Dalyn Wade-Perry used just one word to sum up his experience at The Opening Regional in New Jersey on Sunday. And it wasn’t one you’d expect to hear from a top prospect.
“Disappointing,” said the 6-foot-3, 310-pound three-star junior defensive tackle from Sparta, N.J., who holds offers from Notre Dame, Ohio State, Florida, Alabama, Penn State and a host of others.
Wade-Perry offered an explanation.
“When the former No. 1 player in the country and fellow D-lineman tells you that you got robbed of an MVP, then you know things just aren't right,” he said. “All in all I did well, just not satisfied.”
Rashan Gary, the nation’s No. 1 player in the Class of 2016, was an observer at the camp and he felt Wade-Perry should have won the MVP Award over five-star sophomore Micah Parsons, a Penn State commitment.
Gary told Wade-Perry to use that disappointment as inspiration to take care of business on the field.
“He told me to continue playing angry,” Wade-Perry said. “He's in a position that I think all athletes should strive for, so for him to give props and feedback like that is like a sign of respect.”
College coaches already have shown Wade-Perry plenty of respect.
In addition to his double-digit offer total, coaches from across the country have visited Pope John XXIII High School in recent weeks to check on him. That group has included Notre Dame, Stanford, Penn State, Rutgers, Tennessee, Alabama and Vanderbilt.
Irish defensive line coach Keith Gilmore and tight ends coach Scott Booker made their way to the school last week to encourage Wade-Perry to visit South Bend again in the near future. That trip should happen in June.
Wade-Perry plans to visit Stanford on May 20.
Three-star guard Liam Fornadel had a different opinion of Wade-Perry’s performance at the camp.
“Dalyn Wade-Perry stuck out the most for me,” said Fornadel, a 6-foot-4, 270-pounder from Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J. “The competition was good. I got to go against a lot of good D-linemen.”
Fornadel hasn’t heard much from Notre Dame lately but holds an offer from Rutgers. UConn, Purdue, Missouri and a few other college programs visited his school last week.
Three-star defensive tackle Jordan Williams was among the five best players at his position.
The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder from Virginia Beach dominated the one-on-ones until the final five defensive linemen went head to head with the five best offensive linemen.
“I lost two then,” he said. “I thought I did really well. I used some new moves and was more violent with my hands.”
Williams, who recently landed offers from Michigan State and Ole Miss, has drawn college coaches from across the country to Cox High School during the spring evaluation period.
Notre Dame, Michigan State, Tennessee, Maryland, Clemson and a host of others already have visited with more scheduled to arrive this week.
Booker and Gilmore dropped in last week to show Williams some recruiting love.
“I’m definitely high on them and they still remain on my list,” Williams said. “I just got to get there and visit.”
Three-star junior cornerback Harrison Hand was named MVP of the defensive backs.
“It went great,” said the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder from Cherry Hill, N.J. “I did good in the one-on-ones and pass (skeleton).”
Hand already holds offers from Rutgers and Stanford. Pittsburgh, Maryland, Purdue and a few others visited his school this spring.
Sophomore defensive end Jayson Ademilola was one of the top five defensive linemen selected for the one-on-one finals but he was hoping for a bigger award.
“It went great,” said the 6-foot-3, 268-pounder from Jersey City, N.J. “I made the top five but I wish I had the MVP but I’m only in 10th grade. I hope I get (invited to) The Opening still.”
Auburn, Boston College, Clemson, Maryland, Michigan State, Michigan, Miami and Penn State are among Ademilola’s early offers and a host of other top programs have visited the school.
“Notre Dame, Auburn, Alabama, you name it, they came,” he said.
Michigan commit and former Irish recruiting target and legacy A.J. Dillon won the award for the highest camp rating with a 127.53 and earned an invitation to The Opening finals in Oregon this summer.
“It was pretty good,” said Dillon, the grandson of Irish great Tom Gatewood. “I had fun.”