ATLANTA MVP CAMP, SATURDAY, LOVEJOY HIGH
Chad Simmons of FoxSports/Scout.com and Rusty Mansell of 247Sports.com are organizing their second annual Atlanta MVP Camp, which will be conducted this Saturday down at Lovejoy High (registration opens at 8 a.m. and the competition and instruction goes from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.).
They have cordially invited me to cover this event and I’m looking forward to doing just that. In the meantime, I asked Chad, one of the most respected recruiting analysts in the South, to give me an idea who will be some of the top prospects in attendance. As is Chad’s style, he did way more than that and provided a comprehensive list with a comment on every kid.
So rather than try to hash out a story based on his analysis, I thought it would be more practical and informative to simply pass along the information to my readers. So I’ve done that below.
In the meantime, keep in mind, there are many other talented prospects who will be participating in this event, some of them of the “still-not-discovered” variety. In fact, if I heard right there may be more than 400 football players showing up on Saturday, so many that they’ll have to decline walk-ups, which they don’t like to do.
The other important point, it’s the concept of Chad and Rusty to put these kids through the paces of real football work, not just physical fitness tests such as they do with all these combines and the like. So you get to see a lot of one-on-one competition and positional drills, which they believe is a better for determining players’ inherent football abilities.
“The exposure is great and of course it helps them in recruiting, but a big thing for me is that I want to see the kids leave as better football players,” Simmons said. “That’s why we work them through positional drills and bring in top coaches to coach them up and and make them better. My whole goal is for a kid to tell me afterward, ‘I learned a lot today.’ Not all these kids will end up with college offers, but they’ll all play football this fall. I want them to be a better player and to make their team better because of this. That’s the most important thing.”
Like I said, I’m looking forward to getting a first-hand glimpse of the MVP Camp. Here’s a sneak preview of some of the better-known talent that will be in attendance (listed alphabetically and by class):
Beniquez Brown – LB – Florence, Ala. – He is one of my top OLBs in the South and a lock for me to be in our Scout300. He is a top 10 player for me in Alabama. Numerous offers including Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia.
Jontavious Carter – WR – Crisp County, Ga. - Carter is already committed to Miami, but he has made it a point that he wants to showcase his skills and prove that he is one of the top wide receivers in Georgia at the MVP Camp. He is a long and slender wideout that grew up playing basketball. He is an athlete with great body control.
“Columbia Crew” – Decatur, Ga. – Kenno Loyal, Jhaustin Thomas, and Keithon Redding are three prospects from Columbia planning to attend and their head coach Mario Allen will be one of our QB coaches. He has coached guys like former NFL QB Jeff Blake in the past. Loyal is a physical back that runs with great balance, Thomas is an outstanding athlete that has a lot of upside at defensive end, and Redding is a big wide receiver that catches the ball well.
Jonathan Curry – TE – Phenix City, Ala. – Curry is an athletic tight end that can move in the open field. He is very athletic, he is a threat down the field, and he has already been offered by Louisville and Stanford among others.
Joe Harris – OL – Lithonia, Ga. – Harris is one of the top offensive linemen in Georgia and he made the elite group last year at the MVP Camp in Rome, Ga. and he is shooting to the best overall this time. He has really changed his body, he moves better this year, and he is on his way to taking his game to the next level.
Mike Hilton – ATH – Sandy Creek, Ga. - There is no telling where Hilton will workout at on Saturday. He is such a versatile athlete that could play running back, slot receiver, or defensive back on the next level. He is a competitor and that is what I love most about him.
Greyson Lambert – QB – Wayne County, Ga. – Lambert is my top QB in the state of Georgia and one of my top three in the South. He has a live arm, great size, and a lot of upside.
Kendric Salley – RB – Williston-Elko, S.C. - Salley is already committed to South Carolina, but this kid loves to compete. He attended the Simmons Showcase in January and he is set to return to Atlanta this weekend. He is a strong back who runs well behind his pads.
