St. Louis University High School's Tony Adams did more for himself on Tuesday than anyone. The 2017 athlete ran a 4.63 40-yard dash on a slow surface (shave 0.1 off that time for a more accurate track time) and tied for the best broad jump at 10 feet, 1 inch. That translated to football drills as well where he looked like a smooth, power-five athlete. Adams mostly has received interest as a wide receiver, but Illinois worked him out at defensive back, where his 6-foot, 190-pound frame and 31-inch arms make him even more intriguing. Bowling Green, Central Michigan and North Dakota State are his most prestigious offers so far. Many power-five programs have shown interest but none have offered. That should change soon.
You have to be a special football talent to receive a scholarship offer after your freshman season. And Isaiah Williams -- who already has offers from Illinois, Mizzou and Iowa State -- left little doubt that he is special on Tuesday. Williams looked smooth as a passer. The rising sophomore needs to grow (he's 5-foot-9) if he is going to play quarterback, but if he does, he has the touch, arm strength and special running ability to be one of the more sought-after prospects in the Midwest. Also, his speed and devastating cutting ability make him a power-five prospect at slot receiver, where he received reps on Tuesday too.
Tuesday featured the best collection of quarterback talent of the four Illini camps so far, and offensive coordinator Garrick McGee got a good look at several Division I-caliber dual-threat quarterbacks. With Cam Thomas on board in 2017, Luterhan North QB Aqeel Glass probably won't get much Illini interest. But the tall, strong signal caller trimmed down and raised his stock on Tuesday. The more intriguing prospect for Illinois may have been 2018 John Burroughs QB Tyler Foote. The 6-foot-2, 206-pound 2018 quarterback-- who led his team to a state title as a sophomore -- has an absolute cannon for an arm. He just needs to learn how to use it more efficiently. The ball fires out of his arm and spins tightly but he needs to put more touch on his passes. He's a solid athlete as well and should probably have more serious interest from FBS programs.
Camping with twin brother DL Brad Papez, Tumberline TE Jake Papez offers a nice mix of size (6-foot-4, 219 pounds) and speed. He ran a 4.63 40-yard dash on a slow surface. The Illini were so surprised that they made him run the 40 three times as opposed to the standard two. Papez needs to try to boost his flexibility, but he's a great prospect for FCS programs and an intriguing one to watch develop for some FBS programs. His brother, Brad, is a big, strong defensive end but must improve flexibility in his hips.
The best talent at camp may have been 2018 CBC athlete Cameron Brown. He already holds offers from Iowa State, Cincinnati and Mizzou. More will come for the 6-foot, 162-pound smooth athlete. But he looked more like a DB than WR on Tuesday as he dropped a lot of passes. There's no questioning his natural talent though.
Others worth watching
- 2017 quarterback Jaalon Frazier traveled all the way from Georgia to help boost his football stock -- he's working out with his uncle who lives in St. Louis and attending camps -- and he helped it on Tuesday. The 6-foot, 189-pound Liberty County senior came in as a quarterback but intrigued most as a defensive back.
- Two 2019 cornerbacks flashed great potential. Lutheran South's Darrick Scott measured in at 6-foot, 150 pounds and tested well for a young player. Same goes for Hazelwood West's Vicario Upchurch, who measured in at 6-foot-1,160 pounds and tested well. Both should just get faster, stronger and more explosive -- and maybe even taller? This is the benefit of these camps, finding young talent and starting the relationship early.
- The camp had a lot of big young pups on the lines as well. 2019 De Smet offensive lineman Marquise Simmons measured in at 6-foot-2, 279 pounds with 33.5-inch arms and showed good explosion and footwork for a young guy. Trinity Catholic 2019 offensive lienman Ira Henry is really raw, but the 6-foot-5, 342-pound lineman is a physical specimen. CBC OL Jeremiah Marlin measured in at 6-foot-3, 320 pounds with 33.5 inch arms. St. Louis is growing some big young boys.
- Francis Howell North 2020 running back Lake Wilson -- yes, 2020 as in he hasn't even attended a high school class yet -- is a freak athlete. The 5-foot-8, 141-pound rising freshman ran a 4.6 40 (on a bad, slow surface) and notched a broad-jump of 10 feet, 1 inch (the best of the camp).