Day 1 Notebook: Hoover Nat'l Select 7-on-7

The National Select 7-on-7 Tournament started Thursday afternoon in Hoover, Ala. with blistering tempatures. Teams competed on eight different fields at two separate locations. Scout.com was in attendance to catch the first day of action. Read more here...

Event Underway

The games started at 3:00 p.m. and lasted until 8:00 p.m. Teams competed in round robin play and will continue to do the same Friday morning. Each team played four games and played in every other game.

The weather was a typical July day in Alabama with a reported 100 degrees. The players stayed hydrated, and everyone seemed to get past the first day without any problems. Players also wear helmets in this tournament which helps prevent a lot of injuries.

Thirty-two teams are participating in the event, and Scout.com caught 16 of the them competing in the first day of action. Hoover High School held 16 teams on their practice fields while the other 16 teams competed on the Regions Park soccer fields. The teams rotate fields Friday, and Scout.com will see the rest of the participants.

Teams Observed:

Hoover, Auburn, Har-Ber, North Gwinnett, Carver-Montgomery, Flowery Branch, Mandarin Christian, Mandeville, Memphis University School, Lone Oak, Jefferson County, Fairhope, Grady, Griffin, Austin and McGill-Toolen.

Two Teams Stand Out

Hoover High School dominated the competiton and went undefeated. Quarterback Ryan Carter had several targets including Auburn commitment Jaylon Denson who is a very physical receiver. He does a good job after the catch and will go up and get the ball. He caught a lot of short passes and quick slants, but also displayed his range catching the deep ball on fades and post routes. He had very few drops and got better as the day progressed.

McGill-Toolen has been the surprise team so far out of the 16 observed. The Yellow Jackets are known for good athletes, but quarterback Preston Messer was the difference-maker. He is close to 6-foot-1, 190-pounds and was the best quarterback on the Hoover fields. He has a cannon for an arm and was very accurate throughout the day. He made a lot of difficult throws look easy and played with a lot of confidence. Cornerback E.J. May made several plays on the defensive side of the ball.

Player of the Day

Several great performances in Day 1, but the MVP goes to Damian Swann, Scout.com four-star cornerback from Atlanta-Grady, Ga. Swann spent most of the day working as a wide receiver and no one could cover him one-on-one. He was very smooth running routes and made several acrobatic catches. He spent half of the game working at cornerback and never let anyone get behind him. His team struggled, but Swann was a shining star. He proved why he is one of the most saught after players in the country.

Scout.com's Top 10

1. Damian Swann (Grady, athlete)
2. Preston Messer (McGill-Toolen, quarterback)
3. Nate Andrews (Fairhope, wide receiver)
4. Jaylon Denson (Hoover, wide receiver)
5. Corey Moore (Griffin, safety)
6. C.J. Uzomah (North Gwinnett, quarterback, receiver)
7. Tyler Presnell (Lone Oak, quarterback)
8. D.J. Holley (Auburn, wide receiver)
9. Tyler Hamm (Griffin, quarterback)
10. Hunter Kissinger (Har-Ber, linebacker)

Elite 2013 prospect

Nate Andrews, wide receiver from Fairhope, Ala., was the top underclassman. Andrews has incredible burst off the line of scrimmage. He is a long strider and very explosive. He was Fairhope's go-to receiver, and only entering his sophomore season this fall. He is 6-0, 180-pounds and plays much bigger. He adjusts to the ball when it's in the air and will fight for it. Andrews should have his pick of schools in a couple of years.

Celebrity Status

The National Select 7-on-7 Tournament draws a lot of attention for the event. ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortenson was on hand to provide color commentary on Ihigh.com. He will remain in Hoover and provide commentary throughout the weekend. New Orleans Saints cornerback and Super Bowl champion Mike McKenzie was in attendance to watch the event. Former NFL star and Alabama All-American Antonio Langham also spent time enjoying the competiton.

Hospitality

Hoover High School is known for doing everything first class. The Media Press conference prior to the tournament was no less than incredible with the many people running the event. A very special shout out to Executive Director Brandon Sheppard and David Bannister who are the ones out front making things happen. Scout.com was treated to a free dinner at Jim N' Nicks Bar-B-Que [NCAA clearance not required] with time spent with several members of the Hoover coaching staff including head coach Josh Niblett. We enjoyed several good stories from Chris Mortenson who dined with the group as well.

Return to Action

The tournament continues Friday morning with round robin play starting at 9:00 a.m. and will go until noon at the two different locations. The seeding will take place after the first session, and players will return at 4:00 p.m. to begin the first and second round of the tournament until 8:00 p.m. The losers bracket will start Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m., and the winners bracket at 9:00 a.m.

Live Game Coverage

Check in for Live coverage and view other games from Thursday. [Click here].

Twitter

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Teams

Alpharetta (Ga.), Auburn (Ala.), Bob Jones (Ala.), Columbia (Fla.), Dorman (S.C.), Evangel Christian Academy (La.), Fairhope (Ala.), Flowery Branch (Ga.), Carver-Montgomery (Ala.), Grady (Ga.), Griffin (Ga.), Hoover (2 teams, Ala.), Jefferson County (Ga.), Jeffersonville (Ind.), Kenton (Ohio), Lassiter (Ga.), Lone Oak (Ky.), Maine South (Ill.), Mandarin Christian (Fla.), Mandeville (La.), McGill-Toolen (Ala.), Memphis University (Tenn.), North Gwinnett (Ga.), Olive Branch (Miss.), Prattville (Ala.), Shiloh Christian (Ark.), Spain Park (Ala.), Springdale Har-Ber (Ark.), Thomas Jefferson (Pa.), West Monrow (La.).

Heat Index

108

Photo Gallery

Several of the stars from Thursday's event [click here].

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