• John Macon Gillespie

Fortius Project Top Performers (3/5/16)


  • Dontario Drummond, Receiver, Laurel

It was Drummond’s day from start to finish. He was impressive even before drills began due to his 6’3 frame. Once testing began his numbers were near the top at each station. However, his game went to another level once the competitive portion of the event came around. During the passing drills, 1-on-1 and 7-on7 periods he was constantly turning heads. Defenders found it hard to stay with him and when they did he was able make incredible catches in traffic. He knows how to use his size, and when you add in his athleticism and speed he is in line for a huge season for the Tornadoes this Fall.

“I had a lot of fun out there. I didn’t know I was going to do all of that, though,” Drummond said of winning MVP in a group of talented players.

All-Combine Team

  • Rodney Hawkins Jr., Defensive Back, Brandon

Last season Hawkins proved he can make plays on the gridiron. On Saturday he showed why as he clocked an impressive 4.4 40-yard dash time and tested well throughout the morning. He consistently caught our eye making plays on the ball. Not only is he physical with pads on, he is equally as skilled when the ball is in the air and up for grabs.

  • Louis Smith, Offensive Lineman, D’Iberville

Smith was one of the more polished offensive linemen on hand Saturday. He showed as much in the 1-on-1 portions for linemen. He moved his feet well when defenders tried to go around him, but stopped them in their tracks when they bull-rushed or tried to attack him with power moves. His endurance stood out amongst the linemen and he was competitive during each rep. Smith was also the youngest of the group of linemen in attendance as he is just a freshman.

“The offensive line was exceptionally fast, big and strong. The technique used by some of those guys was impressive and above and beyond what I saw this season,” Smith said of the linemen in attendance.

  • Juwan Taylor, Defensive Back, Provine

Taylor showed that not only is he a hard-hitting, run-stopping safety, but he can also play the pass well. His instincts made him a natural at covering receivers in 1-on-1s and 7-on-7s and once the ball was in the air he made sure the receiver did not come down with it. Though, there’s no question that Taylor’s strength is his leadership and charisma. He was the most prevalent voice all day Saturday and everybody listened when he spoke.

“I had a lot of fun. I want another medal,” Taylor said after the camp and said of attending future Fortius camps.

  • Brian Collins, Wide Receiver/Defensive Back, Provine

Like many of the other Provine Rams in attendance on Saturday, Collins jumped off the page with his athletic abilities and his personality. His electric quickness and speed set him apart. When the ball was in the air his determination and closing speed usually put him in the right position to make a play on the ball. Even more impressive about Collins was the fact he was just as comfortable running routes and catching passes as he was chasing receivers around.

  • Diante Brock, Offensive/Defensive Line, Provine

Brock was equally as impressive as the skill guys from Provine on this list, in fact, perhaps even showing more endurance. Brock stood out primarily as a defensive tackle on Saturday. Not only did he power through blockers with strength and power, but he showed off a bag full of moves, as well. And because the defensive linemen outnumbered the offensive linemen, Brock was forced to flip over and play both. When blocking he displayed natural hip flexibility, bend and foot-quickness. Brock was a strong, quick and skilled specimen, and easily one of the most talented players in attendance at the camp.

  • Wyatt Davis, Quarterback, Pearl River Central

While Davis is slight in stature, his arm is massive. Once he got warmed up and ready he began throwing dimes more than 40 yards down the field. Rarely did Davis miss receivers on Saturday, whether it be on deep routes, touch fades or intermediate, quick routes. Once the defenders were added to the equation late in the day then the competitiveness of Davis was fully on display. Davis is a proven winner, whether it be on Friday nights in the Fall or winning medals in a camp setting.

“Best of the best. It’s what you want. To be the best, you have to compete with the best,” Davis said of competing with a group of talented quarterbacks.

  • Wayne Overman III, Quarterback, St. Martin

WO3 was the lone left-handed quarterback in attendance on Saturday, but that wasn’t the only reason he stood out. Overman’s accuracy shined bright from the warm-up period and only got better as the day went on. Even more impressive was that Overman threw perhaps even better on the run, whether it was running to his left or his right. Even more, Overman was vocal leader, encouraging others and even pushing himself in the testing portion of the camp. Watching him throw go routes was a thing of beauty. Seriously, I could have just watched that all day. His combination of accuracy and athleticism makes him a special, special signal caller.

