Review: Nike Training Camp Tuscaloosa

The University of Alabama played host this past weekend to the Nike Football Training Camp. Hundreds of athletes arrived to compete in the event with several coming from outside the Southeast region. Several of the South's elite prospects were in attendance including a couple of five-star athletes from the Sunshine State.

The Nike Camp featured two five-star prospects who headlined the event in James Wilder, No. 1 outside linebacker from Tampa-Plant, Fla., and Alabama commitment Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, No. 1 safety from Orlando-Dr. Phillips. Fla.

The quarterbacks all competed in the EA Sports Elite 11 following the Nike Camp. The early camp was more of a warm-up for the signal callers, but they made the most of their day.

Everett Golson
Miller Safrit,
Everett Golson, three-star from Myrtle Beach, S.C., was awarded the quarterback MVP. Jameis Winston, 2012 quarterback from Hueytown, Ala., had a very strong showing at the camp. One player who traveled from outside the region to compete was Cameron Coffman, from Peculiar-Raymore, Mo. Coffman displayed a nice touch on the ball and was accurate throughout the day.

Other quarterbacks who had a very good outing included Broderick Hall, from Tuscaloosa-Paul Bryant, Ala., Kevin Sousa, from Orlando-Lake Nona, Fla., Price Litton, from Charlotte-Providence Day, N.C., Anthony D'Angelo, from Long Beach, Miss., and Justin Worley, three-star from Rock Hill-Northwestern, S.C.

One position which usually offers a lot of talented prospects is at running back. The talent pool didn't run deep in Tuscaloosa with only a few who participated.

The top player was Dee Hart, four-star from Orlando-Dr. Phillips, Fla. Hart displayed great quickness and speed coming out of the backfield. He was great in the Sparq training drills and one-on-ones.

Ameer Abdullah, from Homewood, Ala., was awarded the MVP for the running back group. He is a very quick prospect who made it very difficult for linebackers to cover during the one-on-ones. He was consistently getting open and creating space.

Other running backs who stood out during the event included Tino Thomas from Memphis-Melrose, Tenn., Darrin Reaves, from Clay-Chalkville, Ala., and Anthony Gardner, from Pleasant Grove, Ala.

The wide receivers had an abundance of offensive playmakers. The top guys were players who have already committed.

Chris Conley
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It was tough to pick the best-of-the-best of all the receivers, but Georgia commitment Chris Conley, four-star from Dallas-North Paulding, Ga., took the honor. Conley was the most consistent of all the receivers. He has big hands, made a lot of tough catches and would dive for overthrown passes.

Gadsden (Ala.) City High School has two offensive weapons at the receiver position who are excellent players. Alabama commitment Darryl Collins and T.J. Worthy, both rated a three-star by Collins is physically in great shape and very fast. He dropped a couple of passes on the day, but made a lot of tough catches and showcased his ability to go vertical.

Worthy isn't as thick as Collins, but runs extremely smooth routes. He seems to glide on the field and has some great moves. Worthy's biggest asset is his ability to get open. He would often find himself alone in the one-on-ones because he left someone's cleats stuck in the ground.

Danny Woodson, Jr., three-star wide receiver from Mobile-LeFlore, Ala., was off to a good start before having some cramp issues during the one-on-ones. It was a very hot day on the practice fields, and several players were cramping towards the end of the event.

Woodson was still impressive during the first part of the day. He isn't a player who is going to blow you away with his speed. He is a physical receiver who has big hands and catches everything thrown his way. He is a great route runner and great knowledge of the game. He is a thick player who already has the build of an SEC receiver. Woodson has pledged his signature to Alabama.

Drae Bowles, 2012 wide receiver from Jackson (Christian), Tenn., kept turning heads with his performance. He is physically very impressive and already attracting attention from schools across the Southeast. He is right at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds. He ran great routes and possesses great speed. He is definitely a player to keep an eye in the coming months.'s No. 1 ranked cornerback in the class of 2010 was Demarcus Milliner, from Millbrook-Stanhope Elmore, Ala. Milliner signed with Alabama and enrolled in January. His younger brother, Pat Milliner, attended the Nike Camp this past weekend and worked with the receivers. Milliner is an athlete who plays on the offensive side of the ball rotating at running back and receiver. He is a lot thicker than he was six months ago. He has great straight line speed, but needs to continue to work on his quickness. He is still seeking his first scholarship offer.

Donte Moncrief, three-star from Raleigh, Miss., took home the wide receiver MVP award given out by Nike at the conclusion of the camp. He is physically very gifted and is a burner. He causes a lot of matchup problems and creates separation.

