There were approximately 200 kids on-hand who brought their A Games and were anxious to compete. Amongst the on-lookers were a few alumni of the showcase including Michael Huff, Elijah Grant, Justin Brown and Carlo Calabrese. SOR was there to bring you the action as well.
A few names that you are used to hearing such as Christon Gill, Jesse Raymond, Bennet Jackson and Terrence Casper strapped on the cleats and maintained their reputations as terrific potential talents. Kevin Haplea and Shakim Phillips also took in the event from the sidelines and witnessed some of the other terrific prospects that the Northeast has to offer.
The offense was represented in full force and at times was too much for the defense to handle. Wide receivers clearly dominated the event by showcasing the ability to consistently catch the football. I can probably count the number of dropped passes I witnessed on one hand. In addition, talented young running backs, quarterbacks, o-linemen and tight ends were also in attendence. Lets take a closer look at the top offensive performers at the Big Time Showcase.
Jr. QB Ricardo Young (6’1 185) of HD Woodson (DC) stole the show. His pinpoint accuracy has been well- documented and it continued throughout the day. He repeatedly hit receiver after receiver en route to being awarded Quarterback MVP and the event’s overall Elite Performer. Young committed to Virginia Tech at the event.
Aaron Aiken is a name that you probably never heard of, but you should probably get used to hearing it. This 6’5 205lb Jr. QB recently transferred from Morristown to the Lawrenceville School (NJ). Transferring to a new school in the middle of a scholastic football career can often cause one to become lost in the shuffle… but not Aaron. He has a huge arm and a good amount of accuracy to go along with it. He stands tall in the pocket and delivers a decisive ball down the field. There was one play during the 7-on-7 format where he dropped a ball into the corner of the end zone from about 50 yards out. It was one of the prettiest plays of the day.
Jr. RB Tamir Turpin of East Orange (NJ) is a diamond in the rough. Being that the East Orange offense was centered around QB Quadir Pendleton in 2008, Turpin didn’t receive much of an opportunity to display his skills. That might not necessarily be the case this upcoming season. Turpin is now in terrific shape and stands at a lean 6’2 220lbs. He consistently displayed the ability to catch passes through tight coverage and create yardage after the catch. This kid is special and definitely a first-tier FBS feature back that no one has heard of.
Jr. All-Purpose Back Avery Williams (6’0 170) displayed vast versatility as well in being able to catch passes and display tremendous quickness. Though on the smaller side, he knows how to open up to the QB giving him a good target to throw to. Avery has good hips and quick turnover in his legs which are key attributes for a running back. Williams was one of the three players from Calvin Cooolidge H.S. (DC) to stand out at the event.
Joshua Ford (6’3 195), also of Calvin Coolidge H.S. (DC), stood out as having the best day at WR. He started off the day by running a 4.4 forty yard dash and ended it by displaying his terrific skill set at WR. Joshua continuously turned heads by making circus catches and blowing by defenders. Honestly, he made more than a few DBs appear to have their feet stuck in cement. Ford creates sepereation better than most any WR that I have seen in person. His hands are impeccable as well as his get-off and ability to track the football through the air. Joshua, deservedly, took home WR MVP honors. For whatever reason, he has no offers.
Jr. WR. Eric Williams (6’3 195) of Pennsbury (PA) continued to impress. I love the way he displays confidence and can also catch the football at its highest point. His frame and athletic capacity were unmatched by everyone at the event, other than Ford. Eric displayed the ability to run like a deer, maintaining his forty time in the 4.5 range. At these early stages, Eric is already well-put-together and has the strength to get off press coverage. He recently picked up an offer from Akron.
Athletic Jr. WR Martize Barr (5’11 185), the final of the 3 Calvin Coolidge standouts, showed why many people consider him the best WR in DC, with his biggest competition coming from his own teammate, Joshua Ford. Barr has what it takes to play either in the slot or corner. I could even see him in the RB/slot hybrid role. He brings great return ability along with the skills to break a game wide open with his awesome foot speed , good hips and tremendous field vision.
JR. TE Tyler Johnson from Lakeland (NJ) is a very fluent pass-catching big man. Standing 6’6 220lbs he runs with long strides and even showed the skills to create separation from the many linebackers who attempted to cover him. Tyler also showcased mits soft enough to pet a newborn babies head. He is an up-and –coming prospect and should be able to succeed at a program looking for an athletic, good route running TE whose strength is catching the football. I don’t think he will have trouble finding a home.
Jr. OT Frank Quartucci of Hamilton West (NJ) showed the ability to set properly, pull his shoulders back and move his feet with the best of them. The 6’4 295lb technician routinely lined up at the left tackle position and rode defenders out of position to make plays on the quarterback. He was dominant throughout most the day. During 1-on-1’s, the only opposing player to give him trouble was T.J. Clemmings, but that is nothing to be ashamed of being that Clemmings gives everybody trouble. Those 2 battled it out, creating one of the better lineman match-ups throughout the day. Frank took the OL MVP Award.
Our final top offensive performer of the day was Jr. OL Michael Pearson of Ballou (DC). The 6’3 295lb guard has terrific feet and gets good leverage at the point of attack. He also has the ability to stay active with his hands and is a knee bender as opposed to a waist bender. He participated in the best 1-on-1 match-up of the day against Chris Woods of East Orange (NJ). The 2 players battled each other repeatedly throughout the day drawing an accumulative amount of oohs and ahs. It was a classic performance which respectively earned Michael the award for Breakout Player in camp and Chris, the Defensive Line MVP.
Other notable players who performed well but fell just short of my top 10 are Terrence Casper (Camden Catholic), Jawaun Wynn (Piscataway), Kai Dominguez (St. Joes Montvale), Bennet Jackson (Raritan), George Stephens (Asbury Park), Joe Brennan (Camden Catholic), Jamaal Jackson (Hodgson Vo-Tech.), Corey Reeder (Pemberton) and Jashon Dawson (Patterson Catholic). Unfortunately bruiser back Ransford Quarrie was unable to perform beyond the forty yard dash due to a pulled hamstring. Tomorrow, we will follow up with the defensive performers. Stay tuned.