Note: We hope you enjoy this free story on StudentSportsFootball.com. Student Sports produces the NIKE Camps, NIKE Combines, Elite 11 Quarterback events and coverage of these elite events plus top recruiting coverage will be part of our premium coverage all spring and summer. If you haven't subscribed to StudentSportsFootball.com until now, this is a perfect time to start!
The first batch of NIKE Camp registration information has been mailed out to prospects all over the country and already many are beginning to return their forms and confirm their spots for one of the 12 NIKE Camps across the country. Today the Junior to Watch Blog returns to take a look at some of the early returnees...
*The Class of 2008 looks strong in Missouri and one player that will be at the top of anybody's Show Me State list is 6-6, 233 pound TE Andrew Jones out of Smithville. An athletic pass-catcher who also stands out on the basketball court, Jones was an all-state selection this past fall after catching 53 passes for 618 yards and six touchdowns while also contributing 45 tackles, eight sacks and an interception at defensive end. His soft hands and athleticism have led to nine scholarship offers already, from Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Purdue, Wisconsin, Clermson, Colorado and Vanderbilt. Currently Jones lists his top five as Oklahoma, Mizzou, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Clemson. He carries a 3.0 GPA and looks forward to showcasing his skills at the June 1st NIKE Camp in Columbia.
*One of the top underclass defensive tackles seen all last year on the NIKE Camp tour was 6-3, 278 pound Reggie Ellis out of Washington (D.C.) Dunbar, so it's no surprise that Ellis is one of the first to confirm his spot at the 2007 NIKE Camp in State College so he can do it all over again. Ellis impressed last year with a 5.09 40 and also held his own in drills versus top Class of 2007 OL prospects like Gino Gradkowski and Dan Matha. Ellis had a solid junior season this fall, registering 50 tackles and four sacks despite constant double teams, and has early offers from Illinois, Virginia and Maryland already. Florida and Penn State join that trio in Ellis' early top five and he'll be shooting for NIKE Camp All-American honors with another strong showing in State College this fall.
*6-4, 295 pound Kentrell Davis out of Newberry (S.C.) is already beginning to emerge as one of the Palmetto State's top prospects, and for good reason. Davis is an extremely athletic prospect at the defensive tackle position, with bests of 4.9 in the 40 and a 30-inch vertical jump. The big fellow is already receiving mail from all of the SEC and ACC plus Michigan and Michigan State and has two early offers from instate schools Clemson and South Carolina. Davis lists the Gamecocks No. 1 and Tigers No. 2 currently, followed by Georgia, Florida and Virginia. Already a projected academic qualifier with a 3.0 GPA and 890 SAT, Davis will compete and learn with other top prospects in the South at the April 21st NIKE Camp in Athens.
*Another standout with an early offer who has already confirmed he'll be in Athens on the 21st is Roswell (Ga.) safety Garrett Embry. Embry, a 6-2, 205 pounder who showed well at the recent Atlanta NIKE Combine with a 68.55 SPARQ Rating, recently picked up a scholarship offer from Central Florida. Embry is also getting mail currently from most of the SEC plus Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana, Clemson and Arizona State, and lists his early top five as Auburn, Alabama, FSU, Florida and Georgia Tech. Embry had 30 tackles and three interceptions as a junior while also catching 15 balls for 300 yards and four scores as a receiver on the offensive side of the ball.
*Oak Park (Ill.) Walther Lutheran RB Dan Green first appeared on Student Sports' radar almost a year ago, when the 5-10, 185 pounder turned in one of the top performances at the 2006 Chicago NIKE Combine, clocking a 4.77 40 and a combine-best 3.93 shuttle. Fast forward to present-day and Green looks to be one of the state's top RB recruits in the Class of 2008 after rushing for 1,300 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. Green recently picked up his first offer from Cincinnati and lists the Bearcats as his early leader followed by Iowa, Illinois, Auburn and Vanderbilt. Green is also getting mail from the likes of Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Minnesota and others, and he'll showcase his ability on May 5th at the NIKE Camp in West Lafayette.
*One of the top quarterbacks Student Sports has evaluated on tape so far in the Southeast is 6-5, 200 pound Braden Hanson out of Charlotte (N.C.) Latin. Hanson is a smooth left-hander with above average arm strength and a great pocket presence. Last year he led Latin to a state title and earned all-region and all-metro honors, hitting 172 of 245 passes for 2,682 yards and 39 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. Hanson is still waiting on his first offer and currently lists schools like North Carolina, Auburn, NC State, Alabama and Kentucky in his first group. Hanson will attend the April 21st NIKE Camp in Athens.
*Quick-Hitters: Artesia (N.M.) QB Landry Jones, a 6-5, 210 pounder who figures to be the top QB to come out of New Mexico in, maybe ever, has picked up an offer from UCLA. Jones now holds seven offers, most notably from the Bruins, Colorado, Oregon, Arizona and Virginia... 6-2, 180 WR/DB Vaughn Carraway of Laureldale (Pa.) Muhlenberg has received his first two scholarship offers, from Michigan and UConn...
If you are a coach or parent that would like to get a top junior involved with the NIKE Camps, NIKE Combines or Elite 11 Quarterback events, or featured on the Junior to Watch Blog, email Brian Stumpf if you are located in the Eastern or Central part of the country ([email protected]) or Greg Biggins ([email protected]) if you are in the West.