GBW Weekend Travel Log: Purdue Nike Recap

For the second weekend in a row, GoBlueWolverine hit the road to profile more football and basketball prospects. We traveled back to Fort Wayne for our fifth consecutive Spiece Run N' Slam Classic (aka the Bill Hensley Memorial Classic), to Purdue Nike Camp, and to Pittsburgh for a Scout combine. In this part one of our weekend recap we focus on the UM prospects in action in West Lafayette.

Indiana was the place to be this weekend for those wanting to get a first hand look at a number of Michigan football and basketball prospects in action. GoBlueWolverine first made its way to Ft. Wayne to catch some late evening action at Spiece Run N’ Slam Classic... but before we run down the litany of names that were on display there, we’ll first give a brief breakdown of the Wolverine targets in action at the Purdue Nike Camp. (Be sure to stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine throughout the week for individual breakdowns of each of the prospects mentioned below).

The staff split up Saturday morning, with a few reporters staying on in Fort Wayne while I made my way over the West Lafayette. The state of Michigan was well represented by a host of talented prospects, led by the performance Jonas Gray. The Detroit Country Day tailback entered the combine with a bum hamstring that required rest, but he fought through the discomfort and put on an outstanding display of athleticism. One area in which showed particular improvement was his receiving ability. He was much more comfortable and sure-handed when receiving passes out of the backfield Saturday, which is clearly a sign of growth since he participated in the Army All-American combine back in January. Gray’s performance earned him MVP honors at the running back slot.

Marqueis Gray
Meanwhile, a youngster that Gray calls his cousin, Indianapolis Ben Davis’ Marqueis Gray, was the cream of the crop at the quarterback position. The MVP winning signal caller showed both a live arm and extremely good mobility. Not far behind him was Jack Ramsey. If Ramsey were Gray’s size there would be less scouts sticking him with the athlete tab. He too couples a strong arm with the ability to escape the pocket.

Not many prospects can come close to Jonas Gray when it comes to musculature, but Tucson’s Jamal Womble is one youngster that can. He is every bit the physical specimen as the position’s MVP and looked nearly as good in drills. Not much separated the two.

D.L. Moore, a wide receiver from Bowling Green Kentucky, was being closely watched by Michigan’s receivers coach Erik Campbell. The graceful 6-4, 180-pounder is not a blazer, but is a great leaper…and he was able to use his size and jumping ability to beat a number of defenders on the day. He has been fielding interest from the Wolverines and we should find out soon if the Maize & Blue plans to turn up the heat.

Anthony Hollis
Getting back to the state of Michigan, Detroit Cass Tech’s Cortez Smith continues to make a name for himself with his overall athleticism this summer. Also standing out from the motor city was Detroit Northwestern’s Anthony Hollis. Even though he rolled his ankle early in the day, he still managed to abuse Muskegon’s Corey Johnson in drills (more on that later).

Speaking of Johnson, other than his match-up with Hollis, he had a nice day (as evidence by his positional MVP award). He isn’t the explosive athlete that his brother Ronald is, but he showed good hands and ran good routes. He is appeared a step or so faster than Moore which is probably why he more successful than his counterpart from Kentucky in at getting deep. He really needs to improve his strength though.

Kenny Demens
Moving down the list… one youngster you’ll be sure to hear more about in the coming weeks is Detroit Country Day linebacker Kenny Demens. He was a svelte 6-1 ¾, 224 pounds and claims a 4.6 flat forty. He already has Big Ten offers and is receiving Michigan interest.

Kurt Wermers and Graham Pocic looked to be the class of the offensive line position. Pocic was amongst the biggest youngsters there and impressed with his strength. Wermers was a youngster that made great strides during the day. As the camp progressed he so too did his performance in pass-pro. He has good feet and will be looking to narrow his list down sometime in the next month.

Armond Staten from Inkster is another in-stater to keep an eye on. The physically imposing LB will head to Michigan’s camp at which point the staff will get a first hand look at his foot-speed (or lack thereof).

Kurt Mangum, fresh off of a breakout performance at the SoCal Scout combine where he ran a 4.59 forty and turned the heads of a number of college coaches, was among the top five linebackers at the Nike camp. The former Orchard Lake St. Mary’s standout is more comfortable at LB than defensive line, and it shows. He is hearing from a number of West coast schools, but still has an eye on his old stomping grounds as well.

Crockett’s Shelton Gaines again flashed the overall athleticism that will keep college coaches intrigued and his teammate Donald Mathis acquitted himself well in the line drills.

Other prospects spotted that are known to be receiving Michigan interest were Traverse City West’s Rocko Khoury, Muskegon’s Carlin Landingham, Xenia (OH’s) Aston Jackson, Birmingham Brother Rice’s Caulton Ray, Detroit Southwestern’s Troy Tidwell, and Detroit Crockett’s Desmond Hart

GoBlueWolverine will have more from all of these prospects throughout the week.

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