In what has to be an unofficial Rivals.com Junior Day record, more than 140 players from New Jersey, New York, New England, Pennsylvania and even Maryland filled the Hale Center at Rutgers University for the third annual Jersey Junior Day this past Saturday. And when talking about big-time talent, this was the place to be.
The eyeball test is always important at these events since the players aren't working out, and many passed with flying colors.
You can't talk about physical prowess at this event without starting with massive offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (Plainfield, N.J.), who measured 6-foot-6 and weighed in at 333 pounds. Monroe, a Rivals100 member with more than 25 offers, towered over everyone else at the event, although there were some other big prospects in attendance.
Red Bank, N.J. defensive tackle Kade Weston wasn't too far behind Monroe when it comes to size. The Rivals100 stud measured 6-foot-6 and 312 pounds. Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic offensive lineman Dan Larkin was a solid 301 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame as well.
Other top players in attendance included linebackers Brian Cushing (6-foot-3, 221 pounds) who recently received offers from Notre Dame and Pitt, LaMont Robinson (6-foot-2, 226 pounds) and wide receiver/safety Kitt Pommells (6-foot-0, 194 pounds). Wideout Marcus Wilson was also in attendance, measuring 6-foot-1 and weighing in at 190 pounds while tight end prospect Jim Dray also showed some added weight (6-foot-5, 226 pounds).
The Brown boys from New Jersey, Donny and Mike, were also in attendance fresh off their 4.27-second times at a combine last month. Donny measured 5-foot-11 and a solid 190 pounds while Mike was 5-foot-10 and 180.
Making the trip from out of state were Massachusetts standouts Austin Giles (6-foot-3, 280 pounds), Chris Marinelli (6-foot-6, 270) and four teammates from Brockton High School (TE Jason Vega, LB Sam Besong, RB Richard Johnson and OL Arthur Dias), all of who looked impressive. Running back Jose Morales made the trip down from Holyoke, Mass. and is an emerging name in recruiting circles.
From Connecticut came running back prospect Sean Ware, looking solid at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, fullback Asaph Schwapp (6-foot-0 and 250 pounds and boasting the biggest arms of anyone pound-for-pound) and safety Mike Shorter (5-foot-11, 175 pounds).
New York State was also well represented with athlete Paul Anderson (6-foot-1, 217 pounds), linebacker Mike Owen (6-foot-2, 226 pounds) and running back Ike Nduka (5-foot-11, 204) amongst others. Eastern Pennsylvania was also in the house led by offensive lineman Frank Carduff (6-foot-4, 281 pounds).
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the day came with the arrival of Randallstown, Md. studs Melvin Alaeze and Jamari McCollough with assistant coach Evan Murray. Alaeze looked awesome at a solid 6-foot-3 and a whopping 273 pounds while McCollough stood 5-foot-11 and weighed in at 177 pounds. They are two of the top prospects in Maryland this year.
Although it was a junior day, some super sophomores were also in attendance including future five-star stud Myron Rolle (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) and standout soph Anthony Ferla (5-foot-10, 182).
Players such as Monroe, Cushing, Weston, Pommells, Robinson, McCollough and Alaeze also confirmed their attendance at the Elite College Combine, being held at the New Jersey Meadowlands on May 5th. For more infomation about the combine, e-mail Mike Farrell at firstname.lastname@example.org
All in all, the event included three Rivals100 members and more than 20 players with DIA scholarship offers. It is estimated that of the 140+ players in attendance, more than 50 of them will earn scholarship offers from DIA schools before the recruiting process ends.