|Raycom College Football All-Star Game Coverage|
Updated - 1-14-13
By: Sanjay Kirpalani
Today, both the Stars and Stripes took part in practice sessions that lasted roughly 90 minutes.
Overall, there are some talented prospects that will definitely have a home at the next level.
Others struggled and have the rest of the week to erase any lingering impressions made on the legions of NFL team scouts in attendance.
The Stars took the field first for the morning session, so I’ll start with them.
With weather conditions less than optimal (it rained off and on throughout the Stars practice), the quarterback group—which was already underwhelming to begin with—struggled with a wet ball.
Pittsburgh’s Tino Sunseri seemed to be most comfortable of a unit that included Murray State’s Casey Brockman and California’s Zach Maynard.
The backs and receivers were a different story.
One of the prospects that stood out immediately was Jacksonville State’s running back Washaun Ealey.
The Georgia transfer boasts a quick first step and has the ability to make a cut and get upfield without losing speed. Equally as impressive was the show he put on in pass skeleton drills, as he ran a multitude of routes and flashed sure hands while proving to be elusive in space.
Ealey is a prospect that is certainly accumulating a buzz, and his name could be a popular one at next month’s combine.
Auburn running back Onterrio McCalebb—while noticeably the smallest back in his segment—is another back that presents matchup problems as a receiver.
The receiver unit was solid as well—with LSU’s Russell Shepard, Clemson’s Jaron Brown and Notre Dame’s Robby Toma headlining a deep group.
Shepard produced a pair of highlight-reel grabs on one-on-one matchups—each of which flashed his enormous, but seemingly untapped, potential.
Shepard has everything necessary to become an NFL receiver, but the biggest knock on his college career was that he never could master the details consistently enough to make an impact.
He had moments where he lost focus and didn’t do the little things (like getting the right depth in his routes, come back to the football, etc.), and that will be his challenge moving forward.
Toma and Brown had their moments, but Quinten Sims—a 6’3”, 202-pounder from Tennessee-Martin—may have been paired with Shepard as the most impressive receivers.
Tight ends Brandon Ford of Clemson and B.J. Stewart of Cumberland both struggled throughout the entire practice. With Ford, it was his hands that let him down while Stewart did not look fluid carrying his 253 pound-frame.
Offensive tackles Emmett Clearly of Boston College and Terren Jones of Alabama State both had solid efforts at left tackle and right tackle respectively.
The biggest impression on defense was made by Tennessee-Martin defensive tackle Montori Hughes.
A 6’4”, 330-pound defensive tackle, Hughes displayed a high motor and enough athleticism to play defensive end in some sets. Hughes was dominant when blocked one-on-one and still managed to get pressure when he was double-teamed in the scrimmage portion of practice.
LSU defensive end Chancey Aghayere and Florida defensive tackle Omar Hunter also enjoyed solid efforts.
Maryland linebacker Kenny Tate stood out amongst the linebackers. A former safety, Tate looked fluid in coverage at 6’4”, 230 pounds during pass skeleton drills.
The secondary was
led by Clemson’s Jonathan Meeks and
a pair of small-school corners in
Charles James of Charleston Southern
and William Buford of Tuskegee.
Stars Top 3 Standouts
1. Montori Hughes – DT – UT-Martin
2. Washaun Ealey -- RB – Jacksonville State
3. Russell Shepard – WR – LSU
While the weather cleared up by the time the Stripes squad took the field in the afternoon, the quarterback play was once again average at best.
Iowa’s James Vandenburg was plagued by inconsistency with his accuracy, although he still did enough to fare better than fellow signal callers Robert Marve of Purdue and Jon Richt of Mars Hill.
While the Stars club saw skill players shine, the Stripes segment of backs and receivers struggled to make a similar impact.
Perry Jones of Virginia looked to possess the most all-around ability out of the backfield, but overall, this group was largely underwhelming.
Josh Jarboe of Arkansas State and Jerry Johnson of UCLA are a pair of big-body receivers that showed the ability to make tough catches in traffic. Jarboe had the strongest effort from that unit—with a long touchdown grab in one-on-ones that showed tremendous body control and his ability to catch the ball at its highest point.
UConn tight end Ryan Griffin was the best tight end in attendance, but he’s more of a solid player than being elite in any one area.
Small school tackles Ryan Schraeder and Jamal Johnson-Webb both showed flashes of being capable tackles at the next level, but both kids need work on their footwork.
If they can show improvement in that area, both could warrant late-round consideration in April’s NFL draft.
Oregon defensive tackle Isaac Remington was a space-eater that consistently required double-teams and displayed a good motor.
Oklahoma State defensive end Nigel Nicholas was able to generate pressure as a 4-3 end and standing up as an outside linebacker in 3-4 sets.
His speed off the edge was impressive, and he can become a valuable commodity in the draft if he can add more pass-rushing moves to his repertoire.
Mississippi State linebacker Cameron Lawrence was impressive working in coverage against running backs and tight ends in the flats.
One of the most
impressive efforts of the day came
from Cincinnati corner Camerron
Cheatham was in
the hip pockets of every receiver he
faced during the scrimmage, and
other than failing to pick off a
pass (he deflected several passes
and dropped one interception), he
enjoyed an outstanding practice.
Stripes Top 3 Standouts
1. Nigel Nicholas – DE – Oklahoma State
2. Camerron Cheatham – CB -- Cincinnati
3. Josh Jarboe – WR – Arkansas State
QB Tino Sunseri (Pittsburgh)
RB Washaun Ealey (Jacksonville State)
RB Onterio McCalebb (Auburn)
OT Terren Jones (Alabama State)
OT John Wetzel (Boston College)
OG John Sullen (Auburn)
DT Josh Downs (LSU)
DT Montori Hughes (Tennessee Martin)
DT Omar Hunter (Florida)
LB Kenny Tate (Maryland)
QB James Vandenberg (Iowa)
RB Perry Jones (Virginia)
RB Miguel Maysonet (Stony Brook)
WR Darius Johnson (SMU)
WR Roy Roundtree (Michigan)
TE Ryan Griffin (UConn)
OT Ryan Schraeder (Valdosta State)
C Tevita Stevens (Utah)
DT Brent Russell (Georgia Southern)CB Corey Broomfield (Mississippi State)
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