SAN ANTONIO - The second day brought several additional players to the East squad after flight cancellations caused a handful of players to miss Monday's practice. With the new faces like Xavier Nixon, came speed and power which clearly elevated the talent level of this squad. The following are some of the top performers of the day.
6-0/226, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway
Bell brings to the gridiron a fierce competitiveness that flared up as he challenged the entire offensive line to bring its best including Xavier Nixon. But tenacity is not all Bell exudes. His tremendous speed and power allows him to wreack havoc by knocking linemen into the backfield. Bell really got physical with fellow Keystone State native Eric Shrive as they mixed it up long after the whistle.
6-3/275, Philadelphia (Miss.) Philadelphia
Straight from the plane and onto the playing field, Boyd brought his raw power and speed unlike any interior lineman the day before. Not only was he able to knock Brennan Williams straight back into the pocket, he was able to use his acrobatic spin move on a stunt to beat Marcus Hall. He may be the only body on the East squad that can play either strong defensive end or defensive tackle.
6-0/215, Witchita (Kan.) Witchita East
What can I say, Brown just has it. He is what I call a five tool running back. He has speed, quickness, power, hands, and excellent vision. He was able to get behind the secondary on more than one occasion while hauling in tough catches for touchdowns. He seems to be here on a mission to show the world that he's the best of the best.
6-2/300, LaGrange (Ga.) Troup
Burnette has one of the best stances on the entire East offensive line displaying a flat back and natural knee bend. He also has just enough girth to give mammoth William Campbell trouble when he bull rushes. Tyler Stockton, who may have the lowest center of gravity, struggled to get good leverage on Burnette. Linebackers better watch out because his athletic legs were made for blocking downfield.
6-0/310, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech
He is a full grown man out on the gridiron even when compared to some of the nation's best offensive and defensive linemen. Most of the centers really struggled with the snap for two reasons - one they are new at it and two Campbell was bringing the most powerful bull rush they have ever seen. Just ask Nick Alajajian what it feels like to keep this future college star from getting into the backfield.
5-8/165, Apopka (Fla.) Apopka
The first thing you might notice at the East practice is the size of No. 88. But just ask any of the defensive backs on his team what it is like to trap a small gazelle hopped up on adrenaline. He again was able to get deep because defensive backs can't grasp him off the line of scrimmage. Gallon has also displayed great hands and body control.
6-4/255, Florence (S.C.) West Florence
The sheer length of his arms and hands make him stand out even in a crowd of tremendous athletes. He uses his appendages like weapons in combat - poking, jabbing and pushing the offensive linemen deep into the pocket. Day one standout Marcus Hall really struggled in one-on-ones against Goodman and was battered like a piñata. The crazy thing about Goodman is that I don't think he has any idea how good he can become.
5-11/178, Louisville (KY) Male
This Kentucky speedster is more than a track star. He demonstrated quick feet while in his backpedal, excellent hips when breaking on the ball and serious ball skills. He was able to show off his hands as he made a leaping interception on a deep ball. He was hampered with a groin pull so we were unable to see his blazing speed on kick returns today.
5-11/205, Apoka (Fla.) Apoka
Like fellow high school teammate Jeremy Gallon, at first glance you may say "hey that kid is too small to play linebacker." But that is just not the case. He uses extremely quick feet to avoid blockers at the point of attack. Mars looked quick and agile getting to the boundary on a screen pass before any sizable gain could be made. Look for him to be a terror on coverage teams avoiding blocks and taking out the return man.
6-6/263, Fayetteville (N.C.) Jack Britt
All I can say is wow. There is no doubt that Nixon is the most athletic offensive lineman on the East squad. He bends at the knees and hips like a contortionist getting into a small cube. He may only weigh 265 pounds at this time, but his frame can easily hold another 30 pounds. Nixon really excelled at preventing the outside rush by locking onto the defenders and just gliding and lifting his feet like a professional dancer. He may be more athletic than some of the defensive linemen here.
6-2/186, Massillon (Ohio) Washington
During individual position work, Turner was snagging footballs out the air like a gold glove center fielder. Even though he looks physically like a safety, he is playing cornerback. He has good hips and change of direction to go along with his uncanny ability to adjust to the ball in the air. Look for Turner to get a shot at both corner and free safety at Michigan, as well as being a member of all special teams minus extra point and field goal teams.