Top Performers from New Jersey Nike Football Training Camp

Tyler Donohue@@TDsTakeNational Recruiting AnalystApril 28, 2014

Top Performers from New Jersey Nike Football Training Camp

0 of 9

    The nationwide tour of Nike Football Training Camp events rolled into Florham Park, N.J., on Sunday. Many of the Northeast's premier prospects took part in a competitive environment at the New York Jets headquarters.

    Bleacher Report was in attendance to a get a close look at the action. Here's a peek at several of the top playmakers that shined among fellow promising peers.


    Recruit information courtesy of 247Sports. Star ratings based on 247Sports' composite rankings.

4-Star TE Chris Clark (Avon, Conn.)

1 of 9

    Chris Clark looked every bit the part of an elite tight end target in passing drills. Despite competing against a stacked group of defenders, the 6'6", 247-pound prospect exploited opponents with explosiveness and an unfair size advantage.

    His quickness shines as he maneuvers in and out of breaks during downfield progression. Clark was a favorite receiver for multiple quarterbacks and for good reason.

    He caught everything thrown his way and looks like a sure bet to pick up major chunks of yardage after receptions throughout his career. Clark gives collegiate coaches options because he appears capable of lining up in space to present favorable matchups in the slot.

    North Carolina lost a commitment from Clark earlier this month. He picked up an offer from Michigan State last week and recently visited Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame.

4-Star QB Brandon Wimbush (Jersey City, N.J.)

2 of 9

    Quarterback Brandon Wimbush helped lead St. Peter's Prep High School to a state championship game as a junior. He already appears to have sharpened several elements of his passing attack, particularly downfield precision.

    The 6'2", 205-pound playmaker is a threat to do damage with his legs but stands to make strides in the pocket. Wimbush delivered the football with a consistent, timely release throughout drills Sunday, appearing noticeably more polished than quarterback contemporaries who were present.

    He's a confident competitor and didn't display any glaring issues when it came to accuracy at any level. Unsurprisingly, Wimbush took home NFTC quarterback MVP honors.

    His list of collegiate options includes Ohio State, South Carolina, Miami, Virginia Tech, LSU and Penn State.

4-Star CB John Reid (Philadelphia, Pa.)

3 of 9

    John Reid was a star among stars at defensive back. The Philadelphia standout shined while competing alongside several high-level FBS secondary prospects.

    He simply overmatched most wide receivers that attempted to challenge him. Reid was dogged in his efforts to command space in coverage and frustrated opponents with unyielding physicality.

    His hip fluidity is special, helping to put him in position to break up pass attempts and pull down interceptions. The 5'10", 180-pound prospect is a speedster who will be tough to beat downfield in a stride-for-stride race at any level of football.

    Reid earned an Alabama offer in March. His campus visits this year include Penn State, Maryland and Notre Dame.

3-Star WR Lawrence Cager (Towson, Md.)

4 of 9

    Maryland product Lawrence Cager enjoyed a successful trip north, emerging as one of the most athletically gifted competitors in combine drills. He rates No. 87 nationally among receivers in 247Sports' composite rankings, but his performance on Sunday proves that's probably too low.

    It may be based on raw talent right now, but Cager's approach in one-on-one drills was downright attention-grabbing. He pairs a 6'5" frame with impressive leaping abilities, reaching up to snag passes that few players can even attempt to contend.

    He isn't a burner in the open field but gives defenders fits with mid-air adjustments and attacks the second level as a route-runner. Cager consistently high-pointed the football and has the makings of a dangerous target in the red zone.

    His offer list features Rutgers, Indiana, Wake Forest and Oregon State.


3-Star OL Tommy Hatton (Montvale, N.J.)

5 of 9

    Tommy Hatton continues to make the case for his upgrade to a consensus 4-star recruit (he actually turned toward reporters and mentioned displeasure about his status as a 3-star prospect after completing an impressive stretch in one-on-one drills). The 6'3", 280-pound interior offensive lineman was a vocal and enthusiastic leader of the group throughout the day and backed up his bravado as the best of the bunch.

    He is relentless in the trenches and clearly has a lot of pride in his craft. Hatton took on a long list of defensive linemen and consistently dismantled them with a mix of fundamentals and sheer strength.

    His energy was contagious among fellow linemen, and he has tangible leadership skills that will translate to the next level. Hatton projects as an early college starter at guard or center.

    A widespread offer list includes South Carolina, Boston College, Maryland, Rutgers and Louisville. He visited Penn State last month, and it wouldn't be surprising to see James Franklin extend an offer soon.

4-Star RB Saquon Barkley (Whitehall, Pa.)

6 of 9

    Saquon Barkley was above the rest amid a quality crop of running backs in attendance Sunday. The 5'11", 190-pound Penn State commit was in complete control during drills, exhibiting tremendous burst and balance.

    He displayed top-notch acceleration and rapid, precise footwork. In passing drills, Barkley regularly feasted on overwhelmed linebackers and battled for space in the open field.

    His efforts showcased that he can be a dangerous receiving threat out of the offensive backfield. Barkley, who flipped his commitment from Rutgers to Penn State in February, looks like a complete package.

5-Star CB Minkah Fitzpatrick (Jersey City, N.J.)

7 of 9

    Minkah Fitzpatrick showed up to participate at NFTC fresh off his commitment to Alabama. He pledged to the Crimson Tide last weekend while attending spring game festivities in Tuscaloosa.

    The 6'0", 185-pound cornerback is imposing and continues to expand on an explosive physical frame. Fitzpatrick dominated receivers at the line of scrimmage and provided little wiggle room for overmatched opponents.

    He collected a slew of interceptions in one-on-one action, exerting himself as a prospect willing to prove he's worthy of all the hype. Fitzpatrick is the real deal as a top-tier defensive back and has the physicality to potentially contribute at safety under the direction of Nick Saban.

    He chose Alabama over Miami, Florida State, Auburn, Florida and Georgia, among others.

4-Star OL Ryan Bates (Warminster, Pa.)

8 of 9

    Ryan Bates, one of several Penn State pledges to participate, looked the part of a promising offensive tackle prospect for James Franklin to groom in Happy Valley. The 6'5", 280-pound Archbishop Wood High School standout held his own against an array of defensive linemen.

    He showed he can cut off angles with an outstanding wingspan and used lower-body leverage to take control early off the snap. Bates stood tall when faced with a variety of pass-rushing moves, using solid footwork to work his way into position.

    He still has strides to make, but the progress is apparent. Bates committed to the Nittany Lions in February, spurning offers from Michigan, Auburn, Ohio State and Michigan State.

2016 5-Star DT Rashan Gary (Scotch Plains, N.J.)

9 of 9

    No prospect appeared to dominate at his respective position as much as sophomore defensive tackle Rashan Gary. The 6'4", 280-pound prospect punished opponents with power and finesse moves, leaving plenty of offensive linemen looking silly in the process.

    He took every rep with a workmanlike approach, sprinting back to rejoin the defensive linemen after each impressive one-on-one performance. Gary let his game do the talking, and it was a sight to behold.

    His efforts drew a lot of reaction from onlookers, including NFTC coaches. Gary clearly deserves consideration as the top defensive tackle in the 2016 class.

    Offers have already arrived from Florida, Alabama, Penn State, Rutgers and Florida State.