The Summer Camp MVPs - Session 1

What would any athletic event be without a list of who we thought were the best? Yes, the camps are an educational experience for hundreds of kids from around the country. But it's also a chance for some of the top prospects to show what they can do. Well, we took a look at them and this is our list as we counted down the MVPs from session No. 1.





OL - Baker Steinkuhler - Grade: 12 - Lincoln Southwest (Lincoln, NE)
Ht: 6-5.5 Wt: 290 40: 4.71
Nebraska verbal

If his 40 time wasn't enough, add to that the fact that he played in the seven-on-seven competition, a spot normally reserved for so called "skilled" players, and he scored seven touchdowns. This kid has been called a freak for good reason - he is. His athletic upside is huge. His potential is awesome. All you really need to think about when it comes to Steinkuhler being a success is how long it's going to take him before he is. It's not a matter of if, but when this young man shines bright.


RB - Collins Okafor - Grade 12 - Omaha Westside (Omaha, NE)
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 205 40: 4.40
Nebraska verbal

Okafor said he attended the one-day event at Nebraska, because he wanted to see where he ws at. Try a 4.40/40 on for size and start your speculation there. It's not enough that it was the fastest 40 time ran amongst the 400-plus attendees, but he also ran a 4.07 shuttle. He's got the size, speed and quickness that you want if you are looking for an elite Division 1-A RB. This year, as Omaha Westside tries to take the next step in winning the state title instead of coming up in second as they did last year, we should see some fireworks from this kid.


OL - Trevor Robinson - Grade 12 - Elkhorn Secondary (Elkhorn, NE)
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 305 40: 5.31
Nebraska verbal

Call him the "big nasty", because that's what Robinson is. His size says it enough, but the great thing about Trevor is that even though he doesn't face many kids even close to his size playing at Elkhorn, he doesn't let that effect his style of play. He's aggressive all the time, plays hard and he's got excellent athleticism which was illustrated by his 5.3/40, 4.67 shuttle time and better than 26 inch vertical. The kid is a load, and he takes up a lot of space. Believe it or not, that's one of the criteria for being a successful offensive lineman. Robinson should have a fine career at Nebraska.


OLB - Sean Fisher - Grade 12 - Millard North (Omaha, NE)
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 208 40: 4.65
Looking at Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arkansas

From last year to this year, you can say that Fisher simply got better. He's better side-to-side, he's quicker from a dead stop, and oh yeah, he's 6-5 and playing linebacker. I am sure I am not the only one who continues to marvel at how the stereotypical measurements we thought were the standard for certain positions not even 10 years ago - have all gone right out the window. Fisher is one of the new breed, where his kind of height isn't looked at anymore as a liability when it comes to lateral movement and flexibility. That's why he's sitting on 14 offers right now, and why he's become such a hot, hot name. The kid's a stud.


OL - Dan Hoch - Grade 12 - Harlan Community (Harlan, IA)
Ht: 6-7.5 Wt: 315 40: 5.31
Nebraska verbal

If size matters, Hoch matters more than most. He's over 6-7, and he's got really nice quickness for someone his size, running a 5.31/40 duriing testing, along with a 4.67 shuttle. He comes off the ball fairly well and he's obviously very capable of being physical. That's the key for Hoch, or at least in my mind, the key to his success - he's got to be more intense. At his size and with his athleticism, he can dominate the prep level without really trying. But there's going to have to be a little hate injected into his veins before he steps on the field in Division 1-A. He's got all the tools. He just needs a little more tenacity in his game. If he gets that, he'll be legit.


Ath. - Bryce McNeal - Grade 11 - Breck School (Minneapolis, MN)
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 180 40: 4.46
Interested in Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, amongst others

Running a 4.45/40 was enough to turn some heads at the Big Red Football school, but McNeal didn't stop there. He proved that he is as good going side-to-side about as well as he goes in a straight line. He's still got two years to play, so it's hard to look at him now and think that's how he is going to look in the future. That's good, of course, because he's considerably lighter than he would be to be effective in Division 1-A. The kid has some serious raw athleticism, though, and he may even grow a bit more, but even if he doesn't, right now he's a legit recruit. Much like Phillip Dillard's brother Gabe Lynn, you look at them now and you are impressed. But you look at them and think about where they will be in a couple of years, this kid should have a bright future. I'd project him initially at safety until he gets a better sense of playing man coverage. But I think he's got the flexibility to be a good cornerback.


