Stephenson Steals the Show
David Stevenson walked away with the M.V.P. Award and he was one of three juniors from Stephenson High School that walked away with awards on Sunday.
Stevenson had a good overall performance from the testing to the one on one session. He is known more for his coverage in zone on the high school level, but he showed he could man up on Sunday as well. He really turned and ran well with the receivers he was up against and that final showcase late in the day sealed the M.V.P. Award for the corner out of Stone Mountain.
Tarik Cook was named the co-top offensive lineman at this event and won this same award a year ago as well. Willie Davis picked up the award for the top running back.
Cook was very dominant from the start. He has really gotten stronger, he showed a very good base, and his initial punch knocked most defensive linemen back. He is the ideal size (6-3/289) for center and he is one of the best in the South. Cook has some early offers, but he said he was not allowed to discuss them with anyone yet.
Davis has gotten bigger over the last year. He weighed in at 189 pounds and he has not lost any quickness. He really showed nice change of direction in all of the drills and that made it tough for any linebacker to stay with him during the one on one session as well.
Strong at Receiver
The group at wide receiver was strong on Sunday. Zach Witchett headlined the group and the playmaker out of Atlanta (GA) Booker T. Washington lived up to his name. He walked away the co-top wide receiver award.
He is a wideout that really knows how to stretch the field. He is a little slow out of his breaks and needs to improve his route running to be a complete receiver. He got great separation deep all afternoon and he chased a couple of passes down that nobody on the field thought anyone could get to. That is his biggest strength. He has offers from Georgia, Toledo, and West Virginia at this time.
Chris Davis out of Powder Springs (GA) McEachern is another receiver that really showed he belongs in the top group. He is more of inside guy while Witchett is on the outside, but Davis is very quick, he really runs good routes, and he showed the best hands on Sunday. He still needs to add weight and get stronger, but he will be a good slot receiver for someone on the next level. He was co-top receiver as well.
Others at this position that performed well on Sunday were Nile Daniel out of Griffin (GA), Tre McBride (third part of co-top receiver) out of McDonough (GA) Ola, Shaquille Lindsey out of Oxford (GA) Newton County, and Christopher Jones out of Jonesboro (GA) Mt. Zion.
Two Safeties Shine
Corey Moore surprised many when he showed up to compete since he was already committed to the University of Georgia. There were only two prospects out of over 160 there that were committed and both (other was Amaro Herrera) are headed for Athens.
Moore’s decision to compete was a good one. He is known for attacking the line of scrimmage, playing downhill, and being very physical on the football field, but he is not known for his coverage. Well, he is now known for that too.
He really opened up his hips and ran with talented receivers very well all day. It was really 50-50 whether or not the wide receivers were going to get off the line of scrimmage. He knocked three guys down and they never got up until the ball was in the air to another receiver. He showed a much more complete game at safety than expected on Sunday and he was named the top defensive back at the end of the event.
Along with Moore, Kadetrix Marcus shined at safety as well. He created a buzz early on when he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.56 seconds at 6-foot-1 and 191 pounds. He also had a 35 inch vertical and a 9-foot, 2-inch broad jump as well.
After testing extremely well, he took it to the field and continued to shine. He likes to use his hands and they were very active as soon as the receivers tried to release off the ball. He knocked many receivers off their routes and he showed good closing speed on the ball as well. He was a little slower out of his breaks than expected and he still needs to work on his drops, but he showed he is much better than a prospect having just one scholarship offer at this time.
Look for interest in Marcus to pick up. He was named the Combine King for his testing numbers on Sunday.
Offensive Line Wins
Typically the defense wins in camps and combines when talking the one on one session, but the offensive line got the best of the defensive line here this past Sunday.
Leading the way were Tarik Cook, Kyle Harris, Uneik Crumley, and Clayton Truitt.
Cook was named the top OL for the second consecutive year and he was almost unmovable. He was stoning people left and right, holding them at bay, and even drove a couple to the ground. By the third or fourth rep, he shirt was ripped halfway off because defenders were doing all they could to get past him. Nothing worked.
Harris really showed good feet, a solid base, and good athleticism. Crumley and Truitt were more about power and both really controlled their man instead of letting him control them.
The biggest success on the defensive front was Mason Harris. This defensive end is still a little light at right around 200 pounds, but he used his long length to create space and then his speed got him around the edge to win a number of one on one battles. His plays with a lot of energy too and he is one to watch.
It is very hard to believe Jabari Hunt-Days only has an offer from Toledo at this time. He is a versatile athlete that can do a lot on offense or defense. Going into the combine, we looked at him more as a fullback/h-back and while he still could be very productive and successful there, he showed he could play outside linebacker too. He has very good lateral movement and he reacts quickly to each situation. He is very fluid and has a great frame. Look for his recruitment to really pick up over the spring.
David Dupaty is a name to look out for. He has some nice film as a fullback, but was the top linebacker on Sunday. He is fairly explosive, he likes to play physical, and he has better than average speed. He can block out of the backfield or blow up a running back from the other side of the ball.
Wynthom Thomas is an intriguing athlete. He is a 6-foot-3, 215 pound quarterback at Cordova High School in Tennessee, but he is built like a tight end or outside linebacker. He does not project as a top quarterback recruit, but he may know that as well because he actually got out and ran some routes when he wasn’t throwing passes on Sunday. He is an athlete, so keep an eye on this one to see what he gets recruited to play.
One of the smallest corners out there on the field was one of the best in coverage. Brandon Green out of Griffin may not have the size to support him being a top tier recruit, but someone will sign him. He plays bigger than he is, he is extremely quick when changing directions, and he did not back down from any bigger wide receiver.
An offensive lineman to keep an eye on is Joseph Turner out of Roswell (GA). He has a good frame to add weight, he appeared to be very intelligent when in the trenches, and he likes to compete. Playing physical is what he does and while some speed guys got the best of him at times on Sunday, he still showed he is a Division I recruit on the OL.
Ralph Abernathy ran the fastest 40 yard dash at the NUC and it was 4.42 seconds. He was extremely quick out of the backfield and about impossible for any linebacker to cover. Other competitors were talking about his speed all day.
Kyle Champion is an interesting prospect because of his size and skill set. The junior out of Americus worked out at tight end, but he looks like a future offensive lineman. He is a big body that has room to add weight, so keep an eye on this one to see just where he ends up being recruited to play.
Tri-Cities has a couple of athletes that ran two of the fastest times on the day. Jarius Hollman and Dontavius Heard are athletes that could line up at quarterback, running back, receiver, or corner for Coach Miller in high school. Both have very good speed and both ran the 40 yard dash in the low 4.5s.
Jared Boyd is another defensive back to keep an eye on out of Georgia. He showed very good feet, nice back peddle, and good ball skills throughout the drills on Sunday. His success during the one on one sessions was not as good as expected based off what we saw in the drills, but he still showed he has the skills to be an ACC/SEC recruit.
Chad Simmons is the Recruiting Manager for the South Region and he can be reached at ChadSimmons@Scout.com.