RICHMOND, Va. -- A number of top players in Virginia will be on hand Saturday at the second ever CollegePrepWorld camp at Highland Springs High School, just outside of Richmond.
The camp combines the typical football camp environment of position drills and one-on-one drills with a symposium that teaches players the importance of academics. Speakers will field questions and also tell players what they can expect and help them prepare for college on the academic side and being a student-athlete.
Last year's symposium at Woodbridge Senior High (Va.) was divided over two days, while this year's will be in the afternoon, following the camp.
Linemen Reign Supreme
It's been no secret at the talent on the defensive line in the state of Virginia for the class of 2014. That will continue tomorrow as the nation's top player, Woodbridge (Va.) defensive end Da'Shawn Hand, will take part in the camp.
Hand will be joined by another five-star, Oscar Smith (Va.) defensive tackle Andrew Brown, No. 6 player in the Rivals100. Both players have been to a number of top camps together, including last month's Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour and have battled back and forth to see which one has had the better performance. Even after so many camps, there's not a ton separating them.
Not far behind either are four-star Lake Taylor (Va.) defensive end Jalyn Holmes and four-star Ocean Lakes (Va.) defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi. The latter especially had a strong showing at the Rivals camp, where he earned defensive line MVP over the three already mentioned. Tomorrow's camp should be another big test among the four to see who's the best.
Not Safe At Safety
Bayside (Va.) five-star safety Quin Blanding is ranked among the top players in the country and rightfully so. Blanding, No. 4 in the Rivals100 and the nation's top safety has continually shown an impressive combination of speed, instincts, hands and athleticism. But the Virginia commit has steadily had plenty of competition.
Blanding will get more tomorrow from Thomas Dale (Va.) four-star safety C.J. Reavis. At the Rivals camp in Richmond, Reavis went toe-to-toe with Blanding throughout the day, making sure to go alongside him in drills and showing he's not that far off.
Reavis, No. 250 in the Rivals250 and a Virginia Tech commit, should have a few more years to be comparing himself to Blanding when they go head-to-head in college.
At last year's CollegePrepWorld camp, there wasn't a lot known about Atlee (Va.) offensive guard Alec Eberle. But going against players like Rivals100 defensive end and Virginia Tech commit Wyatt Teller, it was clear that Eberle had the potential to play at the next level.
Last week, Eberle committed to Florida State, capping off a recruitment that seemed to still be gaining steam. Eberle will be on hand again at tomorrow's camp, but there's another rising junior in a similar position.
Albeit at a different position, 2015 Bayside (Va.) cornerback Jamez Brickhouse is looking to make a similar ascension. Brickhouse does have one offer, from Old Dominion and interest from schools like Virginia Tech and Virginia, but he's looking to make a name for himself as well and could use tomorrow's camp as a catapult like Eberle did.
A pair of linebackers on hand tomorrow are on the cusp of truly breaking through. Woodbridge (Va.) linebacker Marcus Boone and Princess Anne (Va.) linebacker Aaron Glover have been told by a handful of schools they still need to participate in the schools' camps to be evaluated for a chance at an offer.
Glover has an offer from Hampton, while Boone is still looking for that first offer, but both have and will hit the camp circuit hard to do what it takes to earn more offers. They both have good, rangy ability but will be looking to show their speed, athleticism and cover skills more tomorrow.
Cosby (Va.) defensive tackle Tyler Powell has a few offers, but is in a similar situation. He just picked up offers from Purdue and Cincinnati, to go with Temple, Old Dominion, James Madison, Hampton and William & Mary. But he's hoping to get more big offers and plans on making a lot of camps to get them. He was at the Rivals camp last month like Boone and Glover, but will be using the CollegePrepWorld camp as another platform.
More Than A Camp
As mentioned, while the customary camp schedule will include physical measurements, running the 40-yard dash, shuttle, position drills and one-on-one competition, the CollegePrepWorld camp will also include a symposium.
After the above portion, players will go to the school auditorium where they will be given additional information needed on academics, getting ready for college and what to expect. Speakers tomorrow will be former Virginia Tech players Shyrone Stith (RB), Keion Carpenter (DB) and Jaymes Brooks (OL). Former Virginia players on hand include Elton Brown (OL), Paul London (brother of Mike London and DB), Ahmad Hawkins (DB) and Tavon Mason (WR).
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