I'll be honest with you. I was disappointed in the overall talent pool at Saturday's camp. In fact, I'd have to say it was the weakest turnout of elite talent that I've seen while doing this job. Now, before you panic, I think there's a reason for it. Just look at all of the 2013 offers A&M has outstanding as well as having over half of the 2013 class committed. Heck, there are even 10-15 2014 offers already on the market. Camps used to be where all prospects, even elite prospects, had to prove themselves at these venues to get an early offer. Now, those offers are already extended, so what is the motivation to spend a couple of hundred dollars on the camp along with $50 in gas? What if you have an early offer and you perform poorly at the camp. The coaches may suddenly lose your number and stop calling.
So if you have an offer in hand, why participate? Thus, that's why these camps are starting to dry up of the elite talent that people like me and you follow. It's also why guys like Kyrion Parker, Hardreck Walker, Noel Ellis, and other guys that were offered showed up to talk to the coaches but didn't participate. We're hearing that Reggie Chevis will stop by during next week's three-day camp but he's not going to lace them up either.
These summer camps used to be very important to the staff, and they were very fruitful for people like me looking for the latest and greatest stud. Bu frankly, while there were a few elite prospects and some very good prospects that A&M should keep an eye on, there were not the big number of blue chip studs that make you salivate that we've come to expect...and I think that's a trend in college football as early offers continue to increase in frequency and numbers.
Tony Brown, DB, Beaumont Ozen, 2014
He ran a 4.39 forty and he has the body of a Greek god. He's bigger in person than what I've seen on tape. He's also only a junior-to-be so I think he could grow into a safety. He lost his man in coverage a few times in one-on-one so while he did a good job and was the top prospect at the camp, he by no means was dominant.
DeJuan Hines, DB/ath, Spring Dekaney, 2013
Another "big" DB who will likely project to safety. All of these DB's are doing man coverage in drills so it's hard to tell how that translates over to safety. However, he's not the tight twitch athlete of prototypical corners so he's more of a safety. He's a guy I'd put on the radar if not for his sweet beard alone, but he's a nice athlete.
Keenen Brown, WR, Alief Taylor, 2014
At first glance, he doesn't wow you physically because he isn't overly-developed or ripped and those are the guys that get most of the attention from services observing. He also didn't look to have sub-4.4 speed that flags observers. But I'm telling you, if you want to know the best receiver with a lot of upside, it was 6-foot-3, 185-pound Alief Taylor WR Keenen Brown. He had little problems shaking his man in and out of cuts and was fluid with his catches. What also stood out were his incredibly long arms making him a guy that can be your fade man in the end zone...in addition to being quick enough to be a presence in the middle. Yeah, I'd put him under serious consideration for an offer if he broke 4.6. I'll find out what he ran tomorrow night when I call him.
Here's his 2011 highlights...and I think he's much more explosive now than what he was last fall.
Aaron Sharp, QB, Summer Creek, 2014
I didn't spend a lot of time with the QB's, but in the time I watched them, Sharp stuck out with his athleticism to go with a more than adequate arm. I need to see more before putting him on the 2014 offer list.
Austin Lafentzis, QB, Utah, 2015
He's supposed to be one of the best 2015 QB's in the nation and he showed well for a 15 year-old. But come on, he's a 15 year-old for goodness sakes. He's worth putting on your radar and coming back to him in a year.
Justin Phillips, LB, Pearland, 2014
I've seen him listed at 6-foot, 210 pounds but he looks bigger than that. He was one of the most impressive specimens from the eyeball test. He looked pretty fluid in his drops and overall carried himself like a solid D-1 prospect.
Dameon Gamblin, WR, Alief Taylor, 2013
He's done a nice job on the camp circuit and he definitely has some explosion in his game on his routes. He's under 6-foot and ran a 4.55. His performance was very solid all the way around and he was one of the best performers today, but I felt the overall competition was down and with A&M almost full at receiver with several studs still on the hook, I just don't know if they have room...unless Samples, Parker, and LaRue go elsewhere. He definitely earned being on the radar.
Ronald Monroe, QB, FB Bush, 2014
From what I saw, he had an above average arm with promising accuracy. I'm not sure I'm ready to offer him yet. All of these 2014 QB's today showed promise, but not enough to offer before seeing a few games in their junior season. Definitely a radar guy.
Morie Evans, DB, Huntsville, 2015
Now this cat intrigues me. He just finished his freshman year so he's still 15 years-old in a 19 year-old body. He's about 5-foot-10, 185 pounds. He worked out with the DB's and I thought showed very well for a young guy. He's a tad bow-legged and may be just a bit too stiff for corner, so possibly a safety on defense or a running back on on offense. Obviously, you have to wonder about his RB instincts if he's working out at DB, but he looks like a RB to me in build. He's too young to offer. Put him on the mailing list and monitor his performance a few miles down the road at Huntsville.
Trevorris Johnson, RB, Alief Taylor, 2013
The kid is ripped and compact, just the way you want your running backs. I'm not sure what he ran the forty in, but I found a low quality highlight clip on YouTube and he turned the corner and outran the secondary to paydirt so his speed seems adequate. He looked shifty in drills and I think he is a D-1 prospect. However, it seems that A&M may be done at the position.
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