Tenacious 12 (Part I)

The Rutgers Big Man Academy was jam-packed with talent. Based on the multiple drills as well as 1-on-1's throughout the day, we were able to sort out a few things and determine who is the best of the best, at least for that day. There were a ton of overall good performances although we are only selecting 12 for the sake of this list.

Our 12 selections are not based on who we think are the best players or even on who we think has the most potential. The list is based on player performance on that particular day. Let's take a look and see who made the cut.

12. DL James Lawson (5'10 277) of Manchester Township HS (NJ) ran a 5.12 forty and was a load from the defensive tackle position. He is very athletically built and has an extremely powerful frame. He plays explosively and has the ability to get off the ball and play with a low pad level. His 277lbs are made up of mostly muscle mass. If he were a couple inches taller, I believe he would qualify as a top recruit. He definitely fared well through drills displaying a good amount of consistency and also had a handful of highlights during 1-on-1's.

11. DL Chris Woods (6'0 346) of East Orange Campus HS (NJ) was one the strongest and most powerful players at the event. Unfortunately, based on the rules of the camp, he was not allowed to bull rush or even jerk offenders at all, rendering him not quite as affective as usual. Chris is a two-gap defender type who won't necessarily be expected to provide a pass rush on the next level. The name of his game is bull rush until getting to the point of attack and then disengage depending upon where the target lies at that point. Based on the success of guys like Gilbert Brown and Shaun Rogers, there is obviously room in the NFL for guys like this. Although Chris did not get to play his game, he continued to compete and came out in the second half utilizing spin moves at (346lbs) that turned out to be somewhat affective.

10. OL Frank Quartucci (6'4 291) of Hamilton West HS (NJ) continues to impress. Frank is a technician who appears to be well coached and has a competitive nature. He seems to get a little better every event he attends. In this event, he competed against some of the best big men the region had to offer and he ended up being considered in the top third of the talent at the event. Frank is a knee-bender and maintains proper hand placement with his blocks. He is coachable and maintains a good attitude. You can tell the kid loves football and works hard to perfect his craft.

9. DL Kevin Umejei (5'10 282) of Albertus Magnus HS (NY) proved to be one of the more agile defensive tackle types at camp. He ran a 5.2 forty and maintained terrific foot-speed for a man of his stature. Kevin is in the process of transitioning over from the linebacker and fullback positions to DT. He fared pretty well during 1-0n-1's while utilizing the quickness that makes him unique at 282lbs. He does tend to hand-fight a bit much instead of just making an aggressive move and blowing past offenders. I believe he has the tangibles to be that type of explosive player and once he becomes more comfortable with the position, he can be an explosive, formidable force.

8. OL Ryan Young (6'4 257lbs) of Wayne Valley HS (NJ) was quite impressive. Before the 2008 season, he relocated from Texas to New Jersey. His move could have caused for him to be lost in the shuffle, but instead he has insisted on making a name for himself. Ryan has a lean, elongated frame and brings a certain intelligence to the position. He is a player who is light on his feet and who can move with the best of them. Ryan also proved to be the fastest man in camp, not based on a forty time, but instead a foot race where he came out on top and displayed his agility. Look out for this young man to have a successful senior campaign and pick up a handful of FBS offers.

7. DL Robert Welsh (6'2 253) of St. Anthony's HS (NY) is a player. He impresses me more and more with each event. Welsh again showed the ability to blow past the staunchest competition off the edge and make plays. He displays the ability to dip his shoulder and really follow through with 1 move while not wasting a lot of movement. He is a technician with a motor that is unmatched. Rob is the type of player who will go in and do anything you ask him to do. He does every single drill 100% to the best of his ability and with near- perfect from. You can tell how much he absolutely enjoys the game. He has a repertoire of pass rush moves that keeps the opposition guessing. Robert ran a 5.01 forty at camp and probably ends up moving inside to the 3 technique on the next level although he might be able to camp out at end in a need-based situation.

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow.

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