Monday, April 15, 2013
RN Top 10: Atlanta NFTC
By Kipp Adams
The RN Top 10 will appear throughout the camp and combine season and rank prospects based strictly on their on-field performance at that particular event. It does not reflect what their overall prospect ranking will be when the 2014 rankings are unveiled this spring.
BUFORD, Ga. – With 276 players taking part in the Atlanta Nike Football Training Camp on Saturday, there were dozens of prospects in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 classes who had already been offered by FBS programs. Six of the participants were awarded invitations to the The Opening later the summer.
The offensive linemen at the Atlanta NFTC were not an overly impressive group, but Prescod stood out, not just because of his hairstyle. He locked up and drove back multiple defensive tackles and showed an impressive base.
Prescod is approaching 10 offers, and has scholarship opportunities with Missouri, Ole Miss and Virginia. At the moment, Prescod says Missouri is standing out. Watch out for Auburn if they offer, as they seem to be the school he feels most at home with right now.
Craig Haubert’s take: “Prescod did a nice job in the offensive line group that was not among the strongest at the NFTC this year. He showed good bend and strong punch and he has outstanding size, both in height and bulk.”
In a camp where edge rushers shined, Williams also impressed, winning most of his battles on the inside while showing great use of his hands. On back to back reps he used an impressive rip move to blow right past the offensive linemen matched up against him.
Coming off a visit to Ohio State, Williams has a top five, in order, of Ole Miss, Ohio State, Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas A&M. Look for him to try to trim that list after making a few more visits.
Haubert’s take: “A pleasant surprise in a group deep of defensive linemen. Even though he does not have great height, he jumped out because he stayed low and was extremely violent and active with his hands. He immediately attacked the shoulder and was never accused of bull-rushing because he always had a plan to attack in half man. Lacks ideal size but is active, quick and a disruptive pass rusher as an interior lineman.”
8. Andrew Williams McDonough (Ga.) Eagles Landing Christian Academy| DE| 6-4, 235 pounds
On some reps Williams would try to win on speed alone, and his ability to get upfield quickly served him well. When one offensive tackle slid his feet outside to anticipate, Williams used a well-timed club maneuver to beat his man inside.
As for his recruitment, Williams has new offers and interest coming in every week. Clemson, Florida, FSU, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Ole Miss, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Tennessee are schools standing out, with more visits on tap. A summer decision is possible for Williams.
Haubert’s take: “An interesting prospect as a defensive end because I am not completely convinced that maybe in time his upside, down the road, might be as an offensive tackle, which he plays some as his school. What I saw today was a guy with upside and a great frame who showed some flashes, but still not totally sold on where his upside is at the next level.”
7. Wesley Green Lithonia (Ga.) Martin Luther King | CB | 5-11, 165 pounds
What was most impressive about Green was his desire to compete against the best on the field. He had no problems in coverage with most of the wideouts in one-on-one competition, and he was able to jam and redirect receivers during pass skeleton. Green is not the biggest or fastest cornerback, but he is physical and smooth in his backpedal.
Clemson is the leader for Green, with the possibility of early playing time being a key pitch from the Tigers. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee are also strong contenders.
Haubert’s take: “Wesley is a likeable kid in the game he plays. In pass skeleton he was not afraid to press. He has very quick feet, smooth hips and is a guy that might not be able to turn and run in the open field with speedier wideouts, but what we saw today is what he shows on film -- a cornerback that is very quick and physical.”
While this event is not one to showcase the physicality of someone like Hamilton, the ESPN Watch List prospect was still able to stand out among a very deep group of linebackers. He showed he can move well in space and not be a liability in coverage, while making quite an imposing impression on the running backs during blocking one-on-ones.
Hamilton is expected to decide Wednesday between Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee, with the Tigers possibly holding a slight edge over their in-state rivals at the moment.
Haubert’s take: “This is not the type of event that someone like Hamilton should shine at, because he is a thumper. On film he has good range and showed it here as well. A big guy who could be a monster between the tackles as a downhill run defender, but he also showed he can run well today. His strength is rushing the passer and stopping the run, not dropping into coverage, but he did not look like a fish out of water in drills.”
5. Jeb Blazevich Charlotte (N.C.) Charlotte Christian | 6-5, 230 pounds
For the first time, a tight end won best receiver at an NFTC event, with ESPN Watch List prospect Jeb Blazevich earning the honors and an invite to The Opening. He was the favorite target for most quarterbacks during pass skeleton, providing a go-to option throughout the day.
