Standout DE Named Top Defensive Camper

When I was watching all the great athletes at the UM camp last week, one kid that caught my eye was defensive end Baraka Atkins. Unfortunately, I wasnt able to watch him or the defensive linemen as much as I would have liked, but I noted that he was definitely a kid to keep my eyes on.

Since I wasn't aware of him and didn't see much, I pegged him as a possible sleeper on my Camp's Best story.

I wanted to learn more, so I spoke to Atkins and his coach, then watched his spring jamboree on tape against Barrion Collier and this Sarasota Booker standout was flat out awesome.

He checked in at the UM camp at 6-4 1/2 and 240 pounds, and ran a 4.90 on soggy grass. On track, he's probably a 4.70 kid, which is really moving for a kid his size. We're talking about a kid who just turned 17 years old. That probably means Atkins will be in the 6-6 range two years from now and he has the frame to add 20-25 pounds, which could mean we're talking about a kid that in two years will be in the 6-6, 260 range with outstanding burst and quickness off the edge.

He dominated his spring jamboree, with three quarterback sacks and several tackles for loss. As a junior, Atkins had 15 quarterback sacks and he has the type of ability that he might be able to come close to doubling that total this season since fellow defensive end (Mike Corrigan) will attract some double teams as well.

Your current core GPA: 3.2

Your current test score: 1030 on the SAT and 20 on the ACT

Talk about your experience at the Miami camp: It went really well, I learned a lot and had fun. I met a lot of players on Monday. I got offered a scholarship by Coach Coker on Tuesday, then I was named the Defensive MVP of the camp on Wednesday. The whole experience was a lot of fun.

Talk about Greg Mark: He's cool. I like his attitude and I like his style of coaching. I think I could really do well playing for Coach Mark.

Talk about Coach Coker: I got to meet with him when he offered me a scholarship. I was very impressed with his professionalism and how straight forward he was with me.

Which schools have offered scholarships: Oh man, I have so many of them. Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Auburn, Miami, Georgia Tech, LSU, Indiana, Florida Atlantic University, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, Kansas, Kentucky, South Florida, Iowa, and a few smaller schools.

If signing day were tomorrow, what's your situation: Miami is my favorite school right now. I really like it there and could see myself playing there. I'd say my two other favorites are Ohio State and probably Virginia Tech.

I've watched his jamboree about three times and I like him more every time. The first thing UM and all big time programs look for in defensive ends is their quickness off the ball. This kid has exceptional quicks and burst off the edge. He proved it again at the UM camp in front of the coaches, and perhaps most importantly is the fact that Atkins is already fully qualified. The fact that he was offered before guys like Davin Joseph and Broderick Bunkley really tells a lot.

I truly think Atkins is a big time kid that will keep getting more and more offers. If he were to attend the Florida or FSU camp, it would probably result in a scholarship offer, but Atkins says he has no other summer camp plans this year, which is a good thing for the Canes because I like the chances of Atkins becoming a late summer or early season commitment. That's just my gut feeling on this big time defensive end that I can't wait to watch in person again in the fall.

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