TE - Tim Biere - Grade 12 - Omaha Westside (Omaha, NE)
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 230 40: 4.70
Offers from Colorado State, Kansas, Kansas State and Ohio

After the first day I wasn't all that impressed with Biere, because it just seemed that he was either out of sorts a bit, a little off or whatever - he just didn't seem to really do things at the level I was expecting of him. After all, this kid won the MVP award for his position at a camp down in Columbia, Missouri. It's the same camp current Missouri commit and highly recruited tight end Andrew Jones participated. So, I was expecting quite a bit. While he didn't reach that in day one, he got a lot closer to that in day two. He was quicker off the line, ran his routes well and showed some extremely good hands. In fact, I think that's really his strength. He seems very natural in his ability to catch the ball. I'm still not ready to throw him in the same group as players like Jones, Ladner and Fauria, but he had a very nice camp. And I think he's certainly the best looking tight end prospect Nebraska has had since Josh Mueller.


TE - Zach Tiedgen - Grade 12 - Thunderridge (Highlands Rach, CO)
Ht: 6-4.5 Wt: 222 40: 4.78
Offers from Colorado State, Wyoming and San Diego State

Working with Biere, I got to see these two go at each other in the physical drills, but, of course, I got to see a lot of Tidgeon in respect to how he ran his routes, got off the ball and turned up field after the catch. Zach's overall athleticism is very good, and his hands are very good as well. He probably isn't as flexible as you'd want out of a true pass catching tight end, but he does so many of the little things very well. Even at his size I thought he was pretty physical at the point of attack when he was in the one-on-one drills. He always kept his feet moving, stayed under his guy most of the time and used his hands very well. If I would describe him in one word, I would say "balanced" fits the best. He's not a superman at any one thing, but he does a lot of things very well.


OL - Ben Lueken - Grade 12 - Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis, MO)
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 306 40: NA
Offer from Kansas

With three future Husker linemen in attendance, it wasn't easy to stand out as a linemen when all eyes were on players like Steinkuhler, Hoch and Robinson. But if there is any thing this kid did, it was stand out. He's every bit as big as Robinson and he moved pretty darn well. He didn't test very good, but in my estimation, it's the five yards beyond the line of scrimmage which matter, and, of course, at the point of impact. I don't have any doubt as to his worthiness for this level of play, because the kid plays hard, is very critical of himself and how he does things, and he's good at using leverage. There are a lot of subtleties to playing the position which he won't figure out until he gets to college, but this kid has the frame, the size and the strength to be a formidable run blocker and with time, a good all around member of the offensive line.


Safety - Nick Anderson - Grade 12 - Omaha Skutt (Omaha, NE)
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 175 40: 4.55
Looking at Nebraska, Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas

As athletes go, Anderson is well rounded. He's got very good quickness, is pretty good moving side-to-side and he closes on the ball well. With his size, it's an easy projection to put him at safety. He's got that wonderful defensive player's mentality in how he plays the game, approaching it with the kind of tenacity that you love to see. There are plenty of superstar athletes who don't really get the concept that aggressiveness and intelligence can sometimes do you a lot more good than freakish athleticism. Nick's a heady player, and it's an under appreciated aspect of defensive players, because so many think it's all about read and react. The good ones are those who have a sense of what is going to happen, rather than playing an entire game with a reactive state of mind. So, you could summarize Nick as very instinctive, aggressive and if he can add at least 10, but more like 15 to 20 pounds, and hold onto that speed, he's got some very nice potential. And with his frame, I wouldn't think that much weight is a huge stretch. He's pretty lean already, and he just needs to develop a little more physically, and I think you've got something pretty darn good.




OLB - Graham Stoddard - Grade 12 - Lincoln Southwest (Lincoln, NE)
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 208 40: 4.57
Looking at Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Iowa, amongst others

Having not played defense his entire prep career, Stoddard has had to rely on his instincts for his game to perform more than the habitual actions which come from years of playing one position. But that doesn't mean he didn't do well at the camp. In fact, when you look at his versatility, both in his flexibility and his quickness, he did very well. The first thing you like about him is that he's aggressive. Sometimes if you are going to start anywhere, you need to go with effort and just build from that. Stoddard did that, as he was extremely focused most of the camp, and adjusted pretty quickly to the mistakes that all kids make in these types of instructional settings. If you just look at his overall performance, there's little doubt that he'll be getting some attention from Division 1-A. The issue starts when you try and project him to a position. He'll have to add probably a good 10 to 20 pounds to play linebacker at the next level. Can he hold that weight and still maintain his speed? If a coach thinks so, you'll see him rise in popularity, especially if he does well his senior year.


