NLA/Badger Sport Columbus 7-7 Report - Day 2

New Level Athletics and BadgerSport got the midwest's best together for their 7-7 passing camp at Ohio State this weekend. Elimination play happened on Sunday and when the chips were down, a few players stepped up for their teams.

The Champs
The Missouri-Kansas team won the championship on Sunday and of course, they could not have done it without some great individual performances. Quarterback play is key at a 7-on-7 and this team had two good ones in Tyler Gabbert (Parkway West) and Jared Lanpher (Blue Springs). Gabbert is the guy with all the press clippings and offers and rightly so. He throws a very nice, tight ball and also showed great touch over the top today. However, Lanpher was not far behind. He is accurate and his a quick release. Once he is able to hit some camps this summer, it would not be surprising to see his stock rise to the point that he picks up some offers.

With those two slinging the ball all over the field, Darrenn White (University Academy) did not have a chance to play any quarterback, his high school position. However, he showed his versatility by stepping out and catching passes. He is a fine athlete who made a few nice plays after the catch. Currently being recruited as an athlete, I see White fitting in best as a slot receiver.

For the second day straight, Marcus Lucas (Liberty) was the go-to guy and did not disappoint. The 6'4 wideout makes getting open look effortless and he uses the physical advantage he has over most defensive backs very well. Like most big receivers, he knows how to outbody and outmuscle would be defenders, but I was more impressed with his ability to run routes and find open spots in zones. Combine that knack for getting open with his physical tools and you have a receiver with a lot of upside.

He was complemented very well by speedy Deveon Dinwiddie. He is not big (5'8), but is capable of making highlight reel plays and did that for his team today. He made several tough grabs in traffic and picked up a lot of yards after the catch. He would be a great fit for any school running any variation of the spread offense. Missouri commitment Marquise Hill said after the tournament that he would love to continue to play with Lucas at the college level and that was largely because his counterpart draws coverage his way. Hill was able to take advantage of that and made a lot of plays because he was able to beat man on man coverage. He is a smooth athlete who can gain separation with his quickness.

Of course, the old adage says defense wins championships and this team got some big plays from their defenders. Linebacker Tyler Fee (Hutchinson) always seemed to be in the right place at the right time this weekend and came away with a couple interceptions. Walter Williams (Eureka) has played a number of different positions in high school, but may have found a home at safety. He has good straight line speed and was one of the vocal leaders of his team.

The Runner-Up
The Eastern Pennsylvania team consisted largely of players from the Philadelphia area and in particular, West Catholic High School. Their quarterback Jarad Evans continued his solid play today as his accurate arm lead his team to the brink of a championship. He has some maturing to do physically, but he throws a nice ball and as he fills out, he'll only add more velocity to his passes. He had the benefit of throwing to a couple of his own receivers, in particular Quran Kent and Jaelen Strong-Rankin, two guys who are not super big, but are quick and elusive after the catch.

Other Day Two Standouts
Here are a few of the kids who made impacts on day two

* Baquer Sayed - WR - Dearborn Fordson (Mich.)
He became the go-to guy for the Maroon team today and they looked to him when they needed big plays. Even though he is 6'2, he plays like he is 6'5 as he goes up and gets the ball over defensive backs and makes it look easy. He has some of the best hands you will find on a wide receiver. While his team only played one game today, he had one catch and run where he split two defenders for a touchdown. On that play, he showed some speed and run after the catch ability, two things which were not considered strengths of his coming into the weekend.

*Robert Bolden - QB - Orchard Lake St. Mary's (Mich.)
After being a tad inconsistent on day one, Bolden came out and had an excellent day two. He was on the money and showed he could make all the throws. From zipping outs to touch passes to the corner, he showed why he has all those offers today.

*Kyle Prater - WR - Proviso West (Ill.)
Team Illinois was upset in the 1st Round, but Prater almost brought them back from a four score defecit. He made a beautiful adjustment on an underthrown ball to the sideline where he spun around, caught the pass with arms fully extended and still kept his feet in bounds. His team may have been eliminated early today, but Prater proved over the past two days that he is one of the best players in the nation.

* Corey Cooper - WR/S - Proviso East (Ill.)
Cooper also did his part to try to help his team come back. Needing a conversion on 4th down, Chandler Whitmer went his way and Cooper leapt up over a defender, snared the pass with one hand right along the sideline and kept his feet in-bounds. It was the most spectacular play he made this weekend, but he consistently came up big on both sides of the ball this weekend.

* Kevin Weatherspoon - WR - Clairton (Pa.)
Kevin has really good hands and a knack for getting open. Today, he showed some long speed too, beating a few guys deep. He does not stand out physically, but it doesn't take long to spot him. He always finds open space, he catches everything thrown at him and even showed some ability after the catch. He will be a real pain for opposing coaches at the next level, because he will be a guy who finds a way to get it done and move the chains.

* Martell Baker - RB - Indianapolis Broad Ripple (Ind.)
An impressive physical speciman, Baker looks more like a fullback than a running back, but has the speed to be considered a tailback still. I questioned whether this power back would be out of place at this event, but he proved to be a much better receiver than I thought. He ran nice routes, showed good straight line sped and good, soft hands. He isn't super shifty, but he showed he has a ton of potential.

* Austin Collinsworth - WR/S - Highlands (Ky.)
He was so quick off the line that defensive backs resorted to tackling him two steps into his route. He could play a couple different positions at the next level. After seeing his athleticism, I could see him becoming a college starter at either wide receiver or safety.

* Ashton Gaines - WR/CB - Detroit Crockett (Mich.)
A 2011 kid, Ashton is simply a great football player. On offense, he finds ways to get open and always catches the ball and on defense, he is always in good position and made a lot of interceptions over the course of the camp. He needs to continue to fill out and work on his top end speed, but he is a fine athlete who understands how to play the game.

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