First session of Summer camps ends at NU

The first session of Summer camps at the University of Nebraska has come to a close. They start right back up again tomorrow, but this session brought what you would expect. A few stars, a few would-be stars and some that could be, might be in the future. That's what these camps are for. For preps all around the country to go and show everyone else just what they have. Let's recap the last three days at Nebraska.

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

MarkWatson.jpg - 63293 Bytes

Athlete, Mark Watson peddles back
in coverage during 7 on 7 drills. Mark
also finished 3rd in the "fastest man"
competition for camp.
to play, the experience was the same......hard. The demands however were just what players seem to think that made this trip worthwhile. "If it was easy, what would be the point of coming?" Missouri native, Mark Watson said. "I came here to learn something new, not do the same stuff I do everywhere else."

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.

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Aaron Dorsey makes a catch and
goes in for the score. Dorey's
camp experience featured the
Omaha Central player predominately
at the wideout position.
The switch to positions isn't anything new. Or, at least, trying some out. One player that is probably still trying to figure out just where he's suited is Omaha Central's, Aaron Dorsey. Dorsey is an solid athlete, posting a 4.6/40 during camp, all while toting around that 6'3" frame. Dorsey showed his best stuff playing wideout and for the most part, that's what position he saw. Aaron however didn't have a preference as to what position he would play. "I just want to play." Dorsey stated. "I'm being recruited here (Nebraska) as an athlete, because there's a lot of things I can do. Me, I don't care where it's at, just get me on the field." Dorsey is looking at Nebraska, of course, but also Kansas State, Iowa, Iowa State and a variety of other regional schools.

At these camps there's also a chance to see someone new. A chance to see

TimMcManus.jpg - 56599 Bytes

Tim McManus of St. Thomas high
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.
possibly that rising star that some or maybe noone has noticed. I don't know if he hasn't been noticed, but QB, Tim McManus of St. Thomas high school in Minnesota showed that he's someone you are going to have to watch.

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".

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WR/DB, Reggie Smith wasn't around long,
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.
There is one junior that everyone was watching throughout his brief experience at this debut camp for coach, Bill Callahan and crew. Reggie Smith, the Oklahoma Offensive Player of the Year made a brief appearance, but in that short span, he had jaws dropping like anvils in a Warner Brothers' cartoon.

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

TimHam1s.jpg - 46589 Bytes

The "fastest man" at the camp, Tim
Ham's 4.39 (against the wind) finished
off the competition. His teammate and
current Husker commit, Nick Covey
finished second in the finale'.
lots of it. The faster you are, the more the recruitniks drool over the potential of what you can do. Well, try a 4.37/40 as potential. That's what Mountain Ridge running-back, Tim Ham ran during indoor testing on the first day of camp.

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."

PatGraceS.jpg - 49832 Bytes

Out of Heelan high school in Sioux
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.
That's what camps are for, you know? Opening up eyes. And for a first session, there were a few that did that. Pat Grace, a QB from Heelan high school and a senior-to-be showed a good arm, good feet and pretty solid mechanics and could be yet another junior-to-watch. Silas Fluellen, (yes, that Fluellen - one of his four brothers) just going into his junior year was another that showed some definite promise at the QB position. Fundamentally very sound and as he is sure to grow yet some more, his name will no doubt become a topic of interest in Nebraska.

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."

SilasFluellen.jpg - 69814 Bytes

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 or 402-730-5619

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