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April 12, 2005

Miami Nike Camp: Notebook

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GatorBait.net was at the recent Miami Nike Camp to check out some of the top in-state prospects first hand. Here are some observations from the camp including a look at the MVP, a marquee match-up, some news and notes and the top ten overall prospects.

Star of the Show
The top player in the camp just happened to be the first prospect to take an unofficial visit to the Gators over spring ball. Tampa (Fla.) Hillsborough quarterback Jarred Fayson was at the very first practice on March 16th. According to him it was the only visit he made over the spring and he plans to come back in the summer to camp with the Gators. He will also camp at Miami and Duke.

Fayson was the No. 34 rated player in the state on the FlaVarsity.com pre-evaluation list, but you can expect that ranking to go up significantly after his performance on Sunday. He ran the second fastest forty (4.32) and walked away with the top overall SPARQ rating in the camp (91).

While he was the top overall athlete, he was however average in the quarterback drills and throwing during the 1-on-1 match-ups. Though he may be one of the top overall athletes in the state this year, there are several quarterbacks who will be rated ahead of him.

Sometimes I question heights and weights, but I stood there while he measured in at 6-foot-0 and 184 pounds using the University of Miami's equipment. And then of course his forty time was measured by laser (the finish line was by laser the start was by hand). Therefore his stats are as legitimate as they come at this level.

I talked to him before and after the drills and he has Florida, Miami, Iowa and Georgia at the top of his list as of Sunday.

Marquee Match-up
During the 1-on-1 drills portion of the camp the coach who was overseeing the linemen announced to everyone that they would want to get their camera's rolling as he called Tampa (Fla.) Jefferson offensive tackle Deron Rose and Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) Boyd Anderson defensive tackle Charles Deas to the center stage during the pass-rush drills. These were the two biggest names at their positions and it looked to be a monumental showdown. It didn't quite live up to it's billing as Rose beat Deas rather handedly.

Sam Young is widely considered the top lineman in the state of Florida this season, and deservedly so, but Rose isn't that far behind him. We told you about his blocking skills last year when he took home the blocking award at the first session of the Gators' summer camp as a junior to be.

Rose was at Florida's Junior Day a few weeks ago and the Gators are firmly in the picture. He is one of the more dominating linemen I have seen at the high school level and he's only going to get better.

News & Notes
While Rose dominated the drills, he did have one big set-back. Immokalee's John Paul came over and went head-to-head with him one time. Though Paul is being recruited mainly as a lineman, he prefers tight end and chose to work out at that position on Sunday. He left the tight end drills and worked with the lineman for a play or two. One play in which he called out Rose. Paul came off high at the snap and hit Rose in the nose, knocking him off balance, driving him back and getting the sack. After the play the offensive coaches were calling foul as Rose was on the ground holding his nose. They all wanted a rematch, Rose included, but Paul had already left to rejoin the tight ends.

After the camp, as he was relaxing in the shade, Paul reiterated what he said in an earlier interview with AMP, that Florida and Auburn are his early leaders.

As I talked about at the top, yes Fayson was the top athlete at the camp, however I thought that Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Boyd Anderson's Herb Bynes was the top quarterback in the drills and throwing the ball. He measured in at 6-foot-3 and a little over 200 pounds. Florida is one of several schools in the early running.

Another Tampa (Fla.) Jefferson prospect to watch out for is tight end Trent Pupello. I was there at his weigh-in where he measured in at a solid 6-foot-3, 245 pounds. He also turned in a sub 4.8 forty time on the day.

St. Lucie (Fla.) Centennial linebacker Chasman Davis physically reminded me of ex-Gator Taurean Charles. He said that the Florida colleges haven't recruited him as hard as some of the out-of-state schools. Georgia recently offered.

Two players to keep an eye on for the future are Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater safety Lorenzo Edwards who measured in at 6-foot-1 , 217 and Hallendale (Fla.) defensive tackle Kevin Bryant. During an AMP interview Edwards talked about being from a family of Gators. Byrant didn't talk favorites, he won't have to for a while seeing as how they are both still in the 10th grade.

You'll start to see some players shrink as the numbers they gave out in interviews are thrown out and the Nike Camp numbers are inserted in the database instead. One example of this is Tampa (Fla.) Hillsborough defensive lineman Leslie Stirrups who will go from 6-foot-4, 305 pounds down to 6-foot-1 , 274 pounds. He did 15 reps of 185-lbs on the bench and recorded a 25-inch vertical jump.

A name to commit to memory is that of St. Augustine (Fla.) athlete Jacques Rickerson. He came in at 5-foot-10, 176-pounds, ran a sub 4.5 forty and looked fluid during the drills.

Cooper City (Fla.) athlete Ricky Neaves was one of the biggest surprises of the camp. There was more than a little shock when he was announced as the third fasted forty time of the day (4.37). After the camp he said that he is hearing from out-of-state schools at this time, that list being headed up by Pittsburgh. According to him the instate colleges haven't shown as much interest yet, but you can expect that to change after the way he performed on Sunday.

Bryant Miller out of Miami (Fla.) Central could play either linebacker or defensive end on the next level. He measured in at 6-foot-3, 233 pounds, but he said he didn't do as well as he had hoped for.

The newest Florida Gator, 5-foot-11, 190 pound Fort Myers (Fla.) Riverdale running back Chevon Walker was impressive physically and ran a good forty time (4.56), but he struggled during the drills. Being new to the position (and football) he was seeing some of the drills for the first time. Where others who have played the position for years looked as though it was second nature to them, Walker on the other hand had trouble at times.

One of his biggest problems was with catching the ball on the pitch. He had several fumbles on the day. On the positive side, he did have better than average explosion and quickness (per a coach working the event) and certainly looks the part. He's a player who it will be interesting to watch to see how he develops over the course of next year.

Walking out of the camp at the end of the day one of my fellow Rivals.com staff members was talking to me about this defensive lineman Paris and how he blew up running the forty and then in drills.

I was dumbfounded because I kept a close eye on the defensive linemen and I never saw him. I drove all the way to Miami and now I miss the talk of the camp. Well I didn't really miss him, I had misidentified him as Parts rather than who he is, Vero Beach (Fla.) Sebastian River defensive end Jamil Paris. Not only does he look the part at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds he was dominate during the testing session with a sub 4.6 forty and the 1-on-1 drills where he had his way with every lineman he went against beating them off the snap to get around them easily.

Top Ten
1. Deron Rose: If Young is the top lineman in the state - Rose is 1B.
2. Jarred Fayson: Great looking athlete who wants to stick at quarterback.
3. John Paul: Why would someone so dominate at line want to play tight end?
4. Jamil Paris: A head-turner and eye-opener.
5. Charles Deas: Quick for a big man.
6. Markeeth Drummer: His 40 time was so-so, but he has unreal quickness off the ball.
7. Brandon Heath: Better at playing the game than he is at testing.
8. Chasman Davis: A physical specimen.
9. Herb Bynes: Great size to go with an above average arm.
10. Burnon Anderson: Has good size, speed and hands.

COMPLETE MIAMI NIKE CAMP COVERAGE:
Chevon Walker Photo Gallery
Walker talks about his decision
Photo Gallery
The best of the best
Postition by position breakdown
AMP Video: Line 1-on-1 battles


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