CLEVELAND – Cleveland Glenville cornerback Donnie Fletcher is already known as one of the top players in the city for the class of 2008.
But after a strong performance at the Elite Skills Camp on Tuesday at the Cleveland Browns Stadium, he might have cemented his name as one of the top players in the entire state.
Fletcher was that good on Tuesday. He was extremely fluid in his breaks and his ability to change direction and close on the football was amazing. It also doesn't hurt that he has a great 5-foot-11, 168-pound frame that's muscle bound but also still thin enough to allow him to have top end speed.
"I think I did pretty good," Fletcher said. "I have been working hard on my footwork and my technique since the off-season program started. I know a lot of coaches were here, but I didn't really get nervous. I just take it as something that pushes me to improve. I really wasn't nervous. I just came out here and did what I always do and it's starting to pay off."
Paying off with early scholarship offers from Minnesota, Marshall, Indiana, Illinois, Bowling Green and Cincinnati. But that might be just the tip of the iceberg as many college coaches in attendance on Tuesday were eyeballing him very closely and whispers of more offers from a few coaches could be overheard.
"A lot of coaches they really haven't seen me move around," Fletcher said. "They've seen me on tape, but the defense we run, we usually start out by opening up and running back. They haven't seen my footwork and change of direction in person, so coming to something like this really helped. I know I can improve on opening my hips a little better. I know I can open them up pretty good, but at the college level, dudes are pretty fast getting in and out of their breaks, so that's something big I'm really working on."
While Fletcher says he's a work in progress on the field, he knows the competition of playing in a great program like Glenville is also going to make him a better player.
"Every day is like a game situation for us," Fletcher said. "You have to bring it every day because you're working against guys that will be college players and you're being coached by some of the best coaches around. That's why coming to an event like this wasn't making me nervous. I go up against top players like this every day. It just makes me want to compete even harder, and come to things like this and represent Glenville and myself the best that I can."
His best was plenty good enough on Tuesday.
And it's going to take a good effort to land a commitment from Fletcher. He said he's quite a ways away from making any kind of decisions at this point in time.
"It's still wide open," Fletcher said. "There are a lot of schools that are interested in me like Notre Dame, Michigan State, there's a lot of schools, West Virginia and Tennessee, so I'm going to keep it wide open. I have some good offers to consider. Probably by the end of the summer, I'm going to sit down with my family and my coaches and make some sort of top list. But I'm not ready for that yet."
Fletcher will attend quite a few camps this summer as part of the Ted Ginn Sr. Buss Tour. Fletcher said this year's bus tour could hit as many as 20 college camps.
"Going to those camps and camps like this, makes me want to work harder," he said. "I strive to be the best. My goal is to be the best to come out of Glenville. I want to be a top five pick. I want to be No. 1."