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April 12, 2012
Best of Rivals/VTO Virginia Camp
Rivals/VTO recap videos: N.C. | S.C. | Ga. | Ala.
HIGHLAND SPRINGS, Va. - With a Rivals.com/VTO Sports record attendance of 202 prospects, the Virginia Elite 100 this past weekend was off the hook for talent. To wrap up several days of coverage, here is the "best of" list from Rivals.com National Analyst Mike Farrell led by defensive lineman Andrew Brown, the sophomore sensation who was named in many categories.
It's not often that a quarterback tops the list but when it comes to testing, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside signal-caller Deion Stitt takes the prize. He ran a 4.46-second hand-timed 40 and a 4.51-second laser 40. However, Chester (Va.) Thomas Dale running back Daniel Reid should also be mentioned here as he ran a 4.5-flat weighing in at over 200 pounds.
You would expect an offensive or defensive lineman to lead the way here, but Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy linebacker Yannick Ngakoue did 30 reps at 185 pounds in testing, more than anyone else at the event. Bealton (Va.) Liberty defensive lineman Wyatt Teller and Lynchburg (Va.) Liberty Christian Academy offensive lineman Braxton Pfaff check in at 29 reps. Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy offensive lineman didn't test, but he was clearly one of the strongest players in one-on-ones as was Chesapeake (Va.) Indian River defensive tackle Andrew Brown.
Needs More Props
Daniel Reid didn't quite make top performers, he already has offers so he's not a sleeper and he's a rising senior so he didn't make the underclassmen list either. But at 6-1 and 202 pounds with a 4.51 40, a 34-inch vertical and good hands, he can't be left unmentioned. So now we have him amongst the fastest and here amongst the most unappreciated. The question is, what position will Reid play? He's a bit upright and tall for a running back so receiver could be in his future.
Most Versatile Running Back
Taquan Mizzell gets the nod here from Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside, but this could also be Reid because of his position question mark. But Mizzell has the ball skills of a receiver and the cutting ability and quickness of a running back and could play multiple positions in college if he wanted to.
Derrick Green from Richmond (Va.) Hermitage looks like a man-child. If you put him in a Wisconsin uniform and helmet, you'd think he was a college senior coming off a 2,000-yard season. His legs are beyond strong and thick and he looks like a human bowling ball, ready to knock down pin after pin heading to the end zone.
Most Impressive Linebacker
Olney (Md.) Good Counsel linebacker Dorian O'Daniel didn't take home the MVP award at his position, but he was the best and most consistent player in coverage and in drills. O'Daniel has a great frame to fill out and he can easily add weight. Right now he's a little light, but it allows him to move effortlessly and you can tell he won't lose any speed or quickness as he gets bigger.
Lots of players went both ways at the event, but Yannick Ngakoue was probably the most impressive because he won the linebacker MVP award and could have easily taken home the tight end MVP as well. He was surprisingly agile and a good route runner at tight end and he caught the ball very well. Kendall Fuller from Olney (Md.) Good Counsel and Jalen Tabor from Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy also get a nod here as both were excellent at defensive back and at wide receiver.
Paul Harris from Upper Marlboro (Md.) Frederick Douglass showed off some big, reliable mitts in the wide receiver department and Taquan Mizzell caught the ball effortlessly in running back drills and one-on-ones. Chigozie Onyekwere from Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy didn't drop a pass that we saw and Daesean Hamilton from Stafford (Va.) Mountain View was also excellent.
Taquan Mizzell has the best feet at the camp if you're gauging by quickness. The way he changed direction in space was ridiculous and left many flat-footed. Kendall Fuller also showed great footwork as a defensive back and 2014 phenom Da'Shawn Hand from Woodbridge (Va.) Woodbridge Senior went through footwork drills at defensive end like an NFL player.
Corwin Cutler from Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Lakes won the MVP award at his position and for good reason as he spun the ball better than anyone, especially on long passes and outs where the wind can play tricks. Caleb Henderson from Burke (Va.) Lake Braddock, a 2014 signal-caller, was also impressive with his arm strength.
Best WR/DB Matchup
Paul Harris against Kendall Fuller was the marquee matchup a wide receiver-defensive back and they didn't disappoint. On one rep, Harris got a step but the ball was nowhere near on target while the other times they went against each other Fuller had excellent coverage. In a camp that gives the offensive skill player such an advantage, it was impressive how good Fuller was but Harris showed he's a top-notch prospect as well.
Best LB/RB Matchup
Taquan Mizzell went against Dorian O'Daniel and it was the only time anyone was able to stay with Mizzell and keep him in front of them. Mizzell made everyone else look foolish and O'Daniel didn't really lose a rep that we saw.
Best OL/DL Matchup
This is a tough one because there we so many of them, but Andrew Brown against Derwin Gray was fun to watch. Brown got the better of him for the most part, but a couple of times Gray was able to push the sophomore sensation away from his intended target. It was two big bodies with great athleticism going at it in fierce competition and both showing good sportsmanship at the end.
Most Physical Offensive Lineman
Na'Ty Rodgers surprised many by being the most physical offensive lineman, but it was close between he and many others. The 6-foot-5, 275-pounder from Pomfret (Md.) McDonough was aggressive, played to the whistle and had some memorable battles especially with Da'Shawn Hand.
Most Complete Defensive Lineman
Da'Shawn Hand can do it all. The 2014 future star can beat you outside or inside with his speed and athleticism and even when you get your hands on him, he has a nice rip move and he is sneaky strong for a 237-pounder. While fellow sophomore Andrew Brown is also very impressive, he can't beat you with his speed as consistently as Hand can and Wyatt Teller, who was also impressive, is an inside rusher and a bull. Hand is special athletically and a rare prospect who has the inside track for No. 1 overall in 2014.
Andrew Brown went absolutely nuts at the end of the final rep of the one-on-ones after he beat Derwin Gray to cap a spirited and physical day for the big men. While he's often an emotional player, this was above and beyond and perhaps a bit too much. The same can be said for 2014 defensive end Deonte Holden from Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha and his 2015 teammate DeAndre Kelly, who both did a bit too much celebrating and trash talking at the event.
In one of the one-on-ones against Paul Harris, Kendall Fuller showed off his closing speed downfield and got his hand in at the last second to break up a bomb. It was typical Fuller as he didn't bite on the initial move, glided downfield and when he saw where the ball was in the air he closed and made a play on it. There were many great plays during the camp, but this one stood out.
If you are the coach or parent of a prospect with D-I offers or likely to receive D-I offers, or the prospect himself, contact Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell at firstname.lastname@example.org, via Twitter at @rivalsmike or via Facebook.
These camps are INVITE ONLY and you must pre-register to attend, there will be no walk ups allowed.