AU Football Camp Attracts Talented Prospects

Many of the top players in the South were in attendance at Auburn's two-day camp this weekend.

Auburn, Ala.-–The Auburn campus was a busy place over the weekend as nearly 400 football prospects from all over the country converged for a two-day senior camp on the Plains.

Loaded with big names at every position, the camp was deluged with rain for the first day, but finished Sunday under sunny skies much to the delight of the campers and coaches alike.

While it's difficult to select the strongest position of the weekend in terms of potential college talent, there is little doubt that it was one of the better camps at Auburn in recent years as far as overall talent goes. Names such as Raven Gray, Chris Slaughter, Terrell Zachery, Benjamin Tate, Neil Caudle, Steven Ensminger, David Cone, Earl Alexander, Cody Kempt and Chris Smelley all showed their skills and were impressive in their respective drills.

Normally it's the big men that stand out at camps because it's the toughest position to recruit for, but this weekend it was the skill players that were in abundance.

At quarterback it was a who's who of players as possibly six campers could play Division I football in the future. The group was led by Caudle and Smelley, who both threw the ball well. Also showing out was Cone. Although he wasn't able to participate on Sunday because of a scheduled trip to Mississippi State, the 6-6 quarterback showed a strong and accurate arm and likely raised his stock going into his senior year.

Terrell Zachery works against a defensive back in one-on-one drills.

At receiver it was the usual names that caught the eye as Slaughter and Zachery both were nearly unstoppable catching passes from a myriad of quarterbacks. But, it was one of the underrated receivers that may have had the best two days. Elusive Jeff Ogren from American Christian Academy in Northport showed good hands and quickness in one-on-one drills against the top defensive backs in camp. He says that the chance to work against top players was one of the reasons he decided to come to the Auburn camp.

"I enjoyed it a lot," Ogren tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It was a great camp. It was real organized. We learned just about every aspect of the game. I got better. I think my stock went up a little as far as Auburn goes. I was real excited to be here. It helps me a lot because you go one-on-one with some of the best DB's in the South. It was a great opportunity to make myself better as a receiver."

Ogren is a player who has increased his exposure in the recruiting game since taking part in the Scout.com Combine this spring. The 6-2 1/2, 185 receiver has shown good speed (4.52) in the 40-yard dash as well as clean route running. Those things combined with 1,345 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior have teams beginning to take more notice in him as the summer wears on.

"I have been real urgent to get to these big SEC camps and show them what I have," Ogren says. "I think as the summer goes along and I try to be successful in what I do maybe my stock will go up with all these different colleges. I'm from a small school and not many people look at those schools, but I feel like you can be just as good as any other player out there."

Waiting on offers from some of his favorite schools, Ogren says right now he's standing firm with three offers and hopes that more are on this horizon. "Right now I have offers from Central Florida, Wake Forest and Tulane. I'm hoping to get into the bigger SEC schools soon because I feel like I have the potential to play there."

One of the schools Ogren is most interested in is Auburn. Despite growing up in Tuscaloosa and attending school just outside the city limits, Ogren says that the Tigers are the team he most enjoys watching at the moment.

"I think the coaching staff is just incredible," Ogren says. "They really care about their players. It's definitely my top pick as far as all the colleges go. I think they do a great job with their program. I'm hoping to play there one day."

Defensive end Bryant Miller from Miami was very impressive at the Auburn camp.

While Ogren is from Alabama and very familiar with Auburn, Tate is a different story. One of the top running backs in the nation for 2006, Tate took at trip to visit the Auburn campus over the weekend and from all indications it was successful. His father Benjamin Tate Sr. says that they both had a good time and Auburn will definitely be one of the places they use for an official visit this fall.

Another standout from outside the area was defensive end Bryant Miller from Central High in Miami. The 6-2 ½, 236-pounder was one of the top athletes regardless of position at the camp and showed good speed and quickness at the point of attack. Considered one of the top defensive ends in the South this year, Miller showed why over the weekend and along with Gray made for a dynamic duo of ends in attendance.

There were also several players that came to Auburn to check out the action but didn't take part. Among those were defensive lineman Bart Eddins, offensive lineman Taylor Pharr, running back Carlos Brown and safety Reshad Jones.


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