Although the two cornerbacks that I probably was most excited to watch this spring did not show up after confirming they had planned on being there, this was still a pretty good group of cornerbacks. I'll get to see Bradenton Southeast's Mike Jenkins and Jacksonville Ed White's Dee Webb in the month of May.
Leading the pack were a few local products, led by Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna standout Kai'andre Hepburn. After checking in at 5-foot-10 and 196 pounds, Hepburn stole the show. He ran a blazing 4.15 shuttle run, displaying a tremendous amount of quickness and balance. He was silky smooth through the drills, then dominated 1 on 1 drills against some pretty talented receivers. Hepburn's ability to turn and run with receivers is very impressive, but he was probably the most physical of all the corners as well. He's pushing 200 pounds and is also a very good wrap up tackler. The size/speed/athletic combo is good enough, then when you factor in his ability to match up against bigger receivers or run with smaller ones, it makes you believe his game will translate very well to the next level. I think he's an upper Div 1 prospect right now.
I hope teams willing to throw the ball against Killian have a pretty good plan for it, because they'll be facing a pretty good set of cornerbacks, both of which did very well at the NIKE Camp. Miguel Scott -- who checked in at 6-0 and 177 -- might turn into a college safety. His body has a lot of filling out to do and he's a kid that could be a 6-0, 200-pound safety in his first year at the next level. He's a very physical kid that plays with tremendous range. During drills you can tell he's better in long range than he is in shorter ranges. With a 4.40 shuttle time, he possesses the necessary quickness to play either spot. I think he's a mid to upper Div 1 prospect right now.
Teammate Jameel Brady was just as impressive. Brady appears like a definite corner, though. Although not quite as physical or perhaps not quite as naturally athletic as his teammate, Brady has better footwork and better cover skills at this age. At 5-foot-11 and 184 pounds, Brady ripped off a 4.22 shuttle time and instinctively, he's what you want. He's what some call a "one-stepper" in that he only takes one more step into his cover range before making a break on the ball once it leaves the quarterback's hand, a skill you can't teach obviously. I think his game will translate real well, and although he isn't the fastest straight-ahead kid out there, he's definitely a mid to upper Div 1 prospect at this point.
Palm Beach Gardens standout Jermaine Moreira wasn't quite sure whether to work out with the wide receivers or the cornerbacks. After going briefly with the receivers, he decided to work with the DB's and I think it was a good move. At 5-foot-10 1/2 and 169 pounds, Moreira seems to have the necessary quickness and athleticism to be a major Div 1 cornerback prospect. He needs to get a little more physical and become more aggressive when the ball's in the air, but he's clearly a mid level Div 1 prospect right now.
This next one's going to have your head shaking. As if you haven't heard enough about Ely's rising senior class, here's another one for you. Cornerback Terrance Walker was among the most impressive corners at this year's camp. He checked in at 5-foot-10 and 184 pounds and has the build of a college DB right now. He turned in the fastest shuttle time of any cornerback at the camp (4.13) and was solid during drills. Athletically, there isn't anyone at this position with more upside. However, Walker's still learning to play the game and instinctively, he's a step behind yet. Still, I think he's a mid level Div 1 prospect because of his size/speed/athletic combo.
Speaking of talented senior classes, how about Palm Bay? I've already talked about Joe Cohen and Reggie Nelson -- two of the state's elite prospects -- and now it's time to look at their secondary. Titusville transfer Ron Ellis is already starting to open some eyes. At 5-foot-11 and 173 pounds, Ellis has sort of an odd build for someone his age and size, but he's a very strong and physical kid who loves to mix it up. He slipped about four times when doing his shuttle run, which was scratched and raised questions about his footwork and balance. However, he erased those from my mind when I watched him compete in 1 on 1 drills. An in-your-face type of corner, Ellis has what it takes to be a legit mid level Div 1 prospect.
Next up - Safeties
NIKE Camp Review - Cornerbacks
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