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May 9, 2011

Virginia VTO Camp Recap

One of the biggest combine/camp events of the season was held last month in Richmond. Many of the top prospects from around the mid-Atlantic region gathered for the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcase. The VirginiaPreps.com / Rivals.com staff provided extensive coverage of the event. In case you missed any of the features published to-date, we have provided a recap below.

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Virginia's MVPS: Read about the top performers from the Commonwealth including J.C. Coleman. While some may knock the Tigers prospect for his lack of traditional college-sized height, the Class of 2012 prospect has collected the MVP award for running backs at every single combine that he has attended this year including this stacked event where the field of backs included expected scholarship athletes Jocorey Robins (Churchland), Taquan Mizzell (Bayside), Chavelle Atkins (Norcom), Kavon Bellamy (Hampton), and Derrick Green (Hermitage).

VTO Sleepers: Not every prospect in attendance came with D-I offers or a glitzy resume'. Several of those unheralded "sleepers" left with a confidence that they could compete with the best prospects in the class and should be receiving more attention from college recruiters in the coming days and months. One of those was wide receiver Charley Meyer from Benedictine. Rival's Mike Farrell wrote the following about the 6-foot-2 205 pound Meyer, "But he can catch the ball and is very strong. He's explosive in his route running, has strong hands that latch on the ball with ease and can outmuscle defenders in traffic. Meyer has the look of a solid MAC receiver who could put up big numbers at the next level given the chance. He's a hard worker and will be an overachiever in college." Find out more about the top sleepers in this report!
The Combine Numbers: Over 150 of the top prospects in the mid-Atlantic region, many of which are from Virginia, gathered for the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 showcase where participants completed a combine testing cycle of a 40-yard dash, 5-10-5 shuttle, vertical jump and bench press with 185 pounds. Breaking down the testing numbers for the combine helps show overall athletic potential and some of the top names in the state of Virginia showed up in a big way. They say that the numbers don't lie, and Briar Wood's defensive back / wide receiver Alex Carter posted results that backed up his rise up the prospect charts!
Recapping the Camp: A number of the top prospects used the event to reinforce their top ranking. That was certainly true about Clover Hill standout Joel Caleb, who many view as the Commonwealth's top Class of 2012 prospect. Farrell wrote about Caleb's performance: "A big receiver at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Caleb won his battles by using his size, strength and deceptive speed. He shields defenders like a tight end and uses his body very well, but he can also turn on the speed upfield to gain separation. He could play receiver or defensive back at the next level or even grow into a linebacker or an h-back. Despite playing quarterback in high school, Caleb showed very good hands and the ability to adjust to the long ball."
Quarterbacks: A number of the state's top signal callers were in attendance, but only three made the 'cut' to be listed as the 'best of the best' for the day. Rod Johnson wrote the following about Mac Graham from Kettle Run High School: Graham has a chance to be the leader on one of the state's more explosive offensive units on the field in 2011. In only their fourth year in existence, the Cougars have a solid chance of posting the first winning season in school history as they finished 4-6 last year with two of their six losses by a total of six points. Graham has a solid arm, decent size and the ability to get the ball to playmakers in space in a hurry which will challenge opposing defenses.

Running Backs: The running back position at the high school level has always been a glory spot as the go-to guy on most offenses lines up behind the quarterback and gets anywhere from 20 to 25 touches per game and, if the recent Rivals.com/VTO Elite 100 Showcase is any indication, this Fall will feature a number of big-time players getting the lion's share of opportunities to stand out for their respective programs. Hermitage's Derrick Green was one of those that stood out in our evaluator's eyes. Johnson wrote "Green is capable of running by or over defenders on every run. Additionally, his shiftiness enables him to change directions on a dime. Upon first glance, one would expect him to be working out with the linemen or maybe the linebackers because of his build, yet Green hangs with even the most agile and nimble backs. To say he'll be a nice player for the AAA Division 6 state runner-up Panthers might be an understatement; he's a potential national recruit."
Wide Receivers and Tight-Ends: With the proliferation of the spread offense in the high school game these days, the wide receiver position has shifted from a player needed only in third-and-long situations to a spot where many teams will play their most explosive and dangerous players. One prospect from this group that saw his stock rise significantly was William Monroe tight-end Zach Duprey. Johnson commented: "A high school tight end likely projected to play a hybrid type role at the college level, Duprey's hands were as good as any player's at the combine catching everything thrown his way. With a solid frame, exceptional work ethic and ability to shed at the line and beat backers over the top, Duprey will be a solid fit in someone's system."
Offensive Linemen: Quality offensive lineman are always in demand, and evaluators had their eyes on a number of promising "big-men" at the Virginia VTO event. Perhaps overshadowed previously by teammate Win Homer, Christchurch's Will Smith used the day as a "coming out party." Johnson wrote "Simply put, no offensive lineman had a better day than the private school prospect who entered the Rivals.com/VTO event a bit under the radar but certainly left with his name on everyone's mind as he captured the MVP event and will likely see his recruitment blow up over the course of the summer"
Defensive Backs: a strong group of defensive backs were led by some established stars and some impressive up-and-comers sure to be on college radar screens soon. Additionally, while the rising senior class accounted well for themselves, we may have gotten a glimpse at the top of what could be a very special class next season. One of those youngsters (Class of 2013) standouts was Grafton's
Marcus Spearman . Johnson wrote "At this point, he still may be somewhat of an unknown across the state, but that will change in due time. This Clippers defensive back plays with intensity, a high football IQ, has good backpedal and is strong and fearless. In short, he's the real deal."
Defensive Linemen: The defensive line group was quite possibly the deepest pool of talent at the event with several of the participants holding major BCS offers and many others on the recruiting radar of Division I programs both this season and in the near future. One that caught the eye of Rod Johnson was Lake Braddock rising junior (Class of 2013) Dean Doe. "The rising junior has a solid frame for the defensive line position, is quick off the ball and could be the spotlight player in Lake Braddock's defensive front for the next two seasons. Doe is a solid rising junior prospect who is set up for a breakout season this Fall moving him up recruiting boards for the Class of 2013.
Linebackers: Thomas Dale junior (Class of 2013) standout Aaron Green had a big day. Johnson wrote: High school fans will remember his older brother Airek who earned the State Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2009 and, with continued development, the rising junior could find himself on some award lists as well. A fluid athlete who runs extremely well and has an explosive nature, the Knights should enjoy his next two seasons as weight room work will escalate him from all-district to all-state levels and maybe higher.

Related: Virginia's Top Class of 2012 Prospects | More Football Coverage

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