Alabama MVP: Notebook

The MVP Camp hit Prattville Alabama on Saturday with over 150 prospects in attendance. Here is a notebook of the action.


QB was probably the most competitive position at the camp with 10-12 players having strong days. Steven Bench took home the MVP because of his consistency and arm strength. The 2012 prospect from Georgia holds just one offer(South Alabama), but is starting to attract interest from a number of different schools. We liked Bench's ability to make throws to all three levels and he seemed to be very coachable. Bench needs to add some weight, but he clearly has next level tools.

Austin Henrick won the Top Underclassmen Award. The southpaw was dropping balls in all afternoon and has a very bright future. He won't get his chance next year because he plays behind D-1 signal caller Chad Voytik, but look for him to make a name for himself in 2012. He has some physical development to go as he is just 15, but in terms of accuracy, few were better. Henrick throws a great deep ball.

Kevin Williams and Austin Grammer both had good days. The pair of 2012 QBs were accurate and excelled in the competition portion. Williams could play another position at the next level.

Allen won RB MVP Award
Chad Simmons,

Running Back

Floridian Andre Allen took home MVP honors with a strong performance. The fast, shifty back from Arnold was unstoppable in 1on1's and is clearly building on a strong 2010 season. Allen has significant interest on the recruiting trail and as he continues to fill out, his offers should only increase. Allen should shine in a spread type offense because he is tough to handle in space and can catch the football.

Youngster Treven Paulk(2014) is going to be fun to watch develop. He is put together for a young player and displayed the attributes that could make him develop into a top tier back. He needs to continue to work in the passing game on his hands and blocking because he would seem to project to be that do-it-all type player.

There might not have been a better looking player than athlete Brandon Burks. Physically he is built the right way and is listed as an athlete. He could be a big back in the right system. Rising sophomore Deon Lee has the tools schools are looking for, he just needs more weight and experience. We were impressed with his feet in drills and his ability to catch the football.

Wide Receiver

Dontavious Heard stole the show at this spot. The rising 2012 prospect was a virtual unknown heading into the camp, but left it firmly on the radar. He is super smooth and seems to make plays effortlessly. We loved his ability to get in and out of breaks and he has the frame, hands, and ability to play at the high D-1 level. Heard has seen Auburn, FSU, and Penn State inquire about him, look for that number to quadruple during Spring ball.

Seth Coleman quietly went about his day, but every time we saw him, he was making a play. He knows how to get open, has plus hands, and a keen understanding of the WR position. Coleman is young physically so he will add weight and get faster.

Sophomore Ryan Jenkins has the tools that D-1 schools are looking for. Long, with speed and quickness, he was the top 2013 WR at the event. He had a few moments of brilliance, but needs to be more consistent. Jenkins will look to make a name for himself across the South as a junior.

Coates won OL MVP Award
Chad Simmons,

Offensive Line

By the end of the day everyone was talking about Haston Coates. The 6'3, 339 Coates simply dominated in the OL drills, 1on1's, and competition. He's got the natural size already and moves extremely well for a big fella. Seemed to be fundamentally sound. After an up and down junior year, he is poised for a break-out senior campaign. Coates battled Shanks all day and more than held his own against one of the nation's best. The sky is the limit for this young man and he seems to want to hear from the two big boys in his state: Alabama and Auburn.

2013 FSU commit Austin Golson had a strong day on his home field. The 6'4, 260 Golson showed his characteristic mean streak and it is obvious that he has been well coached. Technique wise he was fantastic for a young linemen and Golson will be fun to watch develop physically. He can handle the OT position and FSU snagged a great one early.

Arnold's Tanner Crow has the natural size(6'5, 290) that schools look for on the OL. The rising sophomore had some good moments, but needs to work on his mobility and technique. If Crow puts the work in, he could be a high BCS type during the next cycle.

Defensive Line

No surprise here as Prattville's Justin Shanks had a strong afternoon and won the MVP Award. One of the nation's top DTs, it was easy to see why. He just engulfs offensive linemen and pushed them back in the pocket. He's not just big, though, he is explosive as well. While he carries plenty of weight already, he will carry a lot more down the road as he just oozes upside. Shanks seems to be a Alabama/Auburn battle right now.

Another top performer was Dakota Ball. Ball could be an OL or DL at the next level and he shined at both spots Saturday. The Alabama commit is a fighter with sound technique and a terrific work ethic. He's explosive and carries his weight well.

Maurice Swain also possesses a lot of upside. He has terrific natural size and displayed enough athleticism to think that he can be something down the road. He likes to bull rush and needs to add some more moves, but we liked his potential.

Sophomore Jared Holloway has the motor that you can't teach. The two-way stand-out will likely play on the DL in college. He's explosive and understands leverage inside. Holloway was tough to handle 1on1 and just needs to continue filling out physically.

Cavender won LB MVP Award
Chad Simmons,


Logan Cavender won MVP honors here for his strong day in all aspects of the game. Strong on his 6'2 frame, it was his work in drills and the competition aspect that drew the raves from coaches. He figures to be an OLB and should start to draw some attention over the next several months.

Three youngsters also stood out. Tre Williams(2014) has the tools to be one of the best in the country in three years. He's fast, built the right way, and clearly loves the game. He already has offers from FSU and Auburn, look for most of the country to join that list in the future.

Thomasville's Mario Mathis(2013) is a long, lean OLB that can run. He needs weight, but that should be easy as he is built to hold it. We loved the way he moved laterally and he should begin to attract the attention of SEC schools over the next half of year.

Ufomadu Ezekiel(2013) is around 6'2, 215 and was playing mainly in the middle. He is very raw, but his competitiveness and work ethic really stood out. He seemed intent on making himself a better player and the physical tools are clearly there. It would not surprise us if he had a big junior season.

Defensive Back

Laronji Vason kept the Overall MVP and DB Awards at Prattville with a terrific performance. Vason was straight lock-down all afternoon and really has some quality explosiveness. Loved the way he broke on the football. Vason holds a D-1 offer from Arkansas State, but we think that many schools will join them over the next nine months. Vason has good size at 5'10+ and long arms.

Jonathan Jones entered the camp with four BCS offers and it was easy to see why. He is built just about perfect for a CB and has elite speed. It is all about technique for Jones as the physical gifts are clearly evident. Jones is physically strong and he seems to just need some experience and competition to reach his ceiling. Jones had one of the fastest 40 times at the event and that speed could certainly help on special teams as well.


MVP QB Steven Bench

MVP WR Dontavious Heard

MVP OL Haston Coates

Underclassmen MVP Austin Henrick

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