Players Who Shined at the Miami Camp

Under sunny skies and in nice comfortable weather, the second NIKE Football Training Camp of the season took place Saturday in Miami on the Hurricane campus. It was a camp headlined by the top athlete seen so far in the first pair of camps, a linebacker, which was appropriate as the 'backers and running backs were the two strongest positions attending the event.

The camp MVP, unlike last week in Los Angeles when 5-10 players were considered, was a no-brainer in Miami. Keith Rivers, the 6-3, 200 pound linebacker dominated in the testing elements and in the position drills.

The senior-to-be from Lake Mary, Fla., ran a 4.56 in the 40, a 4.18 in the shuttle, recorded a 34-inch vertical jump, and did 21 reps on the bench."

"Rivers is a definite Top 100 national player," said Greg Biggins, Director of Recruiting for Student Sports, after the camp. "He's probably a Top 50 player. Keith has phenomenal closing speed and was the top linebacker we've seen at the two camps."

A 5A 2nd team all-state pick as a junior when he recorded 160 tackles, the standout defender has an interesting twist to his story: he was born in California and lived in Riverside for seven years. His favorite college is USC where he'll camp this summer.

The Trojans have offered along with others in his top five including Miami, Florida, and Florida State. Notre Dame also makes his short list but hasn't offered yet.

Another linebacker who caught scouts' eyes was Willie Williams of Monsignor Edward Pace in Opa Locka, Fla. He's about the same size as Rivers (6-2, 200) and according to Biggins, "would've been the Camp MVP if not for Rivers. Williams is big and fast and dominated in the one-on-one drills." He has already been offered by the instate colleges as well as Auburn.

Speaking of interesting stories, one of Florida's top QBs this fall will be Brent Schaeffer of Deerfield Beach. Because he had to take the SAT in the morning, the 6-2, 180 pound current junior didn't arrive at the Miami Camp until 2 pm EST, almost an hour after the event officially finished.

Bob Johnson, the coach at the quarterback position, stuck around to work Schaeffer out and came away impressed.

"Brent has an above average arm, very good feet, and a nice, tight ball that he throws," explained Johnson. "He has a chance to be something special."

As a junior, Schaeffer accounted for 2,475 passing yards, 31 TDs, 765 rushing yards, and 15 rushing TDs. He lists Iowa, Kansas State and Georgia as early favorites; the first two schools have already offered.

Another quarterback who upped his stock was Omar Haugabook from Glades Central High in Belle Glades, Fla. He's well put-together at 6-0, 205 pounds and showed great athleticism, finishing with one of the fastest 40 times at 4.43.

"He has a great arm," added Johnson, "and is very coachable."

One athlete of note was Lawrence Timmons from Wilson High in Florence, S.C. He worked out with the receivers, but one scout said watch for him to be a D-I linebacker.

From the trenches, a pair of OL's who drew rave reviews and will be on a ton of recruiters' lists will be Chris Rutledge of Miami Krop and Cory Hyman from North Lauderdale High.

Rutledge is big and athletic, playing offensive line and tight end. His early favorites are Georgia, Auburn, Ol' Miss, FSU, and Florida. Hyman was a 1A 3rd team all-state pick last season. He likes Florida State, South Florida, Tennessee, Florida, and NC State.

On the other side of the ball were two defensive linemen who looked great: Richard Clebert of Miami Edison and Sabas Whitaker from Miami Jackson.

Clevert took the top spot in the bench press and likes North Carolina, Central Florida, Miami, Rutgers and Michigan. A versative player, he can play center, guard or defensive tackle. Whitaker was described by Biggins as "the biggest cheerleader we've ever had at a camp. He'd break up groups before going to other stations chanting 'd-line' and the others would respond. He goes very hard and obviously plays with a lot of passion."

Finally, for those who like to get in on prospects way down the road, keep on the Underclass Player of the Camp, Spencer Adkins of Naples High. Another linebacker standout, he's already 6-0 1/2, 219 pounds and recorded a remarkable 37 inch vertical. Last year he played defensive end and earned 3rd team all-state honors. His favorite school growing up was Miami, but he has family who went to Florida and FSU is also there so it'll be hard to get him out of the state.

Note: these are just some of the early comments gleaned from those who ran the camp. Keep checking the message board as we'll have more from the Miami Camp and results from the Gainesville Camp as well at this location.

MIAMI NIKE Football Training Camp TOP MARKS
(Sat. April 12, 2003)

(note: all running drills done on grass fields; height & weight measured in socks at camp)

TOP 20 in the 40-Yard Dash

1) Antoine Smith (Pahokee FL) 5-8.5, 184 RB---4.29

2) Alton Dowdell (Glades Central, Belle Glade FL) 5-9, 161 DB---4.37

3) Omar Haugabook (Glades Central, Belle Glade FL) 6-0, 205 QB---4.43

TOP 20 in the 20-Yard Shuttle 

1) Bobby Washington (Killian, Miami FL) 6-0.5, 198 RB---4.03

2T) Marcel Pestano (Lehigh, Lehigh Acres FL) 6-0.5, 182 DB/WR---4.07 

2T) Chris Shula (St. Thomas Aquinas, Ft. Lauderdale FL) 5-11, 198 DB/LB---4.07

TOP 20 in the Bench Press (max reps of 185 pounds) 

1) Richard Clebert (Miami Edison, Miami FL) 6-0, 271 DT---35 

2) Stephen Purkey (John Carroll, Fort Pierce FL) 6-0.5, 229 LB/DE---30

3T) Clayton Brannigan (American Heritage, Delray Beach FL) 5-10.5, 231 LB---27

3T) Adam Coffee (Northwestern, Miami FL) 6-1, 247 FB---27 

3T) Sabas Whitaker (Jackson, Miami FL) 6-2, 265 DL---27

TOP 20 in the Vertical Jump (in inches) 

1) Dimitri Linton (Northeast, Oakland Park FL) 5-8, 173 RB---38.0

2) Charlie Jones (South Dade, Homestead FL) 6-0.5, 219 RB---37.4

3) Spencer Adkins, junior-to-be (Naples FL) 6-0.5, 219 DE/LB---37.0


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