Simmons' Takeaways: Mississippi prospects, QBs shine in Mobile
MOBILE, Ala. — Stop three of the 2018 Rivals 3 Stripe Camp Series presented by adidas took place in the Mobile area on Sunday, as nearly 200 college-bound prospects from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi competed for awards, rankings and bragging rights. Dozens of players made their respective marks on camp, but below are five of the major takeaways from the event.
SOME ALABAMA BUZZ AROUND FORMER LSU COMMIT
One of the last prospects to arrive Sunday was George County (Miss.) 2020 defensive lineman McKinnley Jackson. He arrived in grand fashion. The future Rivals 100 talent recently decommitted from LSU and re-opened his recruitment. Alabama has been in this race since offering the 6-foot-3, 317-pound phenom and he showed up in Crimson Tide gear. He is fresh off a weekend visit to Tuscaloosa where he spent a lot of time with new defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski. LSU is still in this race, as are other schools, but Alabama may have a little momentum. There was some chatter behind the scenes about that Sunday. You can bet many schools are going to be fighting to get in the race for this young man.
MISSISSIPPI DEPTH SHOWED
Out of the seven award winners Sunday, two play in the state of Mississippi, but it didn’t stop there. Jonathan Mingo of Brandon was named MVP for the wide receiver position and De'Monte Russell of Provine took home the award for the defensive line. There were others who shined from, as the prospects call it, The Sip. Jarrian Jones of Northwest Rankin had a great day at defensive back, Kyziah Pruitt of Noxubee was strong at receiver, Jamil Clemons of Starkville had some success inside and outside at defensive line, Jared Conner of Hattiesburg stood out at running back and Baylor commit Hakeem Vance of Lewisburg flashed at defensive back. Oh yeah, don’t forget, McKinnley Jackson is from Mississippi as well and he was one of the top performers of the entire camp.
The quarterback position did not stand out at either of the first two 3 Stripe Camp events in 2018, but that wasn't the case in Mobile. Birmingham (Ala.) Hewitt-Trussville signal call Paul Tyson was sharp from start to finish and he walked away with the MVP hardware. There were others that gave him a run for it though. Staying in Alabama, Sheldon Layman was playing on his home field at McGill-Toolen and he definitely had his moments. Another local quarterback, Jackson Burkhalter from Spanish Fort is a 2020 prospect to keep an eye on. He received his first offer from UAB a few days ago. Going out of state, KJ Jefferson of Sardis (Miss.) North Panola and Lance Legendre of New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton showed big arms and are athletic, big guys at quarterback. Another 2020 quarterback who threw some great deep balls was TJ Finley of Ponchatoula (La.) and he has great size as well. This was a very strong group today, despite the wet, rainy conditions.
THOMAS PLAYED NICE
Many came into this camp wondering just how violent Kardell Thomas would be on the offensive line. He has been known for throwing defensive linemen down, putting a choke hold or two on some guys and just getting after it like he has pads on. Today, he was a little more under control and he played within the rules, but yet, still won at a high rate and earned his invite to the Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge. The LSU commit out of Baton Rouge (La.) Southern Lab was again impressive, using strength to over-power many defensive linemen. He recently put a tweet out saying he was shutting his recruitment down and staying with LSU, but he mentioned today that he still may take a visit to Oklahoma. Whoever he lines up for on the next level, he is going to take a little edge to that group.
COX WAS RIGHT AT HOME
Defensive lineman LeDarrius Cox was on his home turf and he shined from start to finish. Cox is someone who jumps out immediately with his 6-foot-4, 310-pound frame. The McGill-Toolen star just added an offer from Texas A&M Friday, visited Georgia Saturday and is emerging as one of the top interior defensive linemen in the South. He definitely made his case for a fourth star Sunday with his combination of quickness and pure power. He flashed the ability to fire off the ball and get to the quarterback during the one-on-one session. Cox is set to visit Tennessee next weekend and do not be surprised if more offers roll in for him He is a quiet young man who was soaking up the coaching and when his number was called, he got after it and impressed.