It was a wild show at Saturday's Round Rock 7-on-7 SQT. Copperas Cove couldn't make it in, so in came Lake Travis's JV team … which went ahead and beat two teams, including one with a high-level BCS-caliber receiver in Marble Falls and the qualifier's co-favorite Round Rock Westwood. And in another surprise, not only did Round Rock Stony Point not make the semifinals, but the Tigers were thumped soundly by in-city rival Round Rock, which took Stony Point's projected place.
Still, even after all that, the two teams expected to qualify — Lake Travis and Round Rock Westwood — did. Here's a look at some of the top prospects and how they played, along with one sleeper to keep an eye on in the future.
James Bailey, 2015 LB, Lake Travis —After seeing Bailey at a practice earlier this spring, I thought he was a no-doubt BCS-caliber linebacker. He's a long 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, meaning he has the frame to fill out and be an in-the-box type player at the next level, whether that's as a WILL linebacker in the pass-happy Big 12, or as the third safety in a 4-2-5 like the one employed by TCU, the current role occupied by Sam Carter. Bailey runs well and, perhaps more importantly, runs through ball-carriers. He made multiple nice plays in coverage Saturday that other linebackers in attendance weren't necessarily capable of pulling off.
Bear Fenimore, 2014 QB, Round Rock Westwood — Fenimore's calling card has always been his powerful arm and his ability to make NFL-type throws, and he didn't disappoint. Westwood's receiving corps doesn't appear to be quite as good as it has been, but that didn't stop Fenimore from leading Westwood to the title game, and a state qualification in Westwood's first tournament. He made several big-time throws over the course of the semifinal against Round Rock, with Westwood looking to stretch the field a bit more than it has in previous years. That's a good thing, given that Fenimore is excellent down the field, and strong on mid-range throws, but can struggle at times on shorter passes because he doesn't flick the ball quickly.
Lorenzo Joe, 2014 WR, Abilene Cooper (Texas) — As Joe plays quarterback for Cooper, it's impossible to gauge his wide receiver skills at a no-run event like 7-on-7. But many converted quarterbacks succeed at receiver because they're so used to seeing things from another angle. And that's where Joe appears to have made his best leap from a year ago. Joe has always had a powerful arm, but this year, he's paired that with better anticipation. He connected on several throws where the ball was out of his hand before the receiver broke into the open, leading to nice gains. Joe is seeing the field more like a quarterback, which can only help him out more once he makes the full-time transition to wide receiver.
Shaun Nixon, 2014 RB, Lake Travis (Texas A&M) — I've seen Nixon playing in these since he was a freshman, and just as he did at each tournament before, Nixon impressed with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He's significantly thicker than he was in the past year, but that didn't stop him from making a huge impact in 7-on-7. At one point in the game against Hendrickson, I was thinking that this is the point in the game where Nixon typically makes a big play, and he did, getting open for a key late touchdown. Nixon has such soft hands, great body control and catches the ball away from his body. And while he doesn't display this trait in 7-on-7 for obvious reasons, Nixon is an outstanding blocker. That, coupled with the receiving abilities that he's able to show in these summer tournaments, could help him see the field early, if only in passing situations.
Chad President 2015 QB/WR, Temple (Baylor) — One of the reasons Temple chose Baylor was that he was promised a chance to compete at quarterback, though he's considered to be one of the top wide receiver prospects in the in-state class for 2015. At this point — and granted, it's early in his development, and it was a rainy day — I have a hard time seeing President sticking at quarterback at the next level. While he throws with some touch at times, I never saw him ratchet up the RPMs to display his arm talent, leaving me wondering if he has the arm strength to succeed at quarterback at Baylor. Temple ran several roll outs with him, and you could see his mobility and athleticism, and with his size, he could make for a matchup issue on the outside at receiver.
AND ONE SLEEPER
Trai Moseley, 2014 CB, Pflugerville Hendrickson — Moseley plays for a Hendrickson team that is pretty stacked with talent in Oklahoma commitment Samaje Perine, and athletes Chance Waz and Latrell Martin. But arguably the most impressive player for Hendrickson Saturday was Moseley, who played an outstanding game at cornerback for the Hawks when they went up against Lake Travis in pool play. Moseley was all over the field making dynamic, athletic plays, and helped Hendrickson keep the game with the best team in attendance close. Moseley might not have BCS offers just yet, but don't be shocked if that changes in a hurry.