Nationalunderclassmen held their annual camp in Atlanta this past weekend with tons of young talented players and prospects looking to make a name for themselves. Coach Mike Dowdy and the rest of the NUC coaching staff put together an outstanding camp where prospects had the opportunity to display their talents and be coached up by several former Southeastern Conference players. The camp was held at Tri Cities High School in East Point, Georgia and the turnout of players was a big surprise. This article will take a look at the top prospects from NUC Camp Atlanta and the players who have the most potential to reach Division 1 football.
QB Elijah Staley
6'7 210lbs Marietta, GA (Wheeler HS)
Staley is an overwhelming presence on the football field with his long and lanky body and his ability to see over everyone in the passing game. He stands a massive 6'7 and still growing. Staley proved to be the brightest star with the biggest potential in East Point. He stands tall in the pocket and slings the football with great strength from the left side of his body. Staley is a tall lefty that has major power behind his left arm and the tight spiral to put the ball on target. He can throw the football sometimes with too much power which makes it hard for his receivers to gather in the ball, but with more learning on knowing when to put extra muscle on the pass and when to throw it nice and easy, Staley should turn out to be one of the top signal callers in the state of Georgia for the class of 2014. NUC Accolades: Overall MVP (Soph.), Leadership Award
LB Juwon Young
6'2 215lbs Albany, GA (Albany HS)
Young stood out big time among all defensive prospects over the weekend in East Point, Ga. He showed excellent physical skills with his natural tackling form and already built frame that has room to gain more weight. Young first showed out inside the weight room where he bench pressed 185lbs 33 times and came out on top as the strongest competitor in the whole sophomore class. Young has several talents that stand out on the football field and among those that stood out the most was his point of attack at the line of scrimmage and his ability to cover his man in open field. He doesn't shy away from initiating the contact and his instincts to find the ball is outstanding. Young is a physical specimen who has the overall talents to play Division 1 football. NUC Accolades: LB MVP, Strongest Man
DE/LB Detric Dukes
6'0 220lbs Tucker, GA (Tucker HS)
Dukes came out of the NUC Camp Atlanta as the top defensive line prospect because of his natural athleticism and nose for finding the quarterback. He displayed an outstanding spin move along with quick hands that helped him break releases from the o-lineman. Dukes plays with a bit of mean streak and the belief that no one is better than him and that attitude could lead to special things down the road. Dukes needs to continue to get bigger and learn more techniques about defensive end but he is very coachable and willing to listen to detail. He could also grow into a solid linebacker prospect. Dukes has the athleticism and quick feet to adjust to that position. NUC Accolades: DL MVP (Soph.)
DB/WR Mike Minter
6'1 162lbs Atlanta, GA (McNair HS)
Minter came through this weekend and showed everyone involved that he was a prospect sitting way under the radar with his blazing speed and ability to lock down his receiver on the defensive side of the ball. Minter has a slight frame at 162lbs but has long arms and the catch up speed to become a nuisance on defense all day long. He showed solid man to man skills but also showing he can drop in zone coverage and read the quarterbacks eyes. Minter is a raw talent that has a long way to go but defiantly showed the capability of handling himself just fine as well as showing he has the talents to compete at the next level of college football. NUC Accolades: Fastest Man
LB Chris Gardner
5'11 ½ 208lbs Atlanta, GA (South Atl HS)
Gardner was highly considered the top linebacker for the c/o 2013 at the NUC Camp Atlanta this past weekend and he showed tremendous physical skills as well as the ability to diagnose plays early and show up around the ball at the right times. He has outstanding leadership skills and calls out the plays for the entire defense. Gardner is smart, active and never seems to put himself in bad situations. He may be slight on height but makes up for it with highly intelligent plays and a nose for the football. He needs to work on his hips and become more fluid in the passing game but showed solid pass defense in 7 on 7 competition on Sunday at Tri Cities High School where he made one interception and deflected several other passes. Gardner is another under the radar prospect for the c/o 2013 who start to generate more interest as more people become familiar with his name.
WR/DB Collin Lisa
5'9 180lbs Alpharetta, GA (Chattahoochee HS)
Lisa was a pleasant surprise among all competitors this past weekend in Atlanta where he showed everyone his outstanding ball skills and ability to get open. Lisa had great hands and he knew to extend them with receiving the pass. The biggest strength about his game that stood out the most was ability to break the jam and find open spaces on the football field. He had the best route running skills over every other receiver in attendance. Lisa has outstanding speed and the ability to beat his man deep. Overall Lisa showed all the traits of a college football slot receiver. He has time to get bigger and gain weight but in a couple of years he should see his name floated all around the recruiting scene. NUC Accolades: WR MVP (Soph.)
