Pitt Camp Notebook Day One

More than 200 prospects took the field at Pitt's UPMC Practice facility on Friday for the first day of the Panther's prospect camp. The biggest name on the roster was Penn Hills four-star linebacker Dan Mason, but several others shined as well.

There wasn't a whole lot to choose from in this group, but there were a handful of players who shined. Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha quarterback Tom Chroniger looked to be around 5-foot-10, maybe 5-foot-11 at best. He appeared to have the best overall skill set when you combine his mechanics and athleticism. He has above average arm strength and it really showed when he was asked to throw a few 10-yard out routes. Chroniger was firing bullets. Andrew Holland from Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius looked to be the best quarterback from mechanics perspective. Muhlenburg's Nate Daniels looked a lot better than we have seen in his previous camps this spring. Two underclassmen really looked good Mitch Marincov from Timber Creek, Fla., and Rasheem Jones from Aliquippa. Both are members of a very promising class of 2010. Marincov looks poised beyond his years and he boasts a strong arm. Jones has a very live arm and was probably just behind Chroniger for the strongest arm that we saw. He is also a very athletic player.

Blair Academy (N.J.) running back Dion Lewis didn't workout, but he came and got weighed and measured. The Panthers staff loved his film apparently, because he went home with an offer. The 5-7, 180 pound back could make a decision within a few weeks after he is done taking trips. He has already visited Wake Forest and was on his way to Cincinnati. He split time last season with Ed Imeokaparia who signed with Florida State. East Allegheny tailback Monte Ashby looked impressive. He is still waiting for his first offer. Early in the morning when Pitt strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris was instructing the prospects the proper technique for running the 40-yard dash, Dillon Romain from Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep ran consecutive 4.5's on the slow surface. New Brighton freshman Trey Hall looks like a college running back already with his chiseled frame. The youngster also hit the 4.5 range.

There were not many notable wide receivers in attendance, but two of them stood out. Jarvis Cummings from Hempfield looked very good. The eastern Pennsylvania standout is also a very good defensive back. Class of 2010 future star Manessah Garner continued to build off of his impressive showing at the Under Armour/Scout.com Combine. The one are that Garner needs to improve is his speed. He did not run well in the 40-yard dash, but he never does. The kid does have some serious game speed though.

The offensive line group was considerably better this year than it was last year. All eyes were on Adam Gress of West Mifflin. Gress tore up the Michigan camp and earned himself an offer from the Wolverines. He did very well for himself at Pitt after a sluggish start he really came on in the afternoon. He is athletic and you cannot teach his size. Ryan Schleiper had a very solid day at guard. He is consistent and really doesn't make mistakes. He bares an uncanny resemblance to Stefan Wisniewski, not only with his looks but his demeanor as well. Penn Wood tackle Adam Citko looked good in drills, but he struggled a few times during one-on-ones. He still looks a lot better than he did when we saw him a year ago. East Pennsboro center Matt Couch had a solid showing at center. He is not the biggest guy, but he keeps a low pad level and really uses leverage to his advantage. Chris Horner is a solid looking kid from Delaware Valley. He is barely 6-2 and weighs right around 260 pounds, but he is a fighter. He also turned some heads with a 5.18 in the 40-yard dash. He may not have the size to be a D-I guy, but some D-IAA or D-II school would be very happy with him. Gary Urschel was another player whom we saw for the first time and he looked very good at times as well. The Buffalo (N.Y.) Canisius prospect holds an offer from Buffalo.

Amongst the defensive linemen it was the Will Clarke and Dakota Royer show. Clarke burst onto the scene in a huge way. The Pittsburgh (Pa.) Allderdice defensive end was easily the most impressive prospect we saw all day in terms of raw athleticism. He stands in at 6-foot-6 and weighs 240-pounds. Most of the people in attendance were thinking that Clarke reminded them a lot of Greg Romeus from Pitt a potential first round NFL draft pick in a few years. Royer tore up the Under Armour/Scout.com Baltimore combine and he continued to build off of that performance with another strong showing. Royer was asked to workout at linebacker in the afternoon, which is where we projected he'd likely end up, but regardless of where he is the kid can flat out play. Tyler Bullock is another intriguing prospect from Mechanicsburg. He possesses very good size and strength.

As usual Dan Mason from Pittsburgh (Pa.) Penn Hills was the best linebacker that we saw. He recently added an offer from Boston College. After the camp, the four-star proclaimed Pitt as his leader. Eric Macik from Hempfield just like his teammate Cummings was impressive at middle linebacker. We should be hearing more from him. Darin Drakeford from Washington (D.C.) Roosevelt recently picked up an offer from the Panthers.

At defensive back there weren't a ton of household names in attendance, but there were some players. Tevrin Brandon from Bethlehem (Pa.) Catholic continues to impress us more each time we see him. He needs to put a little bit of meet on his bones, but he can flat out fly. Don Hursey a class of 2010 prospect from Bishop McNamara in Maryland is also coming off of a strong performance at our Baltimore combine. He followed it up with another strong showing in this camp. Terrance Koen is a real nice looking defensive back from Riverdale Baptist in Maryland. Koen has all the skills and size to be a standout defensive back, he is just a little raw and needs to work on his instincts a bit. He can definitely play at the D-I level. Jake Delmonico is a nice looking defensive back/wide receiver prospect from Blackhawk. He also ran in the 4.5 range and just seems like one of those kids who works his tail off and will do anything you ask of him. Christian Kuntz made the trip from Camp Hill (Pa.) Trinity and he had a solid day. Kuntz has good size and can cover a lot of ground in a hurry.

The prospect portion of the camp concludes on Saturday. After the conclusion of the camp we'll break things down position by position after we see over 400 kids this weekend we should have a good feel for most of them.


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