Justin Taylor – RB – Washington – Taylor is already well known in recruiting and he is currently committed to the University of Alabama. Taylor is a power back that runs well behind his pads and he is good at getting yards after contact. He has displayed soft hands coming out of the backfield as a receive too.
Dalvin Tomlinson – DL – Henry County, Ga. – Tomlinson has over a dozen scholarship offers at this time and he is a versatile defensive lineman that could see time inside and outside on the next level. He shined at the MVP Camp at Georgia Tech last April and he plans to do his thing again this weekend at Lovejoy.
Chad Voytik – QB – Cleveland, Tn. – Voytik was just offered by Pittsburgh on Tuesday after he visited the Panthers and he is fighting for that top signal caller spot in Tennessee. He and Will Gross are my top two QBs in Tennessee right now. Voytik was named the Top QB at the MVP Camp in Rome, Ga. last spring.
Brad Butler – QB – Darlington, Ga. – Not many have worked harder than Butler over the past year. He had an impressive day at the Simmons Showcase in January and he has improved his feet, mobility, and strength.
Josh Cardiello – OL – Buford, Ga. - He is next top OL to come out of Buford. The Wolves have a great coaching staff that really teaches their kids on the OL. Cardiello has great feet, nice punch, and could play guard or center on the next level.
Shamire Devine – OL – Tri-Cities – I am very impressed with Devine because of the way he moves at 6-6/330. He plays light on his feet, he carries his weight very well, and I expect big things down the road from this sophomore.
Tyshon Dye – LB/RB – Elbert County – Dye is an elite athlete that plays a lot like Reuben Foster out of Troup County. Dye can move well side to side, he is explosive, and he is someone I expect to be on a lot of recruiting boards in the near future.
Reuben Foster – LB – Troup County, Ga. - Foster is special. He may be the top linebacker in the state right now and he is only a sophomore. He has great instincts, he attacks the football, and he plays sideline to sideline.
Marqui Hawkins – WR – Carver-Columbus, Ga. – Hawkins is in line to be another top recruit to come out of the Carver program. He is an athlete that came up as a quarterback but has made the move to wide receiver. He is a fluid athlete with good body control and a lot of athleticism.
Uriah LeMay – WR – Butler, N.C. – Uriah is the younger brother of UGA signee Christian LeMay and he already has an impressive offer list. LeMay is a fluid wide receiver that takes long strides, and he knows how to use his long frame to his advantage on the edge.
Johnathon McCrary – QB – Cedar Grove – McCrary has been one of the most talked about 2013 prospects in Georgia over the past couple of months. Mark Richt, Nick Saban, and other top coaches stopped by Cedar Grove to check on him in January and he is an athletic QB with great size, good mobility, and the arm to make any throw.
Johnny O’Neal – LB – West Laurens, Ga. - O’Neal already has a handful of offers from schools like Auburn, Florida, and Tennessee. He is an inside backer on the next level. He loves contact and he plays downhill.
D.J. Park – OL – Dillon, S.C. – Park is already high on my list in South Carolina for the class of 2013. He is very nimble on his feet for a big guy and he is drawing a lot of early attention. Clemson and N.C. State have already offered him.
Brice Ramsey – QB – Camden County, Ga. – Ramsey walked away as the Top QB after competing in the Orlando MVP Camp and he will return to compete again this weekend. He has a laser arm, his footwork has improved, and his upside may be as high as anyone competing this weekend.
Brian Whitaker – DE – Westside-Macon, Ga. – Brian is the younger brother of Auburn freshman Jeffrey Whitaker who was a star at Warner Robins High School a couple of years ago. Brian is not as wide and strong as Jeffrey was, but he is quicker, just as tough, and on the same path to being a top recruit in 2013.
E.J. Moss – QB – Ashville, Ala. – Moss is already drawing attention his way and he is only a freshman. He is on the Alabama and Auburn radar very early on and he is projected to be one of the top signal callers in his class.
By Chip Towers, The College Recruiting Blog