Monday, March 18, 2013
Finding the Future: Miami NFTC
By Derek Tyson
Editor's note: Finding the Future is a RecruitingNation feature that will appear throughout camps and combine season, ranking prospects strictly on their on-field performance at the particular event. It does not reflect where each will land when the class is ranked by ESPN.
MIAMI -- The NFTC was loaded with top upperclassmen prospects on Sunday, but a handful of 2015 prospects showed they could compete with some of the top, older, competition in the state.
Considering: Offers from Florida, FSU, West Virginia and Miami
What we learned: Cole was a standout among the defensive backs on Sunday. At only 165 pounds he might not be physically imposing, but what he lacks in stature he makes up for with raw natural ability. Cole faced some of the top receivers in the state such as Johnnie Dixon, Travis Rudolph and Corey Holmes and more than held his own.
"Tyrek had great hips, was fluid and had really savvy feet," ESPN National Director of Recruiting Tom Luginbill said. "One of the things I liked about him is he knew how to position himself to gain an advantage and not get caught out of position. For younger players, you could tell he had some football instincts about him. Thought he could flat-out run and he's got some natural height to him.
Considering: Offers from FSU, Miami, Alabama and Clemson
What we learned: The wide receivers group was the top position group at the NFTC and Phillips took a back seat to no one. Physically he's as impressive as any of the other receivers and displayed soft and reliable hands throughout the day. He sometimes gets overshadowed by his teammates Dalvin Cook and Joseph Yearby, but Phillips will get plenty of hype when he is a senior.
"He looked a lot like Johnnie Dixon physically, but maybe a little bit taller," Luginbill said. "He's not there as a route runner, right now he's winning on all athleticism. He has got to learn the little nuances of the position like spacing, steps, eating up a cushion, having plan depending on what the coverage is and what the route is. Athletically -- extremely gifted."
Considering: Receiving interest from Miami, Florida State and Alabama
With his height and weight, Clarington is the first person everyone noticed when looking at the wide receivers and tight ends group. Clarington says he is a wide receiver but with his size, there's no question his position on the next level is tight end. Clarington made several catches on the day and used his size to overpower smaller defensive backs in one-on-one drills.
"He's a tight end that doesn't know he's a tight end yet," Luginbill joked. "He's going to be one of those jumbo receiver, H-back, movement type players. Great looking player on the hoof. He kind of looks like Derrick Henry looked at this stage. He's only going to get bigger; he's going to fill out. If anything I don't know if he's sudden enough to remain at receiver, but he's athletic enough to move into that H-back role."
What we learned: Physically, Burgess-Becker was one of the most impressive looking wideouts among the entire group. As a sophomore, Burgess-Becker played safety and is still adjusting to the new position. Though still raw, his athleticism was very evident in every drill.
"He's got a great frame," Luginbill said. "He's got some work to do as far as route running and learning the nuances of the position, but he has a lot of physical tools that you don't see every day."
Considering: Offers from FSU, Boston College, LSU, Notre Dame and Ole Miss
What we learned: McFadden was one of the top defensive backs in attendance. With his athleticism and length, he was a tough matchup for the wide receivers in attendance. McFadden broke up several passes during the one-on-one drills.
"He has great size and really long arms," Luginbill said. "He runs well and is surprisingly agile for his size. With his length, he has a chance to develop in to a nice cornerback prospect."