“Who’s Next Top 200”
(OFFICIAL MAX EX TEAM TRYOUT)
November 22, 2012
Detroit event starts combine season
This is the third year The Lifting As We Climb Foundation has held a combine in December for top high school football prospects. It doubles as a tryout for the Maximum Exposure 7-on-7 team tryout. Getting prospects transitioned into an offseason workout mindset is one of the priorities for combine director Curtis Blackwell.
"The No. 1 reason why we are holding this camp right now is to let all the young guys who have performed well during the high school season see where they are in comparison to the other guys in the Midwest region," Blackwell said. "From what they find out about themselves at this event, they can come up with a realistic approach on what they need to do for elite spring camps, summer camps and all the 7-on-7 stuff."
With the recruiting process starting earlier and earlier in players' high school careers each recruiting cycle, the importance of offseason performances has increased ? and not just for prospects emerging from their junior seasons but those coming off sophomore campaigns, as well.
At this event last year, class of 2014 prospect Damon Webb was in the process of transferring from University of Detroit Jesuit to Detroit Cass Tech and looking to build his name. Webb's obvious athleticism and ball skills earned him Rivals.com's No. 2 top-performer nod coming out of the event and spurred an offseason that saw the 5-foot-11, 170-pounder generate scholarship offers from LSU, Michigan, Michigan State and West Virginia before the start of his junior season.
"That winter training definitely helped with the Maximum Exposure program," said Webb's father, Damon Webb Sr.. "The exposure did grow (after the event), and looking at him day-to-day I could see his confidence grow along with it. He really wanted to get out there, prove himself and compete with the best guys at those venues. It did help, and you can see the offers came."
Last year's event put Webb's name on the map regionally and nationally, and it helped verify strong junior seasons for prospects such as Chelsea, Mich., running back Berkley Edwards, Detroit Cass Tech safetyDelano Hill and Walled Lake Western safety Joshua Jones. None of those prospects had offers at this time last year, but Hill and Jones are now committed to Big Ten programs, while Edwards has taken three official visits to BCS schools.
Seeing prospects grow their names and their games is an important aspect of the event, and Blackwell expects the same from the 2012 version.
"This event is basically going to identify this next group of guys -- who's going to be the Berkley Edwardses, the Damon Webbs, the Teo Reddings of the upcoming classes," Blackwell said.
The southeast Michigan location has always brought out the Detroit area's top prospects, but this year's event is expected to welcome prospects from across the Midwest. They include: Rivals250 prospects Dante Booker of Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent St. Mary; Detroit Loyola defensive end Malik McDowell; Drew Barker of Burlington (Ky.) Conner; DeShone Kizer of Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic; Sturgis, Mich., quarterbackChance Stewart; Lima (Ohio) Central Catholic safety Darius West; along with Webb and his Detroit Cass Tech teammate Deon Drake.
Blackwell expects as many as 400 prospects to be in attendance for the event, which starts at 10:30 a.m.
Awards will be handed out by position and by class in categories such as Fastest Man (40-yard dash), Strongest Man (medicine ball), 1vs1 Champ and Overall MVP.
Registration for the event can be done at: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4650297164
Maximum Exposure Adidas Showcase Preview
An early look at some of the top prospects who will be in Detroit for the event.
When: December 1, 10:30am-2:30pm
Where: Pontiac Silverdome
Awards by will be given by position and class (2014, 2015, 2016). Categories for the awards are: Fastest Man (40-yard dash), Mr. Explosive (short shuttle), Strongest Man (medicine ball), Most Hops (vertical), 1 vs 1 Champ and Overall MVP.
This is going to be a very good group, which includes two early Scout 300 guys inDrew Barker (Hebron Conner, Ky.) and DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio). In addition, Wisconsin commit Chance Stewart (Sturgis, Mich.), Tyler Wiegers (Detroit, Mich.),Cody Callaway (Midview, Ohio) all currently hold Division-1 offers. Travis Smith(Ithaca, Mich.) is one who appears close to some offers, and Jalen Brady (Grand Ledge, Mich.), Ricardo Johnson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Sean Scullen (Rochester, Mich.), Antonio Ragland (Detroit, Mich.) and Jalen Ewing (Detroit, Mich.) are other juniors to watch as well.
