Smith: 2022 Takeaways from Championship 7v7 Atlanta

Reflecting on top performers and more after more than 70 7-on-7 teams descended upon Atlanta
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MARIETTA, Ga. -- Some of the top rising-senior performers from this past weekend’s Championship 7v7 Atlanta tournament backed up high expectations while others planted themselves on recruiting radar. 

There were 7-on-7 teams from Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee present in the Atlanta area Saturday and Sunday, and several players stood out. Here are a few of those top players and why they deserved to earn mention.

Tournament MVP 

Kevin Jennings, QB, 6’1”, 180-pounds, Dallas (Texas) South Oak Cliff - 2022 

Some players move to the top of the board when it matters most, and that’s a great identifier for Jennings. If there was ever a need for a signal caller that knew how to manipulate his team down the field 5-to-8 yards at a time, Jennings would be the ideal candidate. Even better, once he lulled defenders into biting on shorter routes, Jennings hit moneyball after moneyball when throwing deep that sealed Team Grind as the Championship7v7 tournament winner. After a junior season which saw him complete 72 of 106 passes for 1,273 and 18 touchdowns, look for Jennings’ passing statistics to rise during his senior campaign. This is a young man that should earn recruiting attention moving forward as well. Sam Houston State and Incarnate Word are expressing interest to date.

Under the Radar 

Nick Sowell, WR, 6’5”, 200-pounds, Irmo (S.C.) Dutch Fork - 2022 

A long and lanky frame accentuates this wide receiver’s game, as Sowell’s size certainly allowed him to consistently work the middle of the field against shorter defenders. Even when a defender was in front of Sowell, he was able to go up and get the football. Sowell was consistently able to use his size to out maneuver defenders during inside routes, and he was a matchup nightmare near the goal line. Perhaps this is a young man that’s about to break out during his senior campaign; the frame and tools are there. 

Carson Roper, QB, 6’2”, 185-pounds, Klein (Texas) Cain - 2022 

As a junior, Roper completed 108 of 164 passes for 1,864 yards and 13 touchdowns, and he rushed 99 times for 637 yards and 13 more touchdowns. With his all-around skills, Roper showed his ability to be mobile and make throws from the pocket or during rollouts. Perhaps Roper’s best attribute was taking the underneath routes and not consistently forcing the football down the field like many other 7-on-7 signal callers, showing his maturity. A consistent over-the-top motion and a good base also displayed Roper’s technical approach to quarterback play. Roper does not yet hold any offers, but he’s certainly a player to monitor.

On The Rise 

Jaydon Johnson, WR, 6’2”, 205-pounds, Missouri City (Texas) Marshall - 2022 

Broad shoulders and a well developed upper body help to allow Johnson to “box out” defensive backs in the middle of the field, as well as conquer press coverage. While Johnson certainly works the entirety of the field well, the more important note is that his quarterback was looking for him during third downs regardless of where Johnson lined up or which route he ran. Johnson’s quickness, especially in-and-out of his breaks, allowed him to beat many cornerbacks. He has offers from Kansas, Houston, University of Louisiana, and Marshall. With Johnson’s overall talent, there’s good reason to believe his offer list will increase.

Deandre Smith, QB, 6’2”, 200-pounds, Greenville (Miss.) Greenville Christian School - 2022 

Smith played well during this year’s Atlanta Under Armour All-America camp event, and he proved once again why he’s being recruited. Seeing him live for a second time helped to augment why he was invited to Under Armour. As a junior, Smith completed 120 of 207 passes for 2,537 yards and 27 touchdowns. He also carried 102 times for 690 yards and another 15 scores in leading his program to a state title. Smith earned offers from Southern Miss, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe and Mississippi Valley State to date, and with his size, arm strength, and understanding of the game, Smith’s offer list should grow. 

Rarely Challenged 

Jaheim Singletary, CB, 6’1”, 170-pounds, Jacksonville (Fla.) Lee - 2022

One of the nation’s top overall cornerbacks, Singletary’s fluid back pedal and quick breaks helped him stay with wide receivers during the two-day tournament. Singletary’s reputation probably led to quarterbacks staying away from him, but more importantly this was an opportunity for Singletary to work his craft at cornerback and in the deep secondary. He did not disappoint, even while moonlighting at safety and on offense. The Ohio State commitment is certainly in contention to be the nation’s top overall cornerback prospect. 

SI All-American will take a closer look at some of the underclassmen that shined at the event tomorrow.

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