I thought the best quarterback that was there was Tuscola (IL) product John Wienke. A nice sized passer (6’4) with a good arm, he is simply a natural passer with accuracy, good zip and a nice release. He was the one who was offered and I believe he was the right guy. A couple juniors stepped up and put themselves on the radar. Jordan Najvar and William Middleton are two guys from down south (Texas and Georgia respectively) who are both about 6’5. Middleton has a strong arm and improved mechanically throughout the week.
Jonas Gray blew everybody away with his 40 time, but I was more impressed with his improved route running and pass catching. He also showed better agility in drills than I had previously seen from him. No matter where he ends up, it is clear he is working hard and it is showing up. Glenn Winston established himself as a classic power back with size and speed, but he also showed he wasn’t just a big stiff kid. He did well in drills and caught the ball well. From the underclassmen, Lake Region (FL) back Aaron Williams had onlookers saying he could play anywhere. Already a rock solid 204 lbs at 5’10, he showed excellent feet and speed as well. Battle Creek Central’s Larry Caper is an excellent receiver with a lot of shake and agility, he has an offer already and his buddy, Allendale’s Hersey Jackson also showed a good combination of size and speed.
Late in the week, big timers Michael Floyd and Fred Smith came by and both were impressive. They’re two big guys who run nice routes and have good hands. Smith has a competitive swagger to him which is nice to see in a receiver. Floyd adjusted to the ball well for a big guy in his limited workout. Damien Dixon came all the way up from Louisiana. He is tall, but needs to fill out his frame. He got much better as the week went along catching the ball. Melvindale junior Cameron Gordon established himself as one of the state’s best. The 6’3, 190-lb Gordon has the makings of an excellent possession receiver. Another great looking junior was James Jackson of Grand Ledge. A blinding flash of speed on the field, Jackson needs to be more consistent catching the ball, but he has rare explosiveness and separation ability.
Kevin Koger came by and showed what a big time athlete he was. I heard someone call him Tim Massaquoi with better hands, which is a pretty big compliment. From the junior ranks, Grosse Pointe South’s Reid Fragel (6’7, 235) will be one of the top players in the state next year.
Commitments Dann O’Neill and Elliot Mealer were both excellent. Then there was a group of Rocko Khoury, Kevin Zeitler, Deon’tae Pannell, Ethan Ruhland, Austin Holtz and Adam Smith who all had their moments. Khoury got the offer, but in my opinion, all were worthy. Actually, behind the two commitments, I thought Ruhland was the most consistent lineman there. Pannell showed athletic ability and the skills to play either tackle or guard and Holtz appeared to be technically sound. Smith is a sleeper to watch. There aren’t many schools on him just yet, but the 6’5, 300-lber looks athletic and strong and he won’t stay under the radar for long. As for the underclassmen, Flint Carman-Ainstworth’s Ricky Clemons and Detroit Pershing’s Tevon Conrad are both huge and have a lot of potential.
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for a defensive recap and a full index of all of the week's camp stories.