April 12, 2014

RCS New Jersey: They said it

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- One thing can be said with certainty about the 230 or so athletes that gathered for the Rivals Camp Series New Jersey event on Saturday -- the players certainly have a wide range of opinions. We decided to gather as many as we could, from favorite NFL players to personal pregame rituals. Here are a sampling of thoughts from some of the best the Northeast has to offer.

Who is your favorite NFL player?

"Deion Sanders. He was just a playmaker and that's how I feel I am. He is a great athlete and I can relate to him in a lot of ways." -- Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, St. Peter's Prep (N.J.)

"Cam Newton. I just like the way he plays quarterback. He is a dual-threat quarterback who can run, throw and he has fun doing it." -- Eddie Hann, QB, Red Bank Catholic (N.J.)

"Brian Dawkins. He is so humble. But at the same time, when hits the field he is just an animal and that is how I want to be." -- John Chaney, DB, Roman Catholic (Pa.)

"Joe Thomas. He's just a beast at left tackle. His footwork, his hands and his disposition off the ball is ridiculous. I just love watching him even though I am not a Browns fan. I just like to watch him." -- Thomas Lopez OL, Middletown South (N.J.)

"Richard Sherman. I just like the way he plays. He plays with that swagger that you have to have as a cornerback. I play the same way. I like to talk, but it is not cocky. We just believe in ourselves. I like him a lot." -- Ahmad Thomas, DB, St. Peter's Prep (NJ)

What is the main reason you choose to participate in this camp?

"I've heard good things about the camp. I wanted to just come out and compete against some of the best competition in the tri-state area." -- R.J. Edwards, WR, St. Joseph Regional (N.J.)

"I came here mainly for the competition. You don't get competition like this every day. Schools have been talking to me about playing all over the place; defensive end, outside linebacker, middle linebacker, so it is good to come here and showcase what I can do." -- Jamie Gordinier DE, Red Bank Catholic (N.J.)

"I just wanted to come and compete in the Mid-Atlantic region to see the best talent and compete against the best running backs, the best linebackers, the wide receivers and meet everybody." -- Blake Gallagher, LB, St. Sebastian (Mass.)

"I wanted to show what I can do. I wanted to show some things and get noticed. My coach got me the invite and I told him I didn't want to let him down. I wanted to show him what I can do." -- Tavian Martin, LB, Timber Creek (N.J.)

"I wanted to come here, stand out and make a name for myself. I am trying to be No. 1 for my position in my class. I am in the class of 2016 and I am ready." -- A.J. Farris, OL, Eastern Christian Academy (Del.)

What is your favorite account to follow on Twitter?

"Athletes for God (@AthletesForGod). Every morning it is inspirational just for me waking up and being able to read those tweets and get my day going in a positive way." -- Brandon Wimbush, QB, St. Peter's Prep (N.J.)

"Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25). I like his game. He's cocky and I model my game after his. One of my favorite tweets of his is 'I'm the best corner.'" -- Kwadir Brown, DB, DePaul Catholic (N.J.)

"My coach, Rob Hinson (@TCCharger1). He keeps me updated on everything we have to do as a team. He makes sure the team is all together. He tweets a lot and makes sure we are updated." -- Alan Butler, WR, Timber Creek (N.J.)

"Meek Mill (@MeekMill). I like listening to his music a lot and he always has some quotes on there that I really like." -- Austrian Robinson, DL, Trinity Pawling (NY)

"I like getting recruiting updates so I would have to say Mr. Adam Friedman (@RivalsFriedman). He updates everything in the recruiting world and shows where a lot of players are and that's where I shoot to be." -- Timothy Poindexter, RB, Cardinal Hayes (N.Y.)

What's your favorite pre-game ritual?

"I start at five o'clock in the morning. I do footwork drills, cone drills and stuff like that. I do that before games, before combines, before anything." -- Taylor Edwards, TE, Dupont (Del.)

"Before a game, I like to get real energized. I get a mean streak and just get myself focused on the game." -- Liam Smith, OL, Red Bank Catholic (N.J.)

"I pray. I am a real spiritual dude, so I pray a lot before a game. That's about it." -- Gladimir Paul, DL, Northeast (Pa.)

"I just sit there and get mentally prepared. I like to listen to music and just enjoy it with my team and try to get them excited to go play." -- Nakia Griffin, TE, Tenafly (N.J.)

"I like to listen to music and stretch while I am listening to music. I like to listen to 'I'm The Man' now." -- Shedrick McCall LB, Matoaca (Va.)

Who is your favorite college football player?

"Vernon Hargreaves. He's a baller. He is my size and he is right. He doesn't play any games. He was a freshman All-American. That's everything." -- Kareem Ali, DB, Timber Creek (N.J.)

"Marqise Lee. I just love how he gets off the ball. I love how he is a deep specialist and how tough he is as a wide receiver." -- Coney Jr.]Bryan Coney Jr. WR, Naugatuck (Conn.)

"Nadir Barnwell from Rutgers. He is my brother and he is also a great person to follow and drive yourself to be like. He's a great football player and he is going to have a great season coming up." -- Elijah Barnwell, RB, Piscataway (N.J.)

"You have to go with Johnny Manziel. He is a character. He just has fun playing football and that is what you like to see." -- Andrew Davidson, LB, Emmaus (Pa.)

