April 21, 2007

NIKE Camp returns to Tallahassee


Three weeks after the Miami NIKE Camp featured many of the top prospects in South Florida for the Class of 2008, the Tallahassee NIKE Camp features the remainder of the top prospects in the Sunshine State.


The NIKE Camp returns to the campus of Florida State University on Sunday after a one-year hiatus (the University of Florida in Gainesville played host during the previous recruiting cycle) and again will be the place that many talented Floridians test themselves against the best.


The 2005 camp featured many players from the Class of 2006 who already have made an impact at the collegiate level, like Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Florida State linebacker Marcus Ball. It also was the place where several Class of 2007 prospects like future Gator Chris Rainey and Alabama-bound Rivals250 defensive back Chris Lett first popped onto the recruiting radar.


Here's a look at some of the top prospects expected at FSU on Sunday.


OFFENSE


Running backs


Several of the Southeast's better running back prospects make this position quite strong. Given that the linebacker position also is strong at this camp, the one-on-one drills with those two positions figure to be outstanding.


Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian's Jamie Harper is an impressive running back/safety/linebacker prospect with good athleticism and versatility. He is an explosive runner on offense and a striking tackler on defense.


Sunday, Harper will work out at running back. He currently holds scholarship offers from South Carolina, Clemson, Louisville, Wisconsin and Duke, but Florida, Florida State and others have taken note of his abilities.


Daphne (Ala.) speedster Reggie Hunt, Folkston (Ga.) Charlton County's Ralph Bolden and Tallahassee (Fla.) FAMU's Richard Watson also are highly-recruited prospects who will compete Sunday.


Other running backs to keep an eye on include: Darriet Perry of Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes, Santuan McGee of Tallahassee (Fla.) Florida High, Franklin Green of Savannah (Ga.) Jenkins, Bubba Brown of Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola and Carl Robinson of Douglasville (Ga.) Douglas County.


Wide receivers


Melvin Ray of Tallahassee's North Florida Christian and Lakeland (Fla.) Kathleen's T.J. Lawrence are the top two receiver prospects heading into the event.


Ray, who holds offers from Florida State, Florida, Georgia and others, is said to be one of the top blocking receivers in the Southeast in this year's class. Lawrence has a high skill level and could project as a safety or receiver at the next level. He has offers from Virginia Tech and others.


Other receivers to keep an eye on include: Alfred Jenkins of Jacksonville Parker, Derek Winter of Tampa Plant and James Bull of Lakeland Lake Gibson.


Offensive line


Mobile (Ala.) McGill-Toolen's Peters Drey currently has a scholarship offer from Purdue and is getting attention from Alabama, Auburn, LSU and others. Drey is expected to be among the top offensive line prospects at Sunday's event.


Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby's Corey Gaines is a Class of 2009 prospect looking to make a big showing. The 6-foot-3, 260-pounder could be among the best offensive linemen in Florida's Capitol City in next year's class.


Other offensive line prospects to watch include Pensacola Pine Forest's Chris Dunning and Fort Pierce (Fla.) Westwood's Ian Osking.


Quarterbacks


Winter Haven (Fla.) signal caller D.C. Jefferson is expected to be on hand. He and Clemson commit Kyle Parker of Jacksonville (Fla.) Bartram Trail are the two top signal callers heading into the event.


A strong performance by Parker not only will mean back-to-back solid showings for him (he was excellent at the Miami Elite 11 workout), but for Tigers quarterback commits in general. Athens (Ga.) Prince Avenue Prep's Jon Richt was one of the better quarterbacks at Friday's Elite 11 workout in Atlanta.


Other quarterbacks to keep an eye on Sunday include: Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby Class of 2009 prospect A.J. Graham, Cory Cox of Blountstown and Ted Stachitas of Jacksonville Nease.


DEFENSE


Linebackers


It's one of the best years on record for linebacker prospects in the Sunshine State, so it's no surprise that this position could be the most talented at the camp on defense.


One of the top linebackers in the country for the Class of 2008 and recent Florida State commit Nigel Bradham is expected to attend the camp. Bradham could be the state of Florida's top overall prospect in this class and his speed and athleticism, which is superior for his size, will be on full display.


The remainder of the Florida State linebacker commit trip, Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast's Nigel Carr and Davenport (Fla.) Ridge Community's Vincent Williams, also are scheduled to attend. Williams emerged last year at the 2006 Miami NIKE Camp.


Other linebackers to watch include Dunnellon (Fla.) speedster Lerentee McCray, Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast teammates Shaq Wilson (committed to South Carolina) and Leandre Lance, Ryan Baker of Blountstown and DeMarrio Sims of Citra North Marion.


Defensive line


Gainesville (Fla.) defensive line prospect Earl Okine became the first verbal commitment for the Class of 2008 for the Florida Gators. Okine, who had a solid showing at the Gainesville camp last year as a rising junior, will be out to show that his development has further progressed this year.


Other defensive line prospects to watch include Savannah (Ga.) Jenkins end Chaz Sutton, Fort Walton Beach (Fla.) Choctawhatchee tackle Chris Martin, Thomasville (Ga.) tackle Brandon Thompson, tackle Jermi Johnson of Chipley (Fla.), Bushnell (Fla.) South Sumter tackle Marty Everett, Saint Augustine (Fla.) Nease tackle Ramon Booi and Florida State commit Anthony Hill of Pensacola (Fla.).


Defensive backs


Jacksonville (Fla.) Bartram Trail cornerback Xavier Brewer, a pre-evaluation Rivals100 member and potentially one of the top prospects at his position in the Southeast, highlights a solid group of defensive backs.


The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Brewer has excellent speed and will get the chance to test his coverage skills against the group of receivers that is expected. Brewer has multiple scholarship offers and a top five of Florida, Miami (Fla.), Clemson, Alabama and LSU.


Other defensive backs to watch include Waycross (Ga.) Ware County speedster Victor Daniels, Marietta (Ga.) Sprayberry safety Brynden Trawick, Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola safety T'Sharvin Bell and Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage cornerback Dominique Battle.



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