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Monday, March 18, 2013
Lessons Learned: Miami NFTC

By Derek Tyson

MIAMI, Fla. -- The 2013 Nike Football Training Camp tour continued in Miami on Saturday as several top players from South Florida showcased their skills at West Orange High School. The wide receiver and offensive line position groups were loaded and several players earned invitations to The Opening.

Recruiting Nation writers Derek Tyson and Kipp Adams attended the camp. Here is what they learned:

Wide receivers stand out
As impressive as the wide receivers group was at the Orlando NFTC on Saturday, the Miami NFTC was even better. The talented group of pass-catchers was led by Watch List prospects Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer), Travis Rudolph (Miami/Cardinal Newman) and Corey Holmes (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas). Just a day after impressing in Orlando, receiver Ryan Sousa (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) traveled to Miami and again competed and impressed with his performance.  De'Vante Phillips (Miami/Central) and Devonaire Clarington (Miami/Southridge), both 2015 prospects, proved they belonged with the other top players. The group, as a whole, consistently won most of the one-on-one matchups and were the best position group at the camp.

ATH Johnnie Dixon can roll. vine.co/v/bp7edxTEDJQ

— Tom Luginbill (@TomLuginbill) March 17, 2013
MVP/The Opening invites
Dixon might have been the most impressive player at the camp and, along with linebacker Richard Yeargin III (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School), defensive back Chris Lammons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Plantation), running back Joseph Yearby (Miami/Central) and defensive end Chad Thomas (Miami/Booker T. Washington), earned both camp MVP for their respective positions and invitations to The Opening, which will be held in Beaverton, Ore., in July.  Quarterback Sean White (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School), highest SPARQ score Holmes and center Raul Diaz (Miami/Central) also earned MVP honors, and Dalvin Cooke (Miami/Central) and Isaiah Wynn (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood) also earned invites to The Opening.

Sleeper center emerges
With a host of Watch List offensive linemen in attendance, Raul Diaz came out of nowhere to win the offensive line MVP. Diaz dominated just about every single one-on-one matchup he faced and drew praise from coaches on several occasions. Diaz isn't the biggest prospect on the line, but he used excellent technique to stay in front of every defender. The 6-on-3, 270-pound Diaz holds only one offer -- from Kentucky -- but after his impressive performance on Sunday, he's sure to see his recruitment pick up.

Big boys came to play
The best one-on-one battles of the day happened in the trenches. The intense battles drew a crowd from media, parents and others in attendance including recently elected Pro Football Hall of fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp. Watch List tackles Wynn, Trevor Darling (Miami/Central) and K.C. McDermott (Wellington, Fla./Palm Beach Central) had several hard-fought battles against defensive ends Thomas and Michael Smith (Miami/Northwestern). Watch List defensive tackle Khairi Clark (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madona) and center Diaz went toe-to-toe several times. Diaz got the best of Clark on a few occasions but Clark did well in other matchups he faced. The offensive line wasn't far behind the receivers in being the best position group.

Isaiah Wynn vs. Chad Thomas @recruitingespn vine.co/v/bp72Dm96u37

— Derek Tyson (@DerekTysonESPN) March 17, 2013
Teammates impress
Though they were late arriving to the NFTC, running back teammates Dalvin Cook and Joseph Yearby stood out among the running backs. Cook, who's committed to Clemson, did well in the pass blocking drills and Yearby, who's committed to Miami, excelled as a receiver out of the backfield. It's hard to find two running backs in one state with talent level of Yearby and Cook, much less on the same high school team. Both players earned invites to The Opening, and Yearby took home running back MVP honors.

Dalvin Cook stoning a guy in pass blocking drills. @recruitingespn vine.co/v/bp7MQ0ujia1

— Derek Tyson (@DerekTysonESPN) March 17, 2013