New Jersey NFTC Recap


Following an Elite 11 Regional Camp on Friday night in Ashburn, Va., and a Nike Football Training Camp at Centreville High School in Clifton, Va., on Saturday, the event moved north along I-95 to New Jersey for Sunday’s New Jersey Nike Football Training Camp.

Here’s a look at standouts from Sunday’s NFTC, including 7 invited to attend The Opening this summer as well as those receiving MVP positional honors …

The Opening 2014 Invites

DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (St. Peter’s Prep, N.J.)
Fitzpatrick is no stranger to Nike World Headquarters, and The Opening Alum earned a second straight trip after dominating wide receivers with increased strength, speed and football intelligence.  The nation’s No. 4 corner and No. 31 overall prospect according to 247 Sports, Alabama is getting a no-doubt star in Fitzpatrick.

DB John Reid (St. Joseph’s, Pa.)
The DB MVP showed off top-end technique to go with natural foot speed and the ability to go get the ball.  Reid emerged from the NJ NFTC’s top position group to take home MVP hardware and a ticket to Oregon.  Reid is considered the nation’s No. 9 corner and No 103 overall prospect in the 247 Sports Composite Rankings and has offers ranging from Alabama to Penn State.

WR Lawrence Cager

WR Lawrence Cager

QB Brandon Wimbush (St. Peter’s Prep, N.J.)
After a strong performance at the DC Elite 11 Regional on Friday, Wimbush showed he’d learned from Friday and came out firing at the NJ NFTC.  With unmatched arm strength, Wimbush ran a stellar 4.71 40 and along with QB MVP honors, took home a ticket to the Elite 11 Finals at The Opening. Wimbush is considered the No. 5 dual-threat QB and No. 159 overall prospect in the 247 Sports Composite Rankings.

WR Juwan Johnson (Glassboro, N.J.)
Johnson led the way on a strong day for Penn State verbal commits.  The long 6-5 receiver took CB’s to task all day and went up to make some pretty spectacular catches at the Atlantic Health NY Jet’s Practice facility that might remind some of former Jets’ WR Keyshawn Johnson.  Johnson had offers from all over before committing to Penn State, and is considered the country’s No. 12 receiver (No. 116 overall) in the 247 Sports Composite Rankings.

WR Lawrence Cager (Calvert Hall, Md.)
Cager may have improved his stock as much as anyone on Sunday.  A three-star recruit, Cager missed most of last season with a concussion, but showed off elite skills to go with a 6-5 frame that gave some of the nation’s top defensive backs fits.  Despite his injuries, Cagers has received offers from Rutgers, Wake Forest and Oregon State.  That offer list should be increasing shortly.

OL Tommy Hatton (St. Joseph Regional, N.J.)
Hatton came out to the NJ NFTC looking to prove he was underrated, and did just that.  With most schools recruiting his at center,  Hatton slid down and looked like a natural at the position.  A consummate competitor, Hatton took rep after rep and was untouched until he split with 2016 blue-chipper and DL MVP Rashan Gary in the Final 5 competition. 247 Sports has him as a four-star prospect and the No. 12 guard prospect in the country.  Hatton will man the middle at center at The Opening.

TE Chris Clark (Avon Old Farms, Conn.)
Clark became tight-end No. 2 for The Opening with a dominant performance on Sunday.  At 6-6, 248 pounds Clark can put his hand off the dirt and be an effective blocker, but is athletic enough to line up at the slot and make plays downfield. Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame are all in the mix for 247 Sports No. 4 tight-end.

Position Group MVPs

QB Brandon Wimbush (St. Peter’s Prep, N.J.)
Noone can get the ball down the field more effectively than Wimbush

QB Brandon Wimbush

QB Brandon Wimbush

RB– Saquon Barkley (Whitehall, Pa.)
The Nittany Lions’ are getting a big back (6-0, 205) with elite change of direction.

WR– Jarey Elder (Parkland, Pa.)
Elder, who beat out two Opening invites for MVP honors, showed off an elite ability to get off the press, unique body control and caught everything thrown his way.

OL Tommy Hatton (St. Joseph Regional, N.J.)
Hatton was the unanimous choice for MVP.  He was a step above the competition on Sunday.

DL– Rashan Gary (2016) (Scotch-Plains Fanwood, N.J)
Gary may have been the most talented prospect in attendance.  At 6-4, 290 pounds he ran a 4.94 40 and 4.56 shuttle.  He then went unbeaten during 1on1’s.  What impressed the most was the future 5-star’s coachability and work ethic.  Those are the traits that turn talent into production.

LB– Deonte Roberts (Erasmus Hall, N.Y)
The New York product was considered an athlete, but might have found a home at linebacker after a strong performance on Sunday.

DB John Reid (St. Joseph’s, Pa.)
Reid and Fitzpatrick both rose to the occasion, but Reid took home MVP honors on this day.

SPARQ – Sharrieff Grice (Kingswood-Oxford, Conn.)
Grice laid down a 115.44 SPARQ Rating, anchored by a 4.64 40, 4.13 shuttle, 37.5 power ball and a 37.1 inch vertical jump.

Check back all week long for stories, pictures, and video of the N.Y. NFTC from all over the web. Follow @TheOpening2014 and @StudentSports1 for your social updates.

Updated: April 27, 2014

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