Xavier Thomas (Photo by Chad Simmons)

News, notes and recruiting scoop from the 2017 Under Armour Future 50

Under Armour invited 55 prospects to Orlando (Fla.) this weekend to be part of Future 50. Here is some news and notes on some of those prospects...

Recruiting Notes

Xavier Thomas recently made the move from Florence (S.C.) to Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, now his home state is Florida, but when he plays on the next level, he is likely headed back home.  Clemson and South Carolina are his top two schools, and they are likely his final two.  The five-star defensive end plans to take official visits to each school, then commit to the Tigers or the Gamecocks next fall.

ClemsonGeorgiaOhio State and Tennessee are the top schools for rush end Brenton Cox of Stockbridge (Ga.).  He does not plan to commit until his senior year at this time, but that could change.  Some feel in-state Georgia has the edge right now, but he is taking a lot of visits and keeping his options open.

Emory Jones is a Scout 100 quarterback out of Franklin (Ga.) Heard County and he has been committed to Ohio State since late July, and he still seems strong to the Buckeyes, but he is going to visit other schools.  Two SEC schools continue to recruit Jones and he is still looking at Florida and Georgia.  It may take a lot to change Jones' mind, but he is going to listen and look.

Nothing much has changed with the top schools for five-star offensive guard Jamaree Salyer, but the timeline to commit may have moved back a little.  ClemsonGeorgia and Ohio State continue to lead the way for the star out of Atlanta (Ga.) Pace Academy, but instead of committing the summer before his senior year, he is now thinking he will take official visits before making his decision.

LSU appears to be in a very good spot with 2018 commitment Kelvin Joseph.  The cornerback out of Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville has been committed to the Tigers since February, and although he has visited Alabama a few times since, the in-state school has a strong hold on this one at this time.

Jahan Dotson of Hightstown (N.J.) The Peddle School has an impressive offer list.  He is a speedy wide receiver who is hearing a lot from AlabamaMichiganNorth CarolinaOhio State and Penn State among others.  He does not have favorites yet, but his next visit will be to Chapel Hill (N.C.) in March when the Tar Heels host Duke in basketball.

Spring (Texas) Dekaney 2018 tight end Malcolm Epps committed to the school that offered him first — Alabama.  He appears to be strong to the Crimson Tide at this time, but Michigan and Ohio State are two others on his radar.  He plans to take visits.

Florida State commitment Robert Cooper grew up a fan of South Carolina and the Gamecocks are still on his radar.  The four-star defensive tackle out of Snellville (Ga.) South Gwinnett made it clear that his commitment is strong to the Seminoles, but at the same time, he said he will still listen to what other schools have to say and that he still will take visits.

Tampa Bay (Fla.) native Richard Gouraige isn't ready to label one school as the clear-cut leader in his recruitment, but says North Carolina is coming hard and recruiting him the hardest. He plans to make full use of his time, but Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State and the Tar Heels are some programs making a strong impression early on.

Asante Samuel Jr. lived out his childhood as a big supporter of Florida State, and says that's the school he currently likes "the most." Ohio State and Miami are additional schools that have been consistent in Samuel's recruitment, but the Scout 300 cornerback says he'll likely wait until the beginning of his senior year before dishing out a decision.

Curtis Dunlap Jr., the Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy product knows of just one school that will make the cut once it's time to release an official list of top schools, and that's the University of Florida.  Dunlap, who will likely wait until next summer before making a decision, plans to visit a number of schools in the foreseeable future, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami and Texas.

Reuben Unije, another Scout 300 prospect that straps up the pads for the IMG Academy, says Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas A&M are currently recruiting him the hardest. He hopes to take visits to Penn State, Florida State and Georgia in addition to the aforementioned schools.

Notes from the Field

Justyn Ross was one of the more dynamic wide receivers at the event and held that title among the bigger ones for sure.  He is sharp with his cuts and he showcased his strong hands as well.  Both in-state programs, Alabama and Auburn stand out to him.

Myles Sims was the most physical cornerback on the day and he does it all at a lanky 6-foot-3, which helps when the ball is in the air as well.  

Jacob Copeland does not have the most consistent hands, but he had the one-handed catch of the day along the sidelines.  He was solid with his routes and he won more times than not.

California commit Adrian Martinez threw some nice deep balls Saturday.  He showed great touch, they were tightly spinning in the air and most were in the right spot.

J.T. Daniels is only a sophomore and the star signal caller out of California was sharp.  He may have been the most consistent passer of the day.  He threw with good accuracy and he showed nice arm strength.

Jamaree Salyer is a five-star offensive guard and he showed why he is that.  He was dominant in the trenches, and other than one time where he lost his balance, he was hardly moved during the one-on-one sessions.  

Another five star who lived up to the hype was rush end Xavier Thomas.  He won going inside and outside.  He made it look easy at times.  He plays so low to the ground and he really knows how to turn that corner.  

Harrison Bailey was the only 2020 prospect invited and he really held his own.  He was definitely in the top half of the quarterback performers on the day.  He just has a real calmness about his game.

On the defensive line, Robert Cooper had a lot of success.  The Florida State commit used strength and quickness to win reps. He is really tough to deal with.  He was clearly one of the strongest prospects there.

Patrick Surtain is an elite defensive back.  He worked at safety, but he could play corner too.  He is exactly how you draw them up.  He goes about his business with a purpose and LSU is the leader with Florida State next.

Brey Walker is as impressive as anyone on the hoof.  The offensive tackle did not play as good as he looked in this setting.  Won a couple of reps, but lost more than he won.

Mustapha Muhammad is a tight end who can get vertical and he has very strong hands.  He caught the ball extremely well and showed he could go up and fight for the ball.

Brenton Cox is still raw and he needs to get stronger, but he is athletic, long and he can be very disruptive off the edge.  He won more than he lost.

Defensive tackle Rick Sandidge was quick off the ball.  He won most of his reps against bigger offensive guards with his speed and quickness.

Future Florida State SeminoleJames Cook was one of the more consistent performers from Saturday's event in Orlando, flashing soft hands and crisp route-running out of the backfield.

Whether it's at running back, wide receiver, or even cornerback, Justin Watkins is a big play waiting to happen and showed that during his time at receiver. He did a nice job of exploding off the line and stretching the field, but it was his reliability that caught Scout's attention.

Corey Bender and John Garcia Jr. contributed to this report.

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