The Beyond 2000 Elite Camp (B2G) is in their fifth year of existence and they just concluded their SoCal session. Things have gone so well for B2G that they will hold another session next week for the elite talent up in NorCal to be held at the University of Pacific. B2G is an elite camp that is limited to 65 campers who get up close coaching from former college and NFL players.
Every session since the beginning five years ago, the camp has produced players who went on to the D-I level and not surprisingly many of them have been sleepers. This is part one of three part series. For part one Rivals.com will discuss the top the camp’s performers on defensive side of the ball.
The most surprising player at the B2G Camp was cornerback Darrin Minor (5-9, 165, 4.5) from Gardena (Calif.) Serra. Minor showed off great technique and outstanding footwork.
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“Darrin was all the above,” Henry Bell B2G’s co-founder said. “The only knock on him will be height and overall size.”
“Darrin was very coachable,” Bell said. “He took whatever we taught him and he applied it.”
Safety/running back Cortez Rice (6-0, 205, 4.5) from Los Alamitos, Calif., has had about as good an off-season as anyone in southern California. He continues to impress and he had a great camp. Rice earned B2G’s Defensive Player of the Camp award for his performance.
“This was the second time Cortes has attended the camp,” Bell said. “He was out there mugging people in the one-on-one drills.”
“Cortes showed a lot of leadership out there,” Bell said. “He really stepped it up.”
“From an athletic standpoint, Cortes looks real comfortable at the safety position,” Rice said. “He made good reads, made good decisions and stayed on top of everybody."
Another sleeper who made a name for himself during his stay at B2G was Jamal Hasan (6-1, 180, 4.5) from Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair.
The reason that Hasan is a sleeper is he missed most of his junior season because of an off-field injury. Hasan is totally healthy, injury free and raring to go in 2004.
“Jamal reminds me of former Narbonne standout Jeff Brown (UNLV),” Bell said. “He’s real rangy, has good hips and is very flexible. Jamal was another guy who was very coachable.”
Cornerback/wide receiver Gardner McKay (6-1, 190, 4.47) from Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw was very impressive and was the talk of the camp.
Unfortunately McKay and his Crenshaw teammates couldn’t compete the camp because they were involved in the Watts Summer Games. While McKay was at the camp he made his presence known.
“There is no question that Gardner was hands down the best athlete we have had at B2G since Steve Smith (USC) and Mark Bradford (Stanford),” Bell said. “He has to be one of the fastest and most explosive players in Southern California.”
“We lined Gardner up at wide receiver and corner,” Bell said. “When he played receiver not one defensive back could cover him.”
“On defense, Gardner played cornerback,” Bell said. “They completely ignored his side of the field.”
McKay’s Crenshaw teammate, Reggie Carter (6-1, 225, 4.6), also stood out at the camp and was dominating from his linebacker position.
“Reggie has a complete mean streak,” Bell said. “When he’s on the field he reminds of former Chicago Bear great Michael Singletary.”
“Reggie is ferocious on the field, but off of it he is wearing his glasses and is very studious,” Bell said. “He made plays the entire time he was at the camp. The tight ends re-routed their routes to avoid getting Reggie’s area.”
Another player who stood out on defense was safety Kirk Alexander (6-1, 178, 4.6) from Pasadena, Calif.
“Kirk is an extremely intelligent football player,” Bell said. “He disguises his coverages extremely well and makes all the right coverage calls.”
“Kirk also did well in the one-on-one drills,” Bell said. “He can definitely cover.”
Alexander was a busy man this past weekend after attending the B2G camp, he participated at UCLA’s camp and stood out there as well.
Look for Alexander’s stock move upward over the summer and fall.
For part II Rivals.com will look at the offensive standouts who attended B2G.