Notes from N.O. Red Bull 7-on-7

The Red Bull 7-on-7 Qualifying Tournament rolled through New Orleans on Tuesday and Scout.com was on hand to watch O. Perry Walker defeat Evangel to claim the championship. There were several college prospects on display and Shea Dixon and Sonny Shipp have some recruiting nuggets and quick hitters they gathered over the course of the day.

O. Perry Walker took home the title on Tuesday evening thanks to an interception by LSU commitment Dwayne Thomas on the final play of the championship game (a 2-point conversion attempt by Evangel). Thomas, ranked by Scout.com as the No. 1 cornerback prospect in Louisiana, finished up with two interceptions for the tournament, and he was hands down the best defensive back in attendance. What stands out most are his feet and hips - both as quick as you will see for a high school junior safety. When you watch him backpedal, it all comes natural. He started out playing safety, but once O.P. moved deeper into the tournament he began to play cornerback against the opposition’s best receiver. He's a lockdown guy that will only add more depth to a youthful LSU secondary – Dixon 

 

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Dwayne Thomas’ teammate Raymond Jackson made some plays on the offensive side of the ball for the Chargers as the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder was a mismatch against the smaller DB’s he faced. One of the questions on Jackson is his speed and he didn’t get great separation and I can see where some of those questions would be valid. LSU will put Jackson through the ringer this summer to see how he runs and going into that LSU Camp he is sitting on five offers from Minnesota, Pittsburgh, TCU, UL-Monroe and UL-Lafayette – Shipp & Dixon

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Amite LB Juwaan Rogers was on hand sporting a #17 jersey rather than the #9 Warrior fans have grown accustomed to seeing him in. Rogers is about 5-10, 230, and from his junior film you can certainly see that he builds his game around his physical nature. He still has some work to do with his lateral movement and abilities in pass coverage, but that's where these 7-on-7’s will help a prospect like Rogers. As for his recruitment, his big offer remains Arkansas. Watch for Illinois to offer here over the next month, and he said that the Illini staff (and others) have been much more proactive with their recruitment than the Razorbacks – Dixon

 

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Amite athlete Reginald Porter, who plays both quarterback and cornerback for the Warriors, is in the 5-11, 190 range. Right now he has offers from the likes of North Texas and Arkansas State, but he will take in a few camps this summer and should see that total rise. Look for him to work at cornerback on those stops - Dixon

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Evangel's next standout on defense is in the 2013 class in linebacker X'Zavier Preston. Evangel played a slew of defensive backs during the 7-on-7, leaving linebackers like Preston sidelined. Regardless, the rising junior made the drive down with the team. At 5-11, 230, Preston already has good size, and he's a north-south player that can help stuff the run, and college coaches will try to reel him in as a middle linebacker prospect - Dixon

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LSU linebacker commitment Ronnie Feist is an animal with pads on, and on Tuesday his coverage skills were put to test in the 7-on-7 format. He certainly earned a passing grade, showing improved lateral movement - with a few pounds added on, to boot. He played this past season at 210 pounds, but he's already above 230 this summer, and he has the frame to carry it well. There doesn't appear to be any loss of speed.

Good news for Tiger fans, Feist (who carries a 3.9 GPA after three years of high school) has decided that he will graduate from West St. John in December and enroll at LSU next January. After speaking with head coach Robert Valdez, LSU offered just in time. Turns out he was high on Alabama in the early stages after he camped with them last summer. But the Tigers called first, and Feist committed immediately. Valdez said that schools haven't given up, though. After watching his film and then seeing his transcript, an assistant coach from Stanford stayed at West St. John for five hours trying to get Feist to reconsider and look around, to no avail – Dixon

 

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West St. John has a couple more prospects to keep an eye on in RB Jeremy Jackson and ATH Jairus Moll.

Jackson, who is carrying about 165 pounds as an 8th grader, is an explosive back who got touches on the varsity squad last fall, finishing the year with over 700 yards on the ground. Valdez said that his best outing came against West Jefferson, where Jackson ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson is a year behind on the academic front and will have to be reclassified as a 2014 prospect if he is going to graduate with his class and play his senior season, but Valdez said that shouldn’t be a problem and he is already working on a plan to get Jackson there.

At 5-8, 160, Moll plays both wide receiver and defensive back. He's flying under the 2012 radar right now, but a healthy senior season should turn heads with the smaller schools – Shipp & Dixon

 

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McDonogh 35 had two players sign in the 2011 class in Charles Henderson (Utah) and Theltus Cobbins (Kentucky). There is never a shortage of athletes at 35 and two to keep an eye on are 2012 WR Kedrick Banks and 2013 ATH Carlos Henderson.

Banks (5-10, 175) made some nice grabs where he showed his athleticism and ability to go up and battle bigger defensive backs and come out on top. The LSU staff is looking to get him to camp this summer and it will be interesting to see how he matches up against quality competition. Currently, North Texas, Southern Miss and UL-Lafayette are Banks’ offers.

Henderson, who is Charles’ younger brother, showed that he has the ability to follow in big brother’s footsteps to college but the level he ends up on will depend on how much bigger the 5-9, 155-pounder gets. He is a guy who will get looks at corner and receiver for the college level – Shipp

 

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Jordan Jefferson's younger brother Rickey Jefferson represented the 2013 class well, looking the part of the best receiver regardless of age. He has continued to add muscle to his frame, and he is now up to about 5-11, 185 pounds. His hands are strong and he's very dangerous after the catch. Just as Dwayne Thomas makes everything look natural at cornerback, wide receiver seems almost second nature to Jefferson. After talking with Destrehan head coach Chris Stroud, Jefferson has made the most improvement this off-season in the blocking game, becoming much more aggressive as he has built up his upper body. Right now he's on track to project as one of the top five players in the state for 2013 – Dixon & Shipp

 

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Another underclassman to keep an eye on at Destrehan is 2014 QB Donovan Isom.

On the hoof, Isom looks like the type of kid you would want under center at a big-time college program but he is very raw. He has a little hitch in his throw and needs to improve in every area which is to be expected of someone entering their sophomore year of high school. But he has some tools and could be someone who enters the discussion on major college prospects down the road if he makes those strides - Shipp


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