Ira Denson, who goes by 'juice", came to the Orlando NFTC event as a little known offensive line recruit. From Madison County (Fla.) High School, his only offers were from Western Kentucky and Florida International.
That all changed Sunday.
The 6'4, 320 pound Denson looked decent during drills, but aside from his large body, I was not blown away by his performance. That was, until the 1-on-1s started, as you can see in this video:
These linemen drills might not seem tough to those not versed in this sort of thing, but even the best offensive line recruits rarely win more than half their reps. Not only did Denson win the overwhelming majority of his reps, but he dominated them. Denson knocked the snot out of his opponents with a great initial punch, and then stayed in front of their counter move. The analysts in attendance agreed that Denson's performance was one of the best we had seen at a camp. And it was even more impressive when one considers Denson dominated very, very talented kids. Denson was the easy choice for MVP, despite the presence of the No.1 offensive lineman in the country, Laremy Tunsil.
I caught up with Denson after the camp to get his thoughts.
"I faced some good players today, but I did my best to win, and I accomplished what I came to accomplish," said Denson.
I asked Denson about not being nationally known, and if that motivated him. "Yes sir. I wanted to show everyone."
Denson was impressed with several opposing defensive linemen, most notably Florida's Caleb Brantley, who he whipped in the above video.
Denson has previously visited FIU and enjoyed the experience. He may visit Western Kentucky, but is hoping to hear from four SEC four schools: LSU, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida.
Aside from being some of the most successful programs of the last decade, I asked Denson what attracted him to those schools. "I love how they play. I love how their offensive line plays dominant. And I'm a dominant player. I'm a different guy on the field. Just different," Denson said.
Madison County has long been an FSU stronghold, with several Cowboys including Chris Thompson and Jacobbi McDaniel currently on the 'Noles' roster. I asked Denson about the hometown school. He grew up an FSU fan. "They're my favorite team," said Denson. And he said knew Thompson and McDaniel.
Denson claims a 3.2 GPA and a "16 or 17" on the ACT, but he plans to take it again.
He also plans to work on his game in the offseason. "I need to get my feet quicker," said Denson.
As for any plans coming up aside from spring ball, Denson has none. "I'm going to whatever I get invited to, but I have no plans yet," Denson said.
I have a feeling Denson won't have any problems securing invites from now on.