HOOVER, Ala. -- While the eyes of the college football world are on the SEC media days, which are happening just down the road, more than 30 teams have arrived in Hoover to compete and test their passing games at the National Select 7-on-7 Championships.
The tournament began with pool play and featured programs from multiple southeastern states vying for top spots in the championship bracket. As the teams began battling for positioning in the tournament, it became quickly evident that despite the heat the competition will be tough.
Here is a look at a few prospects that shined on Day 1.
Charone Peake (Reobuck, S.C./Dorman) quickly stood out in the opening round of play, establishing himself as one of the top talents at the event. The No. 1-ranked receiver in the country impressed us with his physical prowess and play. He has ideal size (6-foot-3, 191 pounds) for a wide receiver with a wiry, long frame. In addition to great size, the Clemson commit showed rare fluidity and body control. Peake displayed excellent straight-line speed and was extremely smooth and crisp in and out of his breaks as a route runner. His ability to sink his hips and not gear down at the top of his stem made him virtually impossible to cover on intermediate routes. More importantly, he displayed soft, quick hands that allowed him to pluck the ball away from defenders, and his motor never stopped running. He continually ran routes hard, whether he was getting the ball or not. It quickly became evident that he will be a force to reckon with throughout this tournament.
Griffin High School has talent on both sides of the ball, but one of the team's more intriguing prospects is not even being recruited as a perimeter player. The No. 5-ranked defensive end in the country, Xzavier Dickson (Griffin, Ga./Griffin), flashed good overall athleticism for his size and good ball skills. While there is little question Dickson is a defensive prospect, he is an explosive player who moves well and really exhibited his athleticism at one point on Day 1 by going up in the corner of the end zone in double coverage, high pointing the ball and coming down with the catch.
Another top prospect on the Griffin team is four-star safety Corey Moore (Griffin, Ga./Griffin). The Georgia commit certainly looks the part with excellent size for a safety prospect, which had us thinking he could develop into and fit better as an outside linebacker at the college level. He had a day marked by highs and lows, but his range and burst off the hash as a high-point defender was impressive.
ESPNU 150 safety Damian Swann (Atlanta/Grady) really impressed us with his play today on defense and offense. He does not have great physical measurables (6-foot, 175 pounds), but he impressed us with his length and physical upside. The No. 9-ranked safety in the country flexed his athletic ability by taking a high number of reps at corner, which is a position he said many schools are recruiting him for. Out on the perimeter, he displayed great quickness, makeup speed when beat and athleticism competing for the jump ball.
We are not surprised by the interest he is garnering as a potential corner because he displayed good body control and range, but he will need to learn to play with consistent hip sink when transitioning because he was beat on a few occasions when opening up to run vertically. What really surprised us was his play on offense. Swann displayed polish as a route runner, was fluid out of his breaks and on one occasion ran an outstanding post corner route for an easy touchdown.
" Quarterback Austin Brown (Mount Airy, Ga./Flowery Branch) is not a big name on the recruiting trail, but he was one of the better quarterbacks on Day 1. He does not have great size (6-foot, 177 pounds) and he needs to smooth out his mechanics, but he did show good zip on throws between the hashes and was poised and dangerous when he got into a rhythm. He has no BCS offers, but he said Troy and East Carolina are showing interest.
" Auburn commit Kiehl Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Shiloh Christian) was a prospect we were excited to see, but he was not in action on Day 1. The No. 3-ranked quarterback prospect was finishing up a stint at the Elite 11 camp and is scheduled to hit the field Friday.
Craig Haubert is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. and has more than a decade of coaching experience. Billy Tucker is a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting and has close to a decade of coaching experience at the college and high school levels.