Bradenton, Fla. – One of the very best prospects at the IMG National 7-on7 is Long Beach (Calif.) Poly standout cornerback Iman Marshall. This five-star recruit is a huge prospect at 6-foot-2, 195-pounds. He's getting ready to have a busy few weeks.
Marshall, who is sitting on 35 scholarship offers, was first offered by UCLA. Since, most programs have offered the nation's No. 3 ranked cornerback. There are still a few schools that he would love to hear from.
"I am good with what I have," Marshall said. "But I would love to hear from some school this way [the South] and get a offer from programs like Georgia, Auburn and Clemson. But I get it, I am a West Coast guy."
The common theme with Marshall is that he will stay out west. USC was his childhood favorite. UCLA and Stanford are heavily in the mix. He contends he's wide open with the process. Still, it's June and signing day is months away. Before that big decision Marshall will have to decide on his five official visits. For now, he knows one.
"I will make an official visit to Florida State," Marshall said. "I want to make all my visits and then announce on signing day.
"It's really not about football. It's not really a football decision. It's about the people and the contacts you meet. It's about life after football."
Craig set to make trips
Regardless of class wide receiver Nate Craig (Tampa Catholic) is one of the very best prospects in the country. He proved that again today at IMG, as he made a handful of spectacular plays.
Craig, a member of the next class of 2016, is sitting on 42 scholarship offers. Yeah, he can virtually name his school.
This week, Craig is excited to see two schools out in Pac 12 country.
"I am going to USC and UCLA, most likely this week," Craig said. "It will probably be Wednesday through Friday. I really like both of those schools and want to get out there to see them. I have been speaking with those coaches and now I want to see both of those programs. I am still learning about them."
Craig, 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, will have a busy July. He is set to go back and visit Auburn (July 19). He will also make trips to see Alabama, Georgia and Clemson.
Craig has been an Auburn lean for some time but he's reeling the process back in because he finds himself really thinking hard about other schools.
"I still have a long way to go," Craig said. "And I find myself waking up each day and feeling something different about a lot of schools. Auburn hasn't done anything wrong and I still love Auburn. Some days I wake up and yea, they are my leader. Other days I feel like it's someone else. That's just it. I think I need to see everyone."
Perhaps his prior two visits he made this month changed his mind set. Craig did visit both Florida State and Miami.
"They were both terrific visits," Craig said. "They really were. I love both campuses, the coaches and the players. Both Miami and FSU really made me feel at home and like I was part of their family."
Craig is a five-star and the No. 1 wide receiver in the 2016 class.
Another '16 star
Craig wasn't the lone rising junior who had a big Saturday. BTB wide receiver/safety Tyler Vaughns was sensational on both sides of the ball. He stars for La Puente (Calif.) Biship Amat.
Vaughns long, lean and very quick. He has exceptional feet and balance. Vaughns has speed and excellent hands. He made a handful of acrobatic catches, whether it was on a fade route, something over the middle or hugging the sideline. This kid has excellent hand-eye coordination and ball skills. He just needs to get bigger.
"I just try and go out there and run good routes and make plays," Vaughns said. "I was catching some stuff today. It's been good out here so far."
Vaughns said he will camp at both USC and UCLA next month. He remains wide open with the recruiting process. There's no question that he played as well as anyone there that I saw today.
QB makes visits
2016 quarterback K.J. Costello (Santa Margarita, Calif.) is trying to get ahead of the game and make some unofficial visits. The BBT signal caller was in Gainesville yesterday and sporting a Gator visor throughout the day. Costello had a lot of nice things to say about his trip to the University of Florida.
"I wanted to see what big time SEC football was about and Florida was incredible," Costello said. "I mean that was very impressive. Of course [Will] Muschamp was out of town but I talked with coach [Kurt] Roper and of course coach [Brian] White. He's recruiting me and a great guy. I got to see the facilities, campus and stadium."
Prior to his trip to Florida, Costello made his way to Tallahassee. There, he spent time with the national champion Seminoles.
"The was unbelievable," Costello said. "They have so many athletes. They are everywhere. I love that. Those are the guys I want to throw to. I know they are going to be a little shallow at quarterback, especially with [Jacob] Coker gone."
Coker has also been to Alabama and Michigan.
"Alabama was unbelievable," Costello said. "They have top five guys at every position across the board. What I loved about Michigan was their academics. They really take care of their athletes."
