Yesterday's Showcase was rumored to host a bevy of underclassmen prospects on Michigan's radar. Unfortunately, many could not participate for a collection of reasons. Top in-state juniors Tyriq Thompson, John Kelly and Michigan State's Tyson Smith were at one time set on attending, but could not make it. The same can be said for sophomore wide receiver Desmond Fitzpatrick and freshman offensive tackle Emani Mason. Despite these unfortunate development, there was a very good turnout for one of the first camps of the offseason and things should gain steam from here.
At the quarterback position, two names stood out among a field of 15 passers on the final roster. Detroit Consortium Prep senior Tre'Von Williams displayed a good ability to spin the football and did so with both accuracy and zip throughout the day. Williams looks like an intriguing athlete, and there is speculation that he may grade out better at wide receiver. Williams had a smooth motion, but his his timing wasn't quite there at times. Reliable timing is extremely hard to develop, and this is one of the first camps of the season, so this is nothing to be concerned about. Williams felt positive about his showing when we spoke last night. "I performed to the best of my ability today. Everything was key and on -point. I displayed my arm strength, accuracy and ability to read defenses. My footwork could have been a lot better."
Williams had a very successful senior year throwing to junior wide receiver Cameron Lewis, who performed among the best at his position as well yesterday. Tre'Von ended the 2013 season with 2,763 passing yards, 459 rushing yards, a 72.3% completion rate with 27 touchdown passes to just 4 interceptions. The multi-talented Williams also racked up 43 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 kick return touchdown this season, doing a lit bit of everything for Consortium Prep.
Sophomore quarterback Branden Tabone from Orchard Lake St. Mary's also impressed on the day through a series of drills as well. As Tabone repeatedly hit receivers in stride, his quick delivery is clearly a strength of his game. There is virtually no wasted movement in his throwing motion and is easily repeatable. He will be a quarterback to watch moving into the future.
Also in the quarterback group was Detroit Catholic Central junior gun-slinger Joe Fanning after yesterday's camp to see how he was feeling after the drills had wrapped up. "I think I did pretty well today," said Fanning. I got to display my field vision and accuracy. I would've liked to run a faster shuttle time and I'm also working on improving overall speed and arm strength." With this showcase in the books, Fanning plans to attend camps at Michigan State, Central Michigan and Ferris State.
I was also able to watch the running backs compete in various agility drills before breaking out into passing sets later on. Junior Cecil Green ran a couple very nice routes in succession and had a comfortable showing catching out of the backfield. "I think I did pretty well," said Green. "But there is always room for improvement. I was able to display my route running and explosiveness today." These are two areas that I highlighted from his performance and he sees them as strengths as well.
For the offseason, Green has a pretty set idea of what he would like to accomplish before beginning his senior year. "For my offseason schedule I will be workng with Hype for the 7-vs-7 and attending the camp at Grand Valley State and working hard to get better," said Greene. "I've been invited to Akron and we have been keeping in contact. Besides that I'm looking to get my recruiting wheel turning more."
The standout at the wide receiver position was far and away junior Cameron Lewis out of Consortium Prep in Detroit, Michigan. Lewis showed a natural pass-catching technique, extending his arms toward the football to meet his soft hands with the football as soon as possible. During 1-on-1's, Lewis broke wide upon on several reps in succession and was the most impressive player in that session. His routes were very crisp and showed a deceptive suddenness. "I thought I did pretty well today," said Lewis. "I was able to display my route running skills and speed." Lewis turned in a very strong overall workout, but he was not satisfied with his times in the 40-yard dash or the shuttle at the start of the showcase.
Lewis, too, will be following a tight offseason schedule and continue his dedication to improving his game. "I'm thinking about attending the Great Lakes College Showcase run by Hype, the Hype 7-on-7 team tryout and the Sound Mind Sound Body camp in June. As for now, those are the ones that are confirmed, but I hope to attend many more camps in the offseason."
As one of a handful of Oak Park participants on the day, junior wide receiver Jonathan D. Carey has a very good showing and helped his stock with a strong performance. "I believe today was a great day to showcase my skills in front of numerous college coaches and to test my abilities against some of the to players in the state," said Carey. "Today I mostly got to display my speed and great ability of route running. Those are my two greatest strengths that I mostly use as a slot receiver." Carey had the opportunity to show his aforementioned speed through a series of agility drills and tests at the start of the showcase, but he also watched closely for areas that he could have done a better job with as well. "I wish to improve on my strength and getting off the line from corners. Some routes I got knocked off of a little, but I was able to recover." Carey has a very busy offseason set up at the moment and looks to continue working on his game. "My agenda for this offseason is to travel and play for the Hype 7-on-7 team. Also to attend most Midwest camps such as Ohio state, Michigan, and Michigan State." Carey does not have stats from his junior year due to a late transfer from PEC Prep, so he is looking to make a big impact on the camp circuit this offseason.
I spent a few minutes watching the tight ends practice red zone sets in the middle of the positional drills. Tight ends would isolated in man coverage and run short fade routes. These routes are designed to replicate goal line quick passes where the tight end elevates over his defender. Southfield athlete Charles Harris has shown potential at both tight end and defensive end at the next level with his combination of size and agility. Harris could be used as a y-back with reasonable success at the next level. His pass catching will need to be improved in order to maintain a threatening presence in passing sets, but he has the frame to add more mass.
|Catholic Central DT|
Out of a wide selection of of defensive lineman, one prospect stood out- literally- among a group of large prospects. At 6'6" and 290 lbs., Okoye has elite size for a lineman. What is even more impressive about these numbers is that this weight is mostly good, shedding light about his athleticism in addition to his length and powerful base. The offensive lineman were tested in a variety of drills on the day, studying their gap recognition, 1-on-1 skills, and pass protection other areas of the game. Okoye feels confident that he put out a good showing in front of several college scouts. "I did well. I won all my reps during 1-on-1's and won in 'Best of the Best'. the strong points that I was able to display were my fast hands and quick feet. I would have liked to perform better in the hustle drills."