Coming off a visit to Alabama, Blazevich believes he could be ready to make his decision in the next two weeks. Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss and Georgia are in his final group, but it might come down to Clemson and Georgia, with Ole Miss being the darkhorse.
Haubert’s take: “Jeb is a tight end that lacks the great top end speed to be a true vertical threat to defenses down the seam, but he has good size, is an athletic, physical kid that caught every pass today thrown to him with his hands and not his body. Fairly good route-runner at this stage who might have speed limitations but is a short to intermediate target that can break tackles after the catch and occasionally made a defender miss.
4. Rashaan Evans Auburn (Ala.) High School | OLB | 6-3, 215 pounds
One of the bigger linebackers competing at the Atlanta NFTC, Evans caught many in attendance off guard with just how fast and strong he was. Known as more of an upfield pass-rusher, Evans displayed some potential in coverage as well, which could be utilized by teams running a 3-4 defense.
Even though some high-profile prospects at Auburn High have recently picked other schools, the nearby Auburn Tigers might still hold the edge with Evans. Evans said other programs such as Florida, Georgia and Tennessee have been pursuing him the hardest, and he hopes to make a decision sometime this fall.
Haubert’s take: “Plays out of position with his hand on the ground in high school. Did well in drills today and showed the skill to move back successfully at the next level. Had an outstanding day, showed quick feet, has a great build with good height and range. Great upside and could still play defensive end in college, but displayed today that he can get it done at linebacker in college as well.”
3. Nick Chubb Cedartown (Ga.) High School |RB | 5-11, 212 pounds
During testing, Chubb ran an impressive 4.58-second 40-yard dash, 4.30-second shuttle and vertical-leaped 40.4 inches for a 122.43 SPARQ rating. He stonewalled virtually every linebacker at the point of attack during one-on-one blocking drills, and after the camp was rewarded with an invite to The Opening.
Georgia leads Florida and Auburn at the moment for Chubb, with plans to see the Gators and Tigers before making his decision at the end of the month.
Haubert’s take: “One of the more physically impressive running backs, Chubb combines a physical style with a great build to take the pounding. He excelled in blocking one-on-ones, which you expect a prospect like him to be able to do. From what we saw of Nick Chubb, he looks the part of a guy that makes his mark in between the tackles, and he is good at what he does.
With each appearance, Allen-Williams continues to impress at linebacker as he becomes more and more comfortable moving in space. He won almost every rep in one-on-one drills vs. the running backs, and in pass skeleton he dropped back in coverage and made an impressive interception.
After winning the linebacker MVP and an invite to The Opening, Allen-Williams maintained that South Carolina leads Georgia, Auburn and Florida, and that he could make a decision by the end of the spring.
Haubert’s take: “On film, Allen-Williams is a similar player to Rashaan Evans in that he does both defensive end and linebacker, but at the next level he is going to project at the next level as a linebacker. He opened up well into his drops, showed good range and awareness in the pass skeleton. He did a nice job having a feel for what to do in those scenarios. That is never going to be his strength, but it is something he will be asked to do in college and it was nice to see him adapt out here and show he can do those things in coverage.”
Lorenzo Carter ran an impressive 4.6 in the 40-yard dash and had a vertical jump of 40 inches at the Atlanta NFTC.
The spotlight was on Carter the moment he arrived at the Atlanta NFTC, and the ESPN Watch List prospect did not disappoint. During testing, Carter ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, unofficially the fastest of any defensive end at any Nike event this year, and also vertical-jumped an impressive 40 inches.
Off the edge, Carter was extremely quick, giving offensive tackles fits throughout one-on-one competition. He walked away with defensive line MVP and an invite to The Opening. Carter is still wide open with his recruitment, but it is shaping up to be yet another Alabama vs. Georgia battle for the Norcross star.
Haubert’s take: “When Lorenzo walks onto the field, everyone knows who he is. He has such a great frame to develop; he is so long and rangy. He reminds me a lot of former Norcross standout Adrian Hubbard, although Carter is a little bit shorter. But he reminds me of that type of player in that he could wind up with his hand down in a 4-3 or an outside linebacker in a 3-4. His greatest upside is as a pass rusher, but he needs to continue to keep developing. He flashes the ability to use his hands, although he tries to win most of his battles on speed alone. You have to like his awareness to counter inside when it is not there. He is a great prospect because not only is he a good player right now, but Carter has the ability to become a really dangerous pass rusher as he continues to develop a plan and use his reach more.”