Costello has seen much of USC. All of those programs have offered so far except for the Gators.
"I am not the type of guy to commit and then de-commit," Costello said. "So it's great for me to get out and see these places. I want to get educated on the schools so I can make a good decision. I have made five visits and I know with these schools I couldn't make a bad decision.
Still two for Miller
Four-star wide receiver Trent Irwin (Newhall, Calif./Hart) is one of the top prospects on the talents B2G 5-Star team. He favors two schools and it looks like it's pretty much down to Stanford and Arizona State.
"I guess a team or two could still sneak in there," Irwin said. "But right now it's those two schools. "Stanford has the academics and looks at what they have done on the field these past two years. They won the Pac 12. On the other hand, ASU is an up and coming school. Plus, my quarterback [Brady White] is going there and he has been my quarterback for five or six years now. We are quite close and he's pushing me hard. We are tight, that's for sure."
Ray Ray looking West
Tampa Sickles four-star running back Ray Ray McCloud has had a unique opportunity to unofficially visit over 20 schools over the past few off-seasons. Already this month he has been to Georgia, North Carolina, N.C. State, Clemson and Wake Forest.
Next week McCloud will head out west and make unofficial trips to see both USC and UCLA, according to his father. He will also be out at the Opening in Oregon in early July and make a third visit to the west coast and make a visit to see the Ducks.
Also scheduled next month are trips to Alabama (July 17), Notre Dame and Ohio State. McCloud will also likely camp at USF.
McCloud, 5-foot-11, 180-pounds, is one of the nation's most explosive talents in the 2015 class. He has offers from teams coast to coast. It is thought that programs like Clemson, Florida, North Carolina, UCLA and USF are out in front at this time, though McCloud will tell you he's open and considering many others.
Chris Barr has speed to burn. He's a two-way standout for Jacksonville Trinity Christian Academy. Today, he put that strength on display for his 7-on team, Pro Impact, at IMG.
"That's what everybody said they like about me is my speed and my versatility," Barr said. "I can play on either side of the ball but most teams want me as a defensive back. Some are recruiting me to do both."
For now Barr has 24 scholarship offers and two favorites.
"I just got an offer from Louisville. Right now they and Maryland are kind of the top two teams, although I am considering so many. I am actually considering everybody that has offered me. I hope to cut down my list at the end of the summer. Some other teams that have offered are Rutgers, Wisconsin, USF and UCF."
Barr recently made a long bus trip with some of his friends and teammates where they made unofficial visits to Tennessee, Georgia, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama and Auburn.
"That was a great experience for me and really the first time I have seen and done stuff like that," Barr said. "For me, Ohio State and Michigan were both awesome to see. They are both big and they are big rivalries. It was a terrific trip."
I was walking up to one of the fields. I wanted to see the team from Louisiana play, The Bootleggers. It's always one of my favorite 7-on teams because they always have great athletes.
Lining up out wide was this hulking, long, fast and athletic wide receiver. He looked like a grown man playing with boys.
"The Tigers were just right for me," Sullivan said. "It's a great school and a safe pick. I feel right at home."
Sullivan also plays quarterback and defensive end. He ran 4.5 [forty] at LSU's camp earlier this month and also made plays with his hand on the ground at defensive end.
"LSU is recruiting me to play wide receiver and that's where I want to play," Sullivan said. "But I also know that I have to wait and see how my body develops."
Speaking of Louisiana…
Jefferson (La.) Riverdale cornerback actually blew up this spring. In a matter of 27 days between April and May he picked up 23 scholarship offers. Right now he favors LSU, Oregon and Georgia. He's the state 100 [10.41] meter and 200 meter champ.
Remember the name Dedrick Shy (New Orleans Warren Easton]. He could be on the verge of an LSU offer. Shy, almost 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, just started playing cornerback. If he has a good camp in Baton Rouge next month the Tigers should likely offer. He just picked up an offer from Louisiana-Lafayette. This is a recruit that could catch fire.
Kentwood (La.) cornerback Shyheim Carter favors Alabama, Georgia and Clemson. This trio has offered. LSU could be on the verge.
The Bootleggers will get their starting quarterback on Sunday. Shea Patterson (Shreveport, La./Calvary Baptist Academy) is a four-star prospect and the No. 2 ranked signal caller in the next class. With his addition they could make a serious run at the title.