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Top talent drawn to compete at VTO events

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The Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcases are hitting five states in the Southeast/Mid-Atlantic area in the month of April with many top prospects expected to attend. The Showcases will be held in North Carolina, where they have been held the last few years, as well as in South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Alabama. Led by standouts like Geno Smith from Atlanta St. Pius X School, the events are starting to fill up with talent.
Smith, a 6-foot, 165-pound defensive back who could have been the top prospect at his position in 2011, is one of the best pure corners in the class of 2012 across the nation. Smith is just one of the headliners for what is looking like a loaded Georgia event on April 9, but prior to that the first stop will be in the Carolinas.
The first event on the calendar is the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcase in South Carolina being held Saturday, April 2 at Spartanburg High School. While it's considered by many to be a down year in the state, some of the top targets who have expressed interest include running back Kendric Salley from Williston (S.C.) Elko, defensive tackle David Deleon from Bamberg (S.C.) Bamberg-Ehrhardt, athlete Marty Williams from North Augusta (S.C.) Fox Creek School and others. Salley is an early commitment to South Carolina while Deleon has early offers from Colorado, Texas Tech, Illinois, Wake Forest and others. Williams just received an offer from Clemson to go along with a recent offer from Arkansas.
The day after the South Carolina event, the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcase in North Carolina will be held. The date of the event is Sunday, April 3 at Rocky River High School in Charlotte, N.C. The headliner of the event will be Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek offensive tackle D.J. Humphries who has offers from more than 30 programs around the nation including North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, LSU, Florida State, Florida, Michigan and even Texas. The 6-foot-5, 275-pounder is one of the top offensive tackles in the country.
In addition to Humphries, other top names showing interest in attending include wide receiver Jody Fuller from Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley, who has early offers from North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and others. Charlotte (N.C.) Phillip O Berry Academy of Tech stars Germone Hopper and Nick Dawson could also attend as well as defensive line studs Carlos Watkins from Forest City (N.C.) Chase and Jonathan Bullard from Shelby (N.C.) Crest.
Following the events in the Carolinas, the Showcases head south the following weekend. On Saturday, April 9 the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcase in Georgia is being held at Marietta High School outside of Atlanta. In addition to Smith, who has offers from almost everyone in the SEC and ACC as well as Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford and others, players like defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor from Millen (Ga.) Jenkins County, defensive end Jordan Jenkins from Hamilton (Ga.) Harris County and running back Kenno Loyal from Decatur (Ga.) Columbia have all expressed interest in attending. Taylor, one of the top players at his position in the country, has offers from most of the SEC and ACC including Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU and others.
Jenkins, a 6-foot-3, 245-pounder nicknamed "Freak" is one of the most physically impressive prospects in the country and has offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina and others. Finally, Loyal has recently received an offer from Auburn and is all but committed to the Tigers with an announcement expected any day now.
And it looks like the entire crew from Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson will be attending led by defensive end Jarontay Jones, running back Mike Davis, defensive tackle JaFar Mann, tight end Joshua Parris, linebackers Raphael Kirby and Darreon Herring, defensive tackle Carlos Hood. All of them have major SEC and ACC offers and Davis is already committed to Florida. 2013 stud Reginald Carter, a defensive end from Stephenson, will also be in attendance.
The following day, on Sunday, April 10, the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcase in Alabama will be held at Leeds High School just outside of Birmingham. Leeds stud linebacker Javierre Mitchell will be on hand representing his school while Birmingham (Ala.) Woodlawn defensive end Cassanova McKinzy will also be showing off his talents. Mitchell has an early offer from Auburn while McKinzy has offers from the Tigers as well as Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida State and others. Quarterback Jameis Winston from Hueytown, Ala., is also interested in attending and has offers from both Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina and many others. Oxford, Ala., teammates Trae Elston and Kwon Alexander have also expressed interest and Hoover (Ala.) Spain Park offensive lineman Ben Tamburello and Olive Branch, Miss., wide receiver D'Arthur Cowan, who has an early Mississippi State offer, are also excited to participate.
Rounding out the events is the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcase in Virginia being held on Sunday, April 17 at Highland Springs High School just outside of Richmond. One of the headliners at that event will be wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Diggs, a 6-foot-1, 189-pounder from Olney (Md.) Good Counsel, has offers from more than 30 programs including Maryland, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and others. In addition to Diggs, a U.S. Army All-American, defensive end Eli Harold from Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Lakes and athlete Joel Caleb from Midlothian (Va.) Clover Hill are also expected to attend and compete. Harold and Caleb, who have offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech as well as many ACC, SEC and Big East schools, are also Army All-Americans.
Others expected to be on hand in Virginia include Good Counsel running back Wes Brown and his teammate, 2013 stud cornerback Kendall Fuller, as well as wide receiver Anthony Cooper from Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside and defensive tackle Korren Kirven from Lynchburg (Va.) Brookville and others.
The Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcases are invite-only events and are for D-I prospects in the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Coaches with prospects with D-I ability and interest or players being heavily recruited can e-mail mike@rivals.com for more information on how to attend.