March 6, 2006

Junior to Watch Blog: 3/6

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NIKE Camp registration information has been mailed out to prospects all over the country and already many are beginning to return their forms and confirm their spots for one of the 12 NIKE Camps across the country. Today the Blog continues to take a look at some of the early returnees...

*6-3, 210 pound quarterback Stephen Garcia emerged last fall as one of the nation's top young prospects at his position with a dynamic combination of athleticism and passing ability. The Tampa (Fla.) Jefferson standout threw for 2,800 yards and 28 TDs as a junior in '05 while also rushing for 700 yards and eight scores on his way to earning Class 4A second team all-state honors. Garcia to this point has been mum on who's offering and what schools stand out as his favorites, but he's receiving high interest to say the least from programs like Florida, Notre Dame, USC, Michigan, FSU, Miami and many others and should have his pick of schools by the time all is said and done. He has bests of 4.5 in the 40-yard dash and a 36-inch vertical jump and also plays basketball at Tampa Jefferson. Garcia is distinguishable on the field with his long hair at the quarterback position and says he wears it that way due to his interest in ancient Greece. Garcia will attend the NIKE Camp in Athens on April 29th.

*Staying in Florida, one of the most dynamic running backs we've seen on tape so far is 6-1, 210 pound Enrique Davis out of Lynn Haven Mosley. Davis is way off the recruiting services radar, but already has three offers in from Ole Miss, Central Florida and Auburn after a huge junior season during which he rushed 201 times for 1,817 yards and 24 touchdowns while helping the Dolphins to an 8-4 record. A Class 4A second team all-state pick following the season, Davis is a big back with power and explosive speed that is very tough to stop at the high school level and projects well to college. He reports bests of 4.4 in the 40 and a 340-pound bench max. Davis lists his current favorites as Florida, Auburn, Miami, Alabama and Tennessee and he'll attend the April 29th NIKE Camp in Athens.

*Davis isn't the only Mosley prospect coming off a big junior season and reporting early offers. 6-2, 185 pound linebacker/athlete Carlton Johnson has also picked up early offers from Auburn and Ole Miss following a huge '05 campaign. Johnson, an athletic linebacker with 4.5 speed in the 40 and a 315-pound bench press, has anchored the Dolphins defense for the past two seasons, earning honorable mention all-state honors in '04 as a sophomore and then second team Class 4A all-state honors this past year after racking up 154 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Along with Auburn and Ole Miss, Johnson also likes FSU, Florida and Notre Dame. He'll attend the NIKE Camp in Athens with Davis on April 29th.

*Ashburn (Va.) Stone Bridge High is coming off a very successful 12-2 season and one of the key cogs in the Bulldogs' attack was two-way lineman Andrew Nuss. The 6-6, 285 pound Nuss started both ways last fall and earned all-district and all-area honors on both sides of the line after a stellar season. Nuss, who has reported bests of 5.1 in the 40 and a 325-pound bench max, has already seen some early rewards from his strong junior season, as offers have already come in from Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Virginia. Nuss currently lists Notre Dame, Miami, Boston College, Maryland, Stanford, West Virginia, Virginia and Virgina Tech amongst his favorites and plans on camping at ND and BC this summer. He'll also attend the May 6th NIKE Camp in State College.

*Another athletic two-way lineman getting his fair share of early interest is 6-4, 260 pound Ben Bass. The Plano (Texas) West defensive end/offensive tackle has already been offered by Colorado, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss and most recently Texas A&M. Bass is an athletic big man, judging from his 4.8 40 at 260 pounds, and although he played more on the offensive side of the line last fall, his future may lie on the defensive side of the ball in college. Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Florida and Texas Tech comprise his current favorites and he is solid academically with a 3.1 GPA and a score of 1050 on the SAT. Bass will attend the April 22nd NIKE Camp in College Station.

*Griffin (Ga.) running back Bobby Rainey is coming off of a big junior season and recently picked up his first offer. The stout 5-8, 200 pound back with 4.5 speed in the 40 was a Class 4A honorable mention all-state pick in 2005, after rushing for 1,642 yards in 11 games of action. So far Rainey is getting mail from schools all over the south and Georgia Tech is the first to officially offer a scholarship. His current favorites include Miami, Auburn, Georgia Tech, USC and Florida and Rainey is undecided about summer camps at this time. He will attend the April 29th NIKE Camp in Athens along with many of the other top prospects in the region.

*Legendary Chicago (Ill.) Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti has produced his share of great prospects over the years and has another one on his hands in the Class of 2007. 6-3, 290 pound offensive guard Arthur Ray Jr. is coming off a strong junior season in which he earned all-area and second team all-conference honors. Ray also recently picked up his first offer from the Northern Illinois Huskies of the Mid-American Conference. Ray can play both guard and center and boast great strength with a 315-pound bench max as well as solid mobility with a 5.2 40. His current college favorites include Miami, Michigan, Florida, Purdue and Northwestern and he plans on camping at Northwestern and Illinois this summer. He'll also attend the May 5th NIKE Camp in Columbus.

*Canton (Texas) is coming off a feel-good 12-2 season after head coach Gary Joe Kinne returned from being shot by a parent in the spring to take the team deep into the state playoffs this past fall. Kinne has since moved on, taking a job as the linebackers coach at Baylor, and clearly has hopes of bringing some of his top players from Canton with him as 6-5, 290 pound junior offensive lineman Cade Burks already has a Baylor offer. Burks is coming off an excellent junior year, during which he averaged 12 pancake blocks a game and earned all-state honors following the season in which he anchored Canton's o-line at left tackle. Burks reports 5.2 speed in the 40 and a 330-pound bench max. He grew up a big Texas fan and lists the Longhorns as his favorites, followed by USC, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Baylor. Burks will attend the April 22nd NIKE Camp in College Station.



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 (brian@studentsports.com) or Greg Biggins (greg@studentsports.com) if you are in the West.


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