July 28, 2009

Schuman Ultimate100 has Stars of All Ages

NORMAN, Okla. - With the massive number of campers it should come as no surprise that Dave Schuman's Ultimate 100 Camp at the University of Oklahoma was anything less than an equally impressive display of recruiting talent for years to come.

Perhaps no player more embodied what the Schuman camps are all about than Hillsboro, Ore. 2011 athlete Colt Lyerla. The camps, held for any player who will spend the fall on a high school football field, match up players based on not only their level of talent but also their age group.

Lyerla was a player that little was known about nationally but after a stellar performance that pretty much earned him an unofficial camp MVP that should no longer be a problem.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound prospect already holds offers form the in-state Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers but after his stellar performance may find the nation knocking down his door in the coming months.

Lyerla spent the first day working exclusive as a skill position player, mainly at wide receiver and tight end, his second day was spent much the same way until a request was made for him to try and work at defensive end, a position he looks tailor-made for with his long and lean frame.

In his first run out, mere moments after being instructed on the very basics of the position, he created all types of headaches for fellow highly-regarded 2011 talent, Matthew Hegarty of Aztec, N.M who won the camp's 2011 offensive line MVP.

The Schuman coaches felt a further challenge was needed and Lyerla was matched against senior offensive line MVP, and Oklahoma commitment, Bronson Irwin.

Lyerla once gave Irwin some trouble but on the second go around was overpowered by Irwin's experience and massive strength advantage.

Though overall the win would go to Irwin, Lyerla had plenty of reason to feel positive about what he did throughout the two-days of work as most would have handed him the camp's overall MVP award if there were one.

For the Love of the Game

Irwin and, now, fellow Sooner commitment Aaron Colvin came to the Schuman camp with their decisions on their college choices made and more offers than almost anyone in attendance.

What was there left to prove?

Nothing much outside of trying to elevate themselves in national perception.

Of the two, there is no question that Irwin is the player who most cemented himself in the eyes of Rivals.com's Barry Every who came away impressed with Irwin's footwork and overall strength.

Throughout the camp Irwin dominated most, if not all, comers and placed himself right in the conversation as a Rivals250 offensive lineman, whether he falls into that category remains to be seen but it is clearly now within his grasp.

Colvin wasn't sure if he would even take part in the camp but came out and performed quite well both during the one-on-ones as well as the 7-on-7 in which he helped take his team to the senior championship.

Colvin showed some of the best footwork of any cornerback at the camp, and has an ability to play a physical brand of football that most wouldn't expect of a corner with such a lean and, as of yet undeveloped, frame.

State's Young Stars Shine

As they did at previous local and regional Schuman camps some young Oklahoma stars grabbed the attention of most everyone in attendance.

Leading the charge was the camp's 2011 linebacker MVP Trent Martin of Jenks.

Martin has only had a chance to work on his pass coverage this summer in the multiple 7-on-7 camps he took part in but for a player with his size it's easy to imagine that it's the area in need of the most work as playing the run would seem to be no problem.

As the camp went on Martin seemed to improve with each and every snap at handling running backs in space, space that he will never have to cover in a natural game setting. Martin's footwork, natural athleticism and apparent work ethic will make him one of Oklahoma's top prospects for the class of 2011.

Joining him among young players winning awards from within state lines was sophomore-to-be Cayman Bundage of Oklahoma City Douglass. The probable center prospect showed great footwork and an athleticism that few players in his age class can match.

Bundage started last year for Douglass and his experience, and the confidence that comes from it was clearly apparent.

There is a long ways to go before Bundage is truly ready to be evaluated and ranked but it's safe to assume he'll be among the state's top linemen when the time comes.

The final piece of hardware brought back to the Sooner state was by Edmond (Okla.) Memorial defensive tackle Connor Myers who won the camp's co-defensive linemen MVP for the junior class.

Throughout the camp Myers was his typical high-motor self and proved too much to handle for just about anyone he came up against. Even more typically he was as remembered for his play as his trademark long-hair and beard.

