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12 Prospects Who Impressed at the ESPN 300 Elite Underclassmen Camp

Sunday camp in the Sunshine State provides latest look at IMG Academy stars, sleeper recruits alike

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. -- The beginning of the ESPN 300 Elite Underclassmen Camp tour kicked off in the Sunshine State on Sunday and stars came out in the college football recruiting class of 2023, 2024, 2025 and beyond. 

Working at West Orange High School near Orlando, there was a blend of established recruiting talent and new and/or younger names for scouts to eye for the first time this offseason. 

Sports Illustrated was on hand and looks at a dozen recruits to know following the competitive camp (listed in graduation order).

2023 OT Francis Mauigoa, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy

While we'd like to say Mauigoa won all four of his one-on-one reps on Sunday — two at left and two at right tackle — his final one would be considered a penalty in a game even though it turned into the type of power snapshot that has every major program in the country courting the American Samoa native on the offensive line.

Debatable clip aside, it was easy to see on Sunday why Mauigoa, 6-foot-5, 330 pounds, is one of the most talked about 2023 offensive linemen in the nation. His footwork is sound, seen by his consistently clean kick-slide in every rep. Mauigoa knocked two rushers out of their lane as they attempted to turn the corner, and stonewalled another before throwing the defender back onto the turf from where he came from. Mauigoa hasn't been overly active in visiting schools this spring, so far only checking out Florida and coming away impressed. However, he is trying to visit Miami next weekend and intends to trim his top schools list from 13 to five programs by May before taking three official visits over the summer and another two during the season.

2023 RB Cedric Baxter, Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater 

A bigger running back, Baxter has become known as one of the more balanced backs in the country when it comes to playing in space and/or the passing game. He shines in 7-on-7 competition and on tape as a receiver and Sunday was no different, even though he dealt with cramping and tightness through the large portion of the event. Still, Baxter showed why he has a who's who list of scholarship offers in breezing by the linebackers lined up in front of him during one-on-ones, with an understanding of leverage, pacing of his routes and reliable hands to finish reps with the win. All this on the heels of a 3 a.m. arrival after a multi-day visit to Ohio State, though onlookers wouldn't have known it. Texas, Texas A&M and USC also recently hosted Baxter, who showed up to the event decked out in Miami gear. 

2023 WR Richard Dandridge, Homestead (Fla.) High School

The wideout position was one of the better groups at the camp and two things stood out with Dandridge while working in drills. First, he showed some head-turning bounce for a smaller-framed prospect on the jump balls thrown to the back of the end zone and second the competitiveness was hard to miss considering he was campaigning for extra reps at every stop. The slender and speedy Miami native put it all together during one-on-ones with multiple wins down the field, including a contested grab with a defender committing blatant pass interference. A smooth route-runner who has room to add weight, Dandridge has collected several FBS offers but says Miami and most recently Florida have shown increased interest. 

2023 RB Carson Green, San Antonio (Texas) Reagan

Sunday's camp was an invite-only event, but there was an opportunity for prospects to work Saturday with a chance to make an impression and earn an invite. Green made the trek from Texas and impressed enough Saturday, with a combination of speed and quickness, to get the nod to return Sunday and he impressed yet again. After missing the bulk of his junior season at Reagan High in Texas, the four-year varsity starter showed his polish against a strong linebacker group with good balance and pace before executing well at the catch point. While Green's vast running back experience could also project into the return game, his route-running and swiftness may also preview a window into a slot receiver projection depending on the collegiate scheme he signs up to play for. 

2023 WR Tyree Patterson, Eustis (Fla.) High School

A great build at nearly 6'3", 180 pounds and consistent route-running to pair with a long stride, Patterson caught attention early on and only improved on the opinion thereafter. The build was reminiscent of a wing in basketball (yes, Patterson plays hoops for Eustis High) but the polish reflected a prospect who appears all in on one sport. Position coach and former NFL star Chris Chambers, like the SI staff, was surprised to learn Patterson had not breached the Power Five level on his scholarship offer list to date, especially after a 2021 season in which he averaged better than 20 yards per catch, broke the 1,000 yard barrier and scored 13 touchdowns in 10 games. Liberty, UMass and North Texas have offered while Florida State, Marshall and others have shown interest. 

