Nike Camp -- Photos from Athens

The sheer number of good players at the Nike Camp in Athens, GA was astounding. Over 300 players showed up to learn from the best and show what they can do on the field. Despite already having 2 Nike Camps in the South, the one in Athens was bigger and better than ever. Here is a photo report of some of the top players on Sunday.

Director Andy Bark speaks with one of the largest turnouts ever for a Nike Camp. The Nike camps keep getting bigger and better, and Andy Bark is a major reason why.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen shakes hands with Andy Bark. Mortensen brought his son Alex, a sophomore QB, to participate in the camp. The younger Mortensen showed well, and he will be a prospect to watch for the class of 2004.

UGA quarterback DJ Shockley was on hand to demonstrate some of the drills.

The star of the camp was Independence, NC QB Chris Leak. While there are no guarantees at the next level, Leak showed that he was everything that he has been stacked up to be at this point. With a fluid release and good footwork, the ball seems to fly out of his ear hole on his throws. His accuracy is uncanny, and he has a well deserved reputation as the #1 player in the south.

Chris Leak shows that he is more than just an arm. His lower body was more powerfully built than most of the running backs on campus.

The reigning Douglas County (GA) Player of the Year was on hand, and Armand Cauthen was well built and made several nice catches against corners that were given a lot of latitude in their coverage.

Antwuan Jackson not only had several nice catches during the day, he showed uncanny poise during the one on ones. Jackson got knocked down by one of the corners coming off the line, and he fell in to the crowd of boisterous defensive backs that circled him while he was on the ground like a pack of wolves and let him know what they thought of his chances of catching another pass were. Jackson got up calmly, got back in line, and proceeded to burn the next man in line for the DB's and haul in a catch.

Atlanta, GA's Brandon Allen showed up at impressive 6'4 and 190 pounds. The receiver has big goals for the year, trying to go for 90 catches on the season.

Two sport stand-out Hiram Moore came all the way from Huntington, WV to try and make a name for himself in the south. Moore showed the skills on the field that has earned him multiple D1 scholarship offers in both football and basketball.

In one of the best matchups on the afternoon, Duncan, SC receiver Terrell Allen lined up against Tallahassee's Marcus Clayton. Allen was able to get open, but the ball was not delivered. Call this one a draw for now, but we may see these guys line up against each other on Fall Saturdays.

A WR in a LB's body, Valdosta's Cory Clemons caught the ball well in drills.

Chattanooga, TN was well represented by 6'4-6'5 WR Darius Bowman. Bowman moved well in drills and looked fluid catching the ball.

Harrison's (GA) Paul Oliver was the staff's choice for top defensive back in the camp. While the DB's were having a big time hooping it up on the sidelines, Oliver seemed content to just go out and shut people down.

Slowed by a shoulder injury to some extent, Milton's (GA) Sean Bailey was still fast enough to run a 4.4, haul in this catch, and be named one of the top WR's in a camp that was loaded with receiving talent.

Stephenson's (GA) Kregg Lumpkin comes out of a cut and shows why he is being considered one of the top RB's in the nation. He was named outstanding back in the camp on Sunday.

Lumpkin looks on at TheInsiders.com's Jamie Newberg, raises an eyebrow and thinks to himself, "He looks taller in on TV."

Lumpkin's teammate at Stephenson Reggie Ball drops back for a pass. Perhaps one of the most physically gifted QB's at the camp, Ball has a strong arm, and he ran a sub 4.5 forty.

The 3rd member of Stephenson's potent offensive attack is TJ Gartrell (front center). Gartrell was the third member of the group to run a sub 4.5, and he was named one of the top WR's in the camp.

The strongest arm at the camp may have belonged to Eric Priester of Fairfax, SC. At 6'4, Priester has ideal height for a pocket QB. When he relaxed and threw with a nice easy release, he had one of the prettiest throws on the day, a skinny post that arrived on a line.

Referred to as "possibly the top running back in Florida this year," Brian Dennison proved it on the field.

Taking home the honors of top LB, Dacula's (GA) Des Williams is as physically imposing a player as was seen on Sunday. A huge middle linebacker, he'll be physically capable of playing early at the next level.

Des Williams steps through the ladder drills. The ladder drills separate the men from the boys, and Williams stepped up in to the "man" category on Sunday.

Fred Strickland of Morrow, GA was the only DB to come up with a pick in the one on ones. Strickland liked the first one so much, he did it twice. Here he is shown tossing the ball back to the offense after hawking his second INT on the day.

Jarrod Britt of Powder Spring, GA showed exceptional quickness for a big man in the stride checker. When he lengthened out his his stride at the end of the drill he looked more like a break away tight end than the 270 offensive tackle that he is.

Parkview's (GA) Brandon Pilgrim would stand out in any crowd at 260 pounds with fiery red hair, but he stood out in drills because of his footwork and technique.

Wesley Jones came all the way from Brandon, MS to compete in this camp. He helped pave the way for Mississippi State signee and All-American Jerious Norwood last season. He'll need to work on his quickness some to reach his full potential, but he has 2 attributes that can't be coached: 6-7 and 340 pounds.

Jonna Lee from Augusta, GA drew whispers among the crowd and had people flipping throw their rosters to see who this impressive looking athlete was. He was equally impressive in drills and was named to the top 5 list of linebackers.

Melvin Cole Memphis, TN looked as if he had strided over from the Olympic decathlon. A well chiseled athlete, Cole moved exceptionally well in the running back drills.

Nose Guard Josh Thompson of Statesboro, GA smashed the previous bench press mark of 45 reps with 185 by pumping up 56 reps. His mark lasted for about 30 minutes when Sophomore weight lifting champion Josh Ward had 62. Thompson showed up well in the drills as well. Moving well for a big man, he looked like he could play interior line on the offense or defense right away.

Brentwood, TN's Steven Jones towered over many of his defensive peers on Sunday. Jones is certain to be one of the hottest prospects in the nation for the class of 2003.

Lovejoy's (GA) Tashard Choice was surprisingly well built. He was much thicker than he looked on game film from last year. There has been some question as to whether he would be a WR or a RB at the next level. Based on his physique now, he's a RB all the way.

One would be hard pressed to find a more intimidating looking prospect at any of these camps than Opelika, AL's Tez Doolittle. Doolittle is such an amazing athlete that he worked out with the running backs at fullback, but will most likely find a home on the defensive line at the next level.

Quarterback Tyler Donovan came all the way from Hartland, WI to take in Sunday's action. Donovan did not waste the trip, he threw the ball extremely well.

After what was easily the most spirited of the three camps in the south east, the players gathered in an impromptu meeting at the middle of the practice field for chants and cheers.

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