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April 16, 2004

Midwest's best to be at Columbus NIKE Camp

For the first time in three years, the NIKE Training Camp tour heads back to Columbus, Ohio. As is always the case in the Midwest, there's loads of talent on both sides of the ball and several of the nation's top prospects will be in attendance this Saturday at Ohio State.

Starting with the offense, it's not often the first player you mention is an offensive lineman but Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward's Alex Boone could be the nation's finest at his position. This will be Boone's second appearance at the NIKE Camp, and the 6-foot-8, 290-pound giant dominated the camp a year ago running a 5.25 in the 40, 4.70 in the shuttle and shut down every opposing lineman he faced in the one on one drills.

There may not be a blue chip quarterback in the group but Jackson (Mich.) athlete Antonio Bass is one of the elite players in the country and could play a number of positions in college including quarterback if he finds the right system. More than likely, Bass will line up at receiver or defensive back and already has offers from several Big 10 schools including childhood favorite Michigan.

There will be several Division I prospects at the signal caller position led by San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine's Jason Forcier, Clayton (Ohio) Northmont's Tyler Horner, Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier's Rob Schoenhoft and Pittsburgh (Pa.) Seton-La Salle's Billy Stull.

Forcier is in the area taking unofficial visits to several Midwest schools and decided to kill two birds with one stone while in Columbus. The quarterback is a two time all-state Underclass selection and should put on quite a show. Schoenhoft has already been offered by Michigan State and Maryland and has the size and arm strength college coaches love. Stull has an offer from Kentucky and threw for 2,262 yards and 22 touchdowns a year ago.

Canton (Ohio) McKinley's Ryan Brinson leads a strong group of running backs. Brinson clocked a 4.50 in the 40 and a 4.02 in the shuttle at the NIKE Camp last year, and is a two time Student Sports Underclass All-American.

A couple of other 'backs scouts are excited to see are Dayton (Ohio) Chaminade-Julienne's Javon Ringer and Belfry, Ky., standout David Jones. Ringer, 5-10, 205-pounds, rushed for 2,345 yards and scored 28 touchdowns a year ago. Jones, 5-11, 185 pounds, could be the top back in Kentucky and rushed for 1,560 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. The Wildcats have already offered.

Detroit (Mich.) St. Martin Deporres' David Grimes could be the top receiver at the camp and already has an offer from Notre Dame to call his own. Interestingly enough, Grimes older brother Carl (Michigan State) was at the NIKE Camp the past two years so it will be fun to compare the two siblings. St. Martin Deporres has another Division I wide out in Talonnie Russell that a lot of people are already saying good things about. Russell was an all-state selection as a sophomore and has all the tools to succeed at the next level.

Moving over to the defensive side of the ball, Muskegon, Mich., defensive lineman Terrance Taylor is another player that impressed at last year's NIKE Camp. At 6-0, 288 pounds, Taylor clocked a 5.12 in the 40, did 29 reps on the bench and looked very good in the position and one on one drills. He earned Student Sports Junior All-American honors last season and has offers from Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue.

It's not clear where he'll line up at, but one player to watch closely will be James McKinney. McKinney, 6-3, 260 pounds, from Louisville (Ky.) Central has said in the past he would like to play tight end in college but his overall size and strength sure would like getting after the quarterback at the next level. Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee and Miami are just a few of the schools with offers on the table. He has made a soft commitment to the Wolverines.

Other defensive linemen to watch in what should be a great camp for linemen include Warrensville Heights, Ohio, Ralph Wilson, Evansville (Ind.) Central's Jared Zwilling, Elizabethtown, Ky., star Brandon Deaderick and Canton (Ohio) Mckinley's Antwon Hight.

Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville's Curtis Smith could be the top linebacker in attendance and coming from Glenville, he'll run well at the camp. He clocked a 4.71-second 40 at 6-0, 241 pounds a year ago. Wellston, Ohio, star Lance Phillips and Columbus (Ohio) Beechcroft's Maurice Nowlin are two others who are drawing heavy college interest at this time.

For expanded coverage of the Miami NIKE Training Camp, you should check out StudentSports.com. Access to StudentSports.com requires an additional membership. Coming Soon! The best is getting better. The Rivals.com Recruiting Database will include all authentic data from this summer's NIKE Training Camp schedule.


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