"Will Sutton from Arizona State. I really like how he plays defensive tackle. He kind of reminds me a bit of myself. He's a great player, Pac-12 defensive player of the year, so it's someone nice to look up to." -- Trevaughn James, DL, Trinity Pawling (N.Y.)

When you're not studying or playing football, what do you spend most of your time doing?

"I'm a homebody. I am the type who is just in the house playing PS4, Madden 25. I just like to stay off my feet and stay out of trouble as much as possible." -- Malachi Felder, DE, Eastern Christian (Del.)

"Reading. I really enjoy reading. That or playing a game. I really like to read fictional novels. I also like to play Madden 25 and Call of Duty. I play a little bit of everything." -- Charles Mitchell, DL, Piscataway (N.J.)

"I am probably just hanging out with my friends playing X-box, doing stupid stuff and clowning around with each other." -- Freddie Simmons, WR, Bethelehem Catholic (Pa.)

"I am playing video games. I am best at Madden and pretty good at Call of Duty. I also like to play basketball outside with my friends. That is my way of doing cardio. It is a lot of running around and switching directions, so its good. To me it is just better than just running." -- Taimaine Boyd, RB, Union City (N.J.)

"Either I am running track or doing drills outside. Sometimes, I go to my grandmom's house because she is a little sick right now. I will go out there and help her out a little bit, make sure she eats and make sure she is okay and stuff." -- Ja'Mir Washington, DB, Camden (N.J.)

If you had to pick today, what would you major in at college?

"Culinary, I like cooking. There is just something about it. I watch the Food Network a lot. My favorite show is Chopped." -- Solomon Manning, LB, Colonia (N.J.)

"I've been looking at business. That's been on my mind lately. But most of all, engineering. I've had my heart set on that. Ever since I was little I have been good with hands-on stuff. It is just something that comes to me easily." -- Derek Dressler OL, Covington (Va.)

"Plastic surgery. I like experimenting on people and working with stuff like that. I have always wanted to do that. I first knew I wanted to do it when I was watching this movie that showed stomach implants. I was watching ladies change and all, that's when I started liking it." -- DeVante Williams, QB, East Orange (N.J.)

"Some type of history or computer science. I have always been into history class. It's been my favorite subject for a while and I always get a really good grade in that. It just interests me." -- Darren Seward, LB, Loyola Blakefield (Md.)

"I want to be an education major. I want to be a coach and I can start my career by being a teacher and a coach. Then I could work into administration and really start to help kids out." -- Cameron Chambers, WR, Timber Creek (N.J.)

What is the No. 1 goal for your football career?

"My No. 1 goal is just to provide for my family. If God permits that I go all the way to the pros, then I can help my mom, my dad, my brother and my sister; everybody I got under my arm. I do it for them. They are my motivators, it helps just having them by my side." -- Dontae Strickland, RB, South Brunswick (N.J.)

"Of course everybody wants to go to the NFL, but my goal is to make it through college graduation and then hopefully get to the NFL." -- Amir Ealey, TE, Coatesville (Pa.)

"My goal is to go to the NFL and be the No. 1 draft pick. I really knew I wanted to play football when I was in the seventh grade because I was too big to play before that. When I got the seventh grade, I was finally able to strap on the pads." -- Rashan Gary, DL, Scotch Plains (N.J.)

"My No. 1 goal would be to be to provide for my family. Football is a way to do that. But I definitely want to go to school first. But I want to play football, so I can make some money and provide for my family." -- Nasir Bonner, RB, Imhotep (Pa.)

"I want to go to a university that is great academically and also has a great football program. My goal coming in is to play early and then from there just see how far it can take me." -- Jared Southers, OL, Seton Hall Prep (N.J.)

What football team will win the college football National Championship this year?

"Bama is always in it, but Florida State is going to win it again. Jameis Winston is coming back. That is probably my favorite college football player. He is just a winner and he knows how to win." -- Troy Shorts, ATH, Woodbury (N.J.)

"I still like my Ohio State Buckeyes. I am still hoping for them. I know the season did not end so well but I think they still have it." -- Koby Quansah, RB, Kingswood Oxford Prep (Conn.)

"Oregon. I am an Oregon fan. They are fast. They have a new coach coach and a new system and I think they are going to be really good this year." -- D.J. Fabiani, DB, Cocalico (Pa.)

"Alabama. They are a powerhouse. The NFL factor is there. You really don't even need a reason to pick Alabama." -- Dante Lonardo, DL, Bethlehem Catholic (Pa.)

"I am a big Michigan State fan and I definitely believe in defense. I think Michigan State is going to take it this year." -- James Wilson, OL, Middletown South (NJ)

What team will win the Super Bowl?

"Carolina Panthers. They are going to win because of their defense. Defense wins championships. Luke Kuechly is going to be a linebacker there, they have a couple good DBs and they have a good defensive line. And they also have a franchise quarterback in Cam Newton." -- Jarvis Miller, DB, Suffield (Conn.)

"The Baltimore Ravens. Ravens Nation, that has been my team since I was a kid. I just love the team and everything they do." -- Myles Hartsfield, DB, Sayreville (N.J.)

"The Washington Redskins. I have been a fan ever since I was little. Every year even if it is good or bad, I have to say the Redskins." -- Robert Rider, OL, Green Castle (Pa.)

"Seattle Seahawks. I think they have a lot of potential coming on. They have Russell Wilson,a great leader and great quarterback. He is coming on strong. I think they have a lot of potential on offense and defense." -- Logan Wolfe, QB, Cosby High (VA)

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