July 19, 2008

Stars shine bright at Friday Night Lights

GAINESVILLE, Fla. More than 150 players showed up at the Swamp for the University of Florida's Friday Night Lights. Members of the classes of 2009, 2010 and even 2011 participated in one of the country's top college summer football camps.

This is more than just a camp, as Florida and head coach Urban Meyer, they want the players to try and get an experience of what it's like to play in the Swamp. They tipped off the festivities with the same Gator introduction the players receive on each fall Saturday game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. From the start of the camp through the very end, videos were playing and music was blaring.

Headlining Friday Night Lights were running backs Trent Richardson (Pensacola, Fla.) and Rodney Scott (Cross City, Fla.), quarterback Morgan Newton (Carmel, Ind.), wide receivers Jheranie Boyd (Ashbrook, N.C.), Nu'Keese Richardson (Pahokee, Fla.), and Dwayne Difton (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), offensive lineman Jonotthan Harrison (South Lake, Fla.), defensive tackle Gary Brown (Quincy, Fla.), linebacker Jon Bostic (Wellington, Fla.), and defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick (Gadsden, Ala.).

As good as the rising seniors were, there was just as much talent there from the Class of 2010. Wide receivers Ricardo Miller (Orlando, Fla.) and Chris Dunkley (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), quarterback Trey Burton (Venice, Fla.), running backs Eduardo Clements (Miami, Fla.)and Cassius McDowell (Deerfield Beach, Fla.), tight end Brian Vogler (Columbus, Ga.), offensive linemen Leon Orr (Gulf, Fla.) and Jose Jose (Miami, Fla.), defensive lineman Tavadis Glenn (Jacksonville, Fla.) and linebacker Tyrone Cornelius (Stone Mountain, Ga.) were just some of the young standouts.

Best of the Best

Quarterbacks
There were a number of quality quarterbacks on hand. No one stood head and shoulders above everyone else, but a few threw the ball pretty well. Four-star quarterback Morgan Newton made the trip from Indiana. He certainly has the size (6-feet-4, 205), showed a very lively arm and threw with pretty good accuracy. Class of 2010 member Trey Burton threw the ball very well for a kid still learning how to throw. Last season was his first as a signal caller for Venice (Fla.) High School.

KEEP AN EYE ON
Donnie Jennert, WR, St. Cloud, Fla
The biggest wide receiver at Friday Night Lights Donnie Jennert from St. Cloud, Fla.

Jennert, 6-feet-7 and 195 pounds, had some spectacular grabs in the Swamp, including two one-handed grabs on deep routes that had the crowd roaring. Simply put, he was the big surprise of all the skill players. He continually beat coverage and made plays. Jennert runs well (4.5 in the 40) and says that he has one offer -- from Colorado State.

Originally from St. Cloud, Jennert moved to Glenwood Springs in Colorado before returning to Florida for his senior season. Kansas, Kansas State, Colorado State, Utah, and New Mexico are actively recruiting him. Someone is going to get a real steal in Jennert.

Jamie Newberg

Running backs
Rodney Scott and Trent Richardson came right out of the gate and showed why they are top-flight backs for the class of 2009. Both players also caught the ball very well. Scott has nice size (5-9, 185) and actually looks like a bigger back. He's fluid, fast and runs with great balance. Richardson is rock solid (5-11, 210) and is built more like a linebacker. This kid is very well put together from head to toe. Like Scott, he ran well and showed some quickness. They were very impressive. Class of 2010 back Cassius McDowell (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) showed his electric speed and quickness.

Wide receivers
This was perhaps the deepest position of the night. Headlining this group were Jheranie Boyd and Nu'Keese Richardson. Both players were virtually unstoppable all night. Boyd has good size (6-2, 185) and very good speed. He's tough at the line of scrimmage, runs pretty good routes, caught the ball well and was beating coverage all night long. The best way to describe Richardson is pure speed. This kid can really fly and he has excellent quickness. Like Boyd, he showed very good hands. Another standout was Dwayne Difton, who runs good routes and showed very good hands and concentration. He may lack superior top end speed like Boyd and Richardson, but he does have very good quickness. Two class of 2010 standouts were Chris Dunkley (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Ricardo Miller (Orlando, Fla.). Both players can fly and have very good ball skills. They should be two of the better receiver prospects from the Sunshine State next season.

Offensive linemen
Jonotthan Harrison certainly showed up to play. He has a good frame, long arms and nice footwork. Harrison shows good athletic ability and has a chance to play tackle at the next level. Class of 2010 prospect Leon Orr (Gulf, Fla.) also stood out. Orr has good size and feet and seemed to move very well. Another one to keep an eye on is Jose Jose from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami. Jose has great feet and excels in the run game, he just needs to play with more consistency.

Defensive linemen
Gary Brown was clearly the standout of the big men on defense. He has quickness and athletic ability that's hard to find in tackles. Another big-time standout was a class of 2010 prospect from Jacksonville Terry Parker: Tavadis Glenn. At 6-6 and 254, Glenn played with the defensive line but looks like he could become a prototype offensive tackle. He has a great frame, long arms and moves very well. He currently plays guard and defensive tackle for his high school team. Keep an eye on him in the near future, he has bright future ahead of him.

Linebackers
Clearly, Jon Bostic was the man at this position last night. Bostic moves very well and has good athletic ability. He had some good moments in coverage and has quick recognition. Another standout was Sam Barrington (Jacksonville, Fla.). Barrington doesn't have Bostic's size but shows very good athletic ability and can really run. Class of 2010 standout Tyrone Cornelius moved as well as any linebacker there. He is rangy and athletic and should only get bigger, stronger and learn the game better as he continues to develop.

Defensive backs
The lone standout was five-star defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick is a big cover guy that can run with just about anyone. He has good hips and turns with the fastest and quickest receivers. Kirkpatrick can be physical at the line of scrimmage and plays the ball well in the air. He showed good quickness and makeup speed as well.

Jamie Newberg is a recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. Click here to send him a question or comment for his Mailbag.




 

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