• John Macon Gillespie

Fortius Project Top Performers (3/24/18)


Cameron Threatt, Lewisburg

On Saturday the rising junior showed his experience, as he’s already been a contributor in his friday night career for the Patriots. However, Threatt also showed that he can be a a star in his final two prep seasons. His frame is long, and provides a deadly combination alongside his speed and athleticism. Defenders recognized the challenge of covering him early in the competitive portion of the camp, and they all wanted their shot. Threatt was very fluid in his movement throughout the day, which allowed him to do well in testing as well as position drills and 7-on-7.

All-Combine Team

Ben Rohrbacher, Lake Cormorant

Every time I see Rohrbacher play there’s improvement in his game. On Saturday he got to work side-by-side with one of the best offensive minds in the MACJC in Northeast MS CC offensive coordinator Doug Saylor. Rohrbacher made every throw asked of him and looked impressive doing so. On top of his abilities, he showed the has the demeanor and competitive desire it takes to be great at QB.

Reed Davis, Booneville

As he’s already proven on Friday nights for the Booneville Blue Devils, Davis was technically sound whistle to whistle on Saturday. There were some big bodies in attendance, but Davis managed to stay in front of each of them. He plays center, but he has the feet to play on the edge of the OL and the strength to play any spot along the lie. He has a great approach towards competition and physicality, but also when campers weren’t engaged in drills he was giving tips to his peers.

Jaylen Heffner, South Panola

The first camper to arrive on Saturday morning was Heffner. And when the camp got going, some two hours later, it was easy to see why. He is an eager learner and a fierce competitor. Heffner knows that he will have a big role to play for South Panola next fall, which is why he is seeking improvement. He has a quick first step, great hands at the point of attack and a sense for getting to the QB in the pocket.

Reggie Wilburn, Noxubee County

Wilburn came in at nearly 250 pounds and showed athleticism in the testing period that could make him a playmaker this fall at linebacker or with his hand in the dirt. He represented all that the Fortius Project is all about with his competitive want-to. He is sure to provide leadership to a team looking to repeat as 4A champions this December.

Seth Prestage, Lake

The long trek from Lake to NEMCC did nothing to slow Prestage’s desire to stand out. He came with a mission, and he surely accomplished what he set out today. A couple of times on Saturday, while I was scoping out other position groups, I was told Prestage was doing work in the linebacker group. Well, I had a chance to see him play in space during the 7-on-7 period and he just had a sense for the ball. He was always in the right place, and help aid his teammates to do the same.

Xavier Hill, Olive Branch

Everything about Hill was impressive on Saturday. He was one of two players(more on the second in a bit) that you could literally look up and see clearly from the other side of the NEMCC field. Sure, some of that could be credited to his teal-colored shorts, but mostly due to his impressive size. He was able to use that size, and his beastly man strength, to make waves in trench drills all day long.

Jaleen Morgan, Leake County

Morgan makes it two consecutive Fortius Project stops in a row, dating back to our 2017 finale at Southwest MS CC, that a Leake County player makes the Top Performers list. And he was an obvious choice. Morgan showed great athletic ability and competitiveness, but also a great understanding of the game. He seemed to really soak it in and enjoy his time, as well.

Stevie Ballard, Central Hinds Academy

I had to keep reminding myself during the day that Ballard was a Fortius Project camper and not a current NEMCC offensive lineman. That’s how well he wears his 6’6 282-pound frame. Ballard is chiseled, smart, humble and unassuming. His mature, calm demeanor was in place both when he was stuffing rushing defenders, and interacting with his peers between reps. He made the trip up from Hinds county and impressed each and every eye watching Saturday.

Keviyon McKinney, Tupelo

If you’re looking for breakout playmakers on Trent Hammond’s defense next fall then look no further Keviyon McKinney. His competitive edge helped him rise to the top group of each portion of the camp Saturday. His 4.57-second 40-yard dash was the best in the field. As was his 4.5-second 5-10-5 shuttle time. Then he used that side-to-side quickness and straight line speed to stand out in 7-on-7. He has spent time playing linebacker, but has the speed, quickness and athleticism to make plays in the defensive secondary, as well.

Sedrick Taylor, East Webster

There were a few East Webster Wolverines in attendance on Saturday, and when asked, they said Taylor has a tendency to take off running during games. But in his QB work with coach Saylor on Saturday, he showed impressive velocity on his throws. In individual QB work he looked like a short stop whipping a laser across the diamond. During 7-on-7s he showed the ability to find receivers with velo and with touch, even leading the offense to a couple of scores.

Rashad Hamilton, East Webster

When he plays on the defensive interior Hamilton is like construction equipment the way he can move offensive linemen. However, he has a frame - 6’6 and 300 pounds - that could also make him a brick wall on the offensive side of the line, too. Hamilton was hard to miss Saturday, because of abilities and his size. Coach Ron Price had a few of his linemen on hand Saturday, and Hamilton could be the anchor of the group this fall.

Justin Hindman, Brandon

Another camper that made the long drive from central Mississippi, Hindman was very impressive during lineman work on Saturday. He drew great reviews from some of the OL and DL currently playing for NEMCC that came out to watch the camp. The rising junior’s frame is still growing and maturing but that didn’t stop him from holding his own against some bigger and older guys in the trenches Saturday. Hindman was also an infectious personality for some of his peers.

Noah Holley, Ripley

Holley is an outgoing senior who has already played his final down of football, but he’s still looking for a place to play some college ball this fall. He was one of the more polished and athletic pass catchers on hand at the camp. Additionally, he’s also put together well, and he knows how to use his strength and size to make plays around and over defenders. Some program still has a shot to get a good player who’s been coached well at Ripley.

Keonta Freeman, Shannon

Former Shannon star, now turned NEMCC playmaker, Vincent McIntosh came out to watch on Saturday. A former Fortius Project Top Performer himself, big Vincent told me that Freeman is the truth. Fortunately, I had already seen that for myself last fall as Freeman is a standout for the Red Raiders. He also stood out on Saturday, due to silky smooth athleticism that was matched by only a few other skill guys on hand. Look for Freeman to take an even bigger step for Shannon this fall.

#FortiusProject #JohnLukeMcCord

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