June 23, 2012

Day 1 evaluations



ATLANTA - The biggest knock on both Georgia commitments at the Rivals100 Five Star Challenge is that both guys are considered small.

Lincoln (Tallahassee, Fla.) wide receiver Reggie Davis and Sandy Creek cornerback Shaq Wiggins are both considered undersized at this point in their development, but it didn't stop either from having an excellent first day at the event held at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta.

After watching both for five minutes, it is evident that both players are naturally comfortable playing the game of football, and it doesn't hurt that they are both extremely quick.

Davis looked great running vertical routes, but also showed off an ability to use his hands and get off of press coverage. His short to intermediate route running ability has also improved greatly.

According to Lincoln head coach Yusuf Shakir, Davis may not be consider small for much longer.

"He is only 16 years old and won't turn 18 until November of his freshman year," said Shakir. "He is still very young, and his dad is a big guy. His dad is around 6-foot-3."

Both Davis and Wiggins have wide shoulders, long arms, and the potential to add great strength and weight in the future.

Wiggins showed off his ability to press bigger receivers in coverage on Saturday, and did an excellent job rerouting the receivers and moving his hips to cut off the route. Most of the time receivers had to play through Wiggins to get to the ball, and that is extremely tough against a defensive back with his ability to make plays on the ball.

North is impressive

Mallard Creek (Charlotte, N.C.) wide receiver Marquez North has the prototypical look, perfect skill set, but a unique attitude for the wide receiver position.

When watching North in person, the first thing that stands out his is length. He has extremely long arms, huge hands, and an ability to reel in passes that aren't as close as they need to be.

North is also explosive in the first then years, and uses his size and strength to play through press coverage. Cornerbacks had an incredibly tough time jamming him effectively, and this allowed him to gain a solid release every time.

The four star wideout's attitude may be his most impressive quality. North approaches the game quietly and calmly, and is always under control.

His emotions don't run high or low, and he seems to focus on each route in a way that other receivers do not.

McNeil wins. A lot

Hillside (Durham, N.C.) tight end Josh McNeil struggled a little bit in positional drills. A lot of the stuff he saw was new to him, and he knew he was learning on the fly, but his athleticism more than made up for it.

Few realize that McNeil's first year of football was last year, and he is already competing in elite prospect camps such as the Five Star Challenge and The Opening next month.

It was no surprise that he was a quick study.

In one-on-one drills, McNeil was dominant. He used his quickness to get a quick release, and his speed in the open field allowed him to separate from linebackers easily. His horizontal routes are excellent, and his size, 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, gives him an advantage in running possession routes and vertical routes.

Another impressive aspect of McNeil's game is his ability to catch the football away from his body. The former basketball standout does an excellent job of using his long arms and big hands to go out and get the ball, and tucks it away quickly before getting up field.

McMillan shows flashes

Liberty linebacker Raekwon McMillan is easily one of the most impressive looking players on the field at the Five Star Challenge. His frame is ideal for a big, strong inside linebacker, and he doesn't have the hip and lower body tightness that some big linebackers have.

McMillan struggled at times during drills due to the fact that most were not familiar to him. He caught one quickly, however, and was looking comfortable and fluid by the end of the drill session.

In one-on-one drills, McMillan struggled to cover running backs, but that is somewhat expected due to the amount of space that is automatically available in such drills. McMillan did show more coverage ability when working against tight ends as he was able to use his strength to jam them at the line of scrimmage and force them to play through him to get open.

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