The best prospect I saw that worked out with the safeties that afternoon was South Sumtner's Earl Everett. After checking in at 6-foot-2 1/2 and a lean 210 pounds, Everett put on quite a show. He ripped off 4.23 and 4.25 times in the shuttle, displaying a tremendous amount of quickness and explosion for a player his size. Many believe Everett has more upside as a linebacker -- and that's a position many schools will recruit him to play. However, this kid can run with the safeties any day of the week. His lateral quickness is amazing and nobody can close on a ball faster from center field. He's physical enough to play over the tight end and definitely rangy enough to play center field. And as a LB, he's already a bigger than kids like Highsmith, Frierson, and Beason -- with more athletic ability and more speed and quickness, especially from sideline to sideline. In addition, Everett is already a full academic qualifier making him one of the elite prospects in the entire state in my opinion. Whether it's as a safety or a linebacker, Everett could play at UM tomorrow, I think.
The only thing that might separate Everett from Jacksonville Jackson's Danny Bell is the fact that one is a full academic qualifier while the other isn't. That's because on the football field, Bell's just about as talented. At 6-foot-2 1/2 and 200 pounds, Bell has a longer frame, making him a legitimate safety prospect. Athletically, there wasn't a defensive back at the camp better. He ripped off a blazing 4.18 shuttle run, in which he made it look totally effortless. Bell, who will also be among the top basketball players in the city of Jacksonville next season, dominated 1 on 1 drills, especially when the ball was in the air. He does a tremendous job of attacking it, better than Everett. Like Earl, Bell is a big time prospect right now in my opinion and if he were qualified academically, his offer sheet would probably be just as impressive as Everett's, which includes all three Florida schools (as he told me at the camp).
Time to go back to Palm Bay, where safety Thomas Miller resides. At 6-foot-2 and 182 pounds, Miller was probably the quickest player at the entire camp over 6-feet. In fact, his 3.92 shuttle time was the camp's best. It's very rare that you can watch a kid at 6-2 with such long legs move so quickly. He's a long strider and covers a lot of ground in a hurry. Although he's not as good a tackler or as ball-hawking as the two I mentioned above, he's clearly a mid to upper Division 1 prospect at safety. Teammate Reggie Nelson -- who worked out with the receivers but will get recruited as a safety -- helps form the state's best duo at that position.
When one mentions skill players at Tampa Jefferson, you generally think of wide receiver Andre Caldwell. However, he's not the only skill player that will draw lots of recruiting attention this year. Safety Mike Taylor is coming off an impressive junior season. He checked in at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, but is actually built more like a linebacker. He doesn't have a long frame like Bell or Miller. He's a tremendously physical player in coverage and hits with plenty of authority. However, he doesn't cover as much ground as you'd like, nor are his hips as smooth as the other safeties mentioned above. He turned in 4.59 and 4.65 shuttle times. I think Taylor is a mid level Division 1 prospect right now.
Last year Suncoast H.S. in Riviera Beach was home to one of the entire country's premier defensive back prospects -- Devin Hester. This year, it will feature one of the county's best. Akim Lannaman checked in at 6-foot-1 and 196, a frame that is very impressively put together for a high school safety. He clocked a 4.28 shuttle run, in which he displayed an excellent amount of balance and explosion. Lannaman has above average cover skills, but does a nice job of playing center field. He might be better suited to play over the tight end, probably moreso than his twin brother, Akil. At 6-1 and 192, Akil didn't display quite the same amount of quickness or range, but is still a Division 1 prospect himself. Since they plan on being a package deal somewhere, they'll probably be mid level Division 1 kids by the end of the season.
Lake Howell standout Chris Narsesian figured he'd travel to the NIKE Camp to see if he could get some recognition and see where he was at in comparison to some of the state's other top safety prospects. He definitely passed the test after traveling over three hours. At 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, Narsesian was extremely light on his feet and actually reminded me of a bigger cornerback prospect, especially the way he moves his hips. Whether it's at cornerback or safety, I think he's a mid level Division 1 prospect. He turned in a 4.19 shuttle time and was very impressive in 1 on 1 drills as well.
Next up - Actually, that's it. I've now given you a complete rundown of what I saw at the NIKE Training Camp at UM on April 7. I profiled close to 70 prospects that I watched closely at the camp, including several of which will eventually sign with UM and several of which will later play in the NFL. Now it's time to go watch the kids that were no-shows during spring practice over the next four weeks. Stay tuned!