Athletic Prospects Stand Out At AU Football Camp

A report on prospects attending Auburn's first football camp is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--The two teams that met for the championship of Auburn University's first of two summer passing camps didn't need a scouting report as they prepared for the championship game on Saturday.

The finalists were the Glades Central "A" team from Belle Glade, Fla., and the Glades Central "B" squad, a group of quick and athletic players from Glades Central and Ely High in Pompano Beach, Fla.

The "B" squad gets to talk trash all the way home, a nine-hour bus ride, with a 12-6 victory in sudden death overtime to take the championship. Ely quarterback Jamarcus Ballard, a small but quick and athletic QB, threw a TD pass to Ely running back Devin James for the winning score.

Glades Central coach Willie Snead says he was pleasantly surprised to see both teams in the final. "We had some of our top players from the Glades Central on the "B" squad so it was a good, competitive matchup," he says.

Snead is familiar with both schools. He is taking over as head coach this season at Glades Central after coaching Ely last year. One of his prized players on last year's team, cornerback Walter McFadden, will be playing for Auburn this coming season.

McFadden is a player who made a name for himself with the Auburn coaches at a summer camp at AU last year. "We try to get to this team passing camp every year," Snead says. "It is good competiton for our players and it also gives them exposure to the college coaches."

Snead says Auburn is getting a talented player in McFadden, who picked Auburn over Michigan State, Florida, South Florida, Illinois and others. "I have never coached a guy with that much speed," Snead says. "He's kind of a step ahead of the average high school cornerback.

"He has a little bit more knowledge and I attribute that to the summer camp that we have each year. He works very hard in the offseason with a lot of NFL guys who come down to the high school to work out each summer. We have the top NFL athletes come in and they work with the kids and do drills against them and compete. He is used to competing at a very high level."

Snead adds that he was excited to see running back James, who the coach says rushed for 1,350 yards as a junior, make the big play. "Last year he had some problems catching the football so that will be great for his confidence."

The most impressive player in the camp championship game was a junior on the Glades Central "A" squad. Deonte Thompson, a 5-11 1/2, 183-pound wide receiver from Glades Central High, looked to be the fastest athlete in the camp. That is not surprising because he turned in extremely fast 40-yard dash times at the Combine in Jacksonville, Fla., earlier this year.

Thompson showed good hands catching the ball in traffic, is strong enough to fight off hand checks from defensive backs and required plenty of cushion from the defensive backs unless they wanted to get beat deep.

Marcus Ball

Other impressive performers at the camp included linebacker Marcus Ball from Stephenson High in Stone Mountain, Ga., the younger brother of Georgia Tech quarterback Reggie Ball. His father, Reggie, Sr., says that the 6-0, 205-pounder linebacker is definitely interested in the Tigers, who recruited by did not offer a scholarship to his older brother. Marcus Ball will be one of the most heavily recruited prospects in the state of Georgia this year and has already been offered a scholarship by AU.

Carlton Salters

Another outstanding prospect from Georgia attended the camp, linebacker Toryan Smith from Rome High. Also standing out over the two days of competition was wide receiver Carlton Salters from North Florida Christian, safety Darryl Gamble from Bainbridge, Ga., High and linebacker Marcus Sims from North Florida Christian, whose brother Ernie plays for FSU.

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