Scout's take from Durham NFTC
DURHAM, N.C. -- After a busy two days in Columbus, Ohio, the Nike Football Training Camp rolled into North Carolina for a tour stop at Duke University. Overall, the event featured some good talent as well as some familiar names and faces in a competitive atmosphere. Here are some highlights from Sunday's event.
Jamal Marcus, DE (Durham, N.C./ Hillside)
There were a few defensive end prospects we were hoping would be in attendance, but were unfortunately no-shows. While that was disappointing we were glad to see ESPNU 150 Watch List DE Marcus competing, because we liked what we saw from him on film. He came into the camp at about 6-foot-2, 220 pounds and said he is getting some interest as an outside linebacker -- which does not shock us because one of the things that stands out about him on tape is that he runs and moves well. However, he worked out with the defensive linemen and we still project him at end.
On film, he came across as a bit raw as a pass rusher and that could still be said after watching him live. Raw doesn't mean he is not dangerous, though, and he has the tools to develop into a disruptive edge rusher. The nice initial burst he displayed on film was evident in one-on-ones and he was able to explode upfield and quickly counter inside. He needs to keep developing his pass-rushing arsenal because, at times, he telegraphed that he wanted to come back inside and when he couldn't or didn't counter he looked a little lost. When he doesn't win with speed, he just needs to keep working with using his hands. Marcus said he has 18 offers and some of the schools standing out at this point are Auburn, Clemson, UNC and Georgia Tech.
J.C. Coleman, RB (Chesapeake, Va./ Oscar Frommel Smith)
The Virginia Tech commit was one of the smaller prospects on Sunday, but he was also one of the better ones. He is a playmaking, undersized running back who can fly, and that speed and quickness was evident throughout the day. His lateral agility and balance could be seen in drills as well as his ability to quickly accelerate and he was tough to cover in passing drills. He displayed good hands, as he did on film, and was not only tough to cover, but showed he can be dangerous after the catch. With his size (5-6, 170 pounds), you do worry about durability at the next level, but we liked his toughness. He did well in blocking drills, stepping up and battling and faring well against bigger prospects. Coleman, who took home the position MVP for his efforts, may not be an every-down back but he can be used creatively and make plays. Overall, he is a good pickup for the Hokies.
Nick Dawson, ILB (Charlotte, N.C./ Berry)
The ESPNU 150 Watch List linebacker also attended the Athens NFTC earlier this spring, but failed to stand out amongst a deep group of linebacker prospects. Dawson came back out on Sunday and performed much better, earning the linebacker MVP. As a linebacker prospect, he has good size and displayed overall good athleticism. He did take some lumps in the pass-rushing drills and still needs to develop in this area, but he had a good day in coverage. He had an interception we saw in the half-skelly drill and overall displayed good potential and ability as a zone-coverage defender. He was able to open up and drop, as well as plant and break on the underneath ball and also flashed good ball skills. Dawson needs to keep developing his game, but we were glad to see him perform better this time around.
Jamie Gilmore, RB (Citra, Fla./ North Marion)
The Tallahassee NFTC running back MVP is built in the same mold as Coleman with a muscular build, good quickness and burst. The multipurpose back also showed good toughness in blocking drills and stopped Dawson on his first rep and jumped back up next time to face the considerably bigger Dawson again. We wish Gilmore had better size, but it's hard to ignore his ability and toughness.
Jacob Southerland, OG (Mableton, Ga./ Whitefield)
The offensive line group lacked some of the name recognition as the defensive line, but in one-on-ones the group battled and held their own. Among that group of mostly unheralded prospects, Southerland had a strong outing. We liked the competitiveness he displayed jumping up and taking a bunch of reps. He displayed a good initial punch, moved his feet well and was able to mirror. However, he did show a tendency to get overextended off that first punch and would bend at the waist as well. Plus, he needs to sit back more with a flatter back because pass rushers could attack his exposed shoulders and easily get him off balance. Overall, he displays some good tools to work with at the guard position and took home the O-line MVP for his performance.
Jody Fuller, WR (Monroe, N.C./ Sun Valley)
He doesn't look like your ideal receiver because he's built more like a running back with a muscular, sturdy build, especially throughout his upper body. He is a physical kid who uses his strength well because he is not easy to re-route and at times we saw him pushing around defensive backs. He also displayed good hands and body control. Every time we see him, whether on film or in person, he performs well.
Desmond Frye, WR (Chester, Va./ Thomas Dale)
He is very lean, rangy and it looks like a good gust of wind could blow him away. However, he does have good hands, can get up and high point the ball well and moved a little better than we expected. He needs to keep growing into his body and add some bulk, but the Virginia Tech commit has the tools to be a productive college receiver.
Derrick Nelson, OG (Washington, D.C./ Archbishop Carroll)
He is an offensive line prospect with a pair of offers from BCS schools, Georgia Tech and Syracuse. He lined up at tackle and performed well, though he may fit better as a guard in college. He had some good battles with Marcus, displayed a good punch and got set quickly. However, he does need to work on maintaining balance, when dealing with an explosive edge rusher. Plus, he kicks back quickly, but in an attempt to stop the speed rush, he took his weight off his post foot and left himself vulnerable to the inside counter. Nelson performed well, but needs to keep improving his game and to his credit came away recognizing there is room to improve.
• Germone Hopper (Charlotte, N.C./ Berry) was another receiver who did well. The Clemson commit needs more size, but he displayed good burst and quickness and can make plays.
• Kwontie Moore (Norfolk, Va./ Christian Academy) was another linebacker in attendance who was also at the Athens NFTC and performed comparably to how he did at the last tour stop we saw him at. He has good size and looks the part, but we do think that a move to defensive end could potentially be in his future.
• Korren Kirven (Lynchburg, Va./ Brookville) is a defensive tackle who we have not had a chance to evaluate on film yet, but we look forward to it. He was very competitive trying to take as many reps as he could in one-on-ones. He displayed good burst and we liked how active he was with his hands as a pass rusher.
• We have Todd Gurley (Tarboro, N.C./Tarboro) listed as an athlete, but he worked out with the running backs. He is a kid with good size and size potential, and while he's not flashy he does possess good straight-line speed.
• Terrance Knox (Concord, N.C./Concord) is not the tallest tight end and he's a natural receiver who just plucks the ball out of the air. However, he can catch the ball, has a thick build and displayed on film and on Sunday that he can be a productive target in the short-to-intermediate passing game.
• Some 2013 prospects who displayed tools to keep an eye on were RB Khris Francis (Durham, N.C./ Hillside), DE Daniel Garces (Charlotte, N.C./ Providence) and big OT William Cockman (Siler City, N.C./Jordan Matthews), who needs to rework his build some. Cockman is a big boy with a powerful punch and was able to, at times, just smother pass rushers.
Craig Haubert is the recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting and has more than a decade of coaching experience. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.
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