QB Ellis Richardson
6'4 210lbs Douglasville, GA (Douglas Co. HS)
Richardson didn't show up at Tri Cities High School until Sunday but in that one day he impressed everyone in attendance and showed that he has the right skills to lead on offense on the Division 1 football level. Richardson is a big boy who has a solid throwing motion and the arm to send the ball down the field. He only competed in the 7 on 7 competition on Sunday but was a key catalyst in leading his NUC Gray squad to winning the NUC 7 on 7 tournament. Richardson is very coachable and wants to be the best quarterback he can become. He has seen lite interest so far from Missouri and Northwestern but certainly is still a diamond in the rough. He shined beautifully this weekend and soon enough should have more interest from Division 1 football programs.
DE/LB Jason Collins
6'2 210lbs Stone Mountain, GA (Stephenson HS)
Collins wasn't able to make out until Sunday but once he arrived he made sure everyone knew his name before he left. Collins is an athletically gifted young man who has long arms and the natural pass rushing skills to get after the quarterback. He has quick feet and the ability to either run around the tackle or bull rush him right into the backfield. Collins is still lite on weight but has the frame to add the much needed weight to compete at the next level. He has a great attitude and is willing to listen to direction. He wants to be the best and is willing to do anything it takes to reach the next level. Collins need to learn better leverage and other ways on how to get after the quarterback, but has everything you need when looking for a natural pass rushing defensive end. NUC Accolades: Trench Warfare DL MVP
QB Austin King
6'1 164lbs Alpharetta, GA (Alpharetta HS)
King competed on both days at the NUC Camp Atlanta this past weekend and he was considered one of the top freshmen competitors at the whole camp. He proved to be an excellent talent for the quarterback position with his smooth throwing motion and ability to put a soft pass in the air for his receivers to catch. Long has a polished look for such a young signal caller. He has great technique and excellent footwork when dropping back to pass. Long sometimes struggled with the long ball but certainly has the arm that will eventually be able to make those throws. Long also has great size and a frame that will continue to grow. He was a polite young man that was willing to listen to anything thrown his way and had the attitude of wanting to get better and become the best quarterback he can become. Solid prospect with a lot of potential and could eventually become a hotly pursued recruit from the state of Georgia down the road. NUC Accolades: Overall MVP (Freshmen)
LB/S Javonte Grayer
6'1 205lbs East Point, GA (Tri Cities HS)
Greer stood out in a major way during the 7 on 7 competition on Sunday in East Point, Ga where he showed excellent ball skills and outstanding athleticism. He was the player of the day during 7 on 7's after accumulating three interceptions for which he returned them all for touchdowns. Greer showed the ability to read the offense and put himself in position to make a play on the ball whenever he is near. He was active much of the afternoon and continued his hard play all the way throughout the entire 7 on 7 tournament. Greer has a physical body and power behind his tackling and is a natural when it comes to playing sideline to sideline. He is an intriguing prospect who has the skills to compete at the top level of college football and he should be someone to follow throughout the upcoming offseason.
S/LB Tim Bryant
5'11 180lbs Peachtree City, GA (McIntosh HS)
Bryant proved to be an excellent athlete this past weekend and surprised many with his athleticism and ability to play around the football. Bryant first showed out when he won the competition for the best vertical jump among all competitors for the 2013 attendees. He showed that can get up and meet the ball at its highest point. On the field Bryant showed the abilities to hang tight with the receiver and find the ball when in the air. He needs to work on being more flexible and fluid but has the speed and ball skills to play at a high level on the football field. Bryant plays a bit under the radar right now but certainly has the look of a college football prospect.
WR Allen DeBerry
6'2 180lbs Memphis, TN (Arlington HS)
DeBerry might have been the biggest surprise of all prospects in attendance at the 7 on 7 competition on Sunday. He came out immediately and showed excellent hands and the ability to make tough catches when having defenders draped all over him. DeBerry has big hands and excellent vision when finding the football. He has a bit of a slight frame but knows how to use his body and is not afraid of contact. DeBerry also has the speed to be a deep threat in any offense he plays in along with the height to jump in the air and come down with the ball every time. He is a big time diamond in the rough who I think personally could play at the highest level of college football.
