HOOVER, Ala. - The Southeastern Select 7-on-7 tournament at Hoover this past weekend featured twists and turns with a lot of excitement throughout the weekend. The nation's top quarterback was on hand, with a host of other Division I prospects. Several underclassmen made a name for themselves and several sleepers impressed.
The one man everyone wanted to see was Springdale, Ark. quarterback Mitch Mustain. Many defensive backs came into the tournament with aspirations of picking off a pass from the nation's top gun-slinger. Mustain went through the first two days without throwing one interception. On day three, he was picked off several times after the Bulldogs had played a number of games. As the temperature at Hoover reached 106 degrees, many of his receivers began to sweat profusely and the ball became very slippery and tough to hang on to, which resulted in several of the picks. This problem was common place late in the tournament.
The biggest stock increase of the weekend had to be Springdale, Ark. wide receiver Andrew Norman. Currently Norman is ranked as the No. 11 player in the Natural State, but you can expect to see him move up the charts. He and Mustain have been playing catch since Mustain was old enough to throw the ball and it shows.
"Perhaps the most impressive player throughout the three days was WR Andrew Norman, who continued to make catch after catch regardless of where the football was thrown," said Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell. "On more than one occasion I found myself saying 'nope' when a throw seemed out of his reach, only to stand amazed and corrected by another great catch."
Another sleeper who raised their stock with a solid tournament was Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian quarterback Andrew Calantone. Guys like Mustain and 2007 stud quarterback Will Korn more impressive, however, had many more tools to work with. Calantone throws a frozen rope and has a very quick release. He did a very good job of checking off receivers and managed to keep from getting picked off for most of the tournament. He's a sleeper prospect that will likely sign with a Conference USA school and make them very happy.
Class of 2007 well represented
There were several big time prospects from the class of 2007 on hand at the tournament. None were bigger than Duncan (SC) Byrnes quarterback Will Korn, who already boasts five scholarship offers. Korn simply just looks like a quarterback. He throws well in the pocket, he throws well on the run, he checks off receivers, he's got a great short pass and even better long ball. Face it, Korn is big time. There are already a number of big time quarterback prospects that have emerged for the class of 2007 and Korn has to be among the top three or four.
Korn throws a nice tight ball, and is able to throw the ball into traffic. He's already been offered scholarships by Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and Georgia Tech and has yet to play a down of his junior year. Early rumors have him headed to Clemson, but regardless of where Korn ends up, that program is going to be getting a future Rivals 100 member.
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Thomas Jefferson always seems to have prospects and two players stood out for the class of 2007. Safety Dom DeCicco had a good tournament draping defensive backs and showing he could cover some of the top wide receivers in the South. Defensive end/tight end Chris Drager played well on both sides of the ball. He looked the part of a big time Division I prospect. In fact, it was very easy to mistake him for class of 2006 Pittsburgh commit Nate Nix as they are very similarly comparable.
Springdale, Ark. may never see another year like the year they have in terms of this year, but don't think they will not have any prospects for the class of 2007. Tight end Trey Crockett is more physically impressive than highly touted teammate Ben Cleveland. He has a long, lean frame and runs extremely well. He didn't catch the amount of balls that Norman, Cleveland or Damian Williams did, but showed that he has the ability to be a big time recruit a year from now.
Hoover won the tournament that they host for the first time ever this weekend under the leadership of junior quarterback Ross Wilson, who is the younger brother of current Alabama Crimson Tide player John Parker Wilson. Linebacker Michael Dejohn also had a solid tournament and is a player to keep an eye on for the class of 2007.
Player who scared his coach the most over the weekend
Gautier, Miss. tight end Jonathan Massey did not make it to Hoover until the Friday morning session. That is because he was in Miami training with his brother, Mario Edwards of the Miami Dolphins, and did not arrive until late Thursday night. Rivals.com was speaking with Gautier head coach Donald Nelson early Friday morning when we asked Nelson when Massey would be arriving.
Nelson promptly called Massey on his cell phone, when Massey answered coach Nelson asked him where he was at. Massey replied "coach I'm still at the airport." Nelson, obviously surprised and in a frenzy told him to take a cab (over 20 miles) to the field and get there immediately as his team had yet to win a game without their star player.
About five minutes later Nelson walked outside and saw Massey standing with the team, only to realize that Massey had played a prank on the coach. During the third game of the day on Friday Massey caught a touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone, but came up hobbling on his ankle. He did not return for the rest of the day, but performed well in the team's lone game Saturday morning. Massey is fine and he did make it to the tournament, but he sure gave his coach a scare.