Hershey, Pa. - The inaugural Rivals.com Hershey Elite Showcase brought out some of the top talent from the area on Sunday. Several prospects that have been under the recruiting radar so far put their best foot forward at Palmyra's In the Net Sports Complex this weekend in an attempt to get their names out there.
Below are some of the top performers as seen by Rivals.com's Sean Fitz.
Barone was one of the more impressive overall linemen at the event, but what makes his performance more noteworthy is that he'll enter his sophomore season at Montour next year. He went nose to nose with players two years older than him and more than held his own in the one-on-one's and sumo drills. At times he showed his youth, but Barone has the potential to be a very good interior lineman at the next level.
6-foot-2, 248 pounds, Philadelphia (Pa.) Roman Catholic
Bell is listed as a defensive end, but he has the frame to be able to move inside at the next level. A high-effort prospect, Bell is quick off the ball and was able to get around slower offensive linemen in the one-on-one portion. Bell plays two ways at Roman Catholic, but will end up on the defensive side of the ball. He has heard from several schools and has visited Pitt, but has yet to pull in his first offer. He will camp at a number of schools this summer.
Brown may have had the most impressive physical makeup of any player at the camp, and he immediately passed the looks test. He's compact but very quick in his cuts. Brown is also a high-energy guy, and was first in every drill before sitting out with a toe injury near the end of camp. Brown is a transfer from Annapolis, where he ran for nearly 1,400 yards last season. He is hearing from Maryland and a few other division I programs, but his impressive work in the classroom could have him headed to the Ivy League.
At 5-11, Connor lacks ideal height for an offensive lineman, but he was the most technically sound player in the group. He held his own in the one-on-ones, showing great natural leverage and knee bend. He also sinks his hips very well in pass protection. Conner will have to play on the interior at the next level, but he was one of the top performers on the day.
Though the tight ends were few in number, the position had a very good performance overall. Gamber was the best of the bunch, running routes and hauling in passes like a wide receiver. He's a big kid who still has room to fill out - he could easily play at 250 pounds. If his blocking comes around he'll be an intriguing prospect at the next level.
The vocal leader among the offensive and defensive lineman, incredibly, was the stocky freshman from the Pittsburgh area. He led every huddle, was heard above every other player and made a name for himself. He's obviously got room to grow, but his fire for the game and ability to play low drew praise from coaches and onlookers alike. He's built like a guard at the next level, but that could change in the next few years. The future of Montour's line looks to be in good hands with he and teammate Matt Barone.
Hairston, a massive two-way lineman from nearby Susquehanna Township, was simply unmovable during the sumo drill, which pitted both offensive and defensive lineman head-to-head in a test of brute strength. Hairston also moves fairly well for his size, though he will have to shed a few pounds to play on the nose at the next level. Penn State, Pittsburgh and Maryland have all expressed interest.
5-foot-11, 187 pounds, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Academy
Mayo showed on Sunday that he will likely one of the top prospects in the nation's capital in 2012. He has some growing to do but will likely project at safety at the next level. Mayo is a super smooth athlete and had little trouble working out with both the cornerbacks and safeties in drills and 7-on-7 work. West Virginia and Maryland are already in on Mayo, and they certainly wont be the last.
5-foot-7, 156 pounds, Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joseph's Prep
Pound for pound, Peoples was probably the top overall performer at the camp. He's a natural athlete who excelled with both the running backs and defensive backs during drills and team sessions. Peoples was the most fluid cutter at the camp. He's small, but has incredibly quick feet and great ball skills. The junior to be rushed for over 1,000 yards last season, and will be one of Philadelphia's top prospects in 2012.
Taking over for the departed Zch Zwinak at one of Maryland's premier programs won't be an easy task for anyone, but Riddle will be a guy in the mix to do so. The sophomore is a good looking athlete who excelled as a pass catcher. He's got the frame to add another 20 pounds by the time the 2011 season rolls around, so he should be on the recruiting radar before long. He also put forth a tremendous effort the entire day, earning points from the coaches on hand for going hard.
6-foot, 175 pounds, Frederick (Md.) Thomas Johnson
Scott was the top cornerback at the event, showcasing his cover skills in both man and zone coverage during 2-on-2 and 7-on-7 competition. He's a tall, lanky corner who has the ability to stick of the hip of the opposing defender at top speed. Scott has a scholarship offer from Central Michigan, but that list will likely grow as he hits the camp circuit this summer.
The early buzz in the camp was around Stewart, who is built like a defensive end but worked out with the running backs. A huge downhill back, Stewart is a straight-ahead runner who drew much praise from Dematha head coach Bill McGregor. Not surprisingly, he said that Wisconsin was on the verge of offering, as he looks like a typical Badger back. Stewart needs to work on his quickness, but could probably play tailback or fullback at the next level.
5-foot-11, 150 pounds, Frederick (Md.) St. John's Catholic
Though incredibly skinny, Weaver was one of the top two wideouts on the day. Very simply, Weaver caught everything thrown his way. He was quick in and out of cuts and was able to get deep a few times. Weaver has very good body control, but he'll have to put on some weight in order to deal with physical corners at the next level. He has a great first step and finds the hole in the zone well.
Tall and lanky, Williams used his size to separate from defenders and had no problem going up and getting the ball. He doesn't have great speed, but he's a smooth runner with long strides and a nose for the ball. Many on hand commented that Williams was the best receiver prospect at the camp. He has heard from a number of schools so far, including Penn State, Pittsburgh, Maryland and a number of MAC schools, and should pull in a few offers on the camp circuit.
With a small contingent of quarterbacks on and, White stood out as the best passer on the day. He's a big, rangy athlete who moved around the pocket very well. He threw the tightest spiral on the day and his arm strength was more than adequate. He did struggle making reads in the 7-on-7 portion of the event, but as the segment progressed so did he, checking down and hitting his secondary targets. A relative unknown coming in, White may have helped his stock more than anyone at the event.