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March 6, 2007

Junior to Watch Blog: 3/6

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!

The first batch of 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 Junior to Watch Blog returns to take a look at some of the early returnees...

*The Sunshine State is known for producing athletes and that trend will definitely continue in the Class of 2008. One of the best in the state will be Jacksonville Bartram Trail cornerback Xavier Brewer, who is up to 10 offers already after a strong junior season. The 5-11, 170 pounder totaled 72 tackles, eight pass deflections and six interceptions last fall on his way to Class 5A third team all-state honors, and backed those numbers up with a solid showing at the Orlando NIKE Combine, where he clocked a quick 4.21 shuttle and posted a 34.6-inch vertical jump. Brewer, who has bests of 10.8 in the 100 meter dash and 22.2 in the 200, already has offers from a number of big-time schools, including Florida, Miami, UCLA, Clemson, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Mississippi State and UCF. His early top five reads Florida, Miami, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Wake Forest and he'll be in action at the April 22nd NIKE Camp in Tallahassee.

*A top J-Ville area prospect who'll be out to beat Brewer deep on the 22nd in Tallahassee is Jacksonville Parker wide receiver Alfred Jenkins. The 6-0, 170 pounder was an Orlando All-NIKE Combine selection back in January, clocking a 4.64 40 and posting a 34.1-inch vertical, and he holds early offers from Florida, Illinois and Maryland. Jenkins had a strong junior campaign in 2006, catching 32 passes for 494 yards and seven scores while also rushing for two touchdowns. Parker coach Greg Stanton calls Jenkins, "The best wide receiver I've ever coached - he has great hands, great speed and is on his way to being a big-time recruit."

*Rivaling Jenkins as one of the South's top WRs could be Columbus (Ga.) Carver big man Jarmon Fortson. Fortson possesses great size at 6-3, 218 pounds, but also runs well with a reported 4.5 in the 40. Last fall Fortson reeled in 31 passes for 521 yards and five touchdowns, earning all-city honors and helping his team to a 12-2 record. He is impressive enough on tape to already have drawn offers from Auburn, Clemson and Kentucky and his early favorites include Georgia, Auburn and Clemson, plus Florida and FSU. Fortson would like to see the field early in college and will show his stuff at the April 21st NIKE Camp in Athens.

*Many top corners in the South will look to shut wideouts like Fortson down on the 21st in Athens, including Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson's Ahmed Shakoor. The 5-11, 185 pound Shakoor has already starred at one NIKE event this winter, earning all-NIKE Combine honors in Atlanta after clocking a 4.50 40. The speedy athlete was a do-it-all threat in '06 for Stephenson, accounting for over 1,100 yards of total offense and 18 touchdowns at quarterback while totaling 51 tackles and snaring an interception on defense. Shakoor holds an early offer from Virginia Tech and the Hokies lead early on, followed by Florida, Clemson, LSU and FSU.

*Tar Heel state standout Lorenzo Williams of Fayetteville Westover has picked up his first offer, from the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Williams was one of many who got washed out at the Charlotte NIKE Combine a couple of weeks back, but his impressive 4.67 40 time a year ago at the Clemson NIKE Camp plus a solid junior season that included 60 tackles and 270 yards receiving. The 6-2, 195 pounder lists Wake Forest on top early, followed by Duke, Virginia, North Carolina and NC State, and he'll attend the April 21st NIKE Camp in Athens.

*Naples (Fla.) has been one of the Sunshine State's top programs over the past five years under head coach Bill Kramer and the Golden Eagles will be tough again in 2007, led by a strong Class of 2008 group. Leading the way for Naples is 5-11, 175 pound safety/cornerback Jack Swanson, who is coming off of Miami All-NIKE Combine honors after clocking a 4.64, benching 10 reps and jumping 33 inches in the vertical back on Feb. 3rd in South Florida. Swanson was a key player for the Golden Eagles last fall, totaling 83 tackles, four tackles for loss and two interceptions. A fine student with a 4.4 GPA and a 1440 SAT score, Swanson has one offer so far from FIU and lists Wake Forest, Virginia, Ohio State, Iowa and Wisconsin in his top five.

*Quick-Hitters:
Ballwin (Mo.) Parkway West QB Blaine Gabbert landed offer No. 8 Tuesday from the Kansas Jayhawks... Westwood (Mass.) Xaverian Brother kicker Paul Asack has received his first scholarship offer from Duke...



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 (brian@studentsports.com) or Greg Biggins (greg@studentsports.com) if you are in the West.


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