"The guy with the crazy beard and long hair, that guy is as good as anyone linemen here," said Schuman camp defensive line coach, and former NFL pass-rusher, Quincy Hipps.

Finally a player who wasn't able to highlight himself to quite the same degree, but showed real promise, was Guthrie, Okla. sophomore Blake Belcher. Right now Belcher is long and lean and has a lot to learn about playing with an attitude but he has the natural size and physical tools to become a player down the road.

2011 Could be Loaded

Aside from some of the names already mentioned like Lyerla and Martin the class of 2011 was full of talent that could never be fully listed, however it's time to take a look at some of the ones that were most notable.

While Hegarty was mentioned above as something of a negative there is no question the has the size and talent to be a highly recruited offensive tackle in the college game. Hegarty is raw but in time looks to be the athletic left tackle that college coaches scour the country to find.

At times he struggled with the higher-end athletes at the camp but it has a lot more to do with getting more familiar with the position while adjusting to better competition than it does any lack of talent. Look for Hegarty to be a guy with a lot of offers this time next year.

A name that came in as a virtual unknown but left as a player who showed real promise is Mcdonough (Ga.) Union Grove safety Avery Walls, who recently transferred from Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek.

Walls tested very well in the preliminary Schuman camps but admitted he is still adjusting to playing safety rather than his previous position of linebacker. At times Walls looked a little lost in space but as the camp wore on he seemed to grow more and more comfortable and on the second day in particularly looked much stronger in coverage.

Notably, Walls hung around Norman for an extra day to spend some time touring the facilities and spending time around the coaching staff.

He was joined by a lot of SEC area talent, perhaps most notable among them was Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian running back Andrew Buie. The highly-skilled back of course only had a chance to truly show himself in pass-catching situations but he showed that if running back didn't work out in the college game, slot receiver is certainly a possibility.

Buie was about the only player who continually gave Martin trouble in pass coverage situations including an incredible catch over Martin's out-stretched hands.

Also from the SEC-area were Powder Springs (Ga.) Hillgrove safety Kadetrix Marcus and running back/linebacker George Maxey of Jacksonville Raines.

Marcus is a big-hitting safety who is a work in progress in coverage. However his good frame and closing speed make him a player that could be a real fit into Oklahoma's scheme.

Maxey is a player that seems to see himself as a running back but watching him move defensively it seems that he could be an athletic outside linebacker in the mold of current Sooner Keenan Clayton.


* One of the few surprising seniors was Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely receiver Bryan Thomas who missed much of his junior year with injury but showed great speed and quickness throughout the one-on-ones and was often an even bigger problem in 7-on-7.

* Arik Armstead, younger brother of current USC Trojan Armond Armstead, was impressive but as such a young player still has some ways to go to get his motor running at all times.

* Star Houston Westfield defensive tackle Desmond Jackson was also in attendance and shared defensive line MVP honors for the junior class with Myers. Jackson hurt himself a bit towards the end of drills but everyone came away with massive praise for the star tackle.

* Also from Texas in the class of 2011 was Killeen Ellison linebacker, and potential future defensive tackle, Devon Hocutt. Hocutt is a massive linebacker who showed good athleticism and a severe favoritism to joining the ranks of the Texas Longhorns even in the shadow of Memorial stadium.

* In his second trip to Norman this summer Kameel Jackson of Arlington Sam Houston was once again stellar. Though he sat out of some of Saturday's work with his classmates he is undoubtedly a big-time target at the position.

* One of the most impressive performances of the weekend was from Texas A&M commitment DeMontre Moore who had a great local combine before relaxing a bit too much prior to Schuman's Southwest Ultimate100 camp. Moore found his 'high-gear' and was pretty much unblockable throughout the camp taking home the positions top honor for seniors.

* One of the most promising players in attendance was 2012 running back Tony Clark of Douglas (Ga.) Coffee. Clark has amazing feet, nearly unbelievable for a back with such great size at such a young age. He could be one of the SEC's areas best backs in a few years if he can continue to progress.

* Finally Michigan linebacker, James Ross of Orchard Park St. Mary's, put on an impressive show and shows promise as an athletic middle linebacker who stars in pass coverage.

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