Some of the Windy City's best came out to Lane Tech for the Junior Rank/Marines Camp looking to be coached up and impress enough for a spot in the All-American Game. Scout was on hand. Here are our notes on the action.
Fleming Looks the Part
Iowa commitment Maurice Fleming continues to show that he is one of the best athletes in the Midwest. A high school quarterback, he is headed to Iowa as a cornerback, but worked out at receiver too at this camp.
He is a well put together kid with great explosiveness, speed, and change of direction. He is very natural with the ball in the air and catches it very well. For a kid who has not played other positions a lot, he is not as raw technically as you would expect. He picks things up quickly and his physical attributes allow him to learn on the fly.
I think the Hawkeyes are getting a great one here and he is a kid who should continue to see his ranking rise. He has been impressive all summer and it matched what we saw on tape.
I don't know what kind of weight program they have at Joliet Catholic Academy, but whatever it is, I think I want in. Rising senior Malin Jones and rising junior Ty Isaac are two of the more physically impressive backs you will see.
Joliet Backs Impressive
Jones, a Northwestern commitment, is about 6'0 and pushing 215-lbs. He moves well and catches the ball well at that size, and when we first saw him, he was more lanky than he is now. He has the look of a kid who can take some hits and dish some out now and he has maintained his speed and agility.
Isaac is taller and longer right now, but is also well put together. He is explosive and catches the ball well. It is easy to see why he's so sought after and we see him as a likely Scout 300 member next year.
The defensive line group had the bigger names, but it was the offensive line that came out on top, winning the majority of a spirited session of 1-1s.
O-Line Wins Spirited 1-1 Battles
Leading the way was Wheaton St. Francis' class of 2013 prospect Kyle Bosch. He has excellent technique, is strong, and plays mean and physical. He told me most schools see him as a tackle, and a few see him as a guard. I can see why some schools would project him inside. I think he could play either depending on the school. Regardless, he is ahead of the curve and really impressed on Saturday.
Chicago Hubbard's rising senior Christopher Fry was impressive as well. He took on some of the top defenders there and won every battle. At 6'3, 288-lbs, he is going to be an inside guy, but took most of his reps at tackle. He's an under the radar sleeper that will play somewhere at the next level.
The defensive line was lead by two top tackles, Vontrell Williams and Jaleel Johnson. Williams moves well and was athletic in the drills and 1-1s. He uses his hands pretty well and has nice feet on the inside. He's listed at 275 and that is up from last year. I think the key for him is continuing to add weight so he can become a true inside guy. He plays hard and is well coached.
Johnson is a big man, so on some of the edge rushing drills, it just wasn't his forte, but put a man in front of him and that's when you see why he's so sought after. The Iowa commitment plays with good leverage, and is very powerful. He's going to be a plugger in college, but he's athletic and light on his feet enough to penetrate and disrupt. He still has technical work to do, but I think he's just the kind of guy you want over the nose in a smashmouth conference.
Chicago Raby defensive end Isaac Johnson is a kid we've been impressed with all summer. Long and able to bend, he's about 6'3, 240-lbs and although he's a little raw, he plays hard and is coachable. His physical tools are that of a Division-1 prospect, and while not many know about him, we think that will change soon.
One of the best parts of this camp, was getting to see young guys, from Middle Schoolers to freshmen and sophomores make an early name for themselves.
Young Guns Show Their Stuff
Erik Swenson is going into the 8th grade, but he's already 6'4 and change and 255-lbs. Usually kids that big, that young tend to be awkward, but that is not the case here. He is athletic and can bend. In 1-1s, he stepped up and went against older guys and did not back down. He got beat once or twice, but he won his share too. He's going to be a very good one. He told us that Michigan gave him great feedback at their camp and that he plans to attend Downers Grove South High School in another year.
Josh Schneider is another 8th grader on the offensive line who really impressed. He's a bulldog, a shorter kid who played center, but had really good technique already and won almost all of his 1-1s. He will attend Mequon Homestead, a great program in Wisconsin.
Enoch Smith is slated to start on the defensive line this year as a sophomore for Mount Carmel and he looks the part. He's just over 6'2 and 230-lbs and played last year as a freshman on varsity for Collins Academy, racking up 33 tackles and 9.5 sacks. For a young guy, he used his hands very well and we think he's a future D1 guy.
Portage (Mich.) Northern's Troy Bitterle is a kid we've seen a lot. He works hard at it, has solid size and a good arm. He says he has Division-1 offers, but does not want to publicize them just yet. We're looking forward to seeing what he does this season.
A Couple Quarterbacks to Watch
Lisle (Ill.) class of 2013 quarterback Nick Saul is definitely one to watch. He has good size at 6'5, 185-lbs and throws a nice ball with an effortless release. He has mechanical work to do, but he's consistent and accurate and we'll be monitoring him over the next year to see how he develops.
Remember the name Omar McCormick. He's a 6'3, 180-lb receiver from Chicago Bogan that can really go up and get it. He's under the radar right now, but has big time talent.
Sleeper of the Day?