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Monday, March 11, 2013
Lessons Learned: VTOSports Prep 100

By Kipp Adams

SUWANEE, Ga. -- The VTOSports Prep 100 brought close to 200 prospects to compete on Sunday, including some of the top prospects in Georgia. After an educational seminar on the NCAA and the recruiting process, focus shifted to positional drills and the 1-on-1 competition with standout performances by highly coveted recruits and sleepers alike.

RecruitingNation writer Kipp Adams attended the regional. Here are five things he learned:

MVP performances

Toward the end of the camp, the top five performers at each position were singled out for showcase style 1-on-1 competion in front of the rest of the camp. The winners at each position included a few well-known names in the recruiting world, as well as a couple unknowns hoping to emerge with opportunities to play at the next level.

Price Wilson (Marietta, Ga./Walton) took home honors at quarterback, Ruben Garrett (Augusta, Ga./Aquinas) was named best running back, Watch List prospect Terry Googer (College Park, Ga./Woodward Academy) split the top wide receiver award with Myron Burton (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge). Brandon Walton (Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton) was top tight end while Orlando Brown Jr. (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge) continued his impressive spring winning offensive line MVP after impressive battles against Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove) and D’Andre Walker (Fairburn, Ga./Langston). On defense, Allen-Williams gave Brown plenty of trouble on his way to winning linebacker MVP while Kayton Samuels (Lithonia, Ga./Arabia Mountain) was defensive line MVP. Watch List selection Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King) was a last-minute arrival who locked down wideouts en route to being named the top cornerback.

Acceleration of recruiting continues

With the recent news that Alabama had joined LSU in offering linebacker Dylan Moses before he has played a down in high school, there should be less shock at seeing two eighth graders stand out on Sunday. But it was still an eye opener to where the process is heading. Not only did 5-foot-8 running back Jamyest Williams (Duluth, Ga.) and 6-1, 204-pound wide receiver Deangelo Gibbs (Covington, Ga.) hold their own against much older players, but they have also been able to take a few unofficial visits. Williams made a trip to Florida in seventh grade, and Gibbs, the nephew of former NFL veterans Dale Carter and Jake Reed, has checked out Georgia and Georgia Tech already.

The kids are alright

Not looking to be outdone by the class before them, several 2016 prospects (freshmen in high school at the moment) in attendance Sunday already claim offers from FBS programs. Buford tight end Isaac Nauta (Buford, Ga./Buford) measured in at 6-4, 235 pounds and said that Virginia Tech and Clemson had offered. At 6-3, 255 pounds, lineman Antwuan Jackson Jr. (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove) could project to defensive tackle or offensive guard in a few years. Clemson and South Carolina have already told Jackson Jr., the younger brother of Allen-Williams, that he has a scholarship to play for their program.

Senior sleepers

While there were double digit prospects in the 2014 class on hand already claiming FBS offers, there were at least an equal amount of rising seniors who showed the ability to play at the same level in college. That makes sense considering the number of prospects in Georgia with offers stands right around 100 at the moment, and the Peach State has averaged around 180 FBS signees each of the last few years. Burton Jr., running back Keion Davis (Fairburn, Ga./Langston Hughes), linebacker Dru Moody (Suwanee, Peachtree Ridge), wide receiver Xavier Harper (Jefferson, Ga./Jackson County) and linebacker Daryl Dunlap (LaGrange, Ga./Troup) were among the relatively unknown standouts who could emerge as major college prospects over the next year.

Mother knows best

Looking back at the 2013 class, the mothers of several highly rated prospects played prominent roles in their recruitment, including No. 1 prospect Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson), linebacker Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn), defensive lineman Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County) and quarterback Brice Ramsey (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County). The mother of ESPN Watch List linebacker Allen-Williams, Darnisha Allen-Jackson, takes it to another level, actively engaging with other prospects and fans on both twitter and on recruiting site message boards. Her stance is that she wants to ensure the facts are kept straight regarding her son’s recruitment. Allen-Williams says he talks to her daily about recruiting, and that she will be very influential when it comes to his decision because at the end of the day, he just wants to make her happy.