Commentary

Athletes look for improvement, exposure at Raise Your Stock

Updated: May 4, 2009, 2:02 PM ET
By Mike Loveday | ESPNRISE.com

Related: Events Calender | Preview | Peer Review |

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Quarterbacks from several states and different stages in their career gathered at Annapolis Area Christian to try to improve their skills and gain college exposure by participating in Raise Your Stock 2009.

Quarterback Review

Maryland Crab Bowl co-founder Sean O'Connor was in attendance and talked about the quarterbacks who impressed him.

On Arundel's Billy Cosh: "Cosh has a great arm. He had the composure of a quarterback. His ability to hit the middle route -- to be able to throw the deep ball -- in my opinion it was above everybody."

On Edmondson's Jerry Lovelocke: "He reminds me a lot of [Dunbar's] Jonathan Perry last year. He might be ahead of Perry right now from when I saw him last year at this time. He has great ability. I would love to see him throw on the run a little bit more, but when he did do stuff that was movement I think he was the clear-cut favorite."

On Whitman sophomore Henry Kuhn: "He has a good upside. You can tell he's a coach's son. He does a lot of things correctly. Just from a standpoint of someone I didn't know here, he came out and threw the ball well. He threw the deep ball very, very well."

Many of the athletes were from Maryland and most were juniors, but included among the 27 quarterbacks and receivers signed up for the event were athletes from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania along with several sophomores and freshmen.

Chris Laviano and his father Tom drove four hours from South Huntington, N.Y., on Sunday to attend RYS, and were heading back after the event ended at 9 p.m.

"This is like a hobby for me: going around the country and watching the kid compete," Tom Laviano said. "I traveled with hockey for eight years, so this is nothing. My oldest son played hockey for eight years and we enjoyed that. This is just another leg of being a father."

Brian Purnell and his mother Debbie drove two hours from Woodbury, N.J.

Purnell threw for 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior last season and signed up for RYS on Friday.

"I just wanted to work on my feet," Purnell said. "I think I have a good arm; I just want to get my feet together and get better by the end of the day."

For Laviano and Purnell, along with the other quarterbacks in attendance, RYS gave them the chance to show college coaches their skills. Quarterbacks were taken through a series of drills covering footwork, accuracy and arm strength over the course of three hours, while being recorded by three cameras.

"[Offensive coordinator] James Franklin from Maryland, [quarterbacks coach] Ron Powlus from Notre Dame, [assistant] coach [James] Cregg from Tennessee and [quarterbacks] coach [John] Kaleo from Towson. Those are the guys that I asked what they would like to see. And that's exactly what we did," Raise Your Stock founder Chris Baucia said. "This wasn't what I wanted to see, it's what they want to see."

Receiver Review

Annapolis Area Christian head coach Kenny Lucas worked with the receivers during drills and listed some of the athletes who stood out.*

On Arundel's Ronnie Harris: "He looked good through drills. He runs good routes and has good hands."

On Lackey's Raeeqs Dobyns: "He has good feet, runs good routes and is always under control. I think he would be among the top three [receivers]."

On Thomas Johnson's Deandre Scott: "He has good hands, runs good routes and breaks out his routes well."

On DeMatha's Mike Coley: "He's smooth, runs good routes and he's a physical receiver."

*Coach Lucas and I ran out of time before the end of the event so I was unable to get quotes about all the receivers he thought stood out. Tthe following athletes also stood out at the event.

DeMatha's Justin Hamm
Good Counsel's Wesley Brown
Riverdale Baptist's Devin Goode

Film for each quarterback and receiver will be edited together and sent to every college recruiting coordinator in the ACC, Big East, SEC, MAC and Atlantic 10.

"I thought it was well put together. It was well organized more than a lot of the other camps that we've been to," Good Counsel sophomore Zach Dancel (Olney, Md.) said. "Since I'm a sophomore I don't have that much film. I wanted to get some good film: good footwork on the film, good ball placement. I wanted to get the experience of the pressure -- in front of film -- to be ready for it."

In attendance was co-founder of the Maryland Crab Bowl Sean O'Connor. The Crab Bowl is a high school all-star game for Maryland senior football players.

"The unique part of this event is that it's a showcase, but it's also an elimination," O'Connor said. "You really see after three or four throws who belongs here. It's a good thing: It raises the competition level."

Among the quarterbacks who impressed coaches during the event were Billy Cosh of Arundel (Gambrills, Md.), Jerry Lovelocke of Edmondson (Baltimore, Md.), Josh Bornder of Century (Sykesville, Md.), Josh Marshall of Tuscarora (Frederick, Md.), Nick Story of Broadneck (Annapolis, Md.), Henry Kuhn of Walt Whitman (Bethesda, Md.), Connor Frazier of Damascus (Md.), Trevon Bennett of Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and Dancel.

"Obviously the Cosh kid looked really good. I thought the kid from Edmondson [Lovelocke] looked really good athletically and threw the ball really well. Kuhn, the kid from Whitman, had his ups and downs, but he showed some poise," O'Connor said.

Receivers got their chance to show their skills, both through drills and running routes.

Among the receivers who stood out were: Ronnie Harris of Arundel, Raeegs Dobyns and Frank Mickey of Lackey (Indian Head, Md.), Deandre Scott of Thomas Johnson (Frederick, Md.), Devin Goode of Riverdale Baptist, Mike Coley of DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) and freshman Wesley Brown of Good Counsel.

ESPNRise encourages comments from its users. Leave a comment below. Mike Loveday covers high school sports for ESPNRISE.com. Mike can be reached at Michael.Loveday@espn.com