BigTime Showcase Draws Elite Talent

The BigTime Football Showcase on May 7 had some top talent on hand and a number of players who will be of interest to PSU fans. Event organizer Chris Melvin answered questions about how good Deion Barnes is, if Anthony Sarao stays at Stanford and of course, Savon Huggins.

Two weeks ago, the BigTime Football Showcase featured some of the top preps from across the Atlantic seaboard. Chris Melvin is the man behind the event and has a close relationship with a number of the top players who came to Rutgers to compete and be seen at the BigTime Football Showcase. Melvin hand-picked 175 players, from freshmen to juniors from Connecticut down to Florida to take part in the May 7th event. What were your thoughts and impressions of the talent level on Friday? Who really stood out to you?

CM: I'll tell you what, we had a lot of athletes who couldn't make our event due to track meets, which is something we've dealt with since our event came about back in 2004. But the caliber of talent that we had on display at our 2010 BigTime Football Showcase (formally the Elite College Combine 2004-2008) was nothing to sleep on. We were loaded at every position, loaded with players who have already garnered scholarship offers - but even more seeking to snag their first. This is what I take pride in ... give those guys who are a bit under the radar a chance to shine and compete. One of the impressive players out there was Deion Barnes who has hauled in some very nice offers over the past few months. How good is Barnes and how does he project at the next level?

CM: Barnes is all as advertised ... long, rangy, explosive and skilled ... he has a huge upside and is a competitor ... still a bit raw, but makes up for it with his athleticism. Another player who really stood out was Anthony Sarao. His feet looked quick and he somehow has added more muscle to his frame. What most impressed you?

CM: When you're an "A" student in the classroom ... you always get my praise. Now add in the fact that you're one of the best athletes in the nation who possesses superior lateral quickness (clocked a record breaking 3.9 at the U.S. Army All American Combine in January) along with the ruggedness that you want in a linebacker. Sarao is a backer who covers like a defensive-back - he is also a leader on the field. He makes good reads and closes just as good as any of the top backers in the country.

Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid was at my event watching his son Spencer (6-foot, 200 pound junior running-back from Harriton, PA) and could not help but see Sarao. Not only did coach Reid like Sarao's ability as a linebacker, but he was just as impressed with the way he carried himself - characteristics like that will take him far. Do you think Sarao ends up at Stanford or goes elsewhere?

CM: Sarao has given Stanford a commitment, but I feel that it's going to be very difficult for Sarao as other top ranked programs continue to seek his services. Who is a sleeper player, one that hasn't gotten a lot of attention but will end up getting a legit offer and will become an impressive player at the next level?

CM: When you think of the BigTime Football Showcase, sleepers should always come to mind because I always have players who are under-recruited, yet they end-up becoming stars at the collegiate level.

One BigTime alum that sticks out to me is the University of Pittsburgh running-back Dion Lewis who attended our event in 2008 and earned MVP honors. As far as this year I have a variety of players who aren't quite on the recruiting scene, but have the talent to be one of the nation's best.

I believe that junior WR Amaad Bush of Montclair, NJ, junior WR Anthony Carrington of Lakewood, NJ, junior DT Dimitrius Smith (6-2/275) of Jackson Memorial, sophomore QB Casey Cochran of Masuk, CT, sophomore Steve Cluley of Wall Twp., NJ, junior DE DaQuan Kenney(6-3.5/230) of Lakewood, NJ, junior DB Stephan Thomas of Egg Harbor, NJ, sophomore DB Denzel Lietch of Xaverian, NY, junior OL Ivan Foy (6-5/300) Fort Hamilton, NY, freshman OL Brad Henson (6-5/250) of Monsignor Donovan, NJ, sophomore RB Aubrey Lewis of Montclair, NJ, junior DB Paul Magloire of Lynbrook, NY, junior DB Jamie Williams of Hamilton West, NJ, junior QB Tyrell Goodman of Archbishop Stepinac, NY, junior WR Jairus Cook of Eleanor Roosevelt, freshman DB Zach Guiser (6-1/190) Greensburg Catholic Central, PA, and junior TE Ryan Malleck (6-5/230) of Point Boro, NJ all have the tools to be stars at the next level. While he didn't participate, Savon Huggins is hauling in some monster offers. Is he legit?

CM: Savon Huggins is indeed the real deal; a great student in the classroom and a gifted running-back on the gridiron. At 5-foot-11, 190 pounds Huggins has the size, speed (4.4 speed), instincts, vision, soft-hands, acceleration, the ability to read his blocks and hit the hole quickly ... a leader on and off the field . There is no question that Huggins is my top player in New Jersey for the Class of 2011. Where do you think Huggins ends up?

CM: I can see Huggins fitting in at a variety of schools. Pittsburgh, Stanford and Georgia are all perfect fits for him. PSU and Rutgers are also suitable for his style of play as well.

And in case you were wondering, here are the lost of award winners from the event – some definite names for readers to keep an eye on over the next several months. 2010 MVP's: Junior QB MVP - Malik Stokes of Taft Prep, CT, RB MVP's - juniors Jack Bandazian of Ramapo, Brandon Ross of Wilmington Charter, DE, WR MVP - Amaad Bush of Montclair, NJ, OL MVP - Ivan Foy - Fort Hamilton, NY, DB MVP - Stephan Thomas of Egg Harbor, NJ, LB MVP - Anthony Sarao of Holy Spirit, DL MVP - Dimitrius Smith of Jackson Memorial, Kicker/Punter MVP - Ryan Handy of Howell, NJ, Chuck Mound Award (Fastest 40) - junior WR Mark Thomas of Thomas Jefferson, NY, Chris Melvin Elite Award (Top Sleeper) - DaQuan Kenney of Lakewood, NJ, and the Race-off winner - junior RB Jihaad Howard of Brick Memorial, NJ. is your source for the BEST content and community covering Penn State football recruiting.


Fight On State Top Stories