Stars Come Out At Wake

The Wake Forest passing tournament brings in top talent every year, and the first session this season was no exception. Many teams from Georgia through Virginia attended the passing tournament with talent obvious on each of the fields.

Eventual champion Olympic holds a host of talented players including quarterback Ben Williams. Williams, at 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, is a cool customer throwing the ball, but schools could want him to play another position in college. He has the ability to do just that with a good frame and solid flexibility already.

The star of the day for the Trojans will enter his junior year this fall. Wide receiver Steven Howard (right) has all the tools to be a dominant player. At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Howard dominated the smaller cornerbacks in the air and on the ground while creating separation on good, crisp routes while using the Michael Irvin Method of pushing off. He already has an offer from Wake Forest.

Southern Durham came in as the runner-up in a very tight championship match, mostly due to very solid play from quarterback Kevin Atkins. Blessed with a strong arm and good size at 6-1, 210 pounds, there is a lot of potential for this lefty signal caller. If he can just tone down his aggressiveness and play with a little more finesse, many schools could come calling with a scholarship this fall.

When it comes to pure athletes, James Smoot (5-10, 180, left) may be the best in North Carolina. This running back for Central Cabarrus, can burst into a full sprint with minimal acceleration and change direction with ease. A hidden gem after moving from Robinson High in Concord as a sophomore, and playing minimal time due to injury last season, schools that see him play as a senior could return with an offer.

Jacob Sykes (right) is a player few know about, but this Goldsboro (N.C.) wide receiver already holds offers from Virgina Tech and East Carolina. At the tournament, he showed just what those schools love - his hands. Sykes catches everything thrown to him, no matter what part of the body it gets near. That includes defense, on which he is a safety that loves to roam all over the field.

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