One of the biggest combine/camp events of the
season was held last month in Richmond. Many of the top prospects from
around the mid-Atlantic region gathered for the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcase. The VirginiaPreps.com / Rivals.com
staff provided extensive coverage of the event. In case you missed any of
the features published to-date, we have provided a recap below.
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MVPS: Read about the top performers from the Commonwealth including J.C.
Coleman. While some may knock the Tigers prospect for his lack of
traditional college-sized height, the Class of 2012 prospect has collected the
MVP award for running backs at every single combine that he has attended this
year including this stacked event where the field of backs included expected
scholarship athletes Jocorey Robins (Churchland), Taquan Mizzell (Bayside),
Chavelle Atkins (Norcom), Kavon Bellamy (Hampton), and Derrick Green
every prospect in attendance came with D-I offers or a glitzy resume'.
Several of those unheralded "sleepers" left with a confidence that they could
compete with the best prospects in the class and should be receiving more
attention from college recruiters in the coming days and months. One of
those was wide receiver Charley Meyer from Benedictine. Rival's
Mike Farrell wrote the following about the 6-foot-2 205 pound Meyer, "But
he can catch the ball and is very strong. He's explosive in his route running,
has strong hands that latch on the ball with ease and can outmuscle defenders in
traffic. Meyer has the look of a solid MAC receiver who could put up big numbers
at the next level given the chance. He's a hard worker and will be an
overachiever in college." Find out more about the top sleepers in
Combine Numbers: Over 150 of the top prospects in the mid-Atlantic
region, many of which are from Virginia, gathered for the Rivals.com/VTO Sports
Elite 100 showcase where participants completed a combine testing cycle of a
40-yard dash, 5-10-5 shuttle, vertical jump and bench press with 185 pounds.
Breaking down the testing numbers for the combine helps show overall athletic
potential and some of the top names in the state of Virginia showed up in a big
way. They say that the numbers don't lie, and Briar Wood's defensive
back / wide receiver Alex Carter posted results that backed up his rise
up the prospect charts!
the Camp: A number of the top
prospects used the event to reinforce their top ranking. That was
certainly true about Clover Hill standout Joel Caleb, who many view as the
Commonwealth's top Class of 2012 prospect. Farrell wrote about Caleb's
performance: "A big receiver at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Caleb won his
battles by using his size, strength and deceptive speed. He shields defenders
like a tight end and uses his body very well, but he can also turn on the speed
upfield to gain separation. He could play receiver or defensive back at the next
level or even grow into a linebacker or an h-back. Despite playing quarterback
in high school, Caleb showed very good hands and the ability to adjust to the
A number of the state's top signal callers were in attendance, but only three
made the 'cut' to be listed as the 'best of the best' for the day. Rod
Johnson wrote the following about Mac Graham from Kettle Run High School: Graham
has a chance to be the leader on one of the state's more explosive offensive
units on the field in 2011. In only their fourth year in existence, the Cougars
have a solid chance of posting the first winning season in school history as
they finished 4-6 last year with two of their six losses by a total of six
points. Graham has a solid arm, decent size and the ability to get the ball to
playmakers in space in a hurry which will challenge opposing defenses.
Backs: The running back position at the high school level has always
been a glory spot as the go-to guy on most offenses lines up behind the
quarterback and gets anywhere from 20 to 25 touches per game and, if the recent
Rivals.com/VTO Elite 100 Showcase is any indication, this Fall will feature a
number of big-time players getting the lion's share of opportunities to stand
out for their respective programs. Hermitage's Derrick Green was one of
those that stood out in our evaluator's eyes. Johnson wrote "Green is
capable of running by or over defenders on every run. Additionally, his
shiftiness enables him to change directions on a dime. Upon first glance, one
would expect him to be working out with the linemen or maybe the linebackers
because of his build, yet Green hangs with even the most agile and nimble
backs. To say he'll be a nice player for the AAA Division 6 state runner-up
Panthers might be an understatement; he's a potential national recruit."
Receivers and Tight-Ends:
With the proliferation of the spread offense in the high school game these days,
the wide receiver position has shifted from a player needed only in
third-and-long situations to a spot where many teams will play their most
explosive and dangerous players. One prospect from this group that saw his
stock rise significantly was William Monroe tight-end Zach Duprey. Johnson
commented: "A high school tight end likely projected to play a hybrid type role
at the college level, Duprey's hands were as good as any player's at the combine
catching everything thrown his way. With a solid frame, exceptional work ethic
and ability to shed at the line and beat backers over the top, Duprey will be a
solid fit in someone's system."
Linemen: Quality offensive lineman
are always in demand, and evaluators had their eyes on a number of promising
"big-men" at the Virginia VTO event. Perhaps overshadowed previously by
teammate Win Homer, Christchurch's Will Smith used the day as a "coming out
party." Johnson wrote "Simply
put, no offensive lineman had a better day than the private school prospect who
entered the Rivals.com/VTO event a bit under the radar but certainly left with
his name on everyone's mind as he captured the MVP event and will likely see his
recruitment blow up over the course of the summer" Defense Defensive
strong group of defensive backs were led by some established stars and some
impressive up-and-comers sure to be on college radar screens soon. Additionally,
while the rising senior class accounted well for themselves, we may have gotten
a glimpse at the top of what could be a very special class next season.
One of those youngsters (Class of 2013) standouts was Grafton's Marcus Spearman.
Johnson wrote "At this point,
he still may be somewhat of an unknown across the state, but that will change in
due time. This Clippers defensive back plays with intensity, a high football
IQ, has good backpedal and is strong and fearless. In short, he's the real
defensive line group was quite possibly the deepest pool of talent at the event
with several of the participants holding major BCS offers and many others on the
recruiting radar of Division I programs both this season and in the near future.
One that caught the eye of Rod Johnson was Lake Braddock rising junior (Class of
2013) Dean Doe. "The
rising junior has a solid frame for the defensive line position, is quick off
the ball and could be the spotlight player in Lake Braddock's defensive front
for the next two seasons. Doe is a solid rising junior prospect who is
set up for a breakout season this Fall moving him up recruiting boards for the
Class of 2013.
Thomas Dale junior (Class of 2013) standout Aaron Green had a big day. Johnson
wrote: High school fans will remember his older brother Airek who earned the
State Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2009 and, with continued
development, the rising junior could find himself on some award lists as well.
A fluid athlete who runs extremely well and has an explosive nature, the Knights
should enjoy his next two seasons as weight room work will escalate him from
all-district to all-state levels and maybe higher.