Fortius Project Top Performers (3/4/17)
The Fortius Project made its second stop of 2017 on Saturday at the stunning home of the Jones County Community College Bobcats.
Tyreece Hudson, Northeast Jones
For a second consecutive weekend Northeast Jones all-purpose playmaker Tyreece Hudson was dominant at the Fortius Project. Yesterday, however, his performance was especially impressive, and he was named the STRONGER award winner(camp MVP). In the testing portion he recored a 4.4-second 40-yard dash and a 4.03-second 5-10-5 shuttle time. During the competitive drills he played on an island against the camp’s best wideout CJ Bolar for most of the day. Going against a defensive with him at corner was difficult, because he took one receiver out of the play completely.
Juvon Keyes, Northeast Jones
And also for a second straight week, Juvon Keyes finds himself taking home an All-Combine medal, as well. Just as he did last week at ICC, Keyes showed strength, athleticism and a high motor. With increasing flexibility he will continue to scratch the surface of his potential, which is high in part to his ideal size. Additionally, he has shown the willingness to put the work in to be great, as he has been to two Fortius stops so far and plans to attend all five. As well he is a team leader alongside Hudson at Northeast Jones.
Jon Bolton, Purvis
Saturday marked Jon Bolton’s third trip to the Fortius Project, as well it was the third time he’s been named to the All-Combine team. Though he won the STRONGER award at the final Fortius stop of 2016, Saturday was his most impressive showing yet. Not only did he show up even bigger, stronger and faster than he was a year ago, he showed he’s improved on the field, as well. He was solid in the morning testing, but nearly unstoppable in 7-on-7 from the backfield.
CJ Bolar, Purvis
Bolar made it two for two on Saturday, earning his second All-Combine medal in as many Fortius trips. Since attending the Biloxi stop last year he has picked up plenty of offers. The 6’3 rangy athlete is adding more speed and skill all the time. He proved to be a mismatch for most of the defensive backs on hand, and even made one of the catches of the day. He plays receiver for Purvis, but their passing attack wasn’t too aggressive in 2016. However, he can contribute in a variety of ways.
Trace Clopton, Brookhaven
After earning his first offer from South Alabama on a visit Friday night, Brookhaven’s Trace Clopton was putting in work on Saturday at Fortius. His size, savvy, strength and footwork make him a very effective offensive linemen. On Friday night he can grind his opponents down, but on Saturday he showed he is athletic enough to be a tremendous pass blocker, as well. The rising senior has the talent and work ethic to wind up perhaps the top 2018 offensive linemen in the state.
Damarrell Leggett, Brookhaven
Leggett created serious buzz during the morning after he jumped 11 feet and six inches in the broad jump, by far the best length of the day. Then he showed his technique and speed with a 4.6-second 40-yard dash time. His speed is impressive considering he was one of the tallest skill guys who competed. He found a way to make plays in the competitive portion of the camp, as well.
Sinclair Ulmer, Laurel
If Sinclair Ulmer’s performance on Saturday is any indication, look for the Laurel Tornadoes to be major contenders in 5A south next season. He showed impressive arm strength, both when he aired it out deep and in putting zip on the intermediate throws. He didn’t always find receivers quickly, but his athleticism will help him buy time to make plays down the field. On Saturday he kept wanting to roll out during 7-on-7. Though it’s not ideal in a camp setting, that ability to throw from outside the pocket will come in handy next season.
Kobie Ulmer, Laurel
Last fall Ulmer played behind senior Dontario Drummond a good bit, but on Saturday he proved that he has ability to blossom into a superstar in 2017. He was fast, quick and savvy with his route-running. He and Sinclair should prove to be a dangerous tandem on the gridiron next season. Kobie has a will to compete and finish his opponents.
Charles Cross, Laurel
Perhaps one of the more impressive players physically on Saturday was Laurel offensive tackle Charles Cross. He measured in at 6’5 and less than 250 pounds. His frame is incredibly well-put together to play the edge in high school and at the next level. It is obvious he is a basketball player when you see his athleticism on the gridiron. Look for him to lead the charge on the offensive line for Laurel in 2017.
Austin Bolton, Poplarville
Last season Bolton led the charge for one of the state’s best rushing team in Poplarville. He helped the Hornets win 4A south state and fight tooth and nail with Lafayette for a state title. On Saturday he showed that he is up to the challenge again in 2017 as he tested well in the 40, broad jump and 5-10-5. It is hard for a running back to stand out in 7-on-7 but he ran routes well and always seemed to be open. He also showed nice speed and fluidity in position drills.
Antonio Barnes, Poplarville
Look out for Poplarville in 2017 as they have their guy at quarterback. On Saturday Antonio Barnes began to blossom right in front of our eyes. During the 7-on-7 he guided his offensive unit with poise and accuracy. Whether it was a short out, check down, crossing pattern, fade or deep ball, he was on the money. Additionally, very seldom did he not make the right decision of where to go with the ball. His maturity and level headedness is just as impressive as his arm. He is a name to watch going into next fall.
Kevin Hart, Poplarville
Perhaps the pluck of the day came from Kevin Hart. He measured in at 6'3 and used every inch, plus some impressive leaping ability, to get up and snatch a pass from a defender. He high-pointed that ball well, as he did all day, in addition to flashing impressive ball skills. Poplarville played for the 4A title in 2016, and they could be on track to do so again this fall with an offensive trio of Barnes, Bolton and Hart. Expect the Hornets to create a buzz this offseason.
Trenton Jackson, Oak Grove
Oak Grove rising sophomore lineman Trenton Jackson is a name to remember. On Saturday he turned in a 5.2-second 40-yard dash after running a 5.6 on his first attempt. The linemen were grouped together on Saturday and had to go through drills as offensive and defensive linemen. He showed that his strength and athleticism could project well at either position. The Warriors have plenty of young talent to become serious contenders over the next few seasons and Jackson will be an integral piece to the puzzle.
Brandon Gordon, Laurel
One of the highlights of the day was a deep catch by local receiver Brandon Gordon, who then ran it a long way to finish the play. His speed stood out in a major way on the play. Throughout the course of the day he made plays each time the ball was thrown his way. His ability to get behind the defense proved to be a lethal combination with Sinclair Ulmer’s strong arm.
Paul Rowell, Sacred Heart
To go with nice size at the receiver spot, Sacred Heart’s Paul Rowell also turned in a solid, all-around performance on Saturday. He tested well in all three areas and was a reliable option during the 7-on-7 portion of the camp. His voice was alway prevalent in the huddle and he appears to have the personality to be the leader his team needs this fall. Look for him to produce in a big way.