Commentary

Standout RBs at Miami NFTC

Updated: April 22, 2009, 2:23 PM ET
By Brandon Hancock | ESPN.com

This year's Miami Nike Football Training Camp showcased a strong group of running backs with many players demonstrating excellent potential and versatility. The South Florida area always brings speed and athleticism to the table with its athletes and this group did not disappoint. There were easily four of five guys that could have been camp MVP.

Camp MVP Jeremy Williams out of Miami Palmetto was a top performer. Coming in to the camp he knew he had some big shoes to fill following the Ohio State-bound Jamaal Berry, but he was more than lived up to the challenge. If he has a big senior season this fall, he should jump on some radars.

Jakhari Gore out of Miami Columbus impressed many people last year as an underclassman at this same camp and he was even more impressive this year. Coming in a little bit bigger than he was last year, he showed great bursts and tremendous quickness all day. He demonstrated some brilliant moves against the linebackers in the one-on-one drills.

Gore is a natural game-breaker who has the explosiveness to turn any opportunity into a big play. He showed off his athleticism during the receiving drills. His routes were smooth and crisp and created separation everytime. He has soft hands and great hand-eye coordination. He had a great attitude, always wanted to go against the best linebackers during the one-on-one drills and won most of them.

An immediate head-turner was James White out of St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale. He demonstrated a comprehensive set of skills along with a work ethic and competitive attitude. The 5-9, 196-pounder possesses great lower-body strength and lateral quickness. He also seems to be a reliable receiver, was very coachable and hungry to compete.

One of the best big backs was Marcus Thompson from Boyd Anderson High. The 6-1, 220-pounder brings a low center of gravity and competitive tenacity. Thompson is a durable, between-the-tackles ball carrier who can also catch sparingly out of the backfield. He also always had a great attitude.

Others who impressed

Gio Bernard, 5-8, 195, St. Thomas (Fla.) -- Showed a great burst, quick feet and good balance.
Dareyon Chance, 5-4, 150, Cardinal Gibbons (Fla.) -- Dazzled onlookers in the one-on-one passing drills and excelled in position exercises.
Ethan Grant, 5-8, 167, North Broward Prep (Fla.) -- Aggressive, focused and very consistent all day.
Cassius McDowell, 5-8, 157, Deerfield Beach (Fla.) -- Is very quick with great feet.
Kelvin Taylor, 5-10, 195, Glades Day (Fla.) -- This future star has strong, nice footwork and makes quick cuts.