Our All-Tournament Team will be posted early this week as well.