  • Kegan Huddleston, Running Back, Shannon

After making the drive down from North Mississippi, Huddleston put on a show and proved himself to be a complete back. He tested well, showed competitiveness in 1-on1s and 7-on7 and did not look out of place when running routes and catching passes with the receivers. Huddleston also looked significantly bigger than he did during last season. His physicality, in addition to his athleticism, makes him a bright spot in any setting, especially the one he was in on Saturday. Also, no player was as joyful to be around a group of new faces than he was. Meeting new guys and making new friends seemed to be the highlight on the day for him.

“I learned what I need to better myself at and what I need to work on. The new guys I met were phenomenal at every position. We talked about ball and how we better each other,” Huddleston said of the experience overall.

  • Ricky Myers, Linebacker, Brandon

If there was a true middle linebacker in attendance on Saturday, Myers was it. He has the look and attitude it takes to be a mike. Despite his impressive and stout frame, however, he ran well and showed great change of direction in cone drills. He, like many others, embraced the competitive environment and thrived in it. His determination and grit to be the best and to not be beaten on each and every rep was his brightest asset on display.

  • Charles Hartfield, Wide Receiver, Oak Grove

It was clear from the get-go that Hartfield is a player. Not only did his skill match his impressive size, but it stood out even more than his ideal frame. He seemed to be having as much if not more fun than anyone else just getting to be around the guys. He was smooth and silky running down the field chasing passes in warm-ups. During the competitive periods he was able to separate from defenders and even go up and get the ball over the defenders who could hang with him. His body control for his size is a sticking point to his game.

“I learned a lot. It was great to find out where you stand out at,” Hartfield said about being surrounded by talented players.

  • Jordan Murphy, Wide Receiver, Hattiesburg

Unquestionably Murphy was one of the more explosive athletes in attendance on Saturday. Furthermore, his routes were so dynamic whether it was in a quarterback-receiver only drill or with a defender on him. He seemed especially comfortable on underneath and out routes, though his ability to run by defenders showed as well. Murphy caught everything thrown his way and made the difficulty catches look easy. All the quarterbacks wanted Murphy on the other end of their throws and he embraced that role. His lower-body explosion was one of the highlights of the day.

“The best part was competing with the defensive backs. The other was getting to know new people,” Murphy said of his favorite parts of the event.

  • Jalen Hoover, Defensive Back, Northwest Rankin

When asked his name on Saturday Hoover responded by spelling it out, “H-o-o-v-e-r, like the vacuum,” he responded. His play was somewhat similar to a vacuum, as well. Any pass thrown around him got sucked up into his reach where he could take it away or bat it down. Receivers just could not seem to create any separation from him the whole day. His ability to cover and his competitiveness overshadowed his also impressive testing numbers. He caught everyone’s eyes all day and was one of the STRONGER award candidates.

  • Shamorie Harris, Defensive Back, Quitman

No one could seem to find Harris during the 40-yard dash but that was mainly because he was a blur. He ran easily the most eye-popping time of the day during that portion with a 4.34. Then he paired his impressive time with a near 10-foot broad jump. There was no questioning that he owned the testing portion of the camp, making him a candidate for the STRONGER award as well. His strength during the 7-on-7 portion was playing back as a free safety and instinctually determining where he needed to step in help out. His calm, humble demeanor but loud and impressive play was something that endeared him to his competitors.

  • Nick Stinson, Quarterback, Hartfield Academy

Stinson only got better as the day went on. His footwork stood out even in a group of impressive quarterbacks. With polished footwork, his accuracy was consistently on point. During 7-on-7s he provided his offensive unit with good leadership and he made quick decisions that led to him unit getting down the field in the allotted amount of downs. During testing he showed that he has enough athleticism, that when combined with pocket presence, can make him very slippery in the pocket. He always seemed to be on the same page with each and every receiver he threw to.

“I learned a lot about the different schools and players that were really good that I hadn’t heard about yet,” Stinson said of meeting new guys.

  • Chris Monroe, Defensive/Offensive Line, Petal

Monroe provided the full package for a lineman. On the reps when he worked as a defensive lineman his strength and quickness showed the most. His initial push was resisted just a few times and when it was he was able to spin off the block or slip around it. As an offensive lineman he was able to keep defenders at bay and contain their moves while moving his feet like a polished lineman. He was equally as good on both sides due to his strength and athleticism, but mainly his quiet, competitive spirit and smile is what stood out most. He truly enjoyed the response that other guys gave to his dominant reps and he seemingly fed off of it.

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