CLEVELAND – Patrick Nicely of Willoughby (Ohio) South showed up Tuesday at the Elite Training Camp at Cleveland Browns Stadium hoping to see where he stacked up against the other quarterbacks in Northeastern Ohio.
By the time he walked off the field, it was crystal clear where he was at.
At the top of the heap.
Nicely, talented right-hander that's 6-foot-4 and 209 pounds, was easily the best in the quarterback in the camp, and he had a workout that was as impressive as anybody else seen this spring at other camps nationwide.
"I came out here because of the competitive spirit, and I want to find a gauge where I'm at right now," he said. "Competition is the best thing in the world, I think. Coming out here, trying to prove myself to everybody out here, it's definitely a great opportunity. I'm glad I got to show what I've got. I also just wanted to throw the ball around some and have some fun."
He had to have been having fun because he put on a show.
His mechanics were flawless, his release was on the money, and his accuracy was definitely there. He also threw one of the prettiest fade passes. His passes into the corner of the end zone in Browns Stadium were a thing of beauty.
And after watching him workout in person, it's very easy to say Nicely is without a doubt the top quarterback prospect in Ohio for the class of 2009.
"I've been working on my footwork repetitively over the last couple of weeks," he said. "I'm just trying to get everything perfect, so I can set myself and make the big throws.
It was at last year's Elite Training Camp that Zack Stoudt of Dublin Coffman emerged and the same could be true with Nicely this year. If he combines this great workout with a solid performance at the EA Sports Elite 11 Regional Camp at Penn State on Saturday, watch for his stock to shoot through the roof even more.
Rivals.com already projects him to be one of the top-ranked quarterbacks nationally, but for some reason he's only received offers from Miami of Ohio and Bowling Green.
That has to change.
The kid's that good.
"I haven't received any new offers because with the quarterback position most people want to see you in person and whatnot," he said. "But my coach is having a pro day for me on the 27th, so all the college coaches are going to come see me throw, instead of me having to go all over the country to see them."
And if performs anything like he looks on tape and like he did on Tuesday, watch for the offers to pile up.