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May 2, 2006

Prospects emerge in Athens

Saturday was a time to shine for many of the Southeast's top prospects.

The 2006 Athens NIKE Camp featured multiple breakout performances from players who were perhaps flying under the radar a bit before.

One prospect who made a big step forward was Lynn Haven (Fla.) Mosley running back Enrique Davis. A review of Davis' film shows that he has tremendous vision and a smooth elusiveness when carrying the football. The only question many had surrounding his game was his pure speed.

Well, Saturday Davis proved he was plenty fast enough by turning in a scorching 4.39-second time in the 40-yard dash. He also showed off his athleticism with a solid time (4.3) in the shuttle and a 35.9-inch vertical leap.

His showing Saturday solidified a spot among the elite running back prospects in the state of Florida for the class of 2007. In fact, his size (5 feet 11, 212 pounds) gives him an advantage ahead of some other in-state prospects at his position.

"It went real well out there today," Davis said. "The talent level was real good. Everyone was real enthusiastic and getting hyped. There were a lot of good prospects out here."

Auburn, which knows a thing or two about evaluating talent at the running back position, Ole Miss, UCF, Kentucky and Maryland are among the early scholarship offers for Davis.

"I'm looking at Auburn and Florida real hard," Davis said. "But I'm also open to other schools like Alabama, Florida State and Miami (Fla.)."

Smith shows off

Knoxville (Tenn.) Catholic athlete Harrison Smith had the highest shuttle time at the camp (3.94) and the second-fastest 40 (4.38). The 6-foot-1.5, 201-pounder was also impressive in one-on-one drills and showed why he's one of Tennessee's top prospects for the class of 2007.

Smith could play a number of positions, including running back, wide receiver and safety, but most likely is a safety in college. His testing times on Saturday certainly showed he has the athletic ability to do so.

Bluegrass star emerges

Pineville (Ky.) Bell County jumbo athlete Brent Slusher worked out at tight end on Saturday and the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder looked smooth and fast in drills.

Slusher also tested well. He posted a 4.06 shuttle time and a 36.9 vertical jump.

Slusher currently has scholarship offers from Auburn, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. Clemson, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina and Tennessee also are showing strong interest.

The best of 2008?

Class of 2008 wide receiver A.J. Green of Summerville (S.C.) may have been the best overall prospect at the camp. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder made several acrobatic catches in one-on-one drills and displayed quick feet, explosiveness off the line and good hands.

Green also revealed one team that has a large early lead for his services-the Georgia Bulldogs. He grew up a Georgia fan and said it was his dream to play for the Dawgs and a very early commitment from UGA is not out of the question.

"The only school I am considering right now is Georgia," Green told Rivals.com following the event.

While his high school graduation is more than two years away, credit Mark Richt and staff with building and early lead for this rising star from the Palmetto State.

Big gun from Tampa

Tampa (Fla.) Plant quarterback Robert Marve had the best arm among the quarterbacks. He throws a nice ball that receivers can catch with enough zip to where defensive backs can't knock it down.

Marve holds an early offer from Kansas, but should see interest pick up in his services during the coming weeks.

In Houston, we have a player

Statesboro (Ga.) defensive lineman Justin Houston showed good quickness during the one-on-one drills and was one of the best defensive linemen at the camp. That backed up what he shows on film, that he's a very active, quick, knifing defensive end prospect that can get to the ball carrier or quarterback in a hurry.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder must have impressed more than just the multiple onlookers at the event. He, along with his teammate, safety John Knox received a scholarship offer from Georgia on Monday.

Houston has the Dawgs in his top four, along with Georgia Tech, Florida and Auburn.

Barnes is big time

Just like his high school teammate, North Carolina signee Hakeem Nicks in the class of 2006, Charlotte (N.C.) Independence wide receiver Jason Barnes is a big-time talent flying under-the-radar in the class of 2007.

Barnes claimed a 4.45-second 40-yard dash and a 4.37-second shuttle. He also showed good hands and explosiveness in the receiver drills and made his share of plays in the one-on-ones. Barnes was under the watchful eye of several college assistants while he worked out and there is a good chance his recruitment could gain a lot of momentum in the coming weeks.

Jones could emerge as a sleeper

Fred Jones of Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek looks the part of a big-time defensive end prospects. He has long arms and a frame than can easily add weight to his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame.

While he wasn't as impressive as Houston in the one-on-one drills, he moves well and could see his stock rise in the coming weeks. He currently holds an offer from Indiana.

Figgins a beast at tight end

Columbus (Ga.) Shaw tight end Bruce Figgins only confirmed what multiple coaching staffs from around the Southeast already knew, that he is a big-time tight end prospect.

Figgins displayed smooth route running skills and good hands in the receiving drills, which showed why he likely will emerge as a threat in the passing game for whichever college program signs him.

The 6-foot-4, 246-pounder ran a sub-4.8 40 and likely has even more playing speed.

Figgins has a top four of Georgia, Auburn, Clemson and Florida State.

This, that and the other

Rivals.com Junior All-American athlete Eric Berry ran a camp-best 4.33 40-yard dash with a cast on one of his arms. …Pre-evaluation Rivals100 wide receiver John Keye has the frame to play tight end at the next level if he so chooses. … Blythewood (S.C.) linebacker Charles White picked up a scholarship offer from Georgia shortly after the camp. White is a tremendous athlete with big-time upside. … Offensive linemen Martrell Winfrey of Thomson (Ga.) and C.J. Wood of Gainesville (Ga.) are two prospects who could see increased attention in the coming months. Both looked the part of Division I-A offensive linemen. … Charlotte (N.C.) North Mecklenburg athlete Daryl Vereen has early scholarship offers from Duke and South Carolina and showed why those two programs have jumped on board this early. …Keep an eye out for Tampa (Fla.) Freedom lineman Matt Patchan for the class of 2008. He is a physically impressive prospect that more than held his own in the one-on-one drills as a defensive lineman. Patchan already is getting a load of attention from major colleges and should be among the more heavily-recruited prospects in the Sunshine State next cycle.

Visit StudentSportsFootball.com for more exclusive coverage of the 2006 NIKE Camp Tour.



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