• John Macon Gillespie

Fortius Project Top Performers (5/6/17)


Chris Scott, Natchez

The very first competitor to arrive on Saturday morning was Chris Scott, who measured in at an impressive six feet and four inches. Each throw he made was a thing of beauty as he displayed excellent technique. He consistently put throws in the perfect spot during 1-on-1s and later in the 7-on-7 portion. Scott possess the ability to put throws on a line with zip, and also the ability to put touch on a deep ball.

Look out for the Natchez Bulldogs this fall with Scott at the helm. Many division one programs certainly will be.

All-Combine Team

Tagg Creech, Greene County

For the second time in 2017 Tagg Creech’s electric playmaking ability and big personality were on display at the Fortius Project. The Greene County two-way star relishes the chance to be in front of the camera and is always ready to compete. He made the All-Combine team at both Mississippi Gulf Coast CC and Southwest Mississippi CC as a slot receiver. He is quick and his hands are sticky. This fall he will play receiver and safety for the Wilcats.

La’Darius Martin, McComb

It didn’t take Martin long to get to SMCC on Saturday. He lives less than 10 minutes from campus. It also didn’t take the McComb defensive lineman long to stand out. Though he was smaller than many of his peers in the trenches, he won more reps than he lost due to strength and quickness. He showed the agility to use a variety of moves. He has a strong desire to succeed, and its a good bet he does this fall.

Nicolas Rowan, MRA

There is no question that Rowan is waiting in the wings to be one of the best offensive linemen in the Magnolia state. He improved steadily last fall as a sophomore, at times even anchoring the line for MRA. On Saturday Rowan shows that he continues to grow stronger, while using better technique. His frame is stout and also improving. Look for him to continue his emergence this coming season.

Cameron Darden, Leake County

Following the morning testing(40, 5-10-5, broad jump), competitors separated into position groups. Soon after Cameron Darden began to create a buzz. His dominance in 1-on-1s garnered looks from across the field. He he has the size, power and footwork should make him a household name this fall. He will be a force in the trenches on both sides of the ball for Leake County in 2017.

Dontae Hudson, Leake County

Opposing offenses are going to be driven downright mad this offseason with Dontae Hudson in coverage. He brings physicality, and a deceptive athleticism due to his strength. Similar Darden, expect Hudson to make game-changing plays on Friday nights for Leake County. In 2A Darden and Hudson are the type of talented players who can take over a game.

Ke’Shawn Brinkley, Jefferson County

Though Ke’Shawn Brinkley looks most like a defensive end, he is athletic enough to see time at outside linebacker due to his ability to cover. His length is a major factor in his rushing ability, but on Saturday he showed it can also make him a difference maker in pass coverage. Expect him to take snaps at tight end for Jefferson County this coming season, as well.

Shelvin Hudson, Jefferson County

Just like Brinkley, Hudson is another player from Jefferson County with excellent size and a frame that makes him versatile and valuable. However, Hudson’s strengths are clearly on the offensive end as a pass catcher that can get open and make yards after the catch. Though he will also be relied on, and he is very capable, at the linebacker spot.

Will Rogers, Brandon

Though Rogers will only be a sophomore this fall, he is a coaches son and it shows in his near flawless mechanics. However, he also has a very live arm. It was a thing of beauty to watch the Brandon quarterback-in-waiting spin it on the intermediate throws and air out on the deep throws Saturday. The Bulldogs should take comfort in knowing that Rogers has spent significant time around former signal caller Gardner Minshew, the last quarteback to lead them to a title game.

Matt Stowers, Brandon

One of Will Rogers’s top targets this season will be Matt Stowers, and on Saturday the athletic receiver showed why. After taking home All-Combine honors at the MRA Fortius stop in 2016 due impressive leaping ability, great acceleration, impressive overall athleticism and sticky hands. In addition to improving in each of those areas, he also appears to have made significant progress with his route running and the versatility of the routes he can run proficiently.

Taye Hartfield, Perry Central

Following Saturday’s action it would be hard to have identified a more intense competitor than Perry Central’s Taye Hartfield. All day long he maintained a serious and focused expression. He didn’t need to say much for it to be understood he was there to show what kind of skills he possess, and that he isn’t intimidated by anyone. He was at the top of each of the testing category.

Trey Nobles, North Pike

More than a few receivers on Saturday noted North Pike’s Trey Nobles as the best defensive back on hand. He showed flexible hips, great backpedal speed, tremendous closing speed, as well as the versatility to guard quick slot receivers and tall outside receivers. North Pike is just down the road from SMCC, and they should be in good shape defensively this season with Nobles holding down one side of the field in the passing game.

Donnell Buckner, Lumberton

Perhaps the most impressive all around athlete on hand Saturday was lumberton’s Donnell Buckner. From the time he measured in, to an impressive testing portion and even when he dominated the competitive portion in the afternoon, it was clear he is a versatile and gifted playmaker. Though he showed the balls skills, speed and agility of a skill player - corner, safety and receiver, mostly - he could grow into a defensive end considering he stands north of 6’6.

Braxton Cooksey, Parklane

Who the quarterback of the future will be doesn’t appear to be a concern the Parklane football program will have to worry about any time soon. Rising sophomore Braxton Cooksey proved to have the arm talent and the moxie to be a star the position for the Pioneers. He showed an advanced understanding of routes and technique, and already possess the confidence of a veteran.

Latrell Williams, Ridgeland

Ridgeland is looking to take a big step under head coach Ryan Earnest in 2017. In order to do so, many players on the roster will have to take individual steps. Well, running back Latrell Williams, at least from the looks of his solid showing on Saturday, appears to be making strides towards being a highly productive player for the Titans this fall. His size allows him to be a physical runner, but without the pads on this weekend he showed that he has all the moves, as well.

#JohnLukeMcCord #FortiusProject

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