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April 28, 2006
Athens NIKE Camp upon us
Every year, one of the most talent-laden NIKE Camps is the Athens camp. Held on the campus of the University of Georgia, top prospects from throughout the Southeast typically head to the camp to compete against some of the top talent in the region.
It is no different this year as a bevy of talent will descend on the Classic City Saturday for the 2006 version of the camp.
Several pre-evaluation Rivals100 prospects are on the confirmed list for the event, including potential five-star running back Caleb King of Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview, cornerback Eric Berry and 6-foot-6 wide receiver John Keye of Jackson (Ga.).
Other pre-evaluation top 100 prospects expected to compete are Hendersonville (Tenn.) athlete Golden Tate, Greensboro (Ga.) Greene County quarterback Josh Nesbitt, College Park (Ga.) North Clayton defensive back Morgan Burnett and Marietta (Ga.) Kell running back Jonathan Dwyer
Nesbitt, along with towering Atlanta Westlake signal caller Cameron Newton, headline at quarterback.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Nesbitt is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country and has early scholarship offers from Georgia, Florida State, Auburn, Duke, Georgia Tech and others. Though it is not a given that he won't play quarterback at the next level, he is talented enough to play a number of positions if need be.
The 6-foot-6 Newton is raw, but has a ton of physical tools. He recently picked up offers from Florida and Georgia to go along with Virginia Tech, Ole Miss and LSU.
King, Dwyer and Tate, along with Lynn Haven (Fla.) Mosley running back Enrique Davis highlight the running backs.
Davis could have the best vision of any running back in Florida not named Noel Devine in this year's class. He has early scholarship offers from Auburn (a school which knows a thing or two about running backs), Ole Miss and Central Florida.
Chamblee (Ga.) all-purpose back Roddy Jones is a solid prospect who can increase his stock with a strong showing Saturday.
Tate projects as a cornerback or wide receiver at the next level, but is scheduled to work out with the running backs on Saturday.
Though the position is loaded, the best overall wide receiver prospect scheduled to show up Saturday could be class of 2008 star A.J. Green of Summerville (S.C.). The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Green is a tall, lanky receiver with excellent speed and will give onlookers a first look at his considerable talents.
Keye, Tifton (Ga.) Tift County speedster Israel Troupe and Tennessee commit Todd Campbell of Franklin (Tenn.) are the class of 2007 names to watch among the receivers.
Florida State offensive tackle commit Antwane Greenlee and Georgia offensive tackle commit Trinton Sturdivant headline the offensive linemen. Jeffersonville (Ga.) Twiggs County's Chris Little, who has scholarship offers from multiple programs, is expected to compete as well.
Metter (Ga.) offensive lineman Jared Flowers is a sleeper to watch on the o-line.
Columbus (Ga.) Shaw tight end Bruce Figgins is the headliner at that position heading into the camp.
Berry, a cornerback and Burnett, who likely projects as a safety, will lead a fairly deep group of defensive backs. Both have multiple SEC and ACC offers and are among the best in Georgia at their positions.
In addition to those two, Justin Byers from Charlotte (N.C.) Vance, Statesboro (Ga.) sleeper John Knox and Knoxville (Tenn.) Catholic athlete Harrison Smith all are Division I-A prospects and worth keeping an eye on.
Rakeem Muhammad of Memphis (Tenn.) Hillcrest and Randy Parker of Tifton (Ga.) Tift County are two sleepers to look out for.
The linebackers at the camp will feature several sure-fire prospects and quite a few sleepers.
Carlton Johnson from Lynn Haven (Fla.) Mosley could be one of the top prospects at his position in the Sunshine State for this year's class. He, along with Georgia commit Rennie Curran will certainly be two everyone will have their eyes on, along with Wadesboro (N.C.) Anson's Barquell Rivers.
Louisville (Ga.) Jefferson County's Tim Nelson is a prospect that could play either defensive end or linebacker. The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder is excellent on film and has the physical measurements to be a highly-regarded prospect. Saturday, Nelson will get a chance to show off his athleticism.
Two more sleepers to watch are Pineville (Ky.) standout Brent Slusher and Blythewood (S.C.) Charles White. Both are expected to be Division I-A signees when February rolls around.
Ole Miss commit Ted Laurent headlines the defensive tackles. Laurent is impressive on film and could end up being one of the Southeast's best at his position.
There will be a pair of defensive ends that everyone will have their eye on. Jackson (Ga.) jumbo athlete Neland Ball has three SEC scholarship offers, from Auburn, Kentucky and Ole Miss. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder could end up with many more should he impress Saturday. Georgia commit Conrad Obi of Loganville (Ga.) Grayson also will be there looking to impress. Both are highly-regarded.