New Jersey has seen plenty of talent recently, and that will continue on this Saturday when the NUC/Rivals.com Five-Star Showcase hits the Garden State. The roster is already filled with numerous regional stars, including two recent selections to the U.S. Army All-American Game, Devin Fuller of Old Tappan, N.J., and Jarron Jones of Rochester (N.Y.) Aquinas Institute.
Both Fuller and Jones will be looking to prove a number of things on March 12th. For Fuller, the event will give him a chance to work out at quarterback, which now definitely seems to be his position of the future in college. And for Jones, who has quickly become one of the top defensive tackle recruits in the region, he will be looking to prove himself against top-level competition.
Aside from Fuller, there are several other quarterbacks who should be able to stand out. Casey Cochran of Monroe (Conn.) Masuk impressed at the recent Badger Sports 7-on-7 tournament, and will look to continue his solid play at the Five-Star Showcase. Brandon Napoleon of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep is in the same boat as Fuller, as he is still trying to prove to doubters that he can be a D-I level quarterback. And for Ryan Davies of Farmingdale (N.J.) Howell, he will look to follow up a huge junior season with an impressive spring and summer camp season.
One of the more intriguing players at the event will be Faton Bauta of West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer. Bauta played at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Poly Prep his first three seasons, but is moving to Florida this summer. Already holding offers from Maryland and Pittsburgh, Bauta dominated in several positions, but will likely work out at quarterback at the Five-Star Showcase.
The quarterbacks will have plenty of talent to toss the ball to during the event. Speedster Jevon Tyree of South Brunswick, N.J., currently holds offers from Penn State, Rutgers and Connecticut. Ruhann Peele of Linden, N.J., proved to be one of the more complete receivers at the Badger Sports 7-on-7, while Carlton Agudosi of Franklin, N.J., is one of the more physically impressive receivers in the region. Two youngsters who will be looking to impress are Class of 2013 receivers Ricky Jeune of Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph's and Darius Merriweather of Mount Laurel (N.J.) Eastern.
At the tight end position will be a quartet of players who all seem very close to grabbing offers. Michael Giacone of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep, Kalief Joyner of Middle Village (N.Y.) Christ the King, Jameson McShea of Dorchester (Mass.) Boston College High and Elijah Norris of Washington (D.C.) Archbishop Carroll all have the tools to become hot prospects during the upcoming spring evaluation period.
The offensive line position is headlined by J.J. Denman of Fairless Hills (Pa.) Pennsbury. Denman is up to 11 offers, including his most recent from Notre Dame. Ryan Brodie of Long Branch, N.J., recently picked up his third offer from UConn, while sophomore Dorian Miller of Metuchen, N.J., should be one of the top lineman prospects in the region next year. Miller actually received a verbal offer from Rutgers after his freshman season, and should receive many more in the coming months. Also looking to continue make a statement this Saturday will be Nick Golz of Wayne (N.J.) DePaul, Fred Santarelli of Pottstown (Pa.) Hill School and Jordan Page of Princeton (N.J.) Princeton Day.
There will be several quick, talented running backs at the Five-Star Showcase. J.C. Coleman of Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith is currently up to seven offers, including Virginia Tech, Virginia, Maryland and Vanderbilt. Tevin Shaw of Piscataway, N.J., had a great junior season and picked up his first offer last week from South Carolina. Stacey Bedell of Mastic Beach (N.Y.) William Floyd has an offer from Rutgers, and has several other schools showing serious interest, while both Elijah Hughes of Elizabeth, N.J., and Devante McFarlane of Dix Hills (N.Y.) Half Hollow Hills West leapt onto the recruiting scene at the Badger Sports 7-on-7 and will look to continue their impressive play.
Defensively, the top recruit in attendance will be linebacker Quanzell Lambert of Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber Creek. Lambert, who is closing in on 20 offers, is a big, hard-hitting 'backer who moves surprisingly well for his size. Having the size and athletic ability to play both outside linebacker or defensive end are Eli Ankou of St. Peter's in Ontario, Canada and EJ Holland of Sterling (Va.) Dominion. Ankou burst onto the scene at the New Level/Badger Sports Elite Big Man Challenge, and hopes to keep his name on the recruiting landscape with another impressive showing. Also, Jason Sylva of Plymouth (Mass.) Tabor Academy will bring prototypical middle linebacker size to the event.
While Jarron Jones will man the interior defensive line, on the outside will be Michael Moore of Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha and Roman Braglio of Owings Mills (Md.) McDonogh. Moore continues to pile up the offers, while Braglio has picked up early offers from Maryland and West Virginia.
In the defensive backfield, two safeties highlight the position. Davon Jacobs of Wayne (N.J.) DePaul and D.J. Singleton of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep will both have the ability to show off their athleticism as they move away from their comfort position and slide over to cornerback during one-on-ones. Three cornerbacks who have seen their stock rise over the last month are Marchez Coates of Pomfret (Md.) McDonough, Michael Westray of Waldorf (Md.) Westlake and Javar Coleman of New Hampton (N.H.) New Hampton School. If these three continue to showcase their abilities like they have so far this year, offers will begin to roll in.