I attended Saturday's Nike Camp in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Over 230 of the top players in, primarily, the Southeast were in attendance. Included in this article is a little about how the Mississippi players did and a few other tidbits that I think you will find interesting. The Nike Camp was held on the practice fields and the two indoor facilities on the campus of the University of Alabama.
The camp lasted from 10:30 a.m. until about 2:30 p.m. The players had their forty-yard dash speed tested as well as their bench press (185 pounds as many times as possible), vertical leap and 20-yard shuttle run tested.
There were college coaches in attendance from Southern Miss, Auburn (about their entire staff, including Tuberville), Alabama, Florida and Princeton (they had 2 coaches present). There may have been others present but I wasn't able to identify them.
There were many of the so-called recruiting analysts present, including Jamie Newberg (TheInsiders and Border Wars), Scott Kennedy (Border Wars), Tom Culpepper, Freddie Kirby, Rodney Orr and a few others I didn't know.
Several of the top players in the nation were present, including linebacker Ernie Sims from Florida, quarterback JeMarcus Russell from Alabama and center Jerry Sevin from Louisiana.
Center Jerry Sevin, 6-1, 288, from John Curtis HS in River Ridge, Louisiana, showed tremendous foot quickness for a big man during the rope drills. Sevin is considered by some recruiting services as the top center in the nation. Quarterback JeMarcus Russell showed a cannon for an arm and excellent foot quickness. He looked to be about 6-6 and 210 to 220 pounds. A number of the receivers at the camp had trouble catching his passes because he threw the ball so hard.
Over 20 players from Mississippi were in attendance.
Mississippi State is showing interest in most of these players.
Several of the Mississippi players really helped themselves with their performances at the camp. Wide receiver Chris Johnson, according to recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg, helped himself so much that Jamie said he has moved into his top-100. Other recruiting analysts were also impressed with Johnson, including Scott Kennedy and the Student Sports staff. Junior defensive end Xavier Mitchell was mentioned by Student Sports as one of the top defensive linemen at the camp. Vicksburg HS defensive lineman Johnny Daniels also was impressive in the one-on-one drills easily beating the offensive linemen that he faced. Greenville Weston HS defensive linemen Quenton Groves and Devrick Hampton also fared very well in the one-on-one drills. George County HS WR Anthony Perine had the best 20-yard shuttle run among all the players with a 3.91 time. Columbia HS running back/defensive back Cory Jones placed 4th in the same test with a clocking of 4.03. Junior quarterback Blake Barnes, Baldwyn HS, was so impressive that one of the folks at the camp, the coach who either runs or helps run the Elite 11 QB Camp, rated him the second best quarterback at the camp for overall performance. Another junior QB - not sure what his name is - was rated first. QB Demarcus Russell - Williamson HS in Mobile, Alabama - showed the most overall talent and athletic ability among the QBs but Barnes and the other QB showed better accuracy during the one-on-one drills. Amory TE Linzy Patterson showed excellent hands during the passing drills as did Madison Central HS WR Maurice Rose.
Here is the testing results for a few of the Mississippi players. Xavier Mitchell, 4.8 in the forty, benched 185 pounds 14 times, and a 33 and a half vertical. Tim Lewis, 4.7 in the forty, 15 reps at 185, and a 28 vertical. Jay Hawthorne, 4.6 in the forty, 5 reps at 185, and a 31 vertical. Johnny Daniels, 27 reps at 185, 4.9 forty. Demarcus Scott, 30 reps at 185. Quenton Groves, 18 reps at 185. Devrick Hampton, 27 reps at 185.
I briefly talked with the four Vicksburg HS players after the camp concluded. They gave me their thoughts about the Nike Camp and how it helped them.
OL Delvechio Ellis: "I learned how to pass-block better and not to give up my inside so much. I learned what my weakness was and that is pass-blocking. He told me I was giving up my inside a little too much rather than posting. It helped me improve my technique." [Ellis is considered one of the three best OL in the state of Mississippi this year.-Gene]
OL Paul Gorney: "We learned, basically, what we do at our position, footwork, how we need to increase our speed, skills. It was good to see other linemen from Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma." [Gorney is considered one of the top 10 OL in the state of Mississippi this year.-Gene]
FB Phelan Gray: "It helped me a lot on my speed, agility and my wind. Playing against other top players pushed me and made me work hard." [Gray is a powerhouse who is considered one of the top two fullbacks in the state of Mississippi this year.-Gene]
DL Johnny Daniels: "It was a confidence building experience. It showed me where I was at. I think I am one of the top players. I learned how to get my speed down and I learned some new moves. One on one everybody (I went up against) got creamed (laugh)." [Daniels is considered one of the three best DL in the state of Mississippi this year.-Gene]
Gene's Page has now added its very own chat room. Click here to go to it. If you decide to sign up, please use your current username and password. Do not take someone else's username.
The chat room also has a users manual I would advise each of you to read. To access it, click here.
It also has a link to a quick reference guide that quickly helps you understand what each link on the chat room does. Click here to access the reference guide.
I hope you enjoy the new chat room.
UPCOMING CALENDAR EVENTS
Mary Ann has added all of the spring and summer Bulldog Celebration and other MSU events to the calendar that she has been notified of. If you don't see yours on the calendar, please email her at the email address listed below.
If you have a MSU related event coming up and you don't see it listed on the Gene's Page calendar, email Mary Ann your information and she will post it on the calendar. We purchased the calendar for your use, so please don't hesitate using it. Mary Ann's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well, that wraps up this week's edition of the Monday Morning Bulldog Coffee Break.
Have a great Bulldog week!
Archived Monday Morning Coffee Break Articles:
April 22, 2002
April 8, 2002
April 1, 2002
March 25, 2002
March 4, 2002
Feb. 25, 2002
Feb. 18, 2002
Feb. 11, 2002
Feb. 4, 2002
Jan. 28, 2002
Jan. 21, 2002
Jan. 14, 2002
Jan. 7, 2002
Dec. 31, 2001
Dec. 24, 2001
Dec. 17, 2001
Dec. 10, 2001
Dec. 3, 2001
Nov. 26, 2001
Nov. 19, 2001
Nov. 12, 2001
Nov. 7, 2001
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.