Columbus NFTC All-Camp Team
Just about 250 of the Midwest‘s top high school players gathered for the 12th stop of the Nike Football Training Camp Tour held at the Woody Hayes Center on the campus of the Ohio State University.
Here is a look at the 26 standout performers that make up the Columbus NFTC All-Camp Team, including DL Da’Shawn Hand (pictured).
Note: Selections are based upon camp performance as evaluated by the NFTC staff as well as past and projected on-field performance. Athletes are in the Class of 2014 unless otherwise noted.
QB: Drew Barker, 6-3 ½, 210, Hebron (Kent.) Conner
Breakdown: The future Kentucky Wildcat finished off a strong weekend with an MVP award at the Nike Camp following a big showing at the previous day’s Elite 11 Regional. For his efforts, Barker was awarded an invite to the Elite 11 Finals. He has all the tools to be very successful at Kentucky with complete dedication to the position.
QB: Sean White, 6-1, 199, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School
Breakdown: White continues to be one of the most well-rounded throwers over the past two years on the Nike Tour. He does everything so well that it becomes expected that he’ll get the job done. Was a 3A All-State Selection last year leading to offers from USF, Wake Forest, Cincinnati and Purdue.
RB: Jalen Hurd, 6-4, 222, Hendersonville (Tenn.) Beech
Breakdown: Extremely well-built back with the physical abilities of smaller quicker backs. Most impressive was his receiving skills and how he was able to get hips turned after making the catch to get downfield. Was simply no match for any linebacker attempting to cover him out of the backfield. Had a huge junior season rushing for 3.357 yards and 43 touchdowns leading to a commitment to his home state Volunteers.
RB: Shai McKenzie, 5-11, 209, Washington (Pa.)
Breakdown: Built like a linebacker, McKenzie is a physical specimen with exceptional footwork. During pass blocking drills he made it look easy and did not have any problems stopping linebackers at the line of scrimmage. Was effective out of the backfield catching passes but is built to break tackles and wear down defenses.
WR: Justin Brent, 6-1, 189, Speedway (IN)
Breakdown: Was the most physically dominant wide-out of the group, finishing strong in one-on-ones where he won virtually every rep. He took advantage of smaller defenders and could easily handle bigger ones as well. He will surprise you with his quickness and ability to get to top speed in a few short steps. Caught 54 passes for 992 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior leading to an early commitment to Notre Dame.
WR: Montae Nicholson, 6-2, 201, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway
Breakdown: Nicholson brought home MVP honors after proving to be the top receiver from the very beginning. He used his strength and hand fighting techniques to be the aggressor against defenders to create space. His wide range of attributes, from finesse, to quickness, strength and patience allowed him to easily separate from DB’s. Has a long list of offers after All-State honors last year.
WR: Thaddeus Snodgrass, 6-0, 175, Springfield (OH)
Breakdown: Coaches labeled the Kentucky commit the most consistent receiver throughout the day. Snodgrass has a great speed and size combination to go with natural pass catching skills. He ran advanced level routes with ease and did not telegraph double-moves, which is very rare at this stage for a receiver.
WR: Demarcus Wilson, 5-8 ½, 155, Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison
Breakdown: Was one of the best route runners of the day and has the speed to run past any defender. Extremely disciplined in running intermediate routes; creating great timing with the quarterbacks. A perfect fit for a high tempo spread offense that looks to create mismatches with quicker receivers.
TE: Ian Bunting, 6-6, 213, Hinsdale (Ill.) Central
Breakdown: Bunting came in unsure of how much he would be able to do as a result of a nagging hamstring, but battled to the end. He is a talented receiver that is growing into being a top-level tight end. It’s easy to see he has natural receiving skills that will be a huge benefit at his new position. He does a great job of using his big frame to create leverage against defenders and has the hands to catch anything in arms reach.
OL– J.C. Hassenauer 6-2 ½, 290, Woodbury (Minn.) East Ridge
Breakdown: Hassenauer was a man on a mission, looking to duplicate his OL MVP performance from the Memphis NFTC and lock down an invite to The Opening. While his performance wasn’t strong enough to earn the MVP nod, Hassenauer did nothing to dispel the notion that he is one of the top centers in the class of 2014. Hassenauer is a brick wall, displaying perfect posture in pass pro, as well as quick feet and a solid punch. Hassenauer got caught over-setting a bit in Columbus, but when it came down to the Final 5, Hassenauer showed the type of dominance that earned him invite to The Opening
OL- Marteese Patterson, 6-3, 307, Columbus (Ohio) Marion-Franklin
Breakdown: The OL MVP opened some eyes in Columbus. Patterson is still raw, but is immensely strong and showed great feet. He has a tendency to bend at the waste and lunge, but Patterson showed the athleticism to make up for it and win his reps. Patterson plays with some nasty, and when you combine that with his huge upside, you have a potential steal in the class of 2014.
OL– Kyle Ritz, 6-4 ½, 272, Willoughby (Ohio) South
Breakdown: Ritz wasn’t on anybody’s radar coming into the camp, but beat out some big name OL for a spot on the All-Camp team. Ritz is simply put, a grinder, and took on all comers throughout one-on-ones. He doesn’t have the prettiest set, but by taking to the coaching, Ritz was quick enough to take on speed-rushers, and strong enough to battle the bull-rush. With his size, Ritz should see his recruitment pick up heading into his senior season,
OL– Kyle Trout 6–5 ½, 301, Lancaster (Ohio)
Breakdown: The Ohio State commit got a chance to practice at his future home a year early and did not disappoint. Trout is an unbelievable athlete, and looks like he could find a future home as a right tackle for the Buckeyes. Trout had been labeled a bit of a project, but looked very natural out of his stance and getting into his set. He battled Opening invites Joe Henderson and Da’Shawn Hand and won his share of reps. Trout will get a chance to battle them again at Nike Headquarters during The Opening.
