Commentary

Luc impresses at Miami NFTC

Originally Published: March 30, 2009
By Craig Haubert | Scouts Inc.

South Florida offers one of the richest talent pools in the nation for football prospects, so it was no shock that the Miami Nike Football Training Camp was loaded with talent. There were several big names in attendance, but maybe the biggest surprise was the presence of some potential sleepers from the area. Here is a look at some of the highlights from Sunday as the training camp tour got kicked off.

Top Performer

Jeff Luc (Port St. Lucie, Fla./ Treasure Coast), ILB
The linebacker prospect passed several tests starting with the eye ball test. He was a very impressive looking player who had layers of muscle stacked on his frame. In a group of some good looking prospects, Luc stood out. He also passed the performance test as he took home the linebacker MVP award. He continually showed throughout the camp that he is not all looks. In one drill, against the running backs, he was basically unblockable. He showed excellent quickness with the ability to either attack blockers with his club and swim moves or he simply ran through them. He also ran well in coverage drills and proved he belongs amongst the elite prospects in this class.

Stock Up

Todd Chandler (Miami, Fla. /Northwestern), DT
Chandler impressed us on film with his motor and athleticism. After missing significant time in 2008 due to injury, we had some concerns as well as questions about his height. On Sunday, those questions were answered. As far as the injury, Chandler looks to be 100 percent healed and that is not good news for opposing offensive linemen. He moved well and showed no ill effects from his knee injury. As far as size, the thickly built defensive tackle does lack ideal height. We wish he was taller, but he proved he can still cause problems. He was quick off the ball in one-on-one drills, was violent with his hands with the ability to strike blockers and work past. He also showed he could use his lack of height to get lower then blockers and power his way back. Chandler had a good day and helped solidify our thought that he is amongst the top prospects in the nation at his position.

Stock Down

Delvin Jones (Miami, Fla. / Palmetto), DE/TE
On film, Jones impressed with his size and ability to rush the passer. We entered the Miami camp with Jones as one of the players we were really looking forward to seeing, but he took us a little by surprise. The South Florida native looked good physically, but puzzled us a little by deciding to workout out with the tight ends. Jones looked out of place most of the day and we would have liked to have seen him at defensive end, which is his more natural position. He seemed a bit rigid in his movements and not very smooth in his routes. He also did not come across as a natural pass-catcher, fighting the ball at times. Jones holds some impressive offers, but we would be surprised if he plays on offense in college. The camp sported a couple of tight ends that we would rather have seen on defense, but Jones topped that list.

Sleepers

Denzel McCullum (Hollywood, Fla. / McArthur), WR
The event hosted a good group of wide receivers, many of which had already made a name for themselves, but McCullum showed he may be ready for the spotlight. He looked good throughout the day and grabbed our attention more and more as the camp went on. He had a few drops, but consistently showed the ability to snatch the ball out of the air with his hands. He also ran good routes and really challenged the defensive backs in one-on-one drills. He needs to add bulk, but had an impressive day. He said he has heard from Purdue and Middle Tennessee, but currently has no offers.

Michael Vannucci (Ocala, Fla. / North Marion), OG
One-on-one drills between the offensive and defensive line always draws a crowd and from that competition emerged a fan favorite. Vannucci's reps usually garnered a reaction from the on-lookers who seemed equally impressed by his effort as much they just seemed to like to yell his name. He is a big-bodied kid with a thick and squatty build. He played guard for his high school last year and will likely project there in college. He said he plans to play center this year also and that could be a good fit for him as well. He took reps all across the line and did very well, displaying the ability to be active with his hands, stay low and mirror. He was a tough competitor who earned much attention including the MVP award for the offensive line. He currently has no offers, but said FAU, USF and UCF have been in touch. We suspect this kid's fan list will grow some over the year and he is someone to keep an eye on in the trenches.

Stacey Robinson (Orlando, Fla. / Jones), TE/DE Robinson is a good-sized kid who garnered some interest as a bit of an unknown at the beginning of the camp. The over-sized pass-catcher worked out as a receiver, but he also plays defensive end in high school and our initial impression was that we had wished he went with that group. As the day wore on though, he grew on us as a potential college tight end, due to his size upside and good hands. Robinson has caught the eyes of some programs including host school Miami as well as Auburn, UCF and Colorado, but all those schools according to him are looking at him as a defensive end. Either way, with his size and versatility he is a prospect we are likely to hear more from.

Best By Position
Quarterbacks
C.J. Bennett (Tampa, Fla. / Alonso)
It was not a strong group at quarterback, but one player who peaked our interest was Bennett. He had a strong junior year, but lacks ideal size. At barely six feet, his lack of size is apparent, but he threw the ball well and his production is hard to ignore. With success of smaller quarterbacks in college like Missouri's Chase Daniel, Bennett can't be dismissed and we look forward to studying him more closely.
Running Backs/Fullbacks
Jakhari Gore (Miami, Fla. / Columbus)
There were some good backs in attendance, but Gore intrigued us. The cousin of former Miami Hurricane Frank Gore, Jakhari showed he could carve out a name for himself. He initially caught our attention with his slight build because he does not have great height and is lean. While we were a little taken back by his build, his play helped erase some size concerns. Gore showed nice speed and quickness as well as good hands as a receiver. While being an every-down back in college may be a tough role for him to fill, his athleticism and competitiveness could make him a nice change-of-pace or scat back.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
This was unquestionably the strongest group of the camp and it is tough to say one guy was tops. Ivan McCartney (Miramar, Fla.) did very well in the one-on-one drills and grabbed the MVP honors for the group. James Louis (Delray Beach, Fla. / Atlantic Community) also performed well and said after the camp he felt his speed and ability to make plays after the catch were strengths of his game. Michaelee Harris (Miami, Fla. / Northwestern) from one of the top programs in South Florida showed well. De'Joshua Johnson (Pahokee, Fla.) was one of the smaller players, weighing in under 140 pounds, but he did not let his lack of size stop him, as he displayed good hands and quickness.
Offensive Line
Torrian Wilson (Miami, Fla. /Northwestern), OT
Several prospects from Miami Northwestern were in attendance and did well. The big lineman has good size, but he needs to keep physically developing and re-shift some weight. He did very well in pass protection showing the ability to punch, mirror and anchor well. Facing some good defensive ends, he held his own and was arguably the best offensive linemen in attendance.
Defensive Line
Corey Lemonier (Hialeah, Fla.), DE
While Luc grabbed attention with his eye-popping build, arguably the second most impressive prospect was Lemonier. The defensive end looked the part with good bulk and long limbs. He moved well in drills and showed flashes in one-on-ones. We would have liked to see him grab a few more reps, but it was evident he has some fine tools and upside at the defensive end position.
Defensive Backs
Khambrel McGee & Jerome Thomas (Miami, Fla. /Northwestern)
Two more Miami Northwestern prospects who had strong days included McGee and Thomas. The defensive backs were slated with a tough task trying to cover a deep and talented group of receivers, but both McGee and Thomas showed they are used to facing tough competition. Thomas has good size, while the smaller McGee displayed good speed.