December 29, 2008

All-American Bowl: East Hot 11

MORE: East Hot 11 video feature | Army AA Bowl coverage | More all-star coverage

SAN ANTONIO - With a few players absent because of flight cancellations, the East squad worked mainly on formations and special teams on its first day of practice. However, there was still a handful of players who stood out during position drills. Here's a look at the 11 players who impressed on Day 1.

East Team Hot 11 - Monday
6-0/226, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway
The East linebacking crew is a highly rated group, but Bell separated himself on Monday. He is a fluid athlete and does a lot of things well. He has good hips in space, showed the ability to make open field tackles and displayed natural ball skills Though he is not one of the bigger linebackers and doesn't have ideal size, Bell's athleticism more than makes up for it based off of the first day of practice.

6-0/215, Witchita (Kan.) Witchita East
It can be tough for a running back to shine in all-star practice settings but Bryce Brown definitely found a way. Brown is a blur with the ball in his hands and his quickness and acceleration are off the charts. He also was the most effective back catching the ball out of the backfield with his wide receiver like hands. In addition, Brown really set himself apart in the open field tackling drill. In close quarters, Brown was practically untouchable showing incredible elusiveness and change of direction.
6-0/310, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech
Campbell's athleticism is very unique for a player of his size. He was the toughest player to block on a good defensive line for the East squad. Listed at 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, Campbell is massive, but he can really move. He also has the versatility to play on the offensive side of the ball - a trait that the East coaching staff will likely take advantage of. Campbell also has a big personality and keeps the East team loose and laughing.

6-3/230, Tampa (Fla.) Plant
There continues to be question marks about what position Charles will play in college. Is he a tight end? Is he an H-back? Does he move to defense? This week, Charles is making a serious case for being a legit wide receiver at the next level. He is maybe the best looking physical specimen on the East team and he has looked very good catching the ball. He runs good routes, doesn't have great speed for a wide receiver but makes up for it with his physicality and savviness. Charles is also very vocal and asserts himself as both a leader and someone that keeps the team loose and having fun.

5-8/165, Apopka (Fla.) Apopka
Among several big wide receivers like Logan Thomas, Joshua Adams, Orson Charles and Jake Golic, it was the smallest of the group that stuck out the most. Jeremy Gallon looked good all afternoon catching the ball and got open on a number of different type of routes. He got behind the defense vertically, showed good crisp routes that allowed him to work the middle of the field and showed the ability in space catching swing passes and bubble screens. On day one, Gallon looked like one of the most versatile and effective offensive options and will also be a threat in special teams.

6-5/290, Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville Academic Campus
Marcus Hall is a massive right tackle prospect, even compared to the legendary size of Morgan Moses. He has a great frame and body structure with long arms and good strength in the upper body and lower body. Hall showed the ability to be a grinder in tight spaces and also the feet and athleticism to be effective in space on the edge. He looks like what a right tackle prototype should look like.

6-1/198, Tampa (Fla.) Plant
Murray's size is often criticized but his ability continues to overshadow it. Coming off a foot injury, Murray looked close to 100 percent and had good footwork and mobility. He was also the most consistent and accurate passer among the East signal callers despite strong performances from both Tahj Boyd and Tom Savage. On top of his physical skills, Murray is just a natural leader. He is already coaching up other quarterbacks on the intricacies of the offense and he just has an aura about him as a winner and a guy that you want on your side.

6-3/274, Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney
Simon has been known to be a weight room specimen that has great strength but at times doesn't have the production to match. On Monday that wasn't the case. Simon showed good techinique, a high motor and great leverage on the defensive line. He is tough to move due to his strength, but he also has good quickness and managed to get penetration on several occasions against the East offensive line. Most importantly, Simon plays low and gets underneath offensive linemen to cause a lot of disruption.
6-1/295, Princeton (N.J.) Hun School
Listed at 6-foot-1, 295 pounds, Stockton may not even be that big, but he is effective. His size allows him to play with terrific leverage at nose and he caused a lot of havoc in team drills on Monday morning. He is quick, strong and active and the East interior linemen really had trouble handling his bull rush. Most of the quarterback pressure in the morning was due in large part to Stockton's penetration.

6-2/186, Massillon (Ohio) Washington
With several of the defensive backs yet to arrive due to flight difficulties, the East secondary was depleted on Monday so it was a good thing that the four defensive backs on hand were so versatile, namely Justin Turner. Turner, 6-foot-2, 186 pounds, looks like a safety but has cornerback cover skills. He looked extremely good in run support and on open field tackling drills. He has great hips and shows the ability to turn and run like an elite cornerback. Turner plays well in space and stood out as one of the most natural athletes on the East side.

6-0/180, West Helena (Ark.) Central
Winston may not be as physically imposing as some other defensive backs in San Antonio this week, but he is the real deal when it comes to his ability in coverage. He has terrific feet, is very technically sound and just doesn't give his opposing wide receivers an inch. He had an interception in the morning practice when he left his man to undercut a corner route. He was also one of the top performers in open-field tackling drills and displayed a solid physical mindset.




 

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