Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood running back Maurice Wells epitomizes why we love football in the South and especially in Florida. Despite holding scholarship offers from every school he's interested in and already being touted as the top 'back in the nation, Wells made the five hour road trip to Georgia anyway and showed why he's so highly regarded.
There's no place like Florida for high school football. It's not just the talent, it's the attitude the players have. Over the last seven years of seeing the talent up close and personal at both the Nike camps as well as helping to run the CaliFlorida Bowl, we've come to recognize the state of Florida as the best in the country for producing top Div I talent.
Unlike other power states like California, Pennsylvania and especially Texas, the athletes in Florida are all about competing. You never hear a player from Florida say, 'I don't want to go to a camp because I might hurt my stock,' or 'I already have so many offers, there's nothing to gain for me.' No, if you're from Florida and it's football, they don't care about anything else other than wanting to be a part of the camp so they can show they're the best.
Such was the case with Wells. The 5-9, 177 pound athlete said he made the trip because he simply loves the game and wanted to see how he stacked up against the other top players in the South. In what was easily the best collection of running backs we had at any of the seven Nike Camps so far, Wells was the No. 1 guy on everyone's board and is an incredible talent.
For starters, Well tested very well running a 4.44 in the 40, 4.38 in the shuttle, jumped 31 inches and did 20 reps on the bench for a SPARQ rating of 75.66. Wells then lit up the position drills showing a great combination of speed and quickness, agility, vision and balance and also had the best hands of any of the 'backs.
"I'm very excited I came out to the Nike camp," Wells said. "I'm a competitor and wanted to see what kind of talent there was out here. It was a lot of fun for me although I was a little disappointed in my 40 time. I wanted to scratch it but everyone kept saying a 4.4 is a great time and all."
On the recruiting front, Wells said he's open but did name a handful of schools he's very interested in.
"I don't have any favorites but I do like USC, Ohio State, Florida State, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and Maryland just to name a few and all have offered," Wells said. "I really am open though and will take all five of my trips before I make my college choice."