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March 7, 2012
Rivals.com/VTO camps drawing big names
The Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcases took five states by storm last year, playing host to three of the nation's top 10 players in the class of 2012, more than 20 four-stars, more than 50 three-stars and 16 prospects that played in either the U.S. Army All-American Bowl or the Under Armour All-American Game.
This year, the showcases will double, reaching 10 states, and will be led by the nation's No. 1 cornerback, Kendall Fuller, along with many others as this year's events are filling up daily with even more talent.
Last Spring, the first year the showcases expanded to multiple states, players such as Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek offensive tackle D.J. Humphries, Shelby (N.C.) Crest defensive end Jonathan Bullard and Olney (Md.) Good Counsel wide receiver Stefon Diggs took their five-star talents to the showcases. With showcases run in only Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, the talent numbers were beyond impressive.
This spring, starting with the first weekend in Alabama and Georgia (March 24-25), the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcases will be in 10 states. In addition to Alabama and Georgia, the camps will once again be in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, but also are branching out into Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Fuller, who was at the Virginia showcase last year, leads a strong group of prospects planning to attend the camp at Highland Springs High School in Richmond, Va., again this year on April 7. He will be joined by Rivals100 teammate Dorian O'Daniel and teammates Kirk Garner, Andre Levrone, Reggie McGee and 2014 standouts Kobie Walker, Sam Mustipher and others.
Others who have signed up already include Ashburn (Va.) Briar Woods linebacker Matt Rolin, Midlothian (Va.) Manchester defensive back Holland Fisher and Richmond (Va.) Hermitage running back Derrick Green. The trio boasts offers from programs such as Virginia Tech, Virginia, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State, North Carolina, N.C. State, Clemson, Miami, Auburn, Oklahoma, Penn State, USC and many others.
Fisher is already committed to Virginia Tech. Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside running back Taquan Mizzell, Nokesville (Va.) Kettle Run athlete Michael Parker, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy linebacker Yannick Ngakoue, Pomfret (Md.) McDonough offensive tackle Na'Ty Rodgers and 2014 rising superstars Da'Shawn Hand from Woodbridge (Va.) Woodbridge Senior and Andrew Brown from Chesapeake (Va.) Indian River are also expected to attend.
The events kick off in Alabama at Leeds High School and in Georgia at Marietta High School on March 24 and 25, respectively. Registration is still open for all events and the Alabama camp is headlined so far by Gadsen (Ala.) Gadsen City wide receiver B.J. Hammond and Cottondale (Ala.) Paul Bryant wide receiver Tony Whitehead, who both have multiple SEC offers. Pinson Valley (Ala.) wide receiver Earnest Robinson, an Auburn commitment, and Cordova (Tenn.) St. Benedict running back Jordan Wilkins, who has offers from Arkansas, Michigan, Ole Miss, Mississippi State are among others also expected to attend.
In Georgia, the event is headlined so far by 2014 stars Damarre Kitt, a wide receiver from Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek with offers from Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina and others, and Nick Glass, a defensive back from Atlanta (Ga.) St. Pius X School who has early offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, UNC, Oklahoma State and others. Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton receiver Ryan Jenkins is also on board and has offers from Clemson and Louisville, while Norcross (Ga.) cornerback Shon Akins, who has a California offer, is also all set. Marietta (Ga.) wide receiver Tyree Harris will strut his stuff on his home turf and show why he has an offer from Mississippi State. Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson athlete Ali Groves, who has offers from Florida, Missouri, South Carolina and others, will represent his school.
A few others who have expressed interest in attending the Georgia event include 2014 running back Stanley Williams from Bethlehem (Ga.) George Walton Academy, a Georgia commitment, and Norcross (Ga.) running back Alvin Kamara, who has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Tennessee, USC and others.
Following that weekend, the camps will be in South Carolina at York Comprehensive High School on March 31 and in Charlotte, N.C., at Mallard Creek High School on April 1.
In South Carolina, the headliners are 2014 standouts Kevin Crosby from Bamberg (S.C.) Bamberg-Ehrhardt and Dexter Wideman from Saluda (S.C.), as well as 2013 Jalen Stevens from Goose Creek (S.C.). Crosby is a linebacker with early offers from Alabama, Florida, Clemson, South Carolina, Oklahoma, USC and others, while Wideman is a defensive tackle with early offers from Clemson and South Carolina. Stevens is a linebacker with an early offer from North Carolina.
The North Carolina event will obviously be highlighted by the Mallard Creek prospects, led by the state's No. 1 player, wide receiver Marquez North. North has offers from Florida, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, UNC, N.C. State, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee and others. He will be joined by teammate Brian Walker, a defensive back with offers from Auburn, UNC, N.C. State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and others. Fellow cornerback Anthony Covington has offers from UNC, N.C. State, Virginia and others and offensive lineman Tevin Lawshe has an early offer from East Carolina.
North Carolina is also highlighted by early signups from 2013 linebacker LaChaston Smith from Statesville (N.C.) South Iredell, who has offers from Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and others, as well as 2014 running back Derrell Scott from Havelock (N.C.), who has early offers from North Carolina, South Carolina and East Carolina.
After the stop in Virginia on April 7, the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcase heads to Ohio and Pennsylvania the weekend of April 14-15. On April 14, the camp will be held at Princeton High School in Cincinnati and will then head to Gateway High School outside of Pittsburgh for April 15. The Ohio registration just opened, while Pittsburgh is also just starting to roll with early commitments from McDonald (Pa.) South Fayette wide receiver Zach Challingsworth, who has offers from numerous MAC schools, and Clairon (Pa.) Clairon Area linebacker T.J. Armstrong, who also has MAC offers. There will also be plenty of talent from Gateway itself and sign up for the event has just begun.
The tour moves to New Jersey for April 22 at Wayne Hills High School (subject to change) for what should be a star-studded event.
A few of the headliners include Wyomissing (Pa.) Wyomissing Area linebacker Alex Anzalone, the Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber Creek trio of Greg Webb, Dajaun Drennon and Myles Nash, Philadelphia (Pa.) West Catholic running back David Williams and 2014 quarterback A.J. Long from Bangor (Pa.) Pius X. This group has offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Stanford, USC, Arizona, Michigan State, Nebraska, Miami, South Carolina, Tennessee, UCLA and many others.
The next two weekends the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcase heads back to the South to finish the tour. On April 28, Florida is the destination with the location still to be determined and registration set to open soon. Following Florida, Louisiana will be the final camp on May 6 at Dutchtown High School outside of Baton Rouge. Registration for this event opened this week.
If you are the coach or parent of a prospect with D-I offers or likely to receive D-I offers, or the prospect himself, contact Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell at firstname.lastname@example.org, via Twitter at @rivalsmike or via Facebook.