The EA SPORTS Elite 11 kicked off Wednesday evening in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., under sunny skies and ideal conditions. All twelve high school participants worked out along with the six college counselors and the eighteen players finished off the two-hour workout with a target competition.
But it was Thursday that brought the big news as four-star prospect Rob Schoenhoft announced his college choice. The Cincinnati native chose the home-state Buckeyes of Ohio State over Michigan.
Wednesday evening's two-hour workout was comprised of footwork drills and then a long dose of coverage recognition and good ball/bad ball drills. Most of the high schoolers needed some time to adjust to the task of reading changing coverages but almost all of them picked it up by the end of the day.
The workout culminated with a target competition in which the quarterbacks, both the schoolers and college counselors, threw at targets from seven different stations in two four-minute halves.
The high schoolers more than held their own in the competition, with two of the nation's most accurate passers tying for first with 16 points - Iowa commit Jake Christensen and Georgia pledge Joe Cox.
Here's a rundown of how each player fared at the first day of the EA SPORTS Elite 11:
Rob Schoenhoft - At 6-5, nearly 230 pounds, Schoenhoft is the biggest of the high school quarterbacks, and certainly has a big arm, definitely one of the top three arms at the camp. The Cincinnati native seemed seemed to spin it every time, and although he struggled early in some of the read and recognition drills, he adapted quickly and made strides.
Harrison Beck - The Florida native was another cross-country traveler who seemed a bit tired before the workout started. He came out with good velocity, but ended up having a pretty average day. Look for Beck's performance to pickup after a good night's sleep.
Jake Christensen - Christensen showed why the Iowa Hawkeyes certainly have a lot to look forward to in the future, putting in a solid workout which was capped off by an excellent score of 16 in the target competition. The Chicago area product is a smart quarterback, and performed very well in good ball/bad ball drills where the players were asked to read coverages and then make the correct throw.
Joe Cox - After a cross country flight that had him up at 5am local time in North Carolina, Cox was already pretty tired at the beginning of the workout. While his arm wasn't as live as it looked in Atlanta back in May, Cox's accuracy was good and he obviously got better as the day went along, tying for first in the target competition.
Jonathan Crompton - The Tennessee Volunteer had a great workout, showing a strong arm and great consistency in all of the drills. Crompton looked a lot better than he did in earlier in the spring at both the NIKE Camp and EA Workout in Georgia. The 6-3, 215 pound North Carolinian said he'd been looking forward to this camp for a long time and certainly performed very well.
Chase Daniel - The lone Texas representative was all smiles but looked a bit nervous and even said as much afterwards. He was somewhat tentative and didn't let it rip at times, but seemed to loosen up near the end and made some great throws late. Daniel also reiterated that he is a solid Missouri commitment, even with increased interest from Texas lately.
Jonathan Garner - The lanky, 6-4 lefthander was 50/50 for most of the workout, as he would throw one good ball and then bounce or airmail the next one. Like Beck, Garner spent most of his day in flight and should perform much better in the next few days. His college decision could come anyday.
Arkelon Hall - Fresno (Calif.) Edison's Hall, who certainly is one of the camp's more vocal participants, looked a little sluggish in his drops but showed solid accuracy and arm strength. Like he did in a recent passing tournament, Hall struggled a bit with his consistency and didn't spin it very often. The Washington State commit has also already guaranteed a win in Friday night's EA SPORTS Elite 11 NCAA Football 2005 video game tournament.
Ryan Perrilloux - The Louisiana product has been nursing a sore ankle for most of the summer, but again flashed the physical tools that have garnered him offers from every major program in the nation. Perrilloux probably had the strongest arm of the day and certainly has great athletic ability, bum ankle or not.
Kyle Reed - This Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds product is second-to-none at the camp in terms of athleticism, and it shows in his drops and quick footwork. Reed's accuracy was off at times, but overall he spins it well, and has a live arm. Perhaps no player will benefit more from the classroom work that the players will partake in over the next four days than Reed, who has already began to ask questions and absorb all the knowledge that the counselors and coaches have available.
Mark Sanchez - The recent USC Trojan commitment had a solid workout doing a lot of things well. Perhaps no player would be more ready to compete for playing time right now in college than the Southern California, who seemed to do everything right.
Willie Tuitama - Stockton's own was very good on the first day, perhaps the workout's biggest surprise. His arm looked very strong and Tuitama looked like he did at the Stanford NIKE camp, when he outthrew all quarterbacks in attendance. The key to his very good day, aside from his arm strength, which is always good, was his consistency. When he is clicking, there are few players that can sling it better than "Tui."
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