WR Cedric Porter
6'0 180lbs Memphis, TN (Arlington HS)
Porter was the second receiver from Arlington High School in Memphis who came down to Atlanta for the NUC Camp and when he left he was considered one of the best receivers for the 2013 class. Porter displayed big time athleticism and made catches that sometimes seemed hard to bring in. He played hard on every play and always seemed to find ways to get himself open. Porter has solid hands along with quick feet and he has the potential to see himself playing on the college football playing field. He needs to work on breaking the jam a little better but has the body and physical mind frame to continue to work on that and become an all-around receiver. Porter hasn't heard from any schools as of yet but after displaying solid receiving skills this weekend he could start to hear from some coaches down the line.
DB/RB Javarus Britt
5'11 174lbs Newnan, GA (Newnan HS)
Britt is a physical looking specimen for a freshmen and someone everyone should keep an eye on throughout his football career. This past weekend Britt displayed the ability to lock down his receiver every moment he was on the field and showed his physical nature when going after the ball. Britt has a chiseled frame for such a young man and it will only continue to get bigger and stronger as he gets older. He sometimes would get beat by a quick move but always quickly recovered with his outstanding speed. Britt is a well-mannered young man who loves playing football and is willing to do anything it takes to reach college football. Coachable, work ethic and athleticism are key traits that Britt brings out to the football field and he displayed all that and then some this past weekend in Atlanta.
DB/RB Brian Miller
5'7 155lbs Tyrone, GA (Sandy Creek HS)
Miller came out this weekend as an unknown prospect but ended up leaving East Point, Ga as probably the top overall cover corner for his recruiting class of 2015. Miller was all over the place all weekend long with his excellent man to man ball skills and his willingness to get physical at the point of attack. His biggest trait was his ability to stick with his receiver and move with him all over the field. Miller has quick feet and smooth hips that allow him to turn and stay on path with the receiver. He has a small frame at this time but with him only being a freshman he has tons of time to get bigger and continue to grow. Overall Miller came away with flying colors and showed why he should be a top notch college prospect when his recruiting class has their time to shine. NUC Accolades: DB MVP (Freshmen)
WR/DB A.J. Mitchell
5'3 136lbs East Point, GA (Tri Cities HS)
Mitchell might have been the smallest competitor in attendance but played much larger and proved very capable of handling himself out on the football field. Mitchell was a big time competitor who showed excellent hands and the ability to get himself open in the defensive backfield. His route running skills were the best among all receivers. He is able to make the corner bite on his initial move and when he does Mitchell beats him deep and comes up with a game breaking play. He has a long way to go in his football career but already has a solid foundation to build upon. Mitchell has great work ethic and is willing to listen to detail. Solid slot receiving prospect, Mitchell has all the right tools to turn into eventual Division 1 football prospect. NUC Accolades: WR MVP (Freshmen)
WR/S Torei Jones
6'1 183lbs East Point, GA (Tri Cities HS)
Jones is a local prospect out of Tri Cities High School who came out to show that he had Division 1 football talents and he did not disappoint on either day this past weekend. Jones has the physical body and natural ball catching skills to play on either side of the ball in college. He helped lead the Gray squad to a championship during the NUC 7 on 7 tournament on Sunday by hauling in several clutch catches and keeping the chains moving. Jones had excellent hands that he understands that he has to extend his arms to make sure he completely possesses the ball. He also has enough potential to switch to the defensive side of the ball and play Safety with his physicality as well as his ability to find the ball in the air. Overall Jones has excellent football talents that are still hidden away in East Point, Ga but hopefully after a successful offseason of camps and training he could start to hear from college coaches in the near future.
WR/S Caleb Hayman
6'3 190lbs Gainesville, GA (Gainesville HS)
Hayman showed up on Sunday for the NUC 7 on 7 tournament in East Point, Ga as a physical presence the moment he stepped out on the field. He had the natural look of a big receiver who could use his body to put himself in position to keep his defender on his backside and haul in the football. Hayman has big paws that allow his quarterback to give him a good target to throw at. He is not overly too fast but that doesn't hinder him from finding open spaces in the defense and catching the football. Hayman hasn't heard too much on the recruiting front at this time but is hoping after attending several camps this summer he starts to generate more interest. Solid Division 1 football prospect.
DB/WR Steven Albert
5'6 123lbs Roswell, GA (Centennial HS)
Albert competed strong amongst others taller than him this past weekend in Atlanta and showed toughness and heart when it came to competition. He pulled his weight all day long with quick feet and ability to recover to the ball. Albert was able to stay man to man with the receiver and stay draped on him when trying to catch the football. He sometimes got beat on double moves but that is something he can learn with more time on the practice field and learning of the game. Albert was attentive and willing to do everything taught to him. Albert is also an excellent student inside the classroom with a 4.0 GPA, so he already has the other side of reaching the college ranks taken care of. Albert competed hard this past weekend and came away as the best overall defensive back for the class of 2014. NUC Accolades: DB MVP (Soph.)
