NUC Orlando Award Winners. Bud Elliott, SB Nation.
The National Underclassmen Five-Star Junior Day brought out some of the top players in the state.
On Saturday, some of the best football recruits in the Sunshine State gathered in the shadow of the Citrus Bowl at Jones High School in Orlando to compete against each other and draw the eye of college scouts. The turnout was surprisingly good, and SB Nation was there to cover the event. Here are the top performers by position.
Kevin Anderson of Boca Ration (Fla.) Community School took home top honors at the quarterback position. Anderson measured in at 6'2" and 204 pounds. His only offer at this point if FCS Illinois State, but he is receiving a lot of interest from FBS schools, including some in the BCS. If Anderson throws in the spring like he did on Saturday when college coaches come to evaluate him in person, he should have a few offers by summer.
The top underclassman quarterback at the camp was Kilton Anderson of Naples (Fla.) High School. Anderson played a few games last season in Naples' split-backs veer offense. He has good size at 6'2" and 188 pounds. Anderson also shows good athleticism. He made a few nice throws on Saturday, but was a bit erratic. Surprising winds seemed to bother the quarterbacks on Saturday.
The top running back at the event was Jacky Marcellus of Immokalee (Fla.) High School. Marcellus is 5'9" and 170 pounds. Marcellus doesn't have elite long speed, but his change of direction, agility and quickness are excellent. He caught the ball very well on Saturday, too, which is needed for a back of his size. Marcellus really likes Florida State, but is also interested in "West Virginia and all of the spread offenses." Choosing the right system will go a long way in determining Marcellus' success at the next level.
Eli Turene of Locahatchee (Fla.) Seminole Ridge has an impressive build at 6' and 200 pounds with long arms. Turene does not currently hold any offers. He showed off good speed on Saturday, and while his change of direction isn't anything to write home about, offers should come soon once coaches have a chance to evaluate him this Spring. A padless camp is not really the setting for a running back to show off his power.
Robert Davis of Carrollwood Day School was also impressive on Saturday. Be sure to check out this full-length feature on Davis.
JoJo Kemp of Deland (Fla.) High was one of the better backs on Saturday. Davis looks like a runner with good power on his film, but wasn't able to show that on Saturday because of the padless setting. He did have a nice catch in 1-on-1s and showed good athleticism. Kemp currently holds six offers, and is a strong lean to USF.
Perhaps the most impressive prospect on the day, because of his age, was Orlando (Fla.) Timber Creek "running back" Jacques Patrick. I use quotation marks because Patrick is in the class of 2015, meaning he was born in 1997. And at 6'2" and 200 pounds, it's extremely unlikely that he remains at running back as he grows.
The top wide receiver at the event was Dominic Walker of Orlando (Fla.) Evans High School. Walker stood out physically, and has excellent size and strength. At 6'2" and 190 pounds, he is difficult for opposing defensive backs to jam at the line, and should continue to impress.
The top tight end at the event was clear -- A.J. Sattinger. Sattinger plays for Clearwater (Fla.) Countryside High School, and came in at 6'3" and 225 pounds. He routinely got open against smaller defensive backs, taking home the tight end MVP almost by default.
Jordi Dalmau of Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep took home MVP honors for the offensive line category. Dalmau came in at 6'1.5" and 291 pounds, and he'll need to play inside at the next level. He has a wide body and should be able to hold 300+ pounds in college once he cleans up his frame a bit. Dalmau showed good feet, competed well and was impressive in 1-on-1s. He doesn't hold any FBS offers at this time, and is considering the Ivy League schools. Dalmau would like a Miami offer, as it is his hometown school and both parents are alumni.
Shawn Curtis or Orlando (Fla.) Olympia was the most well-known offensive lineman at the camp, and also showed well. Curtis was badly beaten while playing right tackle, but when he moved over to his familiar left side, he showed the skills that make him a highly-touted prospect. Curtis holds an offer from USF.
Another Gulliver Prep offensive lineman, Grant Siegel, also intrigued on Saturday. Siegel is a tackle prospect at 6'3" and 275 pounds. He just finished his first season of football, and it shows as he is quite raw. But his background in basketball also shows, as Siegel displayed good balance and footwork. He doesn't currently hold any FBS offers, but it is very early in the recruiting process and I expect that to change.
Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep was dominant on Saturday, as defensive end Stacy Thomas took home the defensive line MVP honors. Thomas came in at 6'1" and 233 pounds. He's a good pass rusher, using his speed and quickness off the edge. His position at the next level, however, is uncertain. The top BCS schools are unlikely to offer a 6'1" defensive end, and I'm not sure he can change direction to play outside linebacker. Middle linebacker could be an option if a late growth spurt doesn't come.
Another very impressive defensive end was 2014 Orlando (Fla.) Jones High School prospect Kendrick Hair. Physically, Hair was unparalleled on Saturday, coming in at 6'5" and 272 pounds. Hair is an ideal strong-side defensive end prospect. He's still very much growing into his body, but still performed well on Saturday. Hair plans to visit Florida, Florida State, Miami and Clemson at some point. He holds a 3.2 GPA and will take the ACT in April.
Devyn Salmon of Plant City (Fla.) is a bit of a tweener at 6'2" and 277 pounds. His frame is not incredibly wide, so he'll likely have to play three-technique at the next level. Playing defensive end in a 3-4 defense is also not out of the question. Salmon showed good quickness on Saturday, but must to a better job setting up his pass rush moves.
Another top 2014 defensive tackle prospect was Khairi Clark of Chaminade College Prep. Clark was an impressive 6'2" and 305 pounds, though he did have some bad weight. Clark is the cousin of Maryland defensive end Isiah Ross. When Clark played with good leverage, he physically overwhelmed his competition. He is an excellent prospect.
Not only was Anthony Walker Jr. the best linebacker on the field Saturday, he also took home the honor of overall MVP. The star for Miami Pace High School came in at 6'1" and 204 pounds. He is being looked at as a strong safety and a linebacker. Purdue has already offered, and with a 4.6 GPA and a 24 on his ACT, Walker's stock will only continue to rise. Walker was impressive in coverage against most of the running backs he faced on Saturday. USF, UCF, FSU and West Virginia are all showing varying degrees of interest. Walker Jr. will be at the NFTC in Miami and SB Nation will be there to see him compete against some of the top talent in South Florida.
Because Walker Jr. took home the overall MVP, the MVP for the linebacker group was given to Evan Harvey. And that's no slight on Harvey, because the Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) William T. Dwyer High School product had an excellent day. Harvey is 6'1" and said he weighed in at 210 pounds. He did not start for Dwyer last season, but instead shared time on a loaded roster. Harvey doesn't have any offers yet, but that is definitely going to change, as he played very well on Saturday, covering some of the shiftier players in the state. Talking to Harvey and watching him play, you can tell he simply loves to play football. He was quite unhappy that camp directors wouldn't let him have one final rep in 1-on-1s against Jacky Marcellus.
Blake McClain of Winter Park (Fla.) High School took home well-deserved MVP honors in the defensive back category. The 5'11", 191 pound McClain has a long frame and showed impressive change of direction and closing ability. Here's McClain diving to break up a pass (incomplete).