Both teams were lead by good young prospects at quarterback. Columbus East (Ind.) sophomore Gunner Kiel helped lead the Goons to the title. Already with offers from Indiana, Iowa and Purdue, we got to see why this weekend. He has good size and a really nice arm. What I liked most was his anticipation. He didn't wait for receivers to break open, he threw on time and hit his men in stride. He fit a lot of passes into smaller windows that a lot of other quarterbacks at the event were not able to make. He just needs a little more consistency, but he has a chance to be one of the Midwest's best for the 2012 class. He is definitely a BCS level prospect.
The other young Indiana quarterback who turned some heads was Fort Wayne Homestead's Zachary Terrell. He has solid height, standing about 6'2-6'3. By comparison, he's not the gunslinger Kiel is, but he's a very accurate, cereberal quarterback. He made excellent decisions, saw the field well and got rid of the ball quickly. That, and his ball placement was very good. He needs to develop more arm strength, but with two years left, I think that will come.
The running backs, particulary for AWP, did very well. Remound Wright is the big name prospect and of course, his forte is pads-on, running the ball, but he showed his receiving ability this weekend. He has good hands and showed a nice feel for getting open. He also impressed many onlookers with his impressive build. This is a solidly put together kid. His future teammate at Dwenger, Steven Espinoza (transferring from Homestead) had a very nice weekend. At only 5'5, he left many teams wondering how this little, unassuming kid kept making big plays. He has excellent hands and quick feet. Obviously, size will be a factor in his recruitment, but he is a very good football player. Sophomore John Nelson from Snider is a speedy kid who has a chance to be a good one.
At wide receiver, the MVP was Shane Henderson. The Columbus East product was outstanding, making big play after big play. He doesn't have high top end speed, I'd say he's a high 4.5-low 4.6 guy, but he still blew by a couple top corners. When the ball was thrown anywhere near him, he caught it, including several tough, leaping grabs in traffic. Continue this performance into the summer and he'll have a few offers. He was also excellent on defense to boot.
His teammate Jeffery Harmon of Indianapolis Pike had a nice weekend. He's a good athlete and played well at both defensive back and receiver. Another who made lots of plays was Bishop Luers' Nick Chapel who seemed to come up with chains moving clutch catches with regularity. Merrillville running back Denzel Pierce played in the slot quite a bit and has some quickness and open field ability.
South Bend Washington sophomore Gehrig Dieter was a kid we liked in person last year and he proved what a player he is this weekend. He played wide receiver and cornerback and had the championship winning interception. He played much of the tournament with a black eye suffered after taking a shoulder to his head. He toughed it out though and that's part of what I like about him. He's a tough, rugged football player. He's about 6'3, pretty put together and has good hands and instincts. I think his future may be at safety, but he also offers possibilities as a collegiate wide receiver, a spot he excels at in high school.
Brownsburg's Torrey Nibbs is a similarly versatile prospect. He showed up late on the first day, but quickly made his presence felt. He has pretty good quickness and overall athleticism and found himself open quite a bit. He did drop a couple of easy passes, but made a lot of plays on the ball as a defensive back. I think his college future is at safety and he has a lot of potential there.
Bishop Luers' Kenny Mullen always does well in these kinds of events. I know he can cover one on one from seeing him in the past, but what I liked here, was I got to see him play zone and he made several plays by reading routes and getting the jump on them. In man, he broke up several passes and did so by reaching around and getting in front of the receiver without getting flagged. His teammate, Quyuan Mattox, a kid we've been high on was playing deep safety and anything that got thrown back there, he got his hands on. He made a couple of great interceptions and broke up a few passes. He's one that continues to impress. Dwenger's Joey Schneider is a smart, instinctive safety and Pike's Andre Moore had a nice weekend covering receivers.
Snider's Kendal Frederick came in with no hype, did not necessarily look the part, but he made play after play. He's about 6'2-6'3 and played cornerback and did well. He has good makeup speed for a bigger kid and excellent ball skills. His future is probably at safety, but he's a guy schools should take note of.
Of the linebackers, Luers' Steve Kiermaier stood out the most. Coverage is not his forte, but he's a big kid who keeps getting better in space.
Shane Henderson -
Gunner Kiel -
Kenny Mullen -
Quyuan Mattox -
Kendal Frederick -