OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss’ Friday Elite Camp was small in numbers but big in talent with some of the top prospects in Mississippi and surrounding areas in attendance. In the first of two top performers pieces, we take a look at the standouts on the offensive side of the ball.
Rod Taylor was dominant on Friday. Photos via Social Media
1. Roderick Taylor, OG, Jackson Callaway – At one point on Friday, offensive line coach Matt Luke referred to a Taylor rep in one-on-ones as “clinic tape”. He could have referred to few other reps the same way. Taylor was outstanding with both foot and hand quickness, along with the strength to control offensive linemen. He absolutely looked like one of the best guards in the country.
2. Jesse Jackson, WR, Petal – Among several big wide receivers in attendance, Jackson may have had the best day. His speed is deceptive and he was consistently making his way behind the defense, using impressive body control, and ball-tracking skills to make plays downfield against smaller defensive backs.
3. Charles Standberry, TE, Montgomery (AL) Carver – As a wide receiver, Standberry is a big-bodied, good hands possession type that doesn’t have elite top-end speed. As a tight end, where he worked out on Friday, he becomes a matchup nightmare due to his ability to run routes with precision and his outstanding ball skills. Look for his stock to rise.
4. Cameron Sims, WR, Ouachita, La. – At 6-4, 200 pounds, there may not be a wide receiver in the country that looks the part like Sims. At that size, he’s fantastic as a vertical threat. His size, hand strength and straight line speed make him an impossible matchup to smaller corners on the outside.
5. D.K. Buford, APB, Oxford (Miss.) Lafayette – Buford’s athleticism emerges immediately during testing. In the 40, standing broad and every other test, Buford shows tremendous explosiveness and top end speed. He’s also an outstanding receiver out of the backfield who showed the kind of versatility that allows him to line up at running back or receiver in college.
6. Justin Connor, RB, Sardis (Miss.) North Panola (Class of 2016) – Only a rising sophomore, Connor looked seasoned with regards to his frame and athleticism. He’s all of 5-10, 185 and showed plus athleticism, particularly in explosive drills like standing broad jump. He’ll be a name to watch in the class of 2016.
7. Aeris Williams, RB, West Point, Miss. – Williams has a phenomenal physique at the running back position and looks college ready walking in the door. He’s a downhill back, more built for game settings than camp settings but he still showed off plus athleticism for a big back and
8. Markell Pack, WR, Purvis, Miss. – Another big fluid wide receiver, Pack showed very good vertical ability, a strong frame and a big catch radius. He was one of the more natural receivers at the event and showed a good balance between power and finesse. Already committed to Florida State, the US Army All-American will continue to be recruited hard by the in-state programs.
9. Nikia Cathey, WR, Memphis (Tenn.) Westwood – Cathey is small at only 5-7 but his speed is big-time. The Mississippi State commit isn’t a big target but creates a large window for his quarterbacks by creating plenty of separation. Cathey also showed natural ball-skills and looks as though he can be more than just a return specialist on the next level.
10. Reid Kellems, OG, Madison (Miss.) Madison-Ridgeland – At only around 6-1, Kellems’ height is far from ideal but he showed good knee bend, flexibility and feet in one-on-one drills and was rarely beaten. Size and frame may keep him from landing an SEC opportunity but Kellems has the skill-set to be a sleeper pickup for a FBS program.
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