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March 28, 2006

Junior to Watch Blog: 3/28

Note: We hope you enjoy this free story on StudentSportsFootball.com. Student Sports produces the NIKE Camps, NIKE Combines, Elite 11 Quarterback events and coverage of these elite events plus top recruiting coverage will be part of our premium coverage all spring and summer. If you haven't subscribed to StudentSportsFootball.com until now, this is a perfect time to start!

NIKE Camp registration information has been mailed out to prospects all over the country and already many are beginning to return their forms and confirm their spots for one of the 12 NIKE Camps across the country. Today the Blog continues to take a look at some of the top confirmed attendees...

*6-4, 270 pound offensive tackle Stuart Hines is one of the most decorated players out of Kentucky in the Class of 2007, and by the time all is said and done, he may end up being the Bluegrass State's best prospect this year. The Bowling Green High standout with 5.2 speed in the 40 and a 300-pound bench press was a first team all-state pick by both the AP and Louisville Courier-Journal in 2005, helping his team to a 13-2 record. "Stuart can do it all and he'll be an impact player at the next level," say BGHS coach Kevin Wallace. Hines currently has one offer from Kentucky and lists the 'Cats as his current leader, followed closely by Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn and Louisville. A solid student with a 3.6 GPA and a 23 on the ACT, Hines will be one of many top prospects on hand for the May 5th NIKE Camp in Columbus.

*Another top player who'll be in Columbus on May 5th is 6-5, 253 pound Whitehall (Mich.) defensive end/tight end Ryan VanBergen. Van Bergen ranks as a top 25 player in Michigan and already is holding offers from two Big Ten teams, Indiana and Purdue. He was a junior all-state selection in 2005, after recording 59 tackles, seven sacks and four interceptions at defensive end and catching 20 passes for 274 yards and four scores on the offensive side of the ball. Van Bergen's talents aren't limited to the gridiron however, as he averaged 15 points and 13 rebounds a game on the basketball court this winter and also carries a 3.66 GPA and has scored a 27 on the ACT. Van Bergen lists his current favorite colleges as Michigan, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Ohio State.

*With three offers already in hand, Desmond Roberts out of Gaston (N.C.) Northampton West is already on the radar. The 6-5, 260 pound center hopes to launch himself nationally with a strong performance at the NIKE Camp in Clemson on May 21st. Roberts put himself on the map with a strong junior season at NWHS, earning all-conference honors and picking up offers from NC State, North Carolina and South Carolina over the winter. A big-framed lineman with good feet and improving upper body strength, Roberts has a high ceiling and is the type of OL prospect that college coaches love to work with. He lists his current favorites as NC State, North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina and Wake Forest and is also hearing from Virginia.

*Chris Rucker out of Detroit (Mich.) Country Day is one of many talented wide receiver/cornerback prospects in the state of Michigan for the Class of 2007. Rucker ranks right up there as the fastest in the state, after clocking a best of 10.6 in the 100 meter dash, and his speed translates to the field as well, as he caught 26 passes for 696 yards and nine scores last fall, earning junior all-state honors. So far the 5-9, 170 pound jitterbug holds offers from Bowling Green and Cincinnati, and lists the Falcons and Bearcats amongst his top five along with Boston College, Michigan and Georgia Tech. Rucker was one of the top underclassmen at the NIKE Camp in Ann Arbor last spring and will be looking to show well again at the May 5th NIKE Camp in Columbus.

*One quarterback all eyes will be on this spring and summer is Prosser's (Wash.) Kellen Moore. Moore, a 6-1, 180 pounder, set three state records a year ago and definitely projects as a Division I signal caller in our eyes. He had a monster season a year ago breaking state single season records for completions, yards and touchdowns. The talented southpaw completed 317 of 479 passes for 4,600 yards and 66 touchdowns in leading his team to a 13-2 record on the season. He earned 1st team all-league, all-area and all-state as well as Student Sports Junior All-American honors for his efforts. On the recruiting front, Moore is still waiting for his first scholarship offer and list five school that currently top his list. "Washington State is my favorite school right now, I've liked them since I was a kid," Moore said. " I also like Oregon State, Idaho, Boise State and Eastern Washington. Right now, I've just been working out hard running and lifting about five days a week and throwing about three to four days a week. As for camps, I know I'm going to Eastern Washington's camp as well as the NIKE Camp and the Elite 11 camp in Los Angeles on April 15th as well."

*Big-time sleeper Lionel Smith out of Bellaire (Texas) has recently picked up his first two offers. "Lionel was offered by Kansas State and Missouri last week," reports Bellaire head coach Marshall Law. "I've got a feeling more are on the way. I just got that tape out over Spring Break and as you know, most colleges are in spring football now so I'm sure coaches are taking their time looking at them. The kid has that extra gear that everyone is looking for." Smith, a 6-1, 180 pound defensive back/wide receiver, came to Bellaire from New Orleans part of the way through the season last fall as a Hurricane Katrina refugee. He'll attend the April 22nd NIKE Camp in College Station.

*Cuero (Texas) teammates Justin Freeman and Trey Gray both picked up their first scholarship offers this weekend from the University of Houston. Gray, a speedy 5-11, 155 pound wide receiver/cornerback, had 54 catches for 890 yards and nine scores last fall on offense while totaling five interceptions and returning one for a score at corner, earning all-area and all-district honors. Freeman, a big 6-4, 265 pound OL, was also a recognized all-district player last fall. Both will attend the April 22nd NIKE Camp in College Station.

If you are a coach or parent that would like to get a top junior involved with the NIKE Camps,
NIKE Combines or Elite 11 Quarterback events, or featured on the Junior to Watch Blog, email Brian Stumpf if you are located in the Eastern or Central part of the country ([email protected]) or Greg Biggins ([email protected]) if you are in the West.



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