Jervoahnte Riles, from Bessemer (Ala.) City, worked with the receivers and projects as a tight end at the next level. He is athletic with good size. He had a great day catching the ball and looked surprisingly smooth running routes. He may end up playing tight end, but on this day he looked like a big wide receiver.

A lesser known player who worked at tight end was Kyreek Brown, from Millbrook-Stanhope Elmore, Ala. He did extremely well in the one-on-ones catching the ball with his finger tips and hauling in passes over the head.

Cameron Clear
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Cameron Clear from Memphis-East, Tenn., definitely arrived with a chip on his shoulder. recently moved his position to offensive line, and he came with something to prove at the position he loves (tight end).

Clear could easily end up on the offensive line or defensive line once he arrives at the next level, but performed at a very high level in Tuscaloosa. Clear was smooth running his routes and catching the ball. He did a great job catching the low balls and was a tough one-on-one match for any of the defensive backs.

The lack of offensive linemen at the camp was disappointing especially when several of the state's best including Reese Dismukes, four-star from Spanish Fort, Ala., and Spencer Region, 300 offensive guard from Cullman, Ala., decided not to attend the event.

Cody Robinson from McMinnville-Warren County, Tenn., earned the camp's offensive lineman MVP. Robinson was consistent in one-on-one drills and always wanting to battle against the best. He displayed great strength and footwork throughout the day.

LSU commitment Trai Turner, three-star offensive guard from New Orleans-St. Augustine, La., was the top ranked offensive lineman in attendance. Another offensive lineman who stood out in the one-on-ones was Michael Flint, 2012 offensive guard from Oxford, Ala.

Flint appears out of football shape at first glance. He may need to shed a few pounds, but he was fantastic in the one-on-ones. He had great punch and powerful. He'll need to work on conditioning and footwork, but overall is a very solid prospect.

Other linemen who stood out in the group were Terrence Jennings, offensive guard from Millbrook-Stanhope Elmore, Ala., Justin Ivory, offensive tackle from Vestavia, Ala., and Spencer Pulley, offensive tackle from Cordova-Evangelical Christian, Tenn.

The defensive line unit was really good with two defensive linemen who dominated the entire camp. Alabama commitment D.J. Pettway, three-star defensive tackle from Pensacola-Catholic, Fla., put on a show. This was not Pettway's first rodeo after dominating at the Nike Camp in Baton Rouge, La. as well.

Pettway has such great explosion coming off the ball. He uses his hands extremely well and plays aggressive. He won the defensive lineman MVP of the camp. He is a player outside the Scout 300 who should receive a good bump in the next round of rankings.

Pettway put on a show in the one-on-ones, but Quay Evans, defensive tackle from Morton, Miss., was a beast in everything else. He is very strong and powerful. He single-handedly won multiple tug-of-war matches which consisted of three linemen going against each other. Evans was the anchor, and his strength blew people away.

Evans committed very early to Ole Miss, but has decided to re-open his recruitment. He also holds scholarship offers from Alabama and Mississippi State. He'll need to continue to work on his technique and explosion off the ball, but he should rank as one of the top defensive linemen in the country for the 2012 class.

Chris Casher, defensive end from Mobile-Faith Academy, Ala., is well put together. He explodes off the ball, but needs to work on his technique and use of hands. He has a great chance to become one of the top players in the South for the 2012 class.

Other defensive linemen who garnered our attention included Allan Carson, defensive tackle from Oxford, Ala., Ricky Hunter, defensive tackle from Loachapoka, Ala., Keymiya Harrell, defensive end from Plantersville-Dallas County, Ala., and Terry Redden, defensive tackle from Memphis-Whitehaven, Tenn.

Linebackers were definitely in abundance. Three were thrown in the mix each time a drill took place. All were playing like BCS level athletes.

James Wilder
Miller Safrit,'s No. 1 linebacker James Wilder, five-star from Tampa-Plant, Fla., was the top prospect in Tuscaloosa. Wilder is built like a truck and physically one of the most gifted players in the country. He arrived a little late Saturday after competing in a spring game Friday night.

Wilder is a smart football player and has very good speed for his size. He needs to play a little lighter on his feet and continue to work on pass coverage if he is playing linebacker at the next level. He looks like he could grow into a player who puts his hand down and become a nightmare at the defensive end position.

Wilder was the top rated linebacker participating, but the player who really stood out above all others was 2012 recruit Kwon Alexander, outside linebacker from Oxford, Ala.

