On Saturday, the Missouri Tigers put the wraps on the first session of their team camps. Several hundred campers were in attendance, including teams from around the state and from out of state, and quite a number of individual campers from all over the country who comprised several Renegade teams. High school teams present included Jefferson City, Quincy Notre Dame, Smithville, Rock Bridge, Westminster, St. Charles, St. Joseph Central, Burkburnett (TX), and MacArthur of Decator (IL).
There were at least a few prospects on hand, including a pair of players who came to camp with Missouri offers. One of the players that immediately caught my eye on the field with his tremendous quickness and athleticism was 2013 Missouri commit Aarion Penton 5'10" 175 4.4 St. Louis (MO) CBC. Penton, who will play corner and will likely handle returns at Mizzou, is an explosive athlete, who is just dazzling with the ball in his hands. He played on both sides of the ball at camp, as he does at CBC. On Friday night, Penton scored a 13-yard TD on a run during which he changed direction too many times to count, and had the entire defense running into each other and grasping at air.
A 2013 TE prospect, Eric Cotton 6'5" 235 Nampa (ID) Columbia arrived at the padded camp with a recent Missouri offer, and he quickly showed why the Tigers would like to have the talented pass-catcher in black and gold. We'll have more on Cotton at another time. He's a terrific young man, and a talented athlete with good size and good pass-catching skills.
A trio of 2014 prospects from the St. Louis area quickly stood out. One of those, TB Markel Smith 5'11" 210 St. Louis (MO) Vianney went home with a Missouri offer as well as MVP honors. Smith was one of the fastest, and without question the most physical, player in camp. He was in on the majority of the loudest and most violent hits of the camp as he finished off runs or came up to make stops from his safety position. Behind Penton, Smith was the next most difficult ball-carrier in camp for defenders to get a hand on, as he combined speed, power and elusiveness to advance the football.
The other two St. Louisans who made quick impressions were 2014 OL prospect Brian Wallace 6'5" 295 CBC, and 2014 DE prospect Rennell Wren 6'6" 225 Lutheran North. Both players have the look of major-college linemen, and they each garnered MVP recognition for their camp performance.
Another pair of prospects participated in a portion of the camp. The Tigers got a good look at 2013 TE/DE prospect Mason Burnett, and 2015 QB prospect Blake Hulsey 6'0" 170 Union (MO). Hulsey was by far the best passer that I saw at this week's team camp, and it appears certain that Missouri will be in close contact with him throughout his high school career.
Another pair of prospects came to camp with their teammates from St. Joseph Central. 2013 DT prospect Cecil Bratton 6'2" 285 had a good camp and received MVP recognition. Bratton certainly didn't hurt himself in his quest for a Missouri offer. 2014 DE/TE prospect Tyree Mayfield 6'4" 220 passes the eye test, and he'll probably be hearing from the Tigers, as well. Central utilizes Mayfield all over the field on both sides of the football.
There were several players from Lamar who were assigned to a Renegade team. Among those were 2013 OL prospect Austin Boice 6'6" 280, who had visited Missouri during the spring, and twin 2014 linemen, Sam and Ben Bailey 6'5" 220. These three look like D-1 linemen. No wonder Lamar has such a good rushing attack! Boice has offers from Tulsa and Wyoming. The Baileys received MVP recognition at camp.
Others who received MVP recognition were 2014 OL Justin Summers 6'5" 270 St. Louis (MO) Vianney, 2013 OL Ricky Clark Burkburnett (TX), 2013 OL Wes Blank 5'11" 215 Smithville (MO), and OL Jimmy Cellers MacArthur.
Other defensive line MVPs included 2014 DT Demetrice Fisher 6'1" 270 St. Louis (MO) Cardinal Ritter, 2013 DE Alex Armstrong 6'3" 220 Rockwood Summit, 2015 DL Kellen Barnes 5'10" 230 Quincy (IL) Notre Dame, Gordan Gumm and 2014 DL Matt King 5'9" 180 St. Joseph (MO) Central, 2013 DT A.J. Logan 6'1 300 Columbia (MO) Rock Bridge, and 2013 DT Demond Stovall 5'10" 299 Athens (GA) Clarke Central. Armstrong is a player who may hear from the Tigers.
2014 QB Corey Patterson 5'10" 175 St. Louis (MO) CBC received MVP recognition, as did 2015 QB Logan Twehous 5'10 180 Columbia (MO) Rock Bridge, 2013 QB Cory Marmet 6'2" 180 Smithville (MO), and 2013 QB Steven McBee 6'1" 180 Fort Osage (MO).
Cotton and 2015 TE prospect Kyle Markway 6'3" 205 St. Louis (MO) Vianney each received MVP honors. The young Markway is an impressive receiver, and it appears that he is still growing.
Other receivers who received MVP recognition were 2014 WR Jared Beshore from Lamar, 2014 Tyler Reed 5'6" 150 and Keith Roderick, both from St. Joseph Central, Alvin Houston, 2013 Trevon Saunders 5'9" 138 Columbus (OH), and 2014 Bryce Lewis 6'0" 175 Liliburn (GA) Parkview.
In addition to Smith, 2014 TB Derrick Gray 5'10" 180 St. Joseph Central, 2015 TB Luke Freiden 5'7" 135 Quincy (IL) Notre Dame, 2015 TB Chase Williams 5'9" 175 KC (MO) Winnetonka, 2013 Kurran Blamey Monett (MO), and 2015 TB Trey Merritt and 2013 TB Alex Rideout, both of St. Louis (MO) Westminster, each received MVP honors.
A pair of Westminster linebackers, 2013 Brink Thompson and 2015 Michael Weston, each received MVP recognition, along with 2015 LB Nick Scherer St. Louis (MO) MICDS, LB Terrell Collins, and 2014 LB Nathan Ililo 6'3" 215 Fort Osage (MO).
Several defensive backs were recognized as MVPs, including Penton, 2014 Bailey Wilson 6'0" 175 Smithville (MO), 2014 Larry Werner Burkburnett (TX), 2014 Isaiah Daniels Branson, 2015 Jessie McBee 5'9" 141 Fort Osage (MO), and 2015 Cameron Hilton 5'11" 160 Webster Groves (MO).
Overall, it was a very good camp with a lot of talent on hand, and quite a number of college prospects in every class.