Observations From 7-on-7 Showcase

EDMOND - There are not a lot of pertinent issues in recruiting in-state for Oklahoma State as the Cowboys have only maximum five or six spots left in the Class of 2011. Still I was at both the small school and the large school Oklahoma Showcase 7-on-7 competitions on Saturday morning and early afternoon and have some observations.

Let's start with quarterbacks and my top player and prospect in Oklahoma as many will see when Super Prep Magazine comes out in early August is Southmoore quarterback Kendal Thompson, an OU commitment.

I know, many have Josh Turner of Oklahoma City Millwood, the cornerback that committed to Texas, as the number one prospect. Turner is good but Thompson has been more consistent and more explosive the last two seasons, and he is, right now, a better physical prospect than Turner.

Thompson did not disappoint Saturday at Edmond North in action against Edmond Santa Fe and Choctaw. He is strong and athletic and can make plays with his feet. He has a strong arm and understands how to make the different throws, outs, fades, screens, and slants and downfield throws.

When Thompson learned that he is my top prospect, he smiled. We talked briefly about the change in surrounding talent he has with the Sabercats. He will miss Derek Serowski (100- and 200- meter track champ that signed with UCO but appears headed to junior college in order to accept Division I offers now coming his way), Julian Wilson (OU signee), and tight end Austin Haywood (OU signee that may go junior college).

"I will miss all those guys, but this is good for me," said Thompson. "I'm taking this as a challenge working with all these young guys."

That shows maturity, mental maturity to match that physical talent he has shown for awhile.

There are other good quarterbacks as head coach Steve Huff and defensive coordinator Chris Rose told me that Kansas State has taken an interest in Midwest City Bombers quarterback Greg Austin. The 6-3, 180-pound Austin has had a great summer and gets better every day. He has a talented compliment of receivers including Claude Donald, who is another college prospect that is having a great tournament. I also really like Trayvon Lewis, who is a standout pass rushing linebacker prospect. The Bombers have been winning at 7-on-7 all summer long.

I also watched Edmond Memorial and the Bulldogs will be good this season employing talented athlete Kameron Doolittle at quarterback where he will be a dual threat playmaker. His throwing has improved and 7-on-7 has obviously helped but he is still best with his wheels and is still a prospect for the next level as a wide receiver.

The secret weapon for the Bulldogs is Jeff Blakenbush, as the receiver and safety is now approaching 6-2 and has roughly 200 pounds on his frame. He moves well, has excellent hands and is a major sleeper prospect and will likely take over the defensive leadership chores from last year's senior standout tackle Adrian Shoecraft, who is headed to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M J.C.

Across town at the Santa Fe High School at the small school competition, I really like Cashion quarterback Jeremy Seaton. The 6-3, 215-pound Seaton has a dynamite arm and moves well with his size. I don't know stats and wonder why he has stayed so off the radar screen. It's a tough evaluation against Class A competition, but he has the tools.

I love Woodward wide receiver and safety Drake Smithton. His father is former OSU deep snapper Shane Smithton and Drake is roughly 5-11, 175 to 180 pounds. He runs excellent routes, has great feet, and catches everything to him. He was impressive in person after having seen him on video. I'm going to guess he is right around a 4.6 and therefore may not draw any Division I looks but in a multiple spread offense this is a guy that becomes tremendously valuable.

He ran a 12-yard out, kept both feet in, and made a shoestring grab at the boundry for a first down on Saturday. The opposing coach looked at his corner and said, "you can come up more and not give him as much cushion, and you might make that play."

The line judge looked at the coach and said, "sometimes, they just make a great catch, and coach, I think your kid could have been on his back and he wouldn't have stopped that one."

Smithton could easily play FCS or Division II for anybody, he could walk-on for a Division I, or he could go junior college and by the end of his first semester be on scholarship for some school running the spread offense.

There were a couple of other quarterbacks that I liked over at the small schools competition. Sophomore Braden Scott of Sequoyah-Tahlequah is the real deal and keep an eye on him as he progresses for his father, who is the head coach there.

I also like Bethany junior-to-be Ryley Clayborn. The 6-2, 185-pound quarterbacks throws well and has good command on the field. Last season as a sophomore he backed up James Silas, a good quarterback, and completed 20-of-57 passes in mop up duty with 272 yards and two touchdowns. He could be a real breakthrough player this season.

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