Alexander has a chance to become next year's Wilder as the No. 1 linebacker in the country. He's not as physical as Wilder at this point, but he has the frame to carry more weight and will continue to get stronger in the weight room.

Alexander really excelled in pass coverage. He went stride-for-stride with several of the quick running backs coming out of the backfield and had some really good breaks on the ball. It comes as no surprise he holds close to 20 scholarship offers from across the country.

Several physically impressive linebackers did well including Armonze Daniel, three-star from Avon, Ind., Jaiari Dunaway, from Murfreesboro-Siegal, Tenn., and Eddie Johnson, from Selma, Ala. All three of these players look the part and had a good showing during the camp.

Antonio Marsh, from Prichard-Blount, Ala., was flying around the football. He needs to continue to develop and increase his size. Marsh did extremely well in pass coverage and checking running backs out of the backfield.

Vinnie Sunseri, three-star from Tuscaloosa-Northridge, Ala., continues to impress. The son of Alabama linebackers coach Sal Sunseri plays a lot bigger than his size. He is physical at the point of attack and reads plays better than any linebacker on the field.

Kameron Wood, from Birmingham-John Carroll, Ala., plays defensive end in high school but worked with the linebackers. He still needs to improve his knowledge of the position, but Wood seemed natural on the field. He runs great for his size and is a very good athlete.

Alex Meier, outside linebacker from Anoka, Minn., made the trek all the way to Tuscaloosa to compete and looked very good. He is an athletic player who runs extremely well. He looked good in pass coverage.

Troy Gray, outside linebacker from Kennesaw-North Cobb, Ga., was another physically impressive prospect. A couple of other linebackers who made an impression were Detorrius Shipley from Huffman, Ala., Devaunte Sigler from Prichard-Blount, Ala., and 2012 Cassanova McKinzy from Birmingham-Woodlawn, Ala.

HaSean Clinton-Dix
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The defensive back unit was almost as impressive as the linebackers. This group was led by Alabama commitment Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, five-star safety from Orlando-Dr. Phillips, Fla. He was the most talented of all the defensive backs in Tuscaloosa. Clinton-Dix is a ball hawk and very athletic. He has the size, speed and ball skills you want in a safety.

Jonathan Rose, four-star cornerback from Leeds, Ala., also had a very good day. He is a natural at the position and has very good instincts. He was great in pass coverage and has really good footwork.

Florida State commitment Tyler Hunter, from Valdosta-Lowndes, Ga., was dominating in the first part of the camp. He injured his shoulder and had an ice pack on it when he left Tuscaloosa.

The camp featured several physical defensive backs including Pat Martin, three-star from Anderson-Mann, S.C., Jahmel McIntosh, from Cleveland, Miss., Mississippi State commitment Jermaine Whitehead, three-star from Greenwood-Amanda Elzy, Miss., and Renaldo Thomas, three-star from New Orleans-St. Augustine, La.

Martin is physically very impressive and almost looks too big to play in the defensive backfield. He is an aggressive player with good skills, but needs to continue to improve his speed.

Whitehead was very impressive throughout the day. He has a good change of direction and a very good backpedal. He made a lot of plays and plays the game with high intensity. He proved himself as one of the top defensive backs in the South with his performance against several elite wide receivers.

Thomas was physically the most impressive looking defensive back. He is a big player and has good range and speed.

Ronnie Harris
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Ronnie Harris, three-star cornerback from Atlanta-Westlake, Ga., showcased great coverage skills and speed. He was one of the smaller defensive backs, but didn't back down from competition. He played physical and was a lock-down corner.

Bobby McCain, athlete from Oxford, Ala., is emerging as a good prospect. He was offered by Mississippi State just recently and should continue to receive interest throughout the summer and early fall. McCain worked as a cornerback and didn't disappoint. He has excellent footwork. He stays on his toes and has a great backpedal.

A couple of names to remember in the 2012 class include Kelton Brackett, cornerback from Prichard-Blount, Ala., and Marcus Turner, cornerback from McCalla-McAdory, Ala.

Brackett is a feisty cornerback who plays with great instincts. He is aggressive and understands the game. He is already receiving a lot of interest from schools in the Southeast.

Turner made a lot of plays during the day. He had a couple picks in the one-on-ones and also displayed great instincts. He has good size and could have his choice of schools come this time next year.

The Nike Camp in Tuscaloosa was outstanding with top talent all over the field. It is tough to find another Nike Camp in the country with the total number of D-I prospects who were in attendance like the one this past weekend at the University of Alabama.

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