In the younger classes, Jayru Campbell (Detroit, Mich.), Jake Johnson (Dewitt, Mich.) and Anton Curtis (Detroit, Mich.) lead the way for the 2015 class. While Justin Berry (Chicago, Ill.), Joshua Jackson (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and other freshmen will look to put their names on the map.
Leading the way in the junior class are Brian Walker (Birmingham, Mich.) andLorenzo Collins (Farmington, Mich.), both of whom have Division-1 interest. Cass Tech's speedy Sean Perry, Berkley's Alec Sanom and University Prep's Trenell Whitworth are among the other juniors who will attend.
The sophomore group is very strong, lead by Cass Tech's Mike Weber, Oak Park'sJohn Kelly, and Western's Romello Ross, all three of whom are Division-1 prospects. One of the very best sophomores in Ohio, Eric Glover, is coming in after a big 2012 season. Denby's Dejuan Westberry, Mumford's Anthony Warner, and Consortium's Cameron Lewis are other sophomores who will be on hand.
Among the top freshmen will be East English Village Prep's Nathaniel Boulware and Malik Lewis.
Galion (Ohio) junior Dareian Watkins can play several positions, including quarterback and defensive back, but we imagine we'll see him some at wideout as well. From Michigan, Avonte Maddox (Detroit King), Aaron Thompson (Robichaud),Brandon Carr (Grand Blanc), Jordan Billingslea (Southfield), Joshua Flye (Brother Rice), Brandon Sowards (Wyandotte Roosevelt) and Brent Morris (Warren De La Salle) are among the other top juniors.
The sophomores are lead by Ray Buford (Southfield), Keshawn Gilmore (Cass Tech), Jamar Antwine (St. Mary's), and Caldin Rogers (South Lake). Detroit Cass Tech freshman Demetric Vance is playing varsity this year and already making some noise.
Yale (Mich.) guard prospect Derek Brown and Ohio product Cole Pettit are the top junior linemen scheduled to attend. Pettit holds several BCS offers. SophomoreBrennan Bosch will come from Illinois and holds an Illinois offer already. Keyonta Stallworth from South Lake is a big sophomore who appears headed for high Division-1 attention.
On the defensive line, Malik McDowell of Detroit Loyola is not only the top prospect scheduled to attend, but is currently the top overall prospect in the Midwest. Southfield defensive end Lawrence Marshall has several Division-1 offers as does Shaker Heights (Ohio) product Jamarez Bowen. Cass Tech's Brian Sanders is a lengthy junior end prospect to watch. Coming in from Ohio is Buckeye Valley defensive tackleLogan Dziak, who is receiving Division-1 attention.
In the 2015 class, Cass Tech's Joshua Alabi and Oak Park's dynamic duo of Shahid Bellamy and Ricardo Smith all have the look of future Division-1 prospects. East English's Kalan Clark, Henry Ford's Dante Hollis and Westwood New Tech's JaJuan Rogers are all also scheduled to attend.
Three of Ohio's best, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary's Dante Booker, Canton McKinley's Jamaal Davis, and Cincinnati Sycamore's Tinashe Bere will attend. Michigan is loaded with linebackers in the junior class and many are slated to attend: Gary Hosey (Cass Tech), William White (Cass Tech), Carl Fuller (King), Jared Wangler(De La Salle), Deon Drake (Cass Tech), Jordan Cry (Southfield) and Jalen Dingle(South Lake).
There will also be many talented underclassmen in attendance, including Detroit Consortium's Eddie Rhodes, an excellent athlete who did very well at last summer's Sound Mind, Sound Body camp.
A good group of defensive backs are scheduled to attend. Damon Webb of Cass Tech is one of the top overall prospects slated to be at the camp. Jalen Watts-Jackson (St. Mary's), Dillon Dixon (U of D Jesuit), Tim Cason (Clarkston), Phillip Parham (Cass Tech), and Devonte Malcom (Romulus) are among the top junior DBs coming from in-state.
Ohio is sending a very good group of DBs, including Darius West (Lima Central Catholic), Massillon Washington's Marcus Whitfield, and Columbus Bishop Hartley'sAlonzo Saxton, all three of whom hold offers.
Among the top young prospects will be Grand Blanc's Trevon Avery, Orchard Lake St. Mary's Tyson Smith, Warren De La Salle's Damon King.