2014 Recruits Making a Name for Themselves at Camps, Combines and 7 on 7's
Last spring, a relatively unknown receiver lit up every offseason workout he attended. The player saw his stock soar as he made a name for himself by performing well at various combines, camps and throwing sessions. His spring performance was so impressive that he earned a scholarship to Baylor.
By the time the 2013 recruiting cycle ended, Robbie Rhodes was considered one of the top players in the country.
As the following players are proving, a recruit does not have to possess early offers from juggernaut schools to earn recognition. A safety from California used a camp as the platform for his coming out party. An undersized corner displayed exceptional athleticism to earn an invite to a prestigious summer event.
And two offensive linemen have made a name for themselves with good performances at various camps and combines.
Kammy Delp, OL
Delp, who has the makings of a solid guard prospect, stole the show at the Oakland NIKE Football Training Camp in May. He entered the camp with several offers, however, none from traditional juggernaut programs.
Delp, who is 6'3" and 304 pounds, was at his best during the 1-on-1 portion of the camp. He used his great strength to push around defensive linemen and flashed good quickness in tight space.
Delp's performance was so impressive that not only did he earn an invitation to The Opening, a prestigious camp sponsored by NIKE, he also took home Oakland NFTC offensive line MVP honors.
Ja'Merez Bowen, OL
Bowen, who is from Ohio, is in the shadow of some great offensive line prospects in his region, including Ohio State commit Marcelys Jones. He is not on many national top-10 lists. But after his performance at the Raw Talent camp, that may change.
Bowen, who is 6'4" and 285 pounds, made an interesting decision at the camp. Instead of showcasing his skills as an offensive lineman, Bowen worked out as a defensive tackle. Bowen displayed good snap quickness and displayed a wealth of potential at the position.
According to Scout.com, Bowen has received offers from Nebraska, Louisville, UCLA and Kentucky.
Kavin Alenxader, CB
When looking at Alexander on the hoof, he does not impress many observers. He is only 5'8", weighs slightly more than 180 pounds and does not stand out physically on the field.
However, Alexander's athleticism allows him to do rare things on the football field. He came to the Dallas NIKE Combine from his home state of Arkansas and posted the second-highest SPARQ rating of all -time.
A SPARQ rating is an index designed to take into account all of an athlete's physical testing scores and times and then rates the overall athleticism of the person. A score of 45 is considered average, while a score of 90 is considered elite.
Alexander ran a 4.36 40-yard dash and a 3.90 shuttle, which are remarkable times. His performance at the combine earned him an immediate invitation to The Opening this summer.
Alexander, who could develop into a great cover cornerback, could see his recruitment heat up over the next several months.
Andrew Ford, QB
Before this spring, Ford was known as the guy who was supposed to help Adam Breneman light up Pennsylvania competition in 2012. However, Breneman, who signed with Penn State, tore his ACL last spring and missed his final season.
Ford, who is 6'2" and more than 185 pounds, went to the Elite 11 workout in Washington, D.C., this past spring. He came to the event as an afterthought, but the lefty showed great pocket mechanics, poise and accuracy during the workout.
Ford has since been named an Elite 11 finalist and will be one of the top players to watch at the event this summer. He is the great example of a recruit making a name for himself at an offseason event.
Jacob Bragg, OL
Bragg, who is from Texas, had a big weekend in the middle of April to put himself on the map. The relatively unknown offensive lineman had a good day at the Nike SPARQ combine in Dallas, posting a 97.71 SPARQ rating.
Then, all Bragg did the next day was win offensive line MVP honors at the NFTC. He translated the athleticism he showed at the combine the day before into a productive football performance at the camp.
Bragg, who is 6'4" and 314 pounds, displayed great quickness in short areas and used his strength to play like a giant at the point of attack. He has been selected to play in the Under Armour All-American Game.
Kansas and Oregon State have offered him, according to ESPNU.
John Plattenburg Jr., RB
The defensive back lineup at the Oakland NFTC, which took place late last month, featured studs like 5-star Adoree' Jackson and Brandon Simmons, who is committed to Stanford.
However, it was Plattenburg who was the best in the secondary at the camp. He displayed excellent range and play speedt. Plattenburg, who is 5'10" and 176 pounds, is at his best when can patrol areas in zone coverage and can help defend the run by quickly filling alleys.
He has received offers from programs such as Ole Miss, Oregon, UCLA and TCU, per ESPNU. USC is a school that could ascend up his list should the Trojans extend an offer.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.