SI All-American has spent the week in San Antonio, Texas evaluating some of the Nation's premier prospects in the 2022 recruiting cycle compete in practice settings leading up to the Adidas All-American game on Saturday at 1 PM EST.
We've conducted interviews, watched practices, cut film, spoken to coaches, taken the notes, etc.
It's time for us to empty the notebook. These are my thoughts and observations.
The Little Things
All-American events like this are littered with Power 5 bodies, they are all All-Americans, that's the point. However, what I've found in scouting is what separates the "elite" from the "really good" are the little things. It's cliché, but it's true. So, here are some guys that did the little things.
Earnest Greene, OT
Greene didn't lose many reps this week during practice settings, something that certainly went noticed as he was noted as a Top Performer following Tuesday's joint practice between the West and East. However, on Thursday, when he finally was beaten on the rep, Greene requested his teammate DJ Wesolak — Missouri linebacker commit — stick around and give him extra looks. Greene will commit at the game Saturday.
Mykel Williams, DE
Likely our overall top performer from this week's practice sessions, Mykel Williams put on a defensive line display this week in San Antonio. He's a product of pass-rush specialist Chuck Smith in Atlanta, Georgia and it's evident that Williams has not only retained the information and knowledge, he knows how to convey it. Williams would flip roles from star pass-rush specialist to pass-rush coaching guru in between reps. Retaining information is important in football, being able to relay that information is the difference between really good and elite. Williams has signed with Georgia.
Trevor Etienne, RB
Bring together 35 some odd athletes, put them on a team, give them three days to practice, and then ask them to play a game. In order to have success in this environment, you have to pick up a playbook and learn your teammates rather quickly.
The timetable for that acclimation process is drastically decreased when a player asks proper questions. According to running backs coach Robert Edwards for the East squad, it was Etienne that asked all the right questions this week and it was Etienne that absorbed the playbook the quickest. Etienne remains undecided.
Joshua Conerly, OL
Dry reps, shadow reps, mental reps, whatever your coaching term is for them, getting a "practice" rep while the guy in front of you is taking a rep is a sign of maturity and focus on the task at hand. Little things like that will payout in the long run and Joshua Conerly does a lot of those little things. I watched him take dry reps for the majority of individual periods during practice sessions. The SI99 recruit is uncommitted.
Lander Barton, LB
The Utah commit made our Top Performers skill players on Tuesday and he makes the little things list for understanding the application of the drills on hand. Something as simple as towards the end of a coverage rep, without a ball being thrown, he's turning his head around for what would be a ball. Minor attention to details during drills that are designed to get you better, will get you better faster.