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May 9, 2006
State College NIKE: Brothers put on a show
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The performance of the Haden brothers stole the show at the NIKE Camp at Penn State University last Saturday. The duo from Fort Washington (Md.) Friendly tested off the charts on the day and each was impressive in drills and one-on-ones.
Joe Haden, a 2007 quarterback who is also being looked at as a wide receiver and defensive back, finished second in the SPARQ rankings with amazing numbers while his younger brother Josh Haden, a 2008 running back, finished first with even more amazing numbers.
Joe has offers from Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee, Maryland and many others and is being recruited mostly as an athlete. However, schools like Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia Tech feel he'd be a great fit at quarterback it seems.
Haden was also in the final-six group at the Elite 11 workout after the camp.
Josh doesn't have any offers yet, but will soon enough and will be heavily recruited for the 2008 class. And watch out for this family as there are two younger brothers who will be on the scene down the line. Their father, Joe Sr., is a former bodybuilder who trains both Joe Jr. and Josh.
Austin, Davis compete in different fashion
There were two big names at the event that didn't participate much during the camp - at least at their respective positions.
Washington (D.C.) Coolidge defensive tackle Marvin Austin did participate in the bench press and put up more than 35 reps, but he and Piscataway, New Jersey offensive tackle Anthony Davis decided to work out with the receivers, clearly just to have fun. Both players showed exactly how athletic they truly are by running patterns and catching passes. With more than 30 offers, both had little to prove to college coaches.
The team to beat for Austin could be Southern Cal and the Trojans were on hand to show him some love. However, Austin said he's still open to many schools and will take all five of his official visits. Davis has no favorites at this time, but has offers from nearly every big program in the country except for Penn State and Notre Dame. Southern Cal reportedly offered him last week.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was the best of the signal-callers. Although he didn't drill much, he was involved in the one-on-ones and showed a great release, excellent mechanics and super footwork. He stayed to participate in the Elite 11 workouts and was impressive.
Forestville, Maryland tight end/linebacker Devonte Campbell had a very good day, running a sub 4.7-second 40-yard dash and a 4.19-second shuttle. He received offers from Georgia and Pitt following the camp with Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Boston College also ready to pull the trigger.
Linebacker Pat Lazear from Bethesda (Md.) Walt Whitman was very impressive. He looked physically imposing and turns his hips and runs well in coverage. His strength is being physical, but he was excellent in the finesse aspects highlighted at the camp.
2008 prospects show up big
There was plenty of 2008 talent there on the day in addition to the younger Haden. Manassas (Va.) Stonewall Jackson teammates John Carter and Ryan Williams both worked out at running back and put up some nice numbers for younger guys.
Haden's teammate, Lamaar Thomas, is a smooth-looking player as well and New Jersey speedster Reggie Dixon was actually disappointed in his camp-best 4.38-second 40-yard dash. Also on hand was Altoona, Pennsylvania stud A.J. Alexander, who played at wide-out, and running back Davin Meggett, the son of former NFL runner Dave Meggett, from Maryland.
Richmond (Va.) Varina athlete Justin Thorpe is also a stud to keep an eye on for 2008.
Offensive line doesn't disappoint
Even without Davis in their group, the offensive linemen were an impressive-looking group. Erie (Pa.) McDowell offensive tackle Dan Matha looks as good as a tackle can look physically, although his footwork was slow and needs work. Natrona Heights (Pa.) Highlands tackle Matt Ostrowski is also massive, but he was nursing an injury and wasn't able to work out.
Washington (D.C.) Coolidge tackle Lamar Milstead was impressive, especially in using his long reach and Ashburn (Va.) Stone Bridge tackle Andrew Nuss was the most technically sound lineman at the event. York (Pa.) William Penn tackle Richard Muldrow struggled a bit in one-on-ones with inside-out moves, but has pretty good feet and is very long.
A few sleepers emerged along the offensive line as well as New Brighton, Pa. tackle Zac Kasparek was impressive and should receive more offers soon and Murrysville (Pa.) Franklin Regional tackle A.J. Strum also turned some heads.
The defensive line was a bit lean without Austin, but Germantown (Md.) Seneca Valley defensive tackle Donald Langley stood out and will earn some more offers and Virginia linemen Anthony Mihota and Bud Tribbey were also very impressive. Lake Orion, Michigan defensive tackle Josh Allison looked solid but clearly the best defensive lineman at the event was Nick Jenkins from Good Counsel in Maryland. Jenkins can play offensive or defensive tackle and has excellent quickness for his size.
If the Hadens had their coming out party at the camp, then Washington (D.C.) Coolidge defensive back Cory McManus had his "welcome to recruiting" party.
The big safety was very impressive in one-on-ones, picking off two passes and breaking on the ball very well. He doesn't have any offers yet, but he will within a few weeks. Varina defensive back Davon Morgan was also very impressive at cornerback in one-on-ones.
The wide-outs weren't deep in talent, but Jon Ditto from Gateway (Pa.) Monroeville was too big for most defensive backs and Derek Moye from Rochester, Pennsylvania showed quickness. Toney Clemons, also from Pennsylvania, didn't make the trip.
Quarterback Pat Bostick didn't participate at the camp, but he did throw at the Elite 11 and did well. He's set his announcement date for this Friday, May 12 and it's clearly going to be Pitt unless something dramatic happens.
For complete coverage of the NIKE Training Camps, log on to StudentSportsFootball.com.