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15 standouts from the Roman’s Soldiers Showcase, my 1st high school football camp since the pandemic | T. Hunt

Author : LavadaCrooks
Publish Date : 2021-04-13 06:20:08
15 standouts from the Roman’s Soldiers Showcase, my 1st high school football camp since the pandemic | T. Hunt

There I was, masked up and ready to go. Friday marked the first prospect camp I attended since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was well worth the one hour, 20-minute trek to Hillsborough where some of the region’s top talent congregated to see who’s best.

Around 300 players attended the event, allowing analysts to preview some of the nation’s top up-and-coming talent for years to come. Multiple players in each position group stood out. So, if I don’t mention a player, it doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t have a good day. I do my best to get around to everyone and everything, but there is only so much one can see at one time. That said, here are 15 prospects who made loud and clear that they are FBS-level recruits that day.

2022

Andre Oben (6-4, 285) OT, St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.): Oben displayed good feet and a competitive edge that brought energy to the OL/DL one-on-ones. He repeatedly took the toughest assignment off the edge — Bergen Catholic sophomore D.J. Samuels, who holds offers from Michigan, Ole Miss, Penn State and others — and held his own, including some dominant reps that you can watch below.

Taj White (6-5, 295) 2022 OT, Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, N.J.): White was physical, mean and had enough technique to neutralize most of the edge rushers in camp. He competed with good energy, physicality, and set the tone during one-on-ones with strong reps against Eastern 2023 linebacker James Heard Jr. in the early period.

Kai Colon (6-3, 205) QB, Paramus (N.J.) Catholic: Colon threw the ball beautifully on Friday, showcasing why coaches from Old Dominion, Fordham, Harvard and Columbia have offered. He delivers the ball with good accuracy and velocity He also boasts good throwing mechanics, and according to Dave McCarthy, has one of the best arms in the state.

Marc Pretto (6-2, 210) 2022 LB, St. Peter’s Prep: The rising senior displayed an elite ability to cover smaller receivers short, intermediately and down the field, earning him top linebacker honors. Linebackers are limited in camp settings, due to the lack of contact, but can separate themselves by showcasing fluidity and athleticism. Pretto checked those boxes on Friday.

2023

Adon Shuler (6-1, 190) ATH, Irvington: Shuler has good size, and is a humble and coachable quick learner. He hasn’t played much man coverage but showed a knack to stay step-for-step in the receiver’s hip pocket, and stick with them deep down the field. He has great length, long arms and ball skills. He can work the press and play a full body even if out-leveraged due to his length.

Eric King (6-3, 300) OL, St. Peter’s Prep: King has a mature, muscular frame despite just starting lifting and learning to play offense last year. It was striking how effortless his reps were. He showed anticipation, good feet, and the ability to anchor down and finish with leverage, earning him the defensive line bronze.

Logan Barnes (6-0, 275) DT, St. Peter’s Prep: Barnes is a squatty, quick, twitchy interior one-technique type with a good first step, hips and hands. He held a Temple offer coming into camp and earned one from UMass after earning the DL MVP.

Gensley Auguste (6-6, 250) DE, West Orange (N.J.): Auguste has high upside, especially when you envision him moving inside two years from now. He boasts elite length, some twitch and he’s already 250 pounds, which should summon some Power Five schools.

Jayden Bonsu (6-1, 190) ATH, Hillside: Bonsu is a long, athletic, versatile athlete with an FBS future. He competed at the camp on both sides of the ball showcasing his versatility. His teammate, Darsopn Jeanty, won DB MVP, showcasing the talent the Comets have in the defensive backfield.

Zion Fowler (6-0, 180) WR, St. Peter’s Prep: Fowler won wide receiver MVP by hanging in the air to make highlight grabs, showcasing why most feel he’ll be prep’s No. 1 receiver in 2021. Especially with former No. 1 receiver Jaylan Sanchez transferring out.

D.J. Samuels (6-1, 240) RE, Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.): Samuels is a skilled edge rusher with a great first step and bend off the edge. He’s also physical, explosive and can turn speed to power with his heavy hands. He went 4-4 against Oben during a spirited bunch one-on-ones. Both were the best players on each side of the ball that day.

2024

Xavier Miles (6-3, 315) DL, St. Peter’s Prep: The younger brother of Keith Miles Jr., Xavier had a strong day. He’s nimble for a young man his size. He comes at you like a freight train, but with a plan, as well as good hands and some bend. Look out as he matures physically and experience-wise. He also projects to offensive guard. Rutgers became the first school to offer in March while UMass offered Monday on the heels of his strong camp performance.

Aleks Sitkowski (6-3, 190) QB, Piscataway (N.J.): Sitkowski has all the tools one needs to be a standout quarterback recruit — the size, pedigree, big arm, mechanics, quick release and he’s a good enough athlete to extend plays. Check out a video interview of him and dime of a throw below.

Yassin Willis (6-0, 202) RB, St. Joseph (Montvale, N.J.): Willis is a big back built in the mold of his St. Joe’s predecessor Audric Estime. However, he has lots of work to do before he can match one of the state’s most prolific players of the last decade. But he’s off to a good start. Ole Miss, West Virginia and Temple have already offered.

Jaylen McClain (6-0, 170) DB, Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.): Only a freshman, McClain has elite quickness, a nice sized frame and will be a national recruit. He stays hip-to-hip with receivers and makes explosive plays on the football, projecting as a big cover corner, if not a receiver himself. Because he can do it all.

