Simpson Shines, Sleepers Emerge at Elite 11 Nashville Regional Camp

Elite 11 Finals invites No. 9 and 10 extended following second-to-last regional event
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Onlookers couldn't have known. 

Droves of future college football quarterbacks descended on Lipscomb Academy for the Elite 11 regional camp and the prospect who shined brightest -- Ty Simpson -- hasn't really spent the time on the football field this spring. In fact, the baseball standout will pivot right back to the diamond less than 24 hours after earning his ticket to the Elite 11 Finals in Los Angeles.

The Martin (Tenn.) Westview QB's right arm talent was on display, as was the athleticism as the Alabama commitment tested among the best in the nation to this point, and it was relatively clear from the outset of the event. Quarterbacks committed to Oregon, Florida State, Louisville, Kentucky, Rutgers, UNLV, Southern Miss, Marshall and others made the trip but it was the Crimson Tide pledge with the most eyes on him entering the competition, facts he would back up over a four-hour workout. 

"I'm so happy right now," Simpson told SI All-American. "It's been a dream of mine to go to the Elite 11 Finals since I was a little kid. Winning all this stuff, I'm so happy, I'm just speechless right now.

"I haven't really worked with football much lately, but I thought it was a good day." 

Simpson set himself apart from the pack throughout the afternoon in more ways than one, even winning the Golden Gun accuracy competition among coveted peers and beyond, finishing with a score of 21. Inside the pocket and out, there was an ease to the rising-senior's game throughout the event. One wouldn't have guessed baseball, though the quick trigger, arm strength and footwork could overlap between sports, has been the heavy primary focus of late. 

Nicco Marchiol shined when it came to consistency, accuracy and comfort while on the move. The Florida State pledge took something off of the ball and showcased touch to the second and third level relative to the drills the Elite 11 staff put the lefty through, too. Efficiency and touch were on full display with the Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton standout, especially while working beyond the conventional pocket. As if the smooth game wasn't intriguing enough, Marchiol's recruitment may not be quite wrapped up yet, as Michigan State and West Virginia are set to receive June official visits. 

There was a second invitation to the Elite 11 Finals after the day's work, as the on-site staff tabbed Rutgers commitment Gavin Wimsatt with the honor. There were a few head-turning throws to the third level from the Owensboro (Ky.) star, who had no issue with velocity throughout the workout as some in the 'A' group began to show signs of fatigue toward its conclusion. Wimsatt's best throws of the event out-paced most of the field and the drive on the ball was strong to the point that a pass catcher was even displaced some when bringing in an intermediate throw. By all indication, the Scarlet Knights have a pledge from a quarterback the fan base should still be talking about. 

Tevin Carter showed off the arm strength throughout the workout. While sometimes a double-edged sword in that the velocity and drive can overwhelm an intermediate target or even cause the ball to sail, his best power throws stacked up and perhaps beyond any other arm in the field. A bigger body at 6'4", well over 200 pounds, the Memphis (Tenn.) Kirby leader pushes the football towards a target with seemingly less exertion than his peers. Carter has considerable scholarship offers but he has long been linked to the hometown Memphis Tigers. Texas A&M and/or Auburn could be among those worth watching, as each looks for a second commitment at the position. 

"I had an overall good day," Carter said. "Some of the quarterbacks were talking about how it's kind of hard to make some throws that I -- I'm not gonna say it's easy -- but I do it. It was nice to hear some of them tell me 'nice ball' on those throws."

Kentucky verbal commitment Destin Wade is another dual-threat who impressed with his arm on Sunday. He has a condensed motion but it doesn't limit the flight of the football coming off of his right hand. In fact, it jumps to the intermediate level at a consistent rate. Another in-stater who impressed during an event with more of a national feel, the Spring Hill (Tenn.) Summit signal caller looks refined in the later stages of his prep career. Wade made plays in the pocket when his feet were set and proved capable on the move Sunday in rolling to both his right and left. 

Sleepers of Note

Ethan Vasko was among the most comfortable while throwing on the move, with consistent accuracy and relative zip on the football. The Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith standout, in the 6'4" range, looked like a prospect to keep an eye on following an undefeated state championship run this spring and scholarship offers from Old Dominion, Ivy League programs and more. Vasko's athleticism expands his level of threat on Friday nights but his Sunday display held up while competing among many passers more coveted on the recruiting trail at this time. 

One of the hotter passing recruits outside of the Power 5, coming into the event, was Cade Law. The local standout out of CPA added offers from Akron and Murray State earlier this month, following service academy and Ivy League extensions earlier this spring. Another two-sport standout with baseball pedigree, Law is a well-built prospect with a filled out frame. In 2020 he led CPA to a state championship with 30 total touchdowns as a dual-threat. On Sunday, Law made next level throws well more times than not. 

2023 Tennessean Impresses

Marcel Reed already holds offers from some of the nation's top programs, including Alabama, Georgia and Florida most recently, and part of the reason why was on display Sunday. Known as a dynamic dual-threat on Friday nights, the Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell Academy QB more than held his own with the primary phase of the game among underclassmen competing. 

Reed has natural arm talent, sometimes getting the football to its target in a hurry without stepping into his throws. As the technical elements of the game become more comfortable and he fills out his frame a bit more, few rising-juniors in the region could contend with the attention Reed could receive. Tennessee, Indiana and Ole Miss are among the additional recent scholarship offers the junior has added to his name and more should be on the way.

The Elite 11 Finals -- now up to 10 invitations with Simpson and Wimsatt joining Quinn Ewers (committed to Ohio State), Cade Klubnik (Clemson), Nick Evers (Florida), Devin Brown (USC), Conner Weigman (Texas A&M), Walker Howard (LSU), Jacurri Brown (Miami) and AJ Swann (Maryland) -- will kick off in Los Angeles late in the month of June. 

Jake Nichols and Jack Foster contributed to this report. 

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