ATH: Parris Campbell, 6-0, 178, Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary
Breakdown: The future Ohio State Buckeye worked out with the receivers as he prepares to make the transition from running back in college. Such a naturally gifted athlete, Campbell did not show any signs that he lacks experience at his future position. He has all the tools and size to be able to line up at any receiver spot and be a difference maker at the next level. Very smooth running routes and with time will become more confident with his receiving abilities.
DL: Kenny Finley, 6-2, 270, Muskegon (Mich.)
Breakdown: Finley gave the interior OL fits throughout the day. Finley didn’t need to get fancy; he just got skinny through the hole with active hands. Showed good athleticism through SPARQ drills which carried over to the competition period. Will be interesting to see if Western Michigan can hold on to this potential gem.
DL: Hjalte Froholdt, 6-4, 285, Warren (Ohio) Harding
Breakdown: The young Denmark native may be one of the top defensive tackles in a loaded 2015 group. Froholdt is already 285 pounds of good weight and is more polished than you’d expect at his age. Froholdt showed off an ability to play with low pad level and could be as college-ready physically as any underclassmen we’ve seen.
DL: Da’Shawn Hand, 6-4, 262, Woodbridge (Virg.)
Breakdown: The No. 1 player in the country came out and did exactly what he has done for the past 18 months: dominate. The 2012 Opening selection isn’t the beautiful edge rusher some other DE’s are, but he’s effective and efficient. He’s plays with good balance and comes off the ball extremely low, allowing him to turn the corner on tackles with ease. Hand earned his second Golden Ticket, and will have a chance to further cement his case for the No. 1 spot at The Opening on June 30th.
DL: Joe Henderson, 6-3, 220, Cleveland (Ohio) Shaker Heights
Breakdown: Henderson came into the NFTC fresh off committing to Tennessee, and gave Volunteer fans something to be very excited about. Henderson had the fastest get-off of any DL we’ve seen this year. He was past the OL before they could even get into their set. Henderson has long limbs, and with a few years in a college weight room, should grow enough to stay at defensive end. Look for Henderson to open even more eyes at The Opening.
DL: Dylan Thompson, 6-4 ½, 265, Lombard (Ill.) Montini Catholic
Breakdown: This was the 2nd time the NFTC staff saw Thompson in action, and the improvement from Chicago to Columbus had the coaches talking. Thompson has always had the physical tools, but in Chicago he relied more on his power than his quickness, and got caught up by some of the bigger guards in attendance. In Columbus, however, Thompson showed off active hands to go with his always-high motor and quickness. Thompson went undefeated on the day and earned himself a ticket to The Opening.
LB: Kyle Berger, 6-1 ½, 220, Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius
Breakdown: Arguably the fastest backer seen at an NFTC this year. His closing speed was shocking; both in tackling and in zone/man cover skills. As impressive as his physical prowess, was his body control and emotional maturity that are years beyond his peers. Was very smooth while playing in space and can change direction in an instant. Racked up 39 tackles for loss as a junior and has since committed to Ohio State.
LB: Dante Booker Jr., 6-3, 220, Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary
Breakdown: Booker is a fantastic athlete with an impressive combination of speed and agility. Already physically stands out and should be able to carry a bigger build without losing a step. Showed great cover skills that should allow him to be a three down player in college. Has committed to his home state Buckeyes.
LB: D’Marcus Moon, 5-11 ½, 219, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Dewenger
Breakdown: Moon might be the most intriguing player of the year. Earlier this year at the Chicago NFTC he had caught our eyes in a strong group. We were shocked to find out he did not play a down of defense last year; instead he was used at running back, where he rushed for 1,700 yards. He looks like a natural playing linebacker and once again proved that he has the talent to play at a high level in college.
DB: Kei Beckham (2015), 5-11, 156, Trotwood (Ohio) Trotwood-Madison
Breakdown: At a program that consistently produces highly recruited defensive backs, Beckham proved to be the next in line. Tall and lengthy at this point, he should have no problem getting bigger and stronger once he gets in a college weight room. He has advanced level instincts that are rarely seen in a younger player. Already has offers from Illinois and Western Michigan with more on the horizon.
DB: Craig James, 5-9 ½, 168, Edwardsville (Ill.)
Breakdown: James is very light on his feet, allowing for a quick change of direction and ability to stay at full speed out of breaks. Was very good during SPARQ drills that showcased his quick burst and footwork. Was a 2nd Team All State selection this past year after picking off nine passes.
DB: Damon Webb, 5-10, 174, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech
Breakdown: Webb was simply the most dominant player at his position from beginning to end, and some would argue maybe the best performer seen on the Nike Tour this year. He has next-level instincts, is able to recognize routes as they develop, and has the type of speed that makes you wonder how he was able to get from point A to point B so fast. Webb was named MVP and stamped his ticket to The Opening.
DB: Raymond Wingo, 5-11, 162, St. Louis (Mo.) University
Breakdown: Showed a great burst in and out of his breaks, and is very smooth changing directions. Stood out during the half skelly period with his ability to dissect plays as they develop and position himself in a place to make a play on the ball. A tremendous all-around athlete that has the skill set to play any position in college. Rushed for 1,600 yards with 30 total touchdowns and had 10 interceptions.