As the first session came to a close, participants were spent, some claiming that their limbs had reduced to jello from the intensive sessions of drills, competition and running. One camper noted however that at this level of play, if you want to reach this type of place, the arduous experience was a reminder or a taste of just what it takes to get there.
There wasn't a camper not drenched in sweat. The humidity did have something to do with it, but more a reason for the pervasive perspiration was the end to a very physical camp session at the University of Nebraska.
During these sessions, young men anywhere from freshman to be on
up to the ones with just a single year left
Athlete, Mark Watson peddles
in coverage during 7 on 7 drills. Mark
also finished 3rd in the "fastest man"
competition for camp.
Watson did that in working primarily at the defensive back position, an area he seems to be natural to, though not accustomed to playing. "My coach always had me at quarterback because of my speed." he said. "That's not really where I wanted to play, but that's where he needed me, so that's where I went."
Watson will more than likely be looked to, to play the defensive position and for a young man with little to no experience at the position, he showed very good hips, ability to break on the ball and good speed going backwards. Watson is looking at a variety of schools (Nebraska included) and has offers from Cincinnati and Arkansas at present.
Aaron Dorsey makes a catch
goes in for the score. Dorey's
camp experience featured the
Omaha Central player predominately
at the wideout position.
At these camps there's
also a chance to see someone new. A chance to see
Tim McManus of St. Thomas
school in Minnesota proved to be
one of the younger players to watch.
A little on the small side right now,
if this Sophomore to be can gain
apprx. another 6 inches, you will
hear his name all over when he
gets to his senior year.
Not even into his Sophomore year, this smallish, but stylish QB showed as much arm-strength as many two grades ahead of him. Remarkable foot-work, some surprisingly good technique, Tim humbly thanked any for compliments received, opting to give his dad the credit for where he's at right now. "My dad has been teaching me a long time." Tim said. "I work on it a lot and it's just a lot of fun to do."
What will be fun is if this mighty-mite of a QB can sprout a few more inches, McManus probably in the 5'7" range right now. Believe it or not, Tim actually had a physician's opinion on where his potential lied in just how tall he might become. "The doctor said I would get up to between 5'10" and 6'1"." Tim said.
I'll tell you something right now. Tim McManus is going to be one to watch, even this year as he's projected as the starting QB for his St. Thomas team. However, if Tim does indeed reach 6'1", his name will be heard all over. If he's this good now, McManus could be scary-good when he becomes one of those "juniors to watch".
WR/DB, Reggie Smith wasn't around
but stole the show during his one-day stint
at the first session of the Nebraska Summer
camps. His name will be on the tips of
recruinik's tongues as they collectively drool
while uttering his name.
The fleet-footed Smith showed just why he is possibly the most coveted athlete out of the Sooner-state, exhibiting speed, remarkable feet and hands that were good enough to make catches Reggie had no business making. That's a good thing.
For Nebraska, just the showing of Smith is promising to the Huskers' hopes of at least a chance at landing this star recruit, but they are going to have to beat Oklahoma (of course) along with most of the top schools in the country. Smith will be a top prospect for the Midwest, but with what he showed in the brief time he was at the Nebraska camp, one of the best around the country isn't a longshot as well. This young man is a stud.
Speaking of studs,
most think that what makes a stud is speed and
The "fastest man" at the camp,
Ham's 4.39 (against the wind) finished
off the competition. His teammate and
current Husker commit, Nick Covey
finished second in the finale'.
What's even more impressive is that during the "fastest man at camp" competition that was held at the end of all the events, Ham once again dropped jaws and raised the bar, running a 4.39, taking the top spot as the low time for the entire session. What's more impressive about that 4.39 was that it was outside and even better, against a 5-7 mile an hour wind. Ham ended up edging out teammate and current Nebraska commit, Nick Covey for the title. Mark Watson finished in 3rd.
The drama with Covey as far as his recruiting is over, but his teammate will probably pick up where Nick left off. After posting the impressive times he did and performing very well throughout the entire session, Ham's stock will most assuredly go up. Will it be enough to get an offer from Nebraska? Obviously, Ham hopes so, wanting to play with his best friend just a little more. "Yeah, that's what I hope." Tim said. "But, if they don't offer, hopefully this performance will open up some other eyes out there."
Out of Heelan high school in
City, Iowa, QB, Pat Grace could be
a definite Junior to Watch. Grace
showed solid fundamentals in NU's
first session of the Summer camps
and could show up on recruiting
radars around the country. Grace
is a dual-threat QB.
The see the possibly unseen, discover those that perhaps had yet to be, that's what camps are all about. Ok, that's not what they are all about as one recruit stated. Camps are also for a chance in the middle of the off-season to continue to do what you love the most. "I love football." they said. "This is just another chance to play it and against people I don't know. I have a chance to get better, learn something new and just keep playing football. I wish they had them until August."
QB, Silas Fluellen will be going into
just his Junior year for Bellevue
West. The brother of current NU
receiver, Isaiah Fluellen has the
potential to be the second member
of the family to get recruited by the
News and Notes:
Montbello high school of Colorado brought 15 players to this session of the Nebraska camp.
Mike Rockne was in attendance and his presence is significant because he's the great grandson of the former legendary coach of Notre Dame, Knute Rockne. Rockne's story coined that now infamous phrase, "win this one for the gipper." Turns out that Rockne evidently wants to go to Nebraska and in an even more ironic twist, Knute was apparently the only Rockne to ever actually attend Notre Dame, none of the family-line attending since the former great was no longer part of the program. I have heard though that the family still has season tickets for life.
The first session for Nebraska fielded a reported 300 campers. This is approximately equal to the amount of campers in recent events like this held at UNL.
The Jaguars won the 7 on 7 competition, going undefeated (4-0). Current Nebraska commit, Nick Covey and NU recruit (amongst others) Tim Ham were members of that squad.
Camp resumes tomorrow for the second session which goes until the 17th.
Steve Ryan can be reached at SteveRyan@bigredreport.com or 402-730-5619