T.J. Capers

Capers stole the show among linebackers in coverage

2024 LB T.J. Capers, Miami (Fla.) Cristopher Columbus

The running back group was strong on Sunday but the top linebacker in the coverage department may have been the top performer in the group in Capers. Built like a potential defensive end down the line at 6'4", 230 pounds, one wouldn't have expected him to move so well against smaller and faster players -- but no 'backer got his hands on the football like the Miami native did. There was an understanding of the running back route tree and that instinctive trait of breaking on the ball at the right time that led into Capers' success on Sunday en route to MVP honors from the staff on hand. A "freak," as described by one of his coaches at Columbus High after SI's inquiry, this will be a rising junior recruit many learn more about in the coming months. All of the in-state powers have known of him and already have an offer in to Capers, though he has not been on many visits to date. Florida, Miami, UCF and others are to expect him on campus soon, though, he says. 

2024 RB Jerrick Gibson, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy

The SI staff has seen Gibson work several times over the last few months and he seems to impress more each time. Just a rising junior, he already looks like a college back at 5'11", 190 pounds or so and the profile isn't misleading in any way. Gibson has elite quickness, speed and is as comfortable working out of the backfield as any at the position in the 2024 cycle. Sunday proved as much, as he won passing reps at all three levels of the defense with relative ease. The former Florida commitment has seen his recruitment boom as much as everyone's opinion of his game has risen, including recent offers from Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State and others over the last month or so. He and fellow 2024 back Stacy Gage in the same IMG Academy backfield this fall will not be a welcomed site for prep defensive coordinators regardless of personnel. 

2024 QB Trever Jackson, Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange 

One of two quarterbacks called back after impressing during Saturday's Combine, Jackson proved himself as the top signal-caller — earning positional MVP honors — at the event with another strong showing on Sunday. The ball glides off of Jackson's hand from a compact motion and packs plenty of velocity on its way to the target, seen on traditional dropback passes and on the move. Jackson's accuracy, particularly down the field, was even better on day two as well, displayed when he hit the goal-post target from 40 yards away in individual drills and in one-on-ones with perfect placement on several deep passes. Jackson, 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, is entering his first season as West Orange's starter in 2022 after scoring 10 touchdowns as a reserve in 2021. He doesn't currently possess any college offers, but if this weekend's camp is an indicator, offers will begin to roll in once he accumulates game film on a muscular 6'2" frame.

2024 DE Kendall Jackson, Buchholz (Fla.)

Jackson, 6'4", 250 pounds, split his one-on-one reps with two snaps at defensive end and the other two as a three-technique. He doesn't have the size or power to play along the interior right now, but he's more than capable of wreaking havoc off the edge. He won both end reps with a mix of moves, first by an efficient rip off the offensive tackle's outside shoulder and second via a long-arm/bull-rush combination. Jackson displayed explosion out of his stance and solid speed when rushing from the edge, suggesting that his best fit is as a weak-side edge rusher in a four-man front. The Gainesville-area product is freshly removed from visits to Florida, USF and UCF. The Bulls and Knights, as well as Maryland and Troy, make up Jackson's offers thus far.

2024 DL Jayden Jackson, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy

IMG Academy is known for its elite level recruiting talent but the program also features depth and many prospects without the hype of their teammates, like Jackson. But one wouldn't have realized as much watching the interior defensive lineman work, taking as many reps as any during the one-on-one period and winning all but one with relative ease. The Indiana native was an all-state performer as a sophomore before his move to Florida and his violent hands combine with quickness for the foundation as to why. We don't suspect he will remain without a known scholarship offer for very long, especially as he continues to work against an always-elite (and massive) IMG offensive line throughout the spring months and into the fall. 

2024 DE David Stone, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy

IMG defensive lineman David Stone may have had the most fun at the camp, working through all of the trench workouts with success before aiding a linebacker unit in covering the running backs thereafter, celebrating "forced" incompletions against backs weighing 75 pounds lighter than him. Stone looked solid in space, redirecting and especially on a line, but his near 20 scholarship offers will all remain pointed to a defensive line projection. The competitiveness Stone showed, on an increasingly hot day no less, did provide a strong example to the campers not taking reps with their actual position groups. The on-site staff recognized as much of the Oklahoma native and awarded him with MVP honors along the way.

2025 DE Jared Smith, Hoover (Ala.) Spain Park

There is a new name to know in the Yellowhammer State and it's Jared Smith. An extremely long prospect with a basketball background at 6'6", there is a blank canvas to work with as a long edge rusher and just a current high school freshman. The lanky underclassmen gains ground in a hurry and can extend like few college players can, walking a blocker back on his last rep of the afternoon. Smith will polish up, but flashed technique on his best rep of the day earlier, stabbing outside before a powerful redirect underneath the blocker expecting a speed rush. Troy has already seen enough for an offer but more are obviously on deck. 

Zach Goodall contributed to this feature