Fortius Project Top Performers (4/23/17)
Jeremy Tate, New Hope
After making quite the impression at the Fortius Project in 2016, Tate made his long-anticipated return. A year ago he was still making a name for himself, but this time around it appeared he had something to prove. And he did. He proved to be the most talented player in a field of talented athletes. Even on a slightly soggy surface he was able to run crisp routes that had defenders on their heels. It was his ability to run by smaller defenders that really stood out.
Baylee Trusty, Grenada
For the second time in as many trips to Fortius Baylee Trusty was one of the most impressive, and well-mannered, linemen on hand. Not only is he good with his feet and hands, but he showed in the big men pass skeleton towards the end of the day that he also has the best arm of any of the big guys. Trusty is going to be an anchor for the Grenada offensive line this fall.
Caimon Nettles, Hernando
Though he is still molding his game, it is clear that Hernando defensive end Caimon Nettles has upside. His frame is long and lean, and he packs plenty of athleticism. The camp provided a special moment as he received his first college scholarship offer from NEMCC during the camp.
Jacob Krumm, Hernando
Perhaps the most polished quarterback on hand Sunday was Hernando’s Jacob Krumm. This is a big offseason as he looks to replace decorated departing senior Robert Wilcke. But after Sunday, I already feel just as bad for whomever will be replacing him at some points. He showed great zip and consistent accuracy on deep and intermediate throws.
Brian Jackson, Lake Cormorant
It’s scary when a back as big as Jackson can get it going downhill. Without pad on Sunday Jackson used his speed and agility to turn heads, instead of his ability to run over defenders. It was easy to see how Jackson rushed for over 1,500 yards a season ago, while leading the Gators to the 5A North title game. The message I took from his performance was that he’s getting ready for his encore this fall.
Jordan Gilleylen, Shannon
It wasn’t hard for Gilleylen to stand out yesterday, as he was the only lefty quarterback at the camp. But that’s not all. First off, he looks physically prepared for the season already as he has added a couple of inches since last season. To go along with it, there are mechanical improvements and it has made him a precision passer.
Urriah Shephard, Houston
The only thing Shephard didn’t do on Sunday was battle it out in the trenches. Other than that he ran two 40-yard dashes clocked in the 4.4-second range. He flashed a strong arm. He even lined up and ran some routes at receiver. There wasn’t a person on hand that wasn’t impressed by Shephard. However, possibly most impressive was him calm, humble demeanor through it all.
Autry Windham, Falkner
Make that two for two for Falkner signal caller Autry Windham. At the Fortius Project in February he flashed a smooth release, and a beautiful spiral. On Sunday he was back at it, with a whole new crew of pass catchers. Again, he showed he has the juice to get it downfield, and the accuracy to place it. The ball travels well out of his hand, especially when he is zipping it through small windows on intermediate routes.
Alex Caldwell, Falkner
File do-it-all man Alex Caldwell’s name away as a “Beast Who Will Feast” this fall. Physically, Caldwell is shaped like a power running back. However, he is athletic like a cornerback. Last season he played some defensive back, linebacker, running back and that’s not all. It is obvious that having to play multiple spots has molded his versatile athleticism. The most impressive thing he showed on Sunday was the ability to defenders for the ball and the ball skills to catch passes that had been batted by defenders.
Jacob Gordon, East Webster
Gordon is the type of guy that you can’t help by to befriend. When he’s not in a competitive situation he’s always smiling and joking. Then you get him on a football field and he scares you a little bit. His intensity and strength stood out on Sunday. However, he is polished and athletic enough to dominate for East Webster this season.
Logan Canerdy, Caledonia
Early on, during linemen pad drills, Canerdy set the tone. He put everyone on notice that just because pads weren’t on yet, he was still going to be physical. And he was, all day long. He has the size, technique and strength to be a game-changer on the line for Caledonia this season.
Hudson Nanney, Dresden(TN)
A state champion in Tennessee, Nanney had to cross a state line to get to the Fortius Project on Sunday. However, it was worth it for those who got to see him play and for him as he took home an all-combine medal. One of the most agile and quickest players on the field, he used those traits to excel in one-on-ones and the testing portions. Though he didn’t do as much talking as some of the other guys, it wasn’t hard for him to stand out.
JonDarius Warren, Corinth
One of the most athletic campers on hand was local quarterback JonDarius Warren. He is a versatile playmaker, but on Saturday he showed that he has a live arm. In fact, he could provide some serious wrinkles to a run-heavy wing T offense at Corinth next season. Some of the testing drills, including the 40-yard dash, were unfamiliar to him but he still impressed. Look for him to make winning plays all over the field next Fall.
Dustin Wildmon, East Union
Though he wasn’t the biggest defensive back on hand yesterday, Wildmon wasn’t afraid to mix it up with anyone. Even the times he was seemingly beat in coverage he would make a late play on the ball. His quickness, athleticism, physicality and grittiness will make him a force all over the field for East Union in 2017.
Ty Rayford, North Pontotoc
The biggest camper on hand Sunday was North Pontotoc lineman Ty Rayford. His 6’6 frame towered over Jeremy Tate and each of the linemen. But his game was impressive, too. Expect him to mix it up in the interior of the defensive line for the Vikings this fall, but he should also figure into a new offensive scheme brought to Ecru by new head coach Andy Crotwell.