My Review of the Blacksburg Nike Camp

On a cold, wet, and anxious day, the Blacksburg Nike Camp trudged on through for an excellent showing in front of fans, family, and coaches in attendance. Overall, 293 participants registered for the event, and the talent showed to be better than expected.

On a cold, wet, and anxious day, the Blacksburg Nike Camp trudged on through for an excellent showing in front of fans, family, and coaches in attendance. Overall, 293 participants registered for the event, and the talent showed to be better than expected.

Among the seniors, the state of North Carolina showed to have several athletes in the testing, with linebackers Chase Rice (AC Reynolds, NC) and Dannell Ellerbe (Richmond, NC) shining in the 20 yard pro-shuttle and vertical jump as the two were top-two in both categories. Rice had a 3.83 shuttle time and 37.8 vertical, while Ellerbe had a 3.95 shuttle time and 37.9 vertical. Both showed good footwork in drills and also share the same offer of Duke at the moment.

Another physically imposing player was Kent Hicks out of Culpepper, VA. The 6-foot-2, 206 pounder had a 4.13 pro shuttle and a 34.6 inch vertical while pushing the offensive players to the side until told to move back by the coaches in drills. Another smooth Virginia player, who also had the fastest in the 40 at 4.37 on a very slippery surface, was Westfield (VA) receiver Eddie Royal. He moved fluidly in drills, crossing up defensive backs and adjusting well to poor throws. Rounding out the outstanding numbers leaders was Josh Ward (Sevierville, TN) who had 60 reps on the bench. StudentSports planned to video him, but anticipated Ward showing for the Auburn camp.

Between the quarterbacks, two appeared to be heads and shoulders above the rest in two Pennsylvania prospects, Jordan Steffy (Conestoga Valley) and Brian Savage (The Haverford). Crane has excellent mobility and the strongest arm of the camp. His movement on the run did not alter his passing. Savage is more of the prototypical passer at 6-foot-4, and displayed a very accurate passing game. Brian consistently put the ball on the money without allowing receivers to break stride. The two will, most likely, be considered for the Elite 11 camp this summer with Sean Glennon (Westfield, VA) who was in attendance, but did not participate with a cast on his left arm.

While the senior class showed well, the junior class in North Carolina could have same of the more talked about players in two quarterbacks and a running back. Toney Baker (Ragsdale) is a very solidly built running back who placed in the top-twenty of each category at the camp with a 4.50 40, 4.05 shuttle, 25 reps in the bench, and 33.0 inches in the vertical. Baker has great power and explosion when he has the ball, and even caught it surprisingly well. He says that several schools have already displayed plenty of interest, and he is open to all, but wants to go wherever treats him the best. Jon Crompton (Irwin) was with the top quarterback group until the coaches found out he was a junior. Crompton shows a good ability to alter his passes depending on the situation and has a good mixture of arm strength and accuracy. According Jon, four schools have stated they will officially offer on the first day it is available. The final junior has big shoes to fill, as Joe Cox (Independence) will take over for Chris Leak this season. Several colleges noticed the red-haired quarterback, who has plenty of upside and and excellent offense in which to improve his accuracy.

Perhaps the best player in attendance did not participate as Demario Pressley (Dudley, NC) showed up to get his height, weight, and bench numbers (27 reps).

If the Blacksburg Nike Camp is any indication, the East Coast has plenty of very talented players this year.


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