• John Macon Gillespie

Fortius Project Top Performers (4/21/2018)


Trendon Gillon, Amory

From the the very start of the day Gillon was making statements. He warmed up by running a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, which was the best time of the day. Then he finished near the top of the pack in the broad jump and second overall in the 5-10-5 drill. He broad jumped 9’8 and took just 4.38-seconds to complete the 5-10-5 drill. During the afternoon position drills and 7-on-7 he showed he posses the ball skills to match his athleticism and agility. He caught 11 touchdown passes in 2017, but expect him to become a household name this fall as Amory returns to region 2-4A contention.

All-Combine Team

KC Ivy, Amory

Ivy is another golden-domer set to become a household name this fall. With a void left by JJ Jernigan in the Amory rushing attack, expect Ivy to see an increased load in the offense in 2018. He is explosive and quick, as well the rising senior is eager to take coaching and improve. Last season he played in the defensive secondary, but this past Saturday at ICC he showed why he might be the next big thing in the offensive backfield for the Panthers.

Hunter Jones, Amory

For Hunter Jones - Amory’s returning starter at QB - the fact that two of offensive skill teammates are already listed here is the best of news. On Saturday he showed that he is much improved from his freshman season in 2017, which is good news considering he tossed it around for more than 2,000 yards plus 15 TDs last fall. He has a solid arm, plus athleticism for his position and that QB persona that commands his peers’ attention.

Anthony Dilworth, Itawamba AHS

Though Gillon owned the 40-yard dash, it was Anthony Dilworth that truly owned the morning testing portion of the camp. Most impressive was his was off-the-charts 10’4 broad jump, which of course drew the awe of other campers. Then he dropped not one but two 4.34-second 5-10-5 times. All that to go with an impressive 4.63-second 40-yard dash. In the afternoon competitive portion he showed the same athleticism that allowed him to make plays for IAHS as a running back and defender last season. He will be a junior this fall and head coach Clint Hoots is sure to have him in position to make big plays.

Jaxon Orr, Itawamba AHS

Speaking of IAHS players making big plays, that’s exactly what Hoots will need from his QB Jaxon Orr if the Indians are to be the class of region 2-4A in 2018. The tall, lanky signal caller possess a big arm capable of hitting targets on intermediate throws and tossing dimes down the field. Many skills guys were raving about his abilities during the 7-on-7 and positions drills. With plenty of talent around him at IAHS, and a family pedigree that runs deep, expect big things from Orr this season.

Leden Bryan, Itawamba AHS

Bryan showed that he is just an all-around athlete on Saturday at ICC. He was in the top tier in each of the testing categories, including a 9’2 broad jump and 4.47-second 5-10-5 time. Then he put it all together in the 7-on-7 portion, as he displayed great hands to go along with his agility, speed and acceleration. He will certainly be on the receiving end of a few Orr’s bombs this fall.

Calvin McMillian, Houston

One thing I know for sure after observing the Fortius Project on Saturday is that Houston head coach Ty Hardin is going to get some big time plays out of giant lineman Calvin McMillian in 2018. While the height and length of his frame is his most impressive trait, he showed brute power in dominating opponents in the trenches. He looks like a tackle on the college level, but he should make plays both ways for the Hilltoppers this season.

Jordin Hunter, Terry

Similar to Orr, Hunter is a QB with an ideal tall, long frame. However, the Terry rising senior is much more filled. In fact, you could’ve mistaken him for a sideline-to-sideline linebacker in the testing portion. But there was no mistaking his arm talent as he started to warm up his cannon in the afternoon portion of the camp. He noted that ICC offensive coordinator Chad Cook helped him with his base on set throws. While that seemed to work, he was equally as impressive making throws intermediate and deep moving to his left or right.

Trey Newson, Independence

Many competitors and onlookers raved about Newson’s ability to go make catches in the 7-on-7 part of the camp. He was able to use his size and athleticism, but more than anything he appears to have a solid feel for how to get open. He came with his QB James Rogers, for whom he is likely to be the favorite target this fall for the Wildcats.

Ezekiel Head, West Point

Make no mistake about it, West Point is a powerhouse because of their ability to dominate the line of scrimmage. While it wasn’t a game setting on Saturday, Head was still on the same mission to win the battle against the man in front of him. Watching Head’s eagerness to compete, and to win, was in some ways a reflection of what the Green Wave program is all about. Head is sure to be a leader in Point City’s quest for a three-peat this season.

Devarkas Ramsey, Columbus

Ramsey’s personality made him a favorite of not only the Fortius staff, but for all on hand. Before he was finished signing in he declared that he was determined to be one of the bright spots of the camp. He absolutely delivered, standing out among the running backs. He was willing to compete, and determined to improve. No question he will also be heard on the gridiron this fall for new head coach Eric Rice.

Demario Martin, Columbus

Martin didn’t need to be heard, he was easily seen. Not only does he posses an impressive frame for the edge of the D-line, but as well he add greats athleticism and strength to go with it. He was tested by more than a few talented offensive linemen on the day, but was consistently impressive. He will be a surefire playmaker on the defensive side of the ball for the Falcons in 2018.

Kody Townsend, Vardaman

Townsend is no stranger to making plays. So it’s no surprise he needed little flash and few words to prove just how good he was this past Saturday at ICC. His 4.5-second 5-10-5 showing was hardly indicative of just how quick he was when the ball was live in 7-on-7. Anywhere coach Larry Gann puts him on the field this fall he will excel. Between Townsend and Patrick Pratt, Vardaman will be worth the watch on Fridays this season.

Alex Hall, Olive Branch

Like a few other names on this list Hall is highly explosive and drew rave reviews for how he used said quickness in position drills and 7-on-7 work. He can make plays on the offensive side if need be, or he could be a shut down guy in the defensive secondary. He was a no-doubter to be on this list with as many of his peers that stated, “that man has to get a medal.”

Landon Olive, Saltillo

Saltillo has an absolute beast in the trenches in Olive. New head coach Ryan Summers certainly has a piece to build around for next season. He possess plus-plus size and strength and caught the eye of former Ole Miss OT - and current ICC OL coach - Emmanuel McCray. He is a guy that is sure to wind up with plenty of college suitors. On top of his abilities he also carries himself with unassuming humility.

#JohnLukeMcCord #FortiusProject

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