Skilled athletes shine at AU

AUBURN, Ga. - Auburn held their first one-day camp Sunday and it will be one many there will remember. It was held the day after a shooting where two former AU players were shot dead and another was hospitalized.

Through all the emotion, the Auburn coaches put on a very good camp Sunday and they had some impressive prospects to work with.

One of the top overall performers on hand Sunday was Blaise Taylor, son of Auburn wide receiver coach Trooper Taylor.

The 2014 athlete out of Auburn High School may only be 5-feet, 7-inches tall, but he is physical, he is quick, and he is smart.

"I thought I did pretty well today, but I thought I could have done better," Taylor said. "I could have made more adjustments on the fly, but I had a lot of fun, it was a good camp, and I thought I did pretty good overall."

Taylor showed great speed throughout the speed and agility drills early on in the day and then showed more of that when the real competition started.

He was strong at corner today, but he is willing to play offense or defense on the next level.

"I am open to playing whatever coaches want me to in college, but I worked at cornerback today. It just depends on the system the school runs really. I could play slot receiver or cornerback, I am OK with either one."

Outside of his stellar play at corner, his competitive nature stood out on Sunday. He said that came from his family.

"I work hard and it comes from my parents. My mom was a track star at Baylor, my dad played football at Baylor, and we are all very competitive. It is a competition between me, my mom, my dad, and my sister all the time. We are all just competing at everything and I think that is why I am so competitive on the football field."

The combination of speed, versatility, and his love to compete has helped him land offers from Arkansas State and Memphis already. Georgia Tech has picked up their interest too after seeing him at camp Saturday. They want him back in July.

Taylor was one of the skilled athletes that stood out Sunday inside the impressive indoor facility and here are some others who really stood out to Scout:

  • Rashaan Evans - 2014 OLB - Auburn (Ala.) Auburn
    Quick Hitter: He was playing a position he is not used to playing, but he showed signs of what he could be like down the road. He usually plays with his hand down at end, but he worked at linebacker Sunday and showed a lot of athleticism. He has to work on his drops and playing under control, but his natural ability will draw him a ton of attention this summer and fall.

  • Emanuel Byrd - 2013 QB - Albany (Ga.) Monroe
    Quick Hitter: Byrd was still throwing the football when most of the campers were heading home, so Auburn liked what they saw. He displayed a love arm while throwing some rockets during the 1on1 and pass skeleton sessions. He was not consistent with his accuracy all day, but he was the top quarterback there on Sunday.

  • Dijon Paschal - 2013 WR - Tallassee (Ala.) Tallassee
    Quick Hitter: Do not sleep on this young man. Paschal has good size (6-2/180), good speed, and he knows how to catch the football. He is not a receiver a lot of people are talking about in Alabama right now, but he showed on Sunday he is among the best at that position. He made some very nice catches sliding on the turf and out-jumping defenders.

  • Earnest Robinson - 2013 WR - Pinson (Ala.) Pinson Valley
    Quick Hitter: Robinson is a strong wide receive that wins those tough battles against defensive backs when the ball is up for grabs. He can still improve on his bursts out of his breaks, but he made some good catches Sunday and got better as the camp went on.

  • Traveon Samuel - 2015 RB - Phenix City (Ala.) Central
    Quick Hitter: This young running back is a nightmare for any linebacker in a camp setting because of lightening quick feet. He changes direction well, he is very quick out of the backfield, and he has very good hands. He caught some deep balls and short balls on Sunday.

  • Quincy Wilson - 2014 S - Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University
    Quick Hitter: Wilson has a lot of knowledge at defensive back because his father Chad Wilson played corner at Miami and he showed it again today. He takes to coaching very well and he was very good in coverage today. He kept his eyes where they were supposed to be, he stayed in position in different coverages, and he reacted to the ball well. Scout still sees him as a potential safety right now, but he showed good cover skills today.

    The top performers are all skill guys due to the fact that Scout could not get over to see much of the linemen in another building because of the stormy weather.

    Camp Notes

  • Racean Thomas, a 2014 running back out of Oxford, Ala. received a lot of attention from Running Backs Coach Curtis Luper Sunday. Thomas had a very good back showing good speed and agility. He has an Auburn offer.

  • DeMarcus Christmas will be one of the top interior defensive linemen in 2014. The junior out of Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee has gotten a lot bigger and he has over a dozen scholarship offers. He got some time with Gene Chizik Sunday.

  • Jason Smith is a four-star wide receiver on Scout and the star athlete out of McGill-Toolen (Ala.) worked at quarterback Sunday. He just wants a shot to play that position. He throws a very catchable ball, but his arm strength is not where it needs to be. He makes a lot of plays and he received a lot of attending from AU coaches, he will most likely play somewhere other than QB on the next level. He is open to making a position change, but wants an equal shot at quarterback first.

  • 2014 quarterback E.J. Moss out of Asheville, Ala. is a quarterback on the Auburn board. He attracted a lot of attention from the AU coaches Sunday. He is a very strong quarterback with good touch.

  • Auburn commitment Jeremy Johnson threw the ball around today. He did not take part in the speed and agility drills, just the afternoon session. He had his moments that showed why Auburn and many other schools offered him. He was the no. two quarterback on the day for Scout.

  • Korey Cunningham is a 2013 tight end out of Montevallo (Ala.) and he was impressive to look at. He can work on his route running and his overall flexibility, but he appeared to catch Auburn's attention Sunday. He is raw, but has some upside at tight end.

  • Wilson Bell from Blount (Ala.), Devin Farrior from Wayne County (Miss.), Cameron Fraser from Central (Ala.), and David Gross from Trinity Presbyterian (Ala.) were the top offensive linemen at camp Sunday. Some others have offers, but this quartet looked to be the top guys.

  • Jon Michael Edwards is a 2014 prospect to keep an eye on out of Carver High School in Montgomery, Ala. He is a 6-foot-3, 225 pound defensive end that is good off the ball.
  • Jonathan Cook is a corner out of Spanish Fort (Ala.) that entered the camp aiming for an Auburn offer. He received a lot of attention from the AU staff and was solid in the 1on1 and pass skeleton sessions. He is one to keep an eye on.
    Chad Simmons is currently a National Recruiting Analyst for FOX Sports/Scout. He started with Scout in 2003 and then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become South Recruiting Manager.
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