December 26, 2005

Junior to Watch Blog: 12/26

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*The top player in the Class of 2006 from the state of Oklahoma is big defensive tackle Gerald McCoy out of Oklahoma City Southeast. It's possible that the Sooner State's best in the Class of 2007 could also be a Gerald, in 5-9, 175 pound athlete Gerald Jones out of Oklahoma City Millwood.

Jones plays primarily quarterback for the Falcons, but has the athletic ability to transition over to either wide receiver or cornerback at the next level. This fall as a junior, Jones led the Falcons' attack with 1,957 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground to go along with 887 yards and 10 scores through the air. He already holds offers from Texas Tech and Tulsa.

Coach Keith Bell says that Jones isn't the only prospect that should shine at Millwood next fall. Bell has high hopes for a pair of rangy wideouts in 6-1, 170 pound Gill Roberts, who only played in four games this fall due to injury, and 6-3, 170 pound Tramain Swindall. 6-3, 230 pound tight end Donta Newton should also play at the next level according to Bell.

*Coming off of a 6-4 season that included five straight wins to finish the year, coach Vince Suriano has high expectations for Cincinnati (Ohio) Anderson in 2006.

One main reason to expect more victories next fall is the presence of 6-5, 290 pound offensive lineman Mark Wetterer. "Mark is the best player I have coached in my 32 years of coaching," raves Suriano. "He's big, strong and physical - everything you want in an offensive lineman."

Wetterer, who Suriano feels will be a national-level recruit next year, will be joined up front by another solid OL prospect in 6-4, 260 pound Joe Flading. The two will lead the way for 5-10, 190 pound running back Jake Davis, who had a huge junior season in 2005, rushing 209 times for 1,228 yards and 22 scores. Davis also had nearly 300 yards receiving and scored a total of 26 times, which was the most touchdowns of any Cincinnati-area player this fall.

*Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham is traditionally one of the top teams in the L.A. City section and has a history of turning out top prospects. Although the team managed just a 6-6 record this fall while battling a brutal schedule, the Patriots should soar again in 2006 under coach Ed Croson.

One reason will be the return of sensational Class of 2008 prospect Milton Knox Jr.. As a sophomore this fall, the 5-9, 190 pounder ran 239 times for 1,606 yards and 26 touchdowns, while also catching 21 passes for another 336 yards and three scores.

Dominic Baker's return should help the Patriots' defense as well. The 5-9, 165 pounder should be one of the top cornerbacks in California next year according to Croson and snagged three interceptions this fall. Wide receiver Willie Chandler should also help keep defenses from ganging up to stop Knox in '06. The 5-10, 165 pounder had 360 yards and four scores receiving as a junior while also returning a kickoff for a score.

*Matt Mitchell and Ross Mueller are two players that stood out for a 10-2 Chippewa Falls (Wisc.) team as juniors. Mitchell, a 6-4, 225 pound athlete, made honorable mention all-state as a receiver and has great hands and leaping ability according to CFHS coach Chuck Raykovich. While Mitchell could possibly emerge as a bluechip prospect, don't forget about Mueller, a physical 6-1, 215 pound linebacker who loves to mix it up and is a Big 10 kind of player.

*Haven't heard the name Justin Cox before? Well remember it, because this 6-6, 260 pound offensive lineman should be all over the radar of colleges the upcoming year. Cox, out of Campbellsville (Ky.), recorded 37 pancake blocks as a junior and with 4.9 speed in the 40, has the frame and athleticism that college coaches look for in an offensive tackle.

If you are a coach or parent that would like to get a top junior involved with the NIKE Camps,
NIKE Combines or Elite 11 Quarterback events, or featured on the Junior to Watch Blog, email Brian Stumpf if you are located in the Eastern or Central part of the country ([email protected]) or Greg Biggins ([email protected]) if you are in the West.

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