Nike Camp Impressions: Offense

This past weekend another Nike camp touched down in Miami and I was there to evaluate all of the top prospects in the 2005 class from Florida up close. Here are my thoughts on offense broken down by position.

Quarterbacks

The most impressive QB today was George Fernandez of Westminster Christian HS in Miami. His performance today was a lot like Buck Ortega's of a few years ago. Small school kid, big arm, athletic, and overall he outperformed some higher rated kids. Harrison Beck (6-1 1/2) had the best arm but is a bit of an overachiever. Jarrett Brown (QB MVP of last year's UM camp) and Jonathan Garner (6-4 lefty that led Mainland to the 5A title last year) were both solid. Michael Greco (6-2 1/2 from Cardinal Gibbons) is a freakish athlete. He ran a 4.37 (the kid can fly, ran the fastest time at the FAU combine 2 months ago). He's an above average QB right now but athletically, he's way off the charts. Might be a safety, WR, or could be an athletic QB that throws underneath stuff for certain offenses. Overall, there were no UM types out there.

Running Backs

The 2 most impressive kids were Antone Smith (5-8, 181) and Javarris James (6-0, 189, cousin to Edge). Smith is an absolute phenom. He's an incredible football player, the fastest player in Florida right now (4.25 today, 4.29 last year, and absolutely dominated every drill today). "I'm out here breaking ankles," he told me just before the start of 1 on 1 drills. He's a great kid, very tough, competitive, and hungry to be the best. James has an awesome build and runs fairly well (4.6). During drills, he showed why he will be one of the state's top overall prospects next year.

Fullbacks

The best one there was Edgewater's Antonio Turner (6-1, 220). Pace's Conridge Collins (6-1, 210) is a nice prospect but not a major one. Turner is well built, runs very well, and plays hard. You can see it in his eyes when he's going through drills. UM plans on taking a fullback in this year's recruiting class and Turner will certainly be one they likely recruit.

Wide Receivers

Jessie Hester (5-11 1/2, 163) was clearly the best one out there. No relation to Devin, Jessie ran a 4.53 but gets from 0 to 10 as quickly as anyone at the camp not named Antone Smith. He dominated drills. He's a little laid back and doesn't attack balls or doesn't seem to have the same competitive drive that I saw in big timers like Lance Leggett and Dwayne Bowe in recent years. However, he's real close to having the total package. The other major Div 1 kid was Plantation's Cedric McGee. He's Mike Irvin's nephew. 6-1 and 175, smooth and catches everything in sight. He runs good routes too but isn't the fastest or most athletic kid in the world.

Tight Ends

There were 4 kids that passed the immediate eye ball test. Norland'sRichard Gordon (6-4, 221) also plays D-End), Ely's Michael Holton (6-4, 217), Edison sleeper Clarence McPherson (6-31/2, 229) , and Glades Central's Tommie Duhart (6-3, 254) are all Div 1 prospects. Duhart doesn't have great pass catching instincts and doesn't have great feet. Holton is solid and has some upside. Gordon has all the physical tools and just needs to want it a little more. McPherson is a local kid that will be getting a lot of attention. He had some nice catches, seemed competitive, etc.

Offensive Linemen

I saw five kids that UM fans should know about. Sarasota's Brian Kelleher (6-1 1/2, 317) is thick and does a nice job of moving people out of the way. He's probably best suited to play center because of the lack of height (and arm length, reach). He struggled with speed rushers in 1 on 1 drills. Ely's Ronnie Wilson (6-3, 335) can be as good as Bain or especially Wimbs. He moves his feet well for his size, he's a strong kid, and did a tremendous job during 1 on 1 drills, calling kids out, nearly getting into 2 fights, etc. He just needs to work on conditioning and become a little better at moving around and getting downfield. Chris Barney (6-5, 331) showed up over 30 pounds more than what he weighed at the end of Northwestern's season. He's got a long ways to go if he wants to follow Vernon Carey's footsteps of going from The West to UM. He's clearly a major Div 1 kid because of his size and ability to play the game though. A kid I really like is Merritt Island's Eddie Haupt (6-4, 280). He reminds me a lot of Chris Myers. He plays the position like a D-Lineman. He's got a real nice build (long arms, huge calves, etc). He can add a lot more weight effectively. He moves well laterally, plays with great balance, and seems motivated. He's always got a real serious look on his face, unlike R. Wilson who is always laughing and having a good time on the field. He's definitely a major Div 1 kid to watch. The best OL there is a young V. Carey. Edgewater's Matt Hardrick is a big, big time kid. Aaron Jones told me he's better than any OL he went up against at the all star game in Texas both during practices and the game. Hardrick was awesome as a junior and despite arriving late today (no official ht, wt but I estimate him being 6-4, 340), he stole the show. He's got an incredible punch in pass pro. He plays through the whistle, seems very energetic, willing to learn, and he's very competitive. If there's a better OL prospect anywhere in America, please let me know where to find him!

Canes Time Top Stories