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May 10, 2006

Rutgers NIKE: Sleepers surface in New Jersey

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The NIKE Training Camp held at Rutgers University on Sunday afternoon was more about players emerging than established stars showing their stuff.

The biggest names to make the trip were quiet as Piscataway, New Jersey offensive tackle Anthony Davis didn't participate in one-on-ones, Brooklyn Lincoln wide receiver Lansford Watson only went through a few drills East Meadow, New York offensive lineman John Elliott only measured in.

All three had minor injuries that they didn't want to aggravate.

Of those who did participate, a couple of defensive linemen led the way. Newark (N.J.) Malcolm X. Shabazz defensive end Lamar Middleton was the best defensive lineman on the day, showing excellent quickness off the ball and a long frame.

Unknown defensive tackle Ian Davidson from Alexandria (Va.) St. Stephen's checked in at 6-foot-3 and 275 pounds and reported a 4.75-second 40-yard dash. He didn't participate in one-on-ones, but his footwork in drills and size were impressive. Neither player has an offer as of yet, but are D-1 worthy it seems.

Vorhees (N.J.) Eastern offensive guard Dan Donker was far and away the most impressive amongst his positional group.

He has a strong base, anchors well and shows good technique. Donker is another player without any offers, but that could change soon. Fort Washington (Md.) Friendly offensive/defensive lineman Lawrence Brewer also looked very good and has a good frame to add weight.

The quarterback group was not a packed one as only Paterson (N.J.) John F. Kennedy signal-caller Chris Johnson had a great performance throwing on the day.

Johnson has impressive mobility and showed consistent accuracy and touch. He has an offer from Rutgers but apparently UConn, Syracuse and others are close. Piscataway, New Jersey athlete Tony Logan threw passes in one-on-ones but was clearly a standout in wide receiver drills.

Vorhees (N.J.) Eastern quarterback Andrew Daley is big with a strong arm but needs to improve his mobility.

Running back Devon Ramsay from Lawrenceville (N.J.) Lawrenceville School was physically impressive and could be a power back or fullback for someone, but his future could be at defensive end with his size. Fullback Jourdan Brooks from Germantown (Md.) Seneca Valley is a brick who has a natural frame for his position.

The defensive backs and wide receivers brought out the two super sleepers of the camp.

Piscataway, N.J. wide receiver Terrance Fox proved he's a Division I player. Although he's undersized, he's very quick, cuts quickly and gets separation. When the ball is in the air, he adjusts well to it and has good hands.

If coaches don't know about Hammonton (N.J.) St. Joseph cornerback Markeith LaRoda, they soon will. LaRoda has excellent size, plays physical and has impressive closing speed. He was the most impressive defensive back on the day.

Manasquan, New Jersey linebacker Mike Mele showed why he recently received a Syracuse offer and why others should be coming soon. Although undersized, Mele is very quick and good in coverage.

Newark (N.J.) Weequahic linebacker Amara Kamara looks the part of a D1A player and ran a 4.58-second 40-yard dash and a 4.44-second shuttle, but he's still a bit raw. However, his athletic ability is unquestioned. Linebacker Billy Dokouslis from Manalapan, New Jersey was arguably the most impressive 'backer on the day.

The fastest player at the camp was Xavier Martin from Xaverian, New York.

Martin, a running back, ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash. The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder rushed for 1,476 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior. Martin played against solid competition like Moore Catholic, Christ the King and Holy Cross last season.

A few other names of note at the camp included Lawrenceville (N.J.) Lawrenceville School linebacker Terry Thomas who looked solid, defensive back/running back Tyrone Grant from Brooklyn (N.Y.) Poly Prep, Valley Stream (N.Y.) Valley Stream Central athlete Terrence Shaw and diminutive Owusu Anane from Brooklyn (N.Y.) Boys and Girls who had a 39.5-inch vertical leap.

While he didn't participate, Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph's Regional athlete Robert Cervini was on hand, fresh of an impressive performance at the Elite College Combine. Cervini said he's getting a lot more attention after his 4.03-second shuttle and excellent work in one-on-ones as a defensive back.

Rivals100 members Arrelious Benn from Washington (D.C.) Dunbar and Evan Rodriguez from North Bergen, N.J. didn't make the trip.

For complete coverage of the NIKE Training Camps, log on to StudentSportsFootball.com.


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