New stars emerge at BigTime Showcase

The BigTime Showcase was held at Rutgers Stadium this past Thursday evening/night. Marco Battaglia and Ray Lucas certainly added appeal to the event as they helped coach some of tomorrow's young stars, but it was the individual testing and 1-on-1's that highlighted the showcase.

Some of the east's top players participated in the BigTime Showcase, held at Rutgers Stadium, in Piscataway, NJ, last Thursday evening/night. The top players in attendance certainly did not disappoint, but as always is the case, the event provided an opportunity to reveal some hitherto unknown talent.

The game of football, on both sides of the ball, is won (or lost, as the case may be) in the trenches. Consequently, we begin our review of the Showcase's top performers with a review of the defensive line. Jeramie Powell (Piscataway HS, NJ) brought home the DL MVP trophy, after showing impressive athleticism, burst, and downright nasty attitude, precisely the sort you want out of your interior DL. Piscataway HS was certainy well represented in this event, on both sides of the ball, but particularly on defense. Powell's HS teammate, Aaron Hush, an impressive looking DE that goes all of 6-feet 4-inches and change, showed a great first step when he wanted to, leading him right around his opponent, but coupled that with intensity and toughness, overpowering opponents on several occassions. Mike Larrow (Union HS, NJ), Mike Cole (North Brunswick HS, NJ), Blake Graham (Northeast Catholic HS, PA), Tom Bianchi (West Essex HS, NJ), and East Orange HS DL standout Julio Geronimo, all looked impressive as well.

Moving back in space are the all-important LBs, where Ka'lial Glaud (Winslow Township HS, NJ) impressed sufficiently to bring home the MVP honors for his position. Perhaps the most imposing LB at the event was none other than Carlo Calabrese (Verona HS, NJ), who much to his credit, despite holding a number of scholarship offers, came in to this event and played with a chip on his shoulder, intent on proving he is the state's top LB. Steve Beauharnais (Saddle Brook HS, NJ), also impressed, showing impressive instincts at times. Brian Leffler (The Hun School, NJ), Christian Reed (Notre Dame HS, NJ), and rising Sophomore Khairi Fortt all looked very solid. Fortt, who made the trek from Connecticut, is on his way to becoming a national recruit - he possesses the innate physical ability you always look for, is gifted with incredible size, plays the game with a passion, but is a very humble and down to earth young man.

The defensive backs were led by Stephon Morris (Eleanor Roosevelt, MD), who brought home the DB MVP trophy. Morris put together a solid 40-time of 4.44-seconds and plays with a knack for finding the ball, an attribute that college coaches look for with an acute eye. Tevrin Brandon (Bethlehem Catholic, PA) looked flat out electric, with his eye-popping 4.28 and 4.31 40-yard dash performances. The 5-foot-11 and 175-pound CB has yet to see his initial offer, but it's seemingly, only a matter of time now. One of the more underrated players in the event, but one that showcased his skills to no end and garnered significant respect from a number of his peers, was local Athlete Nick Williams (The Hun School, NJ). Williams is an athletic and very fast WR/CB that plays both with instincts and football smarts. Ricky Harris (North Brunswick HS, NJ), looked smooth during his 4.49 40-yard dash, and impressed equally diring his 1-on-1's. Justin Blake continued the impressive representation of Piscataway HS, looking very solid in 1-on-1's. Gerald Hodges (Paulsboro HS, NJ), Abdul Smith (Perkiomen HS, PA), and Nyshier Oliver (St. Peter's Prep HS, NJ) all looked very solid.

Offense

Matei may be reached at mgeorge@rutgersfootball.com
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