March 17, 2009

Duncanville Hosts Plenty of Top Talent

DUNCANVILLE, Texas - In this day and age of recruiting it's never too early start evaluating high school talent, even if the prospects still a few months away from being in high school. No camp in the country does a better job of getting young players to their events and helping Rivals.com identify such talent as Dave Schuman's Ultimate 100 camps.

Last weekend the travelling road show stopped in South Dallas to get a look at some of the best players the Dallas Metroplex had to offer. Young players from programs like Cedar Hill, Desoto, Duncanville, and South Grand Prairie showed up for the event and many made strong impressions.

Perhaps the most notable participant was a quarterback who has yet to take a snap for his high school team, Lone Oak. Texas signal caller Cooper Jones. The 6-foot-5, 184-pound quarterback showed good athleticism and a nice arm and was for Barry Every who had been at each camp so far this year was the best junior-to-be quarterback he had seen all season.

While the small school star still has a lot of physical developing to do a pair of running backs from large Dallas area programs were among the camp's most physically impressive prospects.

In the case of Mesquite (Texas) North Mesquite running back Joe Bergeron his 6-foot, 235-pound frame was undeniably the most impressive of all the prospects in attendance through the week. Bergeron ran a solid 4.6-second 40-yard dash on a soft track through some nasty weather and took away the 2011 camp's MVP award.

He was joined among the camp's best backs by Antoine Jimmerson of Desoto, Texas. The back ran some of the fastest 40-times of the day at 4.54-seconds and could be yet another Eagle to establish himself in the recruiting game.

There was skill position to be found almost everywhere but while the group of offensive lineman was far from a stellar group a few players stood out as potential future good ones, in the class of 2011 Allen, Texas lineman Brad McNulty has already begun to be talked as a player worth knowing and did nothing to hurt his reputation on Saturday.

McNulty was a powerful player at the point of attack and while he is almost certainly an interior guy he shows a disposition that figures to make him a quality guard down the road.

One player that was a much bigger surprise than McNulty was Sunnyvale, Texas lineman Emeka Okafor. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound blocker comes from a school who won't play a district game until his senior year and is going to be playing it's first official season next year but his feet and athletic ability will make him possibly the school's first division one recruit in a few years.

In a few years time Duncanville, Texas big man Samuel Jenkins has a chance to be a good one as well but as a sophomore-to-be and being a bit heavy, it will be up to him to put the work in.

If you're looking for a name to know in four years time, check out Dallas Lake Highlands, ' monstrous offensive tackle Kent Perkins. The big man is already 6-foot-5, and 265-pounds and carries the weight shockingly well for a player so young.

If the offensive line can protect a quarterback like Cooper it's to find some of the talented receivers who were also in attendance. Speed guys, route runners, big men with big play ability, Schuman's camp had a little bit of it all.

Perhaps none brought it all together more so than Lancaster, Texas receiver Ladarius Newbold, he showed leaping ability, vertical ability and has the type of frame that could see him push things in the future. Considering he is just heading into his sophomore year and will spend his practice time against a Lancaster secondary with perhaps all four starters heading to division one football, he figures to be well prepped by the time the spotlight is his in a few years.

Perhaps no position was deeper than receiver with Tomorris Hamilton of South Grand Prairie, Arlington Sam Houston's Kameel Jackson, Jeffrey Thomas of Duncanville, and last but not least Cameron White of Arlington Bowie all putting on impressive displays.

Hamilton is perhaps the best young route-runner in the state of Texas, if he grows the sky could be the limit for the diminutive tactician.

Thomas and White are a couple of big players who are currently best at going for a jump ball though White is a player whose speed will only increase and could see him turn into a scary threat down the road.

While the defensive line's standouts were a short list, it's hard to deny the impressive nature of Samuel Harvill, Kindred Evans, and Lance Williams, all 2011 prospects.

Harvill of Springdale (Ark.) Shiloh Christian is a player who is between positions at the moment but his ridiculous 56 reps of 185-pounds broke the national record by 13 reps. His strength is nothing short of staggering and proved too much for just about any offensive lineman he faced.

Evans and Williams are both high end athletes, Williams of Mesquite (Texas) Horn worked out at linebacker but has the frame to grow into a serious defensive lineman. Meanwhile Evans is a long and rangy defensive end type who will need to put on weight but has the athletic ability to be memorable and as such won the defensive line award at the camp.

At linebacker it was another Desoto star that stole the show in the form of Alexander Lyons. Just a 2012 prospect Lyons has a ways to go but at already 6-foot, and 190-pounds and running a 4.81-second 40-yard dash on a slow surface during miserable weather makes him a real name to remember in Dallas area recruiting.

Abraham Hall of South Grand Prairie, who worked out at linebacker, is another sophomore-to-be but figures to be a strong safety type in the college game and with his impressive athletic ability is a guy schools will recruit and let his position sort itself out later.

While Hall simply projects to the secondary there was perhaps no position that had more talent on display on Saturday than the group of defensive backs.

Leading the way was a pair of friends, Arlington Bowie's Robert Jenkins and Kolbi Nixon of Mansfield Summit. The two prospects made themselves heard during the camp and showed the swagger of cornerbacks throughout. Jenkins is the more physically imposing of the two and intercepted one pass after another, he is well on track to be a highly recruited guy in a few years while Nixon has some growing to do but has a lot of natural cover ability.

The two from traditional talent-producing programs were matched by a group from two schools not known for producing top shelf talent. Those players are Red Oak, Texas star Jeremy Brady and Quarmaine Thomas of Mesquite (Texas) West Mesquite.

Brady is a 2012 prospect but already has a nice frame and the hips to turn and go with just about any receiver, he could really be a name to known in a few years time.

Thomas is entering his junior year and showed the technical ability to match it, he is a bit undersized but if he can pick up a few more inches he could emerge as an elite cover corner in the near future.

Other Names to Know:

* Vondrick Jackson and Devin Rushing of Desoto, Texas the two put up good 40 times and are just heading into their sophomore years.

* Arlington Sam Houston offensive guard Alfredo Morales was perhaps the biggest surprise of all the offensive lineman and could be a top guard in 2011.

* Ty Montgomery of Dallas St. Mark's toughed out a hip-flexor issue and still ran a 40-yard dash time around 4.6-seconds on the mentioned slow track.

* At the quarterback position two other names who showed potential were Fort Worth (Texas) North Crowley Josh Price who perhaps threw the best balls of any quarterback in attendance. The athletic quarterback to remember? Rowlett, Texas star Blake Turner who ran a 4.52-second 40-yard dash and a 29-inch vertical.

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