CB/RB Detavious Long
5'7 170lbs East Point, GA (Tri Cities HS)
Long is another local prospect out of Tri Cities HS who arguably was the most aggressive, feisty and physical prospect in the entire camp. He displayed vocal and game play leadership every moment he stepped out on the field and made sure his opponent knew he was there any time he felt the need to tell him. Long plays with an aggressive physical nature and he is not afraid to stick his nose where it doesn't belong. He displayed excellent feet and the ability to recover when taking a misstep. Long has the deep down the field speed to stick with his man stride for stride while also having the ability to play in the box and help on run support. Long is currently playing for the NUC South Star Elite 7 on 7 squad and he is hoping that playing on multiple fields throughout the summer will give him opportunity to reach out to college coaches who is looking for a leader on the defensive side of the ball who will never give up until the game is over.
DB/WR Kirby Benard-Choates
6'0 171lbs East Point, GA (Tri Cities HS)
Benard-Choates was one of the best freshmen prospects I saw on the football throughout the entire camp at Tri Cities High School. He was an excellent prospect on defense from the cornerback position where he showed great physical skills and the natural ball hawking abilities to be around the ball. He also has the skills to play in open spaces and give support in stopping the run. Benard-Choates already has the look and frame of a Division 1 prospect as a freshmen and he should only improve with more time on the practice field. He also has the potential to turn into an outstanding receiving prospect in time with more learning of the position. Benard-Choates has excellent potential overall as a football player and is a name to watch out for down the road.
RB/DB Artemus Mitchell
5'9 164lbs Jonesboro, GA (Jonesboro HS)
Mitchell was a smooth and athletic football prospect this weekend in East Point, Ga and displayed a lot of potential on the offensive side of the ball as a running back. The biggest trait that Mitchell possesses is his speed. He blazed past his opponents on the field while displaying excellent vision and the ability find his way in open space. Mitchell was clocked at 4.48 in the 40 during testing drills. He came away as the fastest man for the class of 2015 at the NUC Camp Atlanta and impressed everyone with his well-mannered attitude and overall talents on the football field. Mitchell has a long and lanky frame and needs to hit the weight room and gain more weight, but has the skill level to reach the college level one day. Good looking prospect that has versatility and could play on both sides of the ball.
DB/WR Elijah Bibbs
5'10 175lbs Pinson, AL (Pinson HS)
Bibbs came to Atlanta with hopes of getting his name out there and getting the chance to compete against other top notch competition and he impressed everyone on the defensive side of the ball with his ability to stick like glue as a cornerback on the receiver but also bring a physical type of game that could translate well to being a high level safety. Bibbs has outstanding ball skills and the hands the come down with the pass anytime he is near the football. He also has enough potential to play wide receiver at a high level as well. Bibbs is looking to play opposite of current 2013 Auburn commit Earnest Robinson this upcoming season for Pinson High School and he is looking to make splash on both sides of the ball. Overall Bibbs was an outstanding talent who has good potential that would work well on the Division 1 football fields.
DB/WR Chandon Sullivan
5'10 162lbs Winder, GA (Winderborough HS)
Sullivan was a prospect at the cornerback position that showed solid skills and the ability to keep stride with his man in and out of his routes all afternoon long. He has extremely long arms which allows him to recover when beat and catch up in a hurry because he gets his arms to the ball so quick. Sullivan has the look and frame of a long and lean cover corner that could play his opponents in man to man coverage all day long. He sometimes plays too close at times and that hurts him when turning his hips and covering down field, but with his speed and long body he should be able to keep improving in this area and turnout to become an outstanding Division 1 talent. Defiantly a future D1 talent who should have a bright future ahead of him.
DB/WR Rubyn Branch
6'0 175lbs Memphis, TN (Arlington HS)
Branch is the third prospect out of Arlington High School in Memphis, TN who made its way down to East Point, Ga for the NUC Camp Atlanta and he proved to be the defensive prospect who everyone kept an eye on throughout the 7 on 7 tournament on Sunday afternoon. Branch excelled as a cover corner where he showed solid man to man skills and the ability to stick to his man while keeping his eyes on the quarterback. He has good size and enough abilities to play everywhere in the defensive backfield. Branch needs to work better at playing in zone coverage but is hoping to improve in that area throughout the summer. He also competed on offense as a wide receiver where he showed that natural ball catching skills that could make him an intriguing prospect as a corner in Division 1 football. Overall Branch tested out well and came away impressive as an under the radar prospect who could get some looks as the year goes on.