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NIKE Camp registration information has been mailed out to prospects all over the country and already many are beginning to return their forms and confirm their spots for one of the 12 NIKE Camps across the country. Today the Blog continues to take a look at some of the top returnees...
*One of the top quarterbacks in the South is starting to take some unofficials. 6-3, 210 pound Stephen Garcia of Tampa (Fla.) Jefferson is heading to Florida and Georgia for unofficial visits this weekend while on spring break with his parents and older brother. Garcia, a Class 4A second team all-state selection as a junior, has already been to Florida once, but this will be his first trip to Athens. He also has plans to checkout Alabama and possibly LSU later this spring and will return to Athens on April 29th for the NIKE Camp.
*Catawissa (Pa.) Southern Columbia rolled to a fourth-straight Class A state title in the Keystone State last fall, and one main reason was the bulldozer in the Tigers' backfield, big Henry Hynoski. The 6-2, 244 pound bruiser rumbled for 2,180 yards and 35 touchdowns last fall on 240 carries, earning first team all-state honors. Hynoski isn't just a big guy beating up on small competition, as he has the physical tools that should make him a versatile, Mike Alstott-type of fullback at the college level, with bests of 4.7 in the 40 and great strength with a 380 pound bench press. Hynoski has scored 72 career TDs at Southern Columbia and should pass the 100 mark his senior year, but he also is a standout baseball player and gets it done in the classroom as well, maintaining a 3.9 GPA. So far Pitt and Rutgers have offered Hynoski scholarships, and he likes those two schools along with Notre Dame, Penn State, Ohio State and Stanford. Hynoski will battle for top SPARQ Rating honors at the May 6th NIKE Camp in State College.
*Last year a big-time sleeper emerged out of Greensboro (N.C.) Page in running back Remene Alston, who was under the radar until a big senior season landed him a scholarship at Oregon. This year the Page Pirates have another Division I prospect, but the secret is already out about 6-3, 228 pound defensive end Kevion Latham. Latham, a physical freak with 4.63 speed in the 40 and a 320 pound bench press, emerged last fall on the field, totaling 83 tackles and 12.5 sacks, earning 4-A all-state honors. Latham also is a stud in the classroom, with a 4.5 GPA and a score of 1700 on the SAT. Early offers have come in already from North Carolina, Penn State and Boston College, and Latham has interest in those three schools plus Miami, LSU and Duke early on. He'll travel cross country to visit his former teammate Alston and attend the June 10th NIKE Camp in Eugene this summer.
*Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward had another successful season last fall, being ranked in the Student Sports FAB 50 for most of the year and finishing 12-1. One main cog in the St. Ed machine last fall was 6-0, 185 pound hitting machine Diauntae Morrow. Morrow was an all-county selection while starring at both linebacker and safety last fall, recording 75 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks. His good athletic ability - 4.55 40, 35-inch vertical jump and 290 pound bench - should allow him to transition to safety full-time in college and he should have no shortage of suitors as offers have already come in from Wisconsin and Indiana. Those two along with Ohio State, Iowa and Purdue stand out as Morrow's early favorites. He'll attend the May 5th NIKE Camp in Columbus.
*The State of Kansas has produced its fair share of top running backs over the years, most notably all-time great Barry Sanders. While he's still just a high school junior, Olathe (Kan.) East's Demetrius Bell hopes to be the next great back to come out of the Mayflower State. Bell certainly did his part last season, as the 5-9, 170 pounder rushed 243 times for 1,821 yards and 24 touchdowns, helping East to a 12-1 record and earning Class 6A honorable mention all-state. Speed is Bell's calling card, as he has bests of 10.6 in the 100 meter dash and 22.1 in the 200 meter dash, and his coach Jeff Meyers feels he's the fastest athlete in the state. Kansas State has offered Bell and the Wildcats lead early on, followed by Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas Tech and TCU. Bell will attend the April 30th NIKE Camp in Baton Rouge.
*Willy Korn and head coach Bobby Bentley's offense has gotten most of the credit for the recent string of state titles at Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes, but the Rebels' defense has also been very good and very rarely in the spotlight. One stalwart of that defense a year ago was 6-0, 205 pound linebacker/defensive end Stanley Hunter, who put up some staggering numbers as Byrnes rolled to a 15-0 record. On his way to all-area and all-region honors, Hunter totaled 160 tackles, 38 tackles for loss, 16 sacks and had one interception. His 4.41 speed in the 40 allowed Hunter to make tackles all over the field, and he's also quite strong with a 290 pound bench max. Hunter lists Georgia, Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina and Auburn as his favorites early on, and the Tar Heels are his first offer. He'll attend the May 21st NIKE Camp in Clemson.
*LeBron Daniel has been a top performer at Warrensville Heights (Ohio) and is beginning to attract the attention of college recruiters. Playing defensive end as a sophomore in 2005, Daniel racked up 10 sacks and then last year he dominated at inside linebacker, totaling 102 tackles, 13 sacks and returning his one interception for a touchdown, on his way to all-league honors. The 6-2, 225 pounder also had a strong showing at the NIKE Camp in Ann Arbor last spring, posting a 68.80 SPARQ Rating on the strength of 25 bench reps and a 4.91 40. His forty time is now down to 4.71 and Daniel will be looking to improve his SPARQ score at the May 5th NIKE Camp in Columbus this year. Daniel, who will enroll at Cleveland Glenville for his senior season, already has offers from Duke, Miami-Ohio and Akron. He lists his current favorites as Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Boston College and Tennessee.
*Wayne (N.J.) Wayne Hills linebacker Mike Fullam is coming off a strong junior season and has received his first scholarship offer from the Temple Owls. Fullam, a 6-4, 208 pounder, recorded 90 tackles, 12 sacks and had one interception return for a touchdown as a junior, earning all-area honors. The big frame and 4.7 speed in the 40 should make Fullam a top target in the Garden State this year and he's also looking at Rutgers, Boston College, Louisville and Maryland in addition to Temple. Fullam will attend the May 7th NIKE Camp in West Point.
If you are a coach or parent that would like to get a top junior involved with the NIKE Camps, NIKE Combines or Elite 11 Quarterback events, or featured on the Junior to Watch Blog, email Brian Stumpf if you are located in the Eastern or Central part of the country (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Greg Biggins (email@example.com) if you are in the West.