Florida State hosted some of the top prospects in the state of Florida and beyond on Thursday. The second of the three-day camp was split into a morning and afternoon sessions with “Nole Ball” having closed out the day in Doak Campbell Stadium Thursday night.
Among the supremely talented group of prospects in attendance were a number of elite prospects in the classes of 2013 and 2014. Here is a look at some of the top performers from day two of the Jimbo Fisher Camp.
1. Alex Collins, RB, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) South Plantation
Of all the running backs on hand Thursday, the 5-foot-10, 205-pound Collins easily had the best feet and vertical burst. The Miami commitments ability to quickly dart, change direction with fluidity and accelerate up the field drew praise from running backs coach Eddie Gran on a numerous occasions. In the passing game, he ran precise routes and had the look of a natural pass catcher. Collins remains committed to the Hurricanes with Florida State, USF and Wisconsin remaining in the hunt for the four-star prospect.
2. Matthew Thomas, OLB, Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington
Not much else can be said about the 6-foot-3, 201-pound Thomas that hasn’t been said many times before. His feet are terrific, he is now consistently showing the ability to open up and run, he changes direction very well for his size; and his length and overall athletic ability makes him one of the best playing the ball in the air at his position. Even thought Thomas has Florida State, Alabama and Miami at the top of his list with the Seminoles holding the advantage.
3. Ermon Lane, WR, Homestead (Fla.) – 2014
247Sports top ranked receiver in the class of 2014 showed exactly why he is so highly thought of Thursday afternoon. He was quick off the line, explosive getting into routes, and showed the ability to separate and finish with strong hands. While his route running is not refined and he will be cognizant of sinking the hips more at times, he possesses a baseline skill set that is among the best in either the 2013 or 2014 class. Florida State, Miami, Alabama and LSU are among the programs that have already verbally offered.
Ermon Lane is one of the top WR's for 2014.
4. Elisha Shaw, DT/OL, Atlanta (Ga.) Tucker – 2014
Shaw has the look of a powerful three technique. While this is his first season playing football, he dominated in one-on-ones and is a legit 6-foot-4, 300-pounds. He fired off the ball low, showed the ability to bend. Shaw needs to add a move or two to his repertoire, but overall he was clearly the best defensive tackle prospect at the event. Look for Florida State to be one of the first to offer in the near future.
5. Artavis Scott, WR, Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake – 2014
Of all of the receivers on hand, Scott may be the smoothest in and out of breaks. When the 5-foot-11, 171-pounder sticks his foot in the ground, he instantly separates – especially on slant and post routes. He is quick off the line of scrimmage, easily able to beat press coverage and gets into routes with quickness. Florida, Ohio State, Vanderbilt and Florida State are among the growing list of early offers.
6. Jamarcus King, WR, Mobile (Fla.) Blount – 2014
King came to Florida State camp as a virtual unknown, but proved to have some of the best ball skills on hand. While the 6-foot-1, 165-pounder has run sub-4.6, he’s quicker than fast and smooth getting into routes. Once the ball is in the air, he showed above average body control, and the ability to track the ball. Florida State and Alabama are among the programs showing serious interest early on.
7. Brandon Powell, Ath., Deerfield Beach (Fla.) – 2014
If the coaches handed out an award for the most competitive camper, it would likely go to the 5-foot-9, 165-pound Powell. Whether it was as a receiver or corner, the class of 2014 athlete took on all comers Thursday; and won the majority of his battles. Powell proved to be one of the quicker prospects on hand, and was very physical in press coverage at cornerback.
8. Paul James, DE, Miami (Fla.) Norland
James lined up at both right and left end throughout the day. He showed multiple moves, natural strength and a quick first step. The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder has added 15-pounds of good weight since the spring, and has retained the quickness he had at 220-225-pounds. James’ ability to play with a low inside shoulder and turn the corner also impressed. West Virginia, Illinois and Kentucky are among the many offers for James.
2014 OL Mason Cole was excellent, even with a broken hand.
9. Mason Cole, OT, Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake – 2014
The 6-foot-4, 275-pounders overall athleticism impressed on Thursday. He looks athletic in his stance with the ability to bend, and fire out of a three-point stance with quickness and low pad level. His feet are quick, and he is advanced in terms of hand placement and overall technique. Because of a broken bone in his left wrist, he did not take part in one-on-one’s. Cole already sports double digit verbal offers, including Florida State, Florida, Ohio State, USC, Clemson and Michigan. He plans to visit Michigan and Ohio State next week.
10. Chad Thomas, DE/LB, Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington – 2014
Thomas was a favorite of coach D.J. Eliot throughout day two. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder as solid throughout drill work, and was frequently used by Coach Eliot as the example for the rest of the group. The one-on-ones set up nicely for him and his pass rushing abilities. There were very few offensive lineman that could slow him down. His ability to turn the corner with a low inside shoulder and quickly end a rep showed up on more than one occasion. Florida State, Miami, Texas A&M and Mississippi are among Thomas’ early offers.
11. DJ Gillins, QB, Jacksonville (Fla.) Eagle’s View – 2014
Gillins got off to a slow start, but improved as the day went on. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder struggled with timing in the one-on-one portion of the morning session, but came back strong in seven-on-seven’s in the afternoon, including a pair of perfectly thrown seam routes that drew praise from the Seminoles coaching staff. The three-sport athlete ripped off a 4.66 forty-yard dash even though he didn’t run through the line, and flashed his quick feet in drills. The national 100 prospect in the 2014 class currently holds offers from North Carolina, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt and others.
12. Keyon Brown, WDE, Wauchula (Fla.) Hardee - 2014
Another in a talented group of defensive ends on hand. Brown, who has a linebacker body type, showed excellent first step get off and the ability to change direction. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder won the leverage battle on every rep, and if not quickly re-directed, quickly turned the corner in one-on-one’s. His body is compact and powerful for a defensive end prospect. Miami and Central Florida have offered with the list expected to expand quickly once the 2012 season begins.
Noteable prospects on hand that didn’t take part:
- Stacy Coley, WR, Oakland Park (Fla.) Northeast (morning session only)
- Jordan Sherit, DE, Tampa (Fla. Hillsborough (went through defensive end drills in the afternoon session)
- Marcell Harris, S, Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips (went through defensive back footwork drills in the afternoon)
- Mackensie Alexander, CB, Immokalee (Fla.) (afternoon session only)
- Jamel James, RB, Katy (Texas) Cinco Ranch (took part in Nole Ball)
Josh Newberg contributed to this report.