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July 21, 2008
PAISLEY, Fla. ? Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg had only one day to spend at the Football University Top Gun Showcase Camp, but it was more than enough time to come away with impressions on several of the nation's best prospects. Newberg breaks down 11 players who passed the eyeball test. Players are listed in alphabetical order.
Jamie Newberg's Top Gun Showcase Eyeball Test
Edwin Baker (RB) Oak Park (Mi.)
Baker looked better than advertised. I loved this guy on film when I first saw it back in February, but seeing him person verified many things about this future Spartan and then some. Off the hoof he is impressive, thick in the upper body and with powerful legs. He is quicker and faster than I thought.
Randall Carroll (WR) Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral
He isn't the tallest receiver in the world, but Carroll makes up for it in other ways. He has great speed and quickness and has good hands. Carroll is thick, chiseled and has a powerful core. He's easily one of the most explosive and versatile prospects in this class. This cat can fly.
Michael Carter (CB) Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely
Carter certainly isn't the biggest defensive back, you will see but he makes up for it with his quickness, speed and ball skills. He did well in the short one-on-one passing drills Monday. Carter just needs to get a bigger and stronger, because he has the height coaches look for in a corner.
Anthony Foster (WR) Tulsa (Ok.) Union
Football University wide receiver coach Andre Rison is so proud of this youngster, as well he should be. He doesn't have great size or blinding speed, but Foster makes plays with his consistent hands and good route running. I was impressed with his ability to get open and make plays.
Marlin Lane (RB) Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland
Lane was the youngest participant at the Top Gun Showcase Camp. He will be only a sophomore and will be playing at Mainland this season. You would never guess it by eyeballing him. He has good size and is well defined for a 15-year old running back. Lane is quick, explosive and showed good hands.
Christine Michael (RB) Beaumont (Texas) Westbrook
I thought Trent Richardson was one of the most impressive looking running backs I have ever seen after watching him at Friday Night Lights in Gainesville, and Michael is right there with him. He's thick, chiseled and has great feet. Michael has exceptional balance and a great burst of speed when needed. He also caught the ball well.
Zeke Motta (LB) Vero Beach (Fla.)
I have thought that Motta was one of the most underrated and least-publicized prospects from the Sunshine State. After seeing him on Monday, I think that even more. He has a great frame that you know he will grow into. Motta also has great instincts for the game. He's physical and it showed in his collision with Baker in pass coverage.
Kevin Newsome (QB) Chesapeake (Va.) Western Branch
Driving up today I thought of Newsome and wondered what I would see as I'd heard of his recent struggles throwing the ball. That simply wasn't the case in Paisley. He threw well and made some nice reads. I love his size and arm strength. This kid has a big-time arm and throws a pretty ball.
Logan Thomas (WR) Lynchburg (Va.) Brookville
I have to admit I was never as high on Thomas as most recruiting analysts, but after watching him on Monday my tune is changing. Whether he emerges as a receiver, tight end or a flex guy he is going to be a big-time match up problem for future defensive coordinators. He uses his great size to his advantage, separates surprisingly well and has nice, soft hands.
Chris Whaley (RB) Madisonville (Texas)
Whaley is a big kid, with a nice frame and very long arms. He looks more like a defensive end or tight end rather than a running back. Whaley has deceptive speed, and I was very impressed with his athleticism.
Cierre Wood (RB) Oxnard (Calif) Santa Clara
Wood isn't built like Michael and Baker, but he still has a nice long frame that will certainly fill out in the very near future with hard work in the weight room. He has a great first step and seems to have an extra gear when he needs it. Wood catches the ball very well.