July 9, 2007

2009 stars highlight 7-on-7

King's Fork High School in Suffolk, Va. was the scene for the second annual Peanut City 7-on-7 Shootout which featured a number of teams from the Mid-Atlantic region. The day featured a variety of prospects not only in the 2008 recruiting class, but also in 2009 and 2010 led by future star Logan Heastie.

Although they didn't have the name players, West Charlotte came into Hampton Roads and won the tournament over Norfolk's Lake Taylor High School.

As for prospects, Lake Taylor was led by 2009 linebacker Mike Privott who showed his usual intensity and motor. He played very solid in coverage and went hard after the ball.

The third place team, Oscar Smith, boasted a number of talented prospects on the day. Wide receivers Kerry Boykins, Todd Harrelson and Jamal Wilson kept Oscar Smith in it. All three showed good hands and route running, in particular Boykins as he went up for the ball numerous times in traffic. It's no surprise they are some of the most highly recruited receivers in the region this season.

Oscar Smith had more talent than just their 2008 prospects though. For 2009, they showcased wide receiver Timothy Smith who also showed good hands and ability. In addition, 2009 running back Perry Jones looked quick even if he's a bit small at 5-foot-9, 178 pounds.

Finally, Oscar Smith features one of the fastest rising quarterbacks in the 2010 recruiting class, Phillip Sims. Listed at 6-foot-2, 183 pounds, he may be even bigger and showed tremendous zip on the ball. He looked very good throwing the quick out, deep pass and more. It wasn't just his ability that stood out though; Sims showed impressive leadership for a rising sophomore.

Maryland's Friendly High School was the other out-of-state team to make a showing in Suffolk and they brought a boatload of talent with them. One player that didn't make an appearance for Friendly was Josh Haden (schedule conflict) but they were still led by Rivals100 athlete Lamaar Thomas. The 5-foot-11, 181-pounder showed tremendous feet and a quick burst in the shootout. His top end speed is incredible and the comparisons to former Ohio State stud Ted Ginn seem on the mark.

More 2008 talent from Friendly followed with Virginia commitment Devin Wallace, who showed excellent change-of-direction ability and displayed impressive athleticism. In fact, he even played a bit of quarterback in one of the contests. In addition, wide receiver Carlos Davis looked very quick in a couple contests, but he is definitely small at 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds. Last but not least was cornerback Steve Murray who is also small and slim at 5-foot-9, 162 pounds, but has a ton of speed.

Friendly brought some talent from the 2009 class too in cornerback Darrell Givens and safety Montez Bentley. Like many of their 2008 counterparts both players looked solid in the shootout showing tremendous speed and quickness and were aggressive in coverage.

Meanwhile, Salem featured a handful of prospects from the 2008 recruiting class. Linebacker Lyndell Gibson showed why the Hokies offered him by displaying good coverage skills and a tenacity to go after the ball. His teammate, Kevin Whaley, was a force on both sides of the ball. At receiver he showed a burst to get behind his defender on numerous occasions while on defense he was very aggressive against the pass and showed an ability to be a lockdown corner. Although Gibson and Whaley got the majority of the looks for Salem, 5-foot-11, 161-pound cornerback Tyheem Lawton displayed good athleticism in coverage too.

State champs Phoebus made an appearance as well and were led by underclassmen stud quarterback Tajh Boyd. Although still a bit undersized at 6-foot-0, Boyd is much thicker than he was at 202 pounds. He put a zip on the ball all day, although he did struggle with his accuracy. Fellow 2009 prospects Demetrius Ward and Dominick Davenport didn't make an appearance.

Boyd wasn't the only star from Phoebus to make a showing as 2008 defensive backs Reid Evans and Nathaniel Motley played well in coverage and showed good speed. Evans in particular was aggressive on both sides of the ball going up for passes and getting in the face of receivers. Linebacker Darius McMillan showed solid skills as well.

Staying in Hampton, Bethel's talented 2009 quarterback Teddy Bacote performed fairly well. He may be even taller than his 6-foot-2 listing. His passes were pretty good, but it wasn't his best day as far as accuracy.

The last of the 2009 quarterbacks is from Chesapeake's Western Branch. Kevin Newsome, although limited by 7-on-7 play because he can't scramble, was the best of the three 2009 quarterbacks on the day. He threw tight spirals and picked apart the defenses he played, methodically moving his offense down the field for touchdowns.

Western Branch has at least one other prospect to monitor in 2008 running back Hykeem Brodie. Brodie was stout and showed good athleticism on the field. As reported he's worked on his speed and it showed on the day as he played both offense and defense.

Finally, Great Bridge had a solid showing starting with their 2008 quarterback Casey Turner. Huge at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, the Chesapeake prospect is likely the best uncommitted quarterback in the state of Virginia now that Mike Glennon and E.J. Manuel have pledged. He played extremely well without relying completely on 2009 stud wide receiver Logan Heastie. Turner showed tremendous poise throwing pinpoint accurate passes to all of his receivers.

Arguably the best prospect in attendance was Heastie, a 6-foot-2, 181-pounder. Even though he didn't get a lot of passes thrown his way, the Great Bridge standout dominated when he touched the ball He showed terrific route running and his blazing sub 4.4-second 40-yard dash speed. Even in touch football, Heastie used his speed to run around Friendly's numerous Division I defenders to score.

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