Okoye was still one of the better prospects on the day and I would not be surprised for a handful of offers to come his way with a good camp series. This is a good start to the offseason recruiting process. Okoye plans on keeping that rolling in the coming months. "As far as offseason camp schedule, I'n going to the Lineman Invitational and the other Hype Showcase at Grand Valley."
One of the more intriguing prospects participating yesterday was junior offensive and defensive lineman Shahid Bellamy. At 6'3", 265 lbs., Bellamy has a good deal of size and his junior Hudl highlight tape is very impressive. His disruptive hands look to be the strongest area of his game on tape, but he also shows success shedding blockers and exploding off the line, synchronizing with the cadence of the play call. Shahid turned in a quality performance that shows some of his skill on tape with his violent. He didn't look very sharp yesterday, but he has shown the ability to dominate in the past. His conditioning might be an area to keep a close eye on moving forward, but his recruitment is gaining stream nonetheless.
Bellamy was a part of a 6-5 Oak Park team that lost to Detroit Jesuit in the 2nd round of the playoffs this year. This is not an acceptable result for Bellamy, but he found bright spots in this season regardless. "I had a better defensive year this year than my sophomore year," said Bellamy. "I play left tackle on offense and three technique on defense. A coach told me I could play inside or I could line up outside on the edge." For what it's worth, Bellamy participated in the defensive line position drills yesterday and did not flip to the offensive side at all.
|Oak Park OL/DL Shahid Bellamy|
Bellamy has his mind made up about what he needs to do in the offseason. "I'm working in the weight room and getting stronger," said Bellamy. "I'm a run stopper, but when it comes to getting to the quarterback I love doing that too. I want to play offensive, but I could play at either really." Because of his potential versatility at the next level, Bellamy has received interest from Michigan State, Ohio State and Pittsburgh recently. Shahid watched Michigan play twice in 2013, with two vastly different results for the Wolverines. "I went to the Michigan game against Indiana and I went to Michigan against Michigan State. That was a great atmosphere in East Lansing. You could really tell it was a rivalry." Bellamy looks to major in broadcasting.
Junior Marcell Craig was another participant yesterday from Oak Park's defensive line. At 6'4" and 225lbs., Craig has a large frame and would benefit by tacking on some size this offseason. Craig sees himself as an impressive player for a couple different reasons, and broke down his performance from yesterday. "I think I did okay, a few things could have been better," said Craig. "My motor and my effort is my strong suit. I could have come off the ball better." Stamina is also listed as another potential area for Craig to work on. He doesn't have a concrete camp schedule yet, but look for Craig to hit various offseason camps with his Oak Park teammates this offseason.
Lincoln Park Senior Tyler Smith also had a strong showing yesterday. At 6'3", 270 lbs., he has a large frame, which is ideal for an offensive lineman, but could benefit from packing on more lean mass. Still, he moves his feet way and showed good flexibility during the agility drills. Smith held his own during 1-on-1's and was impressive in his blitz recognition skills as well.
Not enough time was spent evaluating the linebackers to give an accurate report.
One player that stood out as a strong competitor during 1-on-1 drills towards the end of the camp was Deus-Vivus Eldorin, a senior on a 2-7 Farmington High team. Farmington ended the season on a high note with their largest win of the year, a 36-7 victory over Pontiac thanks in part to the play of Eldorin after he had returned from an early injury. "Our record does not reflect how we played," said Eldorin. "We were 2-7 but we had plenty of injuries, so that cut back another part of our depth. I started off the season with a hamstring injury before the season started. That slowed me down in the process of my development. I started at my position late, and I feel like I could have put in more work if I didn't have to wait for my body to heal."
Eldorin has recovered very well from this hamstring injury and recorded solid measured times at the start of yesterday's showcase. Eldorin ran a 4.51 second 40-yard dash and a 4.6 shuttle, though he says he usually runs faster times at both drills. "I excel with speed," said Eldorin. Deus-Vivus is also quick to match himself up with worthy competition. During the 1-on-1's Eldorin was bested on a particular rep and immediately called out to schedule a rematch rep later in the drill. "I feel like I should go against the top player because it encourages me to try hard. It's a good motivator."
This competitive spirit has caught the attention of a few college coaches so far and he has a decent idea of what he would like to do at the next level. "I have visited Adrian College, Northern Michigan came to my school and I visited Concordia, but I don't think I'm going to go there," said Eldorin. "I feel like Adrian college is a good school to go to athletically, but I feel like the education environment is too small and congested. I want a school with a good mix of that. I want to major in computer engineering." This is just the start of a camp season, though, that should highlight Eldorin's talents in front of more coaches. "I'm going to try to attend the Michigan Elite and the other Hype event at Grand Valley at the beginning of January."
Junior Jalen Parker from Easat Detroit is another name that stood out fro the group of defensive backs at times yesterday. During the agility drills, Parker had some of the best hip fluidity in the group. After the camp, Parker said that he feels good about how he performed, but that there is always room to improve and he also could have done much better in the combine drills such as the 40 and the shuttle. Over the offseason, Parker is planning to workout monday through friday in addition to attending other Hype events.