The IMG Southeast regional 7-on-7 tournament featured a list of elite talent at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida this weekend.
With 14 teams competing for just four spots in the national championship that will be held later this summer, the competition was stiff as every team wanted to qualify as high as possible before tomorrow’s double elimination format.
At the end of pool play, the Central Florida Top Recruits and the Florida Fire were tied at the top of the standing having both finished pool play 4-0. The Top Recruits won on the second tiebreaker having given up fewer points than the Fire.
With day one in the books, let’s take a look back at some of the top performers from pool play.
- Jacques Patrick (RB/ATH, FLA) – Patrick showed up in a Florida State beanie but told Gator Country that Florida and Florida State were tied at the top. A running back, Patrick was out to show that he is a versatile athlete and he did just that. Patrick looked comfortable running routes and showed off above-average hands for a back.
- Tyre Brady (WR, FLA) – The 6’3” 193-pound receiver showed a great get off and was able to get good separation against some very talented defensive backs.
- Deionte Gaines (ATH, FLA) – Although he stands at just 5’8”, Gaines played very well in the slot today. He is a quick, shifty player who is dangerous with the ball in his hands. He worked out of the backfield some and was able to move the chains for his team.
- Ronquavion Tarver (WR, FLA) – It’s hard to stand out when you’re on the same field as Travis Rudolph but that is exactly what Tarver did in the South Florida Blur’s first game. Tarver was the Blur’s top target and caught everything thrown his way. He has long arms and soft hands that allowed him to go up and get some high passes.
- JC Jackson (ATH, FLA) – Despite being a Florida State commit, Jackson showed up today in Gators shorts and socks. Jackson played on both sides of the ball Saturday but looked better on offense. He caught a 40-yard bomb and looks very comfortable at receiver.
- Sean White (QB, FLA) – White was hands down the best looking quarterback on Saturday. White not only showed a very strong arm and the ability to put zip on passes when he needed to but he also has great touch. White hit four or five 40-yard bombs today where he hit his receiver in stride in the end zone. White showed off his arm in the red zone as well. On one possession, he found Ermon Lane on a quick slant. White was able to zip the ball in-between two defenders, finding Lane in the end zone for six. On the extra point attempt, White found his receiver on a fade route with a perfectly thrown pass. If the receiver wouldn’t have come up with the ball it would have landed on the top of the pylon, exactly where you want the ball to be on a fade in the corner of the endzone. Very, very impressed with White’s performance today.
- Duke Dawson (DB, FLA) – Duke Dawson was impressive in coverage today. Dawson is a very physical corner. He was able to press for most of the day without much trouble and when the occasional receiver got by him he showed great closing speed. Dawson almost came up with two interceptions, one that he probably should have come down with, but ended the day with more than a handful of pass breakups.
- Artavis Scott (WR, FLA) – Scott is a speedy wide receiver prospect. Today we watched him catch a 5-yard slant, split two defenders and take the ball to the house. In case you weren’t sold on his athleticism, he dunked the ball over the goal posts for good measure.
- Brad Mayes (QB, FLA) – Mayes was the second best quarterback on the day. Like Sean White, Mayes showed great touch on his passes and also the ability to put a little extra zip on them when need be. Mayes led his team to a win over the South Florida Express Elite (White’s team), a team that, in my opinion, has the most talented roster at the tournament.
- Travis Rudolph (WR, FLA) – Rudolph is physically impressive, there isn’t an ounce of fat on his body and other than Ermon Lane, was the best receiver at IMG. Rudolph had a highlight reel play today where he caught a pass on a crossing route and shook a defender out of his shoes. The move drew a wild response from his team. I was told Rudolph is “high on Florida” and they are certainly high on him.
- Kain Daub (LB, FLA) – 7-on-7 tournaments are not built for linebackers to stand out. The game is tailored to feature quarterbacks, receivers and defensive back. Daub showed a good ability to cover slot receivers today and emerged as a leader of his team.
- Devante Phillips (WR, FLA) – Phillips was on the receiving end of a couple of Sean White bombs today. Phillips caught two 40-yard passes today where he simply ran right past his defender. He showed great straight-line speed and soft hands.
- Ermon Lane (WR, FLA) – Lane is just a playmaker. There’s no getting around that. He has great size, speed and hands and he plays with a chip on his shoulder, like he needs to prove something. Lane was all over the field, I saw him catch at least three touchdowns, leap over defenders to win jump balls and he ran clean, crisp routes all day. He looks like a player who can help a college team right now.
- Jeffrey Holland (OLB, FLA) – Holland is a 6’2”, 226-pound outside linebacker. However, Holland stood out on the other side of the ball playing tight end today. Holland showed exceptional hands for a linebacker and caught a jump ball in the corner of the endzone and was able to come down with both feet in bounds. The catch happened right in front of Andrew and I and we both came away impressed with how Holland looked as a receiver. He might be a player who could play some tight end in the future.
- Deontai Williams (ATH, FLA) – Williams impressed due to his physicality. A 2015 prospect, Williams was not intimidated by the older players and was able to get physical at the line of scrimmage. When Williams wanted to come up and jam a receiver, they weren’t getting around him. When he was on offense and a defensive back tried to press him, that wasn’t happening. Williams has a long, long way to go in his recruiting process but I came away impressed with his physical play and natural ability.