Monday, March 25, 2013
Rivals show off talent at adidas camp
By Tom VanHaaren
Detroit Cass Tech and Southfield High are set to face off on Aug. 30 at the Prep Kickoff Classic, in what should be an exciting game loaded with top talent.
We got a preview of some of that talent on Sunday in Grand Rapids, Mich., at the adidas Invitational, where Cass Tech and Southfield were both well represented.
The big name for Southfield is obviously 2014 defensive end Lawrence Marshall, who has been racking up offers left and right. His stock continues to rise and Marshall looked as though he has put on some good weight to his frame.
Marshall performed well in one-on-one drills and was also named as one of the top performers overall at the camp.
One of his newest teammates, quarterback Jalen Brady, was also on hand and showed why there is excitement around this team. Brady is only about 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, but he has a good arm and makes plays when it matters.
He hasn't gotten too far into the process yet, but says there are schools already starting to show interest.
"So far the hot schools are Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Akron, Bowling Green and Toledo," he said. "I was born a Michigan fan, but Wisconsin is the school that I'm really liking right now."
Brady was voted a top quarterback at the camp and was excited to be one of five Southfield players named to the top performers list at their position. Linebacker Londale Sanders and wide receiver Jordan Billingslea were two others.
Another standout receiver for Southfield is Ray Buford. He is a slender 6-foot, 175 pounds, but as a 2015 prospect has plenty of time to put on some weight. Buford prides himself on his speed and hands, and also one aspect of his game that coaches will love to hear.
"My blocking is a big thing, along with my speed and route running," he said. "My blocking, that's something that receivers usually don't like to do, but I put pride in my blocking."
Buford has heard from Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Michigan and Michigan State, but is also hoping to hear from West Virginia. He plans to take visits to most of the Big Ten schools in the offseason, along with Cincinnati. He recently got back from a trip to Bowling Green, which gave him a chance to meet face to face with the coaching staff.
"It was pretty good. We watched a spring practice and saw those guys go at it," Buford said. "The coaches were talking about my highlight tape and they want to get me down to camp to work with me."
Gary Hosey of Cass Tech was among the top performers at the adidas Invitational.
The usual suspects were on hand for the Technicians, including 2014 defensive back Damon Webb and linebackers Gary Hosey and William White. The teammates found themselves among the top performers list as well, much like their Southfield counterparts.
Quarterback Jayru Campbell showed off some improved footwork and a nice release in passing drills. He continues to get stronger with his technique as he gets more experience. Despite only being a 2015 prospect, Campbell is a two-time state champion as the starting quarterback for Cass Tech.
His fellow 2015 teammates, running back Mike Weber and defensive end Joshua Alabi, have also improved their game compared to last year.
Weber, who holds offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and Syracuse, says he is hoping to continue to add offers to his list this offseason.
"I'm visiting Ohio State in April and Notre Dame soon after that," he said. "I'm pretty sure I'm where a lot of seniors want to be, so it's a blessing but it motivates me to push harder and do better."
Weber and Alabi both recently visited Michigan, which they said was a little bit different now that they both hold offers from the Wolverines.
"The coaches were more enthusiastic when they saw me after I had the offer and the fans were excited to see me," Weber said. "It was really nice going down there. The fans recognized me at the basketball game and they were telling me to commit. Me and Jayru even signed some autographs."
Alabi says it feels good to visit a school that has already offered because he knows that he could end up going there. He isn't fighting for an offer, but can find out more about the program and the coaches. He, too, is trying to set up visits for the offseason and will likely take similar trips as Weber and Campbell.
"I'm going to try to get up to Michigan State and Ohio State some time. I'm going up to Notre Dame and then maybe Wisconsin's junior day." he said. "I know Florida was talking to [Cass Tech assistant] Coach [Jermain] Crowell, but I don't know if I can get down there anytime soon."
The scary part about these two teams is the representatives at the adidas camp were only a portion of the talent both teams boast. Both sides said they were eager to face off in August and there is no doubt it will be an exciting game for spectators and potentially a glimpse at the next state champion.