Award winners

OVERALL MVP

NICK DUNNEMAN - WR (Seton Hall Prep ’22)

QB

1. MATTHEW HARBISON (Nutley ’22)

2. JACK GRUSSER (Ramapo ‘23)

3. KAI COLON (Paramus Catholic ‘22)

4. JAMES MCCAULEY (Carrollton HS - Ga. ‘22)

RB

1. LUKE TUCCI (St. Joseph-Montvale ’22)

2. SAM SLADE (St. Peter’s Prep ’22)

3. YASSIN WILLIS (St. Joseph-Montvale ‘24)

WR

1. ZION FOWLER (St. Peter’s Prep ’23)

2. JALEN PHILLIP (Union City ‘22)

3. MATTHEW BARRINO (West Orange ‘23)

4. MATT WEIR (also Top TE) (Ramsey ’22)

OL

1. ANGEL MERCEDES (DePaul ’22)

2. ANDRE OBEN (St. Peter’s Prep ’22)

3. MOSES GBAGE-SOWAH (East Coast Prep ’21)/ERIC KING (St. Peter’s Prep ’23)

DL

1. LOGAN BARNES (St. Peter’s Prep ’23)

2. D.J. SAMUELS (Bergen Catholic ’23)

3. NEVIN EARL (DePaul ‘22)

4. SHAINE ALVERANGA (DePaul ‘22)

LB

1. MARC PRETTO (St. Peter’s Prep ’22)

2. JACK SMIECHOWSKI (St. Joseph-Montvale ’22)

3. GAVIN REMBERT (West Orange ’22)

4. CJ WESLEY (St. Peter’s Prep ’22)

DB

1. DARSOPN JEANTY (Hillside ’22)

2. ADON SHULER (Irvington ‘23)

3. JAYLEN MCCLAIN (Seton Hall Prep ’24)

Other standouts/notable attendees

Antonio Rosato, 2023 QB, St. John Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.); Raeden Oliver, 2022 QB, East Orange (N.J.) Campus; Keith Miles Jr., 2022 DL, St. Peter’s Prep; James Heard, 2023 RE, Eastern (Voorhe

There I was, masked up and ready to go. Friday marked the first prospect camp I attended since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was well worth the one hour, 20-minute trek to Hillsborough where some of the region’s top talent congregated to see who’s best.

Around 300 players attended the event, allowing analysts to preview some of the nation’s top up-and-coming talent for years to come. Multiple players in each position group stood out. So, if I don’t mention a player, it doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t have a good day. I do my best to get around to everyone and everything, but there is only so much one can see at one time. That said, here are 15 prospects who made loud and clear that they are FBS-level recruits that day.

2022

Andre Oben (6-4, 285) OT, St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.): Oben displayed good feet and a competitive edge that brought energy to the OL/DL one-on-ones. He repeatedly took the toughest assignment off the edge — Bergen Catholic sophomore D.J. Samuels, who holds offers from Michigan, Ole Miss, Penn State and others — and held his own, including some dominant reps that you can watch below.

Taj White (6-5, 295) 2022 OT, Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, N.J.): White was physical, mean and had enough technique to neutralize most of the edge rushers in camp. He competed with good energy, physicality, and set the tone during one-on-ones with strong reps against Eastern 2023 linebacker James Heard Jr. in the early period.

Kai Colon (6-3, 205) QB, Paramus (N.J.) Catholic: Colon threw the ball beautifully on Friday, showcasing why coaches from Old Dominion, Fordham, Harvard and Columbia have offered. He delivers the ball with good accuracy and velocity He also boasts good throwing mechanics, and according to Dave McCarthy, has one of the best arms in the state.

Marc Pretto (6-2, 210) 2022 LB, St. Peter’s Prep: The rising senior displayed an elite ability to cover smaller receivers short, intermediately and down the field, earning him top linebacker honors. Linebackers are limited in camp settings, due to the lack of contact, but can separate themselves by showcasing fluidity and athleticism. Pretto checked those boxes on Friday.

2023

Adon Shuler (6-1, 190) ATH, Irvington: Shuler has good size, and is a humble and coachable quick learner. He hasn’t played much man coverage but showed a knack to stay step-for-step in the receiver’s hip pocket, and stick with them deep down the field. He has great length, long arms and ball skills. He can work the press and play a full body even if out-leveraged due to his length.

Eric King (6-3, 300) OL, St. Peter’s Prep: King has a mature, muscular frame despite just starting lifting and learning to play offense last year. It was striking how effortless his reps were. He showed anticipation, good feet, and the ability to anchor down and finish with leverage, earning him the defensive line bronze.

Logan Barnes (6-0, 275) DT, St. Peter’s Prep: Barnes is a squatty, quick, twitchy interior one-technique type with a good first step, hips and hands. He held a Temple offer coming into camp and earned one from UMass after earning the DL MVP.

Gensley Auguste (6-6, 250) DE, West Orange (N.J.): Auguste has high upside, especially when you envision him moving inside two years from now. He boasts elite length, some twitch and he’s already 250 pounds, which should summon some Power Five schools.

Jayden Bonsu (6-1, 190) ATH, Hillside: Bonsu is a long, athletic, versatile athlete with an FBS future. He competed at the camp on both sides of the ball showcasing his versatility. His teammate, Darsopn Jeanty, won DB MVP, showcasing the talent the Comets have in the defensive backfield.

Zion Fowler (6-0, 180) WR, St. Peter’s Prep: Fowler won wide receiver MVP by hanging in the air to make highlight grabs, showcasing why most feel he’ll be prep’s No. 1 receiver in 2021. Especially with former No. 1 receiver Jaylan Sanchez transferring out.

D.J. Samuels (6-1, 240) RE, Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.): Samuels is a skilled edge rusher with a great first step and bend off the edge. He’s also physical, explosive and can turn speed to power with his heavy hands. He went 4-4 against Oben during a spirited bunch one-on-ones. Both were the best players on each side of the ball that day.

2024



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