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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 confirmed attendees...
* One of the nation's top linemen for 2007 is Cartersville (Ga.) tackle Joseph Gilbert. Checking in at 6-4, 280 pounds Gilbert knows how to use his massive frame to open up holes and protect his quarterback. The Hurricanes finished with a 9-3 record last fall and are poised to have another strong season in 2006. The measurables are definitely there for the Cartersville native who boasts a 330 pound max bench press and a 26 inch vertical. Gilbert even won last year's state championship for wrestling in the heavyweight division. Owning a 3.7 GPA and nearly a 1200 on the SAT Gilbert is receiving plenty of attention from some of the top athletic and academic universities in the county, having already received letters from Georgia, Louisville, Southern Miss and Vanderbilt. His first official offer has already come in from Georgia Tech. Hoping to draw more attention Gilbert will attend the April 29th NIKE Camp in Athens.
* Athlete Billy Chavis from Beaumont (Texas) West Brook has the physical tools to play a number of positions and colleges across the country are taking notice. In his junior campaign for the Bruins Chavis rushed for nearly 1,000 yards and scored 10 touchdowns playing quarterback, running back and wide receiver. This fall the senior will play all those positions and even some defense to help the Bruins chase a 5A, Region III title. With a 35 inch vertical and sub 4.8 speed in the 40 schools like Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Virginia and LSU are already writing him. Additionally, the Baylor Bears and Kansas State Wildcats have already offered him. Chavis will have a lot of eyes on him at the NIKE Camp in College Station at month's end.
* Another big time prospect from the Lone Star state is linebacker Drew Dudley from College Station A&M Consolidated. Already having a prototypical body for a linebacker, 6-2 and 220 pounds, Dudley also shines with 4.54 speed and maxes out at 360 pounds on the bench. The talented junior racked up 119 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 3 recovered fumbles and a blocked punt in leading the Tigers to an 11-3 finish last season. With offers from Oklahoma State and Tulsa in addition to letters from eleven other schools Dudley is quickly becoming a top priority for a lot schools. Last season Dudley was named to the all-district team and was also tabbed the outstanding defensive player. Away from the gridiron he carries a 3.65 GPA and was on the Junior National Olympics team for the triathlon. Dudley hopes to attend camps at Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas Tech in addition to the NIKE Camp at College Station on April 22nd.
* Massillon (Ohio) Jackson tight end/defensive end Rob Reiland is gathering momentum heading into his senior season. At 6-3, 225 pounds his 4.6 in the 40 and 285 pound bench press have the college scouts looking hard at the junior from Canton. In helping the Polar Bears to a 7-3 record in 2005 Reiland earned All-Conference honors. He's already received letters from Pitt, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Ohio, Iowa, and Ohio State in addition to scholarship offers from Miami (OH) and Akron. The student carries a 3.8 GPA and a score of 25 on the ACT and hopes to major in journalism. With Ohio State high on his list of favorites, Reiland will aim to garner some looks at NIKE's Columbus camp May 5th.
* Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison speedster Mark Dell is a player with all the right things on his resume of measurables but also has the on-field production to back it all up. At 6-0, 170 pounds Dell's 4.5 speed and 36 inch vertical gave the Hawks' opponents fits last year as he was a force on both offense and defense. Lining up at wide receiver Dell grabbed 43 passes for 928 yards and eleven scores. On the defensive side of the ball he ended the season with six picks in leading Harrrison to a final record of 10-3. He lists favorites as Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue, Notre Dame and Iowa and has already received offers from Purdue and Akron. This summer he plans to attend camps at both Michigan and Michigan State, but in the meantime will be in Columbus for the May 5th NIKE Camp.
* One of the most intriguing players for the 2007 class is Blake Lawrence of Shawnee Mission West (Kan.). The past two seasons Blake has served as backup quarterback for his older brother, Kansas Jayhawk commit Tyler. However, Blake used that time to focus on the defensive side of the ball where he emerged as one of the state's true standouts at the linebacker position. His honors include All-Conference, All-County, All-Metro and All-State. Last season alone he tallied 90 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. This season Blake will take over as the Vikings' full time signal caller while still maintaining his presence as one of the league's hardest hitters. With his brother set to play for the Jayhawks this coming fall, Kansas has already extended an offer to Blake, as have schools like Missouri, Kansas State, Michigan State, Texas Tech and more. Blake will be showcasing his talent this May at the State College NIKE Camp.
* Louisville (Kent.) St. Xavier running back Victor Anderson may be on the smaller side at only 5-9, but he's already drawing big time interest. The 180 pound tailback had over 1,500 yards and 26 touchdowns on his way to earning 2nd team All-State honors as a junior. The Tigers finished the regular season undefeated before losing to Trinity (Louisville, Kent.) in the state playoffs. Anderson's 4.4 speed, 36 inch vertical and long list of on-field accomplishments have earned him offers from Louisville, Kentucky, and West Virginia among others. Anderson will travel to Columbus, Ohio for the May 5th NIKE Camp hoping to grow that list of offers.
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 ([email protected]) or Greg Biggins ([email protected]) if you are in the West.