VTO Chicago: What to watch

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By Ryan Probasco
Special to
The VTO Elite 100 Camp Series concludes this Sunday at Brother Rice High
School in Chicago, Ill. The invitation-only event is a great tool for top
regional recruits, as it provides the athletes both national exposure and
showcase experience.
Participants expected at the event come from various areas of the country --
Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Indiana, Alabama, Iowa, Tennessee, Ohio,
Mississippi, and Kentucky -- will be represented, but the bulk of the
participants hail from the Midwest region. Seeing as most of the VTO events are
held in the south and the east, Sunday's event is a vital opportunity for
players to make a name for themselves.
There are several intriguing prospects included on the event's roster.
Quarterback Dayne Keller will be one of the youngest participants, but
the Newburgh, Ind. native has been on evaluators' radars since he was in middle
school. During his freshman campaign for Castle High School (Ind.), Keller threw
for 1,013 yards and 16 touchdowns in just five games. And in January, he was
awarded the offensive MVP at the NUC All-American Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Keller shouldn't be overmatched by his competition Sunday, despite his age (14)
and limited experience.
On the other side of the ball, some players to keep an eye on are linebackers
Kenny Kirkland from Minooka High School (Ill.) and Mason LaMarche
out of Wisconsin Lutheran High School. Kirkland has shown excellent speed and a
knack for pursuit thus far in his high school career, while LaMarche's ideal
size (6-foot-1, 215 pounds) and strength give him a significant advantage in
showcase-style events.
At the conclusion of the event, eight MVPs -- one for all seven position groups
and a sleeper -- will be selected by the VTO team. And one underclassman will
receive an invitation to the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge, which will be held
in Jacksonville, Fla. this summer.
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