April 5, 2014

VTO: Secondary impresses

MORE: Class of 2015 Rivals250

The VTO Elite 100 camp provided plenty of exposure for several under-the-radar prospects. Rising seniors got a chance to make a name for themselves, and class of 2017 prospects were able to get on the recruiting radar.

The defensive backfield boasted the best talent on the field. Quay Young (Plant City), Evan Cruz (Viera), Javaris Whitsett (Plant City), Mykal Woulard (University), and Devan McAllister (Plant City) were among the finalists for the defensive back MVP award.

The honors went to Young as he represented on his own turf and also was awarded with a Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour invite. Despite his 5-foot-9 frame, Young shut down opposing receivers all day long.

"I felt like I did pretty good," Young said. "I feel like I'm a sleeper so I try to come out every day and try to get better. I think I impressed a lot of people today."

Young enjoyed being able to attend the VTO camp on his home field.

"Yeah I felt like I did what I had to do to let these receivers know they're not going to just come here and do their thing."

Woulard, brother of former Rivals250 and UCLA quarterback Asanti Woulard, also had a strong showing as he was given the VTO athlete award. The Rivals camp alum was impressive at both receiver and cornerback.

"When I came out here, I was just expecting to play defensive back," said Woulard. "They told me to get some reps at receiver, and it worked out."

"I'm kind of under the radar right now," he continued. "I'm trying to make it myself."

McAllister was also an interesting prospect on hand considering that he was the only senior that participated. He is still looking at several options to play football at the next level.

The before mentioned Evan Cruz was awarded with a Rivals Underclassmen Challenge Invite with his play at cornerback. He showed smooth hips, good recovery speed, and excellent ball skills.

"It makes me think all my grinding has been working and I still want to get my first offer soon," Cruz said. "I just have to keep working."

The quarterback MVP was awarded to Bradenton Christian's Dustin Peebles. There was a small crop of gunslingers on hand, but rising sophomore quarterback Patrick Knight from Liberty High School showed a lot of promise as a big, strong armed quarterback. Knight was given the sleeper award as a 2017 prospect.

William Beatty from Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School was named the best offensive lineman with his performance at VTO.

"I thought it was a really good camp," Beatty said. "I think I performed pretty well but I think there's some stuff I could improve on."

Staying on the offensive side of the ball, Jorge Navarrete from the host school Plant City won the wide receiver MVP. Navarrete won nearly every rep at receiver and caught multiple touchdowns in the one-on-one segment.

Tampa Catholic's Trajan Herr was the top tight end and Michael Ervin from Plant City was the third Raider to be named a positional MVP.

The finalists for the linebacker MVP included Jennings Jackson (Ridgeview), Patrick Colleran (Plant City), Paul Harper (King), Terry Robinson Jr. (Fleming Island), and Tyler Smith (Forest). They were all deserving, but Paul Harper won the award by showing his versatility in the middle of the field being able to cover multiple positions.

Other impressive performers included Ahmad Ivey (Gainesville), Deondre Gatlin (Plant City), and Henry Montgomery (Gainesville). Gatlin was arguably the best receiver - hauling in the deep ball.





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