Ath. - Micah Fisher - Grade 12 - Lincoln Southwest (Lincoln, NE)
Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 170 40: 4.57
Looking at Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa, amongst others

There's no doubting Fisher's athleticism, as he is very quick side-to-side, as you would expect. He's also got pretty decent straight line speed. And his versatility is really the attractive part, because working on both sides of the ball during this camp, he showed a lot of good things. First and foremost, he's aggressive to the ball, no matter which side of the ball he's on. He's able to turn pretty effectively on defense, and he runs pretty sharp routes on offense, while still maintaining good speed. And he's got good hands, which will no doubt make him one of Southwest's top deep threats this year, making the runner-up state champ last year even more of a force for the 2007 campaign. The issue with Fisher is obvously his size. He doesn't have the straight line speed to be a hot recruit for return duties, and there's going to be a question of just how physical he can be getting off the line on offense, or playing someone in man coverage on defense. He's a good athlete, but he'll have to show a lot this year if the attention he's getting from Division 1-A schools is going to turn into offers.


WR/TE - K.C. Hyland - Grade 12 - Lincoln Pius X (Lincoln, NE)
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 195 40: 4.75
Looking at Nebraska, Kansas State and Kansas, amongst others

It's kind of ironic when you watch Hyland move around on the field, because here is a kid who is smooth to watch as he moves in and out of his routes, but he comes from an offensive system at the prep level, which is pretty run-oriented. His height is obviously a big asset for him, but during the seven-on-seven competition, he showed a nice ability to cut after he got the ball. it's not Barry Sanders-like, as you would expect from someone this long in stature, but it's not bad at this point of his career. What coaches will probably be trying to project with him is how they can add maybe 20 pounds and see how much of his current speed he can hold. The good thing about Hyland is that I don't think he's really even tapped into what he can do physically. Most of what he does is very natural. That's good, because it means he's got a nice upside, and coaches love that in players they recruit.


LB/DE - Edward Jennings Jr. - Grade 12 - Chaminade Julienne (Dayton, OH)
Ht: 6-5.5 Wt: 204 40: 4.70
Getting letters from Nebraska, Air Force, Cincinnati and Ohio

Here's a kid that when you look at him, you wonder if he has any fat at all. Jennings is extremely lean and obviously pretty darn tall. It's something to get used to, like with players such as Sean Fisher, that you project someone of this height at a position like linebacker or even safety. After watching him for the three days of this camp, Jennings is aggressive, pretty quick to the ball and actually does a nice job of being physical with receivers who have a few pounds on him. At his height, he was matched up against players who were all shorter, some a little quicker, but he adjusted fairly well. He's got time to develop, and I think some of his primary development will be just in becoming a little more instinctive at the position. He's got the mentality for defense, no question. He just needs to take what I think is a wonderful physical frame and develop it a little more, and as that happens, I think you'll see the rest of his game improve.


Ath. - Kendall Gregory-McGhee - Grade 11 - Cherokee Trails (Aurora, CO)
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 210 40: 4.67
Getting letters from Washington, Kansas State, Nebraska and Colorado

I love upside and this kid has it. You can project him to either side of the ball, and the positions would vary from wide receiver to tight end, safety to linebacker or if he gets considerably bigger - defensive end. Like Jennings, he's very lean, but has a pretty good frame to build upon physically. But his big asset is just the fact that he's a good athlete overall. I thought he had pretty good hands on offense. I thought he reacted well and closed on the ball pretty effectively on defense. If I had to project him to a position right now, with him still having two years to play, I'd probably opt for wide receiver. He's definitely a kid who can add some weight and even get a lot faster. But unlike Jennings, I don't think he has the frame hold as much of an increase in weight. I could see this young man playing at around 225 pounds, but not a heck of a lot more. But then again, I don't see why you would want to throw anymore on him than that. He's got the upside, though, and I am particularly interested where he will be physically after his junior year is done.

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