July 23, 2007

Friday Night superlatives

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Friday Night Lights festivities are over in The Swamp at the University of Florida, but the performances will live on throughout this recruiting year. Led by a standout performance by defensive tackle Marcus Forston, who were the best (and worst) on the evening?

Most dominant performer - This one goes to Forston, who simply dominated the one-on-ones in every way imaginable. Forston bowled over offensive linemen with his bull rush, fooled them with his array of pass rushing moves and made them look silly with his swim move. However, this wasn't the runaway many think it was as there were numerous dominating performances. Ramon Buchanon, Janoris Jenkins and many others made their case as well.

Other notables: Buchanon, Jenkins, Jerrell Harris, Melvin Ray.

Best at each position - Forston wins the battle along the defensive line despite plenty of competition while Brandon Washington was clearly the best offensive lineman. Rounding out the defense, Harris was the top linebacker and Jenkins was the top defensive back. On offense, Star Jackson led the quarterbacks, 2009 star Desmond Scott was the best running back and Ray was the top wide receiver in a strong group.

Most athletic - Buchanon takes the prize in this category as this kid could be special. Buchanon worked out with the linebackers in drills and dominated as a tight end in one-on-ones. His long, lanky frame could fill out to 230 pounds and he has the hips, speed and long amrs to be an oversized safety in college. Buchanon could be effective at the next level at as many as five different positions, he's that athletic.

Other notables - Jerrell Harris, Patrick Johnson, Lamaar Thomas, Jeff Demps, Desmond Scott.

Biggest surprise - There were quite a few players who performed better than expected, but Ray surprised the most. Sure, he's a Rivals250 player and ranked as the No. 7 strongside defensive end in the country, but he's more impressive in person than he is on film and that's saying something. Clement looked much bigger than his listed 240 pounds and his quickness is deceiving. He's a motor player and a hustler and that stood out despite better athletic talent at his position. The kid is a baller, plain and simple.

Other notables - Ray, Kevin Green, Carlton Lewis, Dontari Poe, Kyrhi Thornton, DeAngelo Peterson, T.J. Lawrence, Ed Imeokparia.

Biggest disappointment - This is always a tough category that leads to numerous complaints, but it's our job to scrutanize. For my money it was defensive back Brandon Harris. Harris is an exceptional talent but he didn't have a good night. Receivers were able to get separation on him and he was shielded from the ball too easily. He didn't perform horribly, but it wasn't to his usual standards.

Other notables - D.J. Woods, Kenny Tate, Joe Adams.

Future star - There were a lot of 2009 standouts at the event, a few who could become five star players before all is said and done. Based on this event only, running back Desmond Scott has a bright future ahead of him with his speed, feet and ball skills.

Other notables - Logan Heastie, Tom Savage, A.J. McCarron, Lamar Miller, Frankie Telfort.

Physical specimen - Who looked the best off the bus? There's little doubt it was defensive end Chaz Sutton who is simply a monster. There were many who passed the eyeball test, but none like Sutton.

Other notables - Buchanon, Savage, Peterson, Tate, Jerrell Harris, Marcus Robinson, Earl Okine, Jamie Harper, Yourhighness Morgan.

Most competitive - It's one thing to show up at an event, it's another to compete at a high level and show everyone how much you love the game of football. There were quite a few players who oozed the joy of the game from their pores, but none more than cornerback Janoris Jenkins. This kid doesn't show up to flash his coverage skills, he intends on dominating his opponent physically and mentally. And he does it.

Other notables - Forston, Clement, Buchanon, Scott, Sutton, Ray, Lawrence, Byran Jones, Star Jackson, Travis Benjamin, Jeff Demps.

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