Some New Stars Shine at Camp in Iowa City

Though the 2004 Nike Camp in Iowa City was lacking in overall star power, there were still several solid players in attendance. And with most aggregations of high school talent, there were some surprising performances on the day. HN.com Correspondent Jason Miller was at the camp and offers some of his thoughts as well as some thoughts from some high school coaches that worked the camp on some players that stood out on the day.

Quarterbacks: The players that stood out were Dustin Scherer and a relative unknown to Iowa, Ben Crookston. In fact, Crookston set the all-time Elite Camp Sparq rating record for a QB. He benched 28 reps (185-pounds), ran a 4.4 forty, 35-inch vertical, and 4.3 in the shuttle run. His throwing form is flawless, as was shown in the one-on-one passing drills. Has the arm strength to make the tough throw. Said that Iowa has never contacted him, but has heard from several other Big Ten and Big Twelve schools. Would love to hear from Iowa, and I think after Sunday it might be a good idea to call this kid. Scherer has good mechanics, throws well on the roll out, and has better than average pocket ability. "He has all the tools to succeed at the next level. Needs to quit relying on arm strength and begin to understand the patterns before they happen. He is a Division One QB," said one of his position coaches at the camp.

Tight End: Flander stood out as did Kazeem Alli (6-4/220/4.7) of Hazelwood East in Florissant, MO. Both are amazing physical specimens, with good agility and run good routes. As I stated previously, one position coach at the TE portion of the camp thinks Trent will project as a solid offensive lineman someday. He feels that the Alli could be ‘special', and has the same sort of skills as one former Hawkeye we all know - Jonathan Hayes. Size, agility, great blocking and a head for the game.

Offensive Line: Reams, Matt Pipho, and Austin Howard were the players who stood out. Pipho has already been offered a scholarship to play football at Stanford. Howard is 6-8, 270 and quick. ("He is more of a project player right now, but may turn out to be quite the lineman. The Hawks need to keep him in state," one high school coach commented on Sunday.) Though he has an older brother who played at Iowa State, he said some things that make me feel pretty confident that Iowa State is not going to be among the schools he chooses from were they to offer.

WR/RB: No one really made a big impression on me. I was looking long and hard, most of these players were of the "mold" type of guys, though they obviously had some speed.

Linebacker: Though this group lacked a star like Ryan Bain, one name stood out to me above the rest - Khalid Shabazz of Berkley, MI.. He stands 6-1 and is around 200-pounds and is a pretty impressive physical specimen. His LB coach told me that this kid will be a star if he can qualify. Right now his has 3.1 GPA, but only scored a 17 on the ACT. "I will do better the next time," he said. Schools recruiting him right now are Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and he just recently returned from a visit at Michigan State. His cousin is a wide receiver for the Spartans and Hawkeye fans saw far too much of him last season. Iowa has sent him some mail and has an interest. Stated that he would love to talk to the coaches but could not because of NCAA regulations on Sunday. Wanted to leave his information in the office. When asked what he thought of Iowa football and Coach Ferentz: "Intensity, man, they are just intense here."


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