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June 18, 2012
NUC East Sunday: Top offensive performers
SMYRNA, Del. - The National Underclassmen East Ultimate 100 was in Delaware this weekend with the top 2014 prospects stealing the show on Saturday. However, on Sunday the 2013 crop had its chance to impress and led by massive offensive lineman Darrion Locke from Maryland, here are the top offensive performers on the day.
1. OL Darrion Locke, 6-2/345, Potomac (Md.) Winston Churchill: The fact that Locke is at the top of this list with a broken hand should speak volumes about his technique and overall strength. He came out of his stance quickly and did a pretty good job of staying square to the line of scrimmage. Locke had a very solid base and was able to stay low, get his hands on the defender and use his strength to push the defensive lineman wherever he wanted. When all is said and done, Locke should be a Division-I lineman.
2. QB Brian McNeil, 6-4/196, Brewster (N.Y.): McNeil has good mechanics, a canon for an arm and pretty good feet for such a big kid, although they could use some work. The receivers on his 7-on-7 team had a hard time catching his throws because McNeil put so much heat on them. If he can continue to develop, there's no reason McNeil could not be a signal-caller at the next level.
3. QB Justin Cook, 6-3/195, Downington (Pa.) Bishop Shanahan: Cook had the best footwork of any quarterback at the camp and displayed excellent leadership abilities during 7-on-7s. His throwing motion is slightly elongated, but his mechanics are great otherwise. During one-on-ones and 7-on-7s, Cook showed good accuracy and had the ability to anticipate the open receiver.
4. WR Wilner Paul, 6-2/179, Dix Hills (N.Y.) Half Hollow Hills East: Paul is a long receiver with good hands and isn't afraid to go over the middle. He made multiple key third-down catches during 7-on-7s and really became a security blanket for a quarterback he had just met. Paul's route running needs improvement, but there's no denying his explosiveness, ability to get open and separate from the defender.
5. RB Caleb Hopkins, 5-8/170, Mount Juliet (Tenn.): This speedy back from Tennessee caught everyone's eye at the camp. Hopkins' footwork and explosiveness helped him leave linebackers and defensive backs in the dust. To become an every-down back at the next level, Hopkins should focus on putting on more weight and improving his hands.
6. ATH Nate Chavious, 5-9/180, Bellport (N.Y.): Chavious was one of the better running backs Sunday and showed good technique and athleticism throughout the day. He was a favorite target for his quarterback during 7-on-7s and made plenty of defenders miss in the open field. Chavious should look to improve his overall speed in order to make the jump to the collegiate level.
7. WR Ishmael Kamara, 5-11/140, Huntingtown (Md.): Kamara is a quick and speedy receiver with pretty good hands and is a great down field threat. He made a few acrobatic catches 30 or 40 yards down field, keeping his focus and balance throughout. The only knock on Kamara is his size. While his height is average, he needs to put on weight if he wants to get to the college ranks. Still, there is no doubting his natural abilities.
8. WR Chaz Pittman, 5-8/154, Laurel (Md.) St. Vincent Pallotti: Pittman is a speedy slot receiver with decent hands and has the ability to separate from the defender. He caught many short crossing and out routes and showed the ability to make people miss. With more improvement to his overall game, Pittman's skills could fit as a slot receiver and as a returner at the next level.