Marchez Coates, a 5-11, 170-pound cornerback out of Pomfret (MD) Maurice J. McDonough High School, took home MVP honors at the cornerback position at Saturday's Nike Camp in State College.
Coates has all the tools to be a great corner, and spent a lot of time heading into the combine working on his footwork and agility.
"I practice that a lot," Coates said. "I practice with Troy Vincent. I got a coach, a local coach, at a local facility. I practice with Coach Owens—Skills U. I practice with him a lot. He's pretty good. He's under the radar. He shows me a lot. I practice with him a lot."
Winning the MVP award at his position was important for him, but the most important thing he got out of this weekend was just using a competitive receiver group to help better him in preparation for future combines, and eventually just playing at the next level.
"I love winning MVP, but I just like getting myself out there competing and getting better so I can get to the next level," Coates said. "That's what I was looking forward to. I was looking forward to getting better, learning new drills. I'm going to take some of these new drills back home and get better."
Some of the schools that Coates has heard from early on include North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Boston College and Rutgers. There are two schools in particular that Coates is looking forward to camping at this summer.
"I'm very interested in Pitt and Penn State, I'm interested in both of them," Coates said. "They show me love, and I'm going to show them love. That's just how I'm going to do it."
Coates was at Pitt last summer, and has already heard from a member of Pitt's new coaching staff.
"I talk to (tight ends) coach (Tony) Dews, and he just wants me to keep talking to him and build a relationship," Coates said. "I've been up there last year when they had the old coaching staff, now they have a new coaching staff. I haven't met any of the new (coaches) except for Coach Dews."
Though he doesn't have any offers, he says the two Pennsylvania schools are among his favorites, as well as the two schools he hopes to get an offer from the most.
"Penn State and Pitt are probably the two closest to offering, but they're going to offer me when I go up to their camps," Coates said. "I'm looking forward to that. I'm coming back up there, definitely, at the camp."