New Jersey event showcases top talent from Northeast, mid-Atlantic
Once again, the top talent in the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic converged in central New Jersey for the Premier Showcase, an invite-only event for top juniors and selected underclassmen.
Here's the lowdown on some of the key participants:
"Lewter is very good, bends well for a big man and has great hands," said
And top colleges have been on the Lewter's bandwagon for a while, with offers from Auburn, North Carolina, Pitt, New Mexico and Utah already coming in. He says he is getting 10 letters a day and that coaches are telling him that offers will be coming in soon from other national programs. It has gotten to the point that the native of Washington, D.C. has had his mailman notice the increase of letters into the Lewters' home.
"He told me he is proud of me," Lewter said of the mailman's reaction to the extra postage coming his way.
Unlike most recruits at the event who are tight-lipped in regards to revealing a top program, Lewter said that North Carolina is his early favorite right now and that the program has been utilizing defensive tackle
"I look at myself and see me filling his shoes there someday," Lewter said of the Tar Heels.
On signing day, Huggins hauled in an offer from Alabama's
"Things are going well and I'm excited about everything that has been happening so far," Huggins said. "But right now, I am really just focusing on getting ready for my last season at the Prep."
Huggins also vowed that this year, Prep will beat Don Bosco, the North Jersey program that finished this year as the No. 1 team in the nation according to several polls, including MaxPreps and Rivals.com.
One of the more intriguing prospects at the Premier Showcase had one of the longest trips to the event: Greensboro, N.C.'s
"My mom got the mail and told me that I just got offers from Alabama and West Virginia," Ebron said. "I was blown away."
Working out with the wide receivers, Ebron had no problems with the physical play of the defensive backs on the field, easily shedding their bumps and showing crisp route running for a player of his size. It was tough to gauge his hands as a number of balls were thrown just out of his grasp, but Ebron looks to be a raw player with a big upside. In addition to the two recent offers from the Crimson Tide and the Mountaineers, he also includes North Carolina, Clemson and Rutgers in his top five. The Scarlet Knights offered him on Friday after his visit and tour.
"They called it the nickel tour, but sure it felt like a dollar to me," Ebron said. "I really liked it and the family atmosphere of all the coaches and the entire place. That's what is most important to me, a strong family atmosphere."
Dunbar High School in Washington D.C. has a tradition of sending impact players to the college level, and it appears that
A compact 5-8 defensive back, Roberts may have been the most physical of all the defenders in one-on-one drills, drawing the ire of several receivers for his aggressive play. Roberts used his hands as well as any defensive back at the Premier Showcase and showed good footwork in recovery and anticipation. Having already received an offer from Syracuse two weeks ago, Roberts is anticipating an offer coming in from Maryland when he visits College Park this Tuesday. A third offer could well be coming in on Feb. 27 during a visit to Wake Forest, another program talking with him regularly.
With Roberts, it all comes down to making his presence known on the field. It's not enough to be seen -- Roberts stands out with long dreadlocks and prominent tattoos on his biceps -- he also engages in plenty of talking and mixes it up on the field with the best of them, no matter the size.
"I think a wide receiver can smell fear, and I don't want them to smell that on me," the diminutive Roberts said. "If you mix it up, you take it to them. You don't want to sit back, you want to jam them early."
Easily the fastest player at the event this year was
Right now, Byrd holds six offers in hand: Stanford, South Carolina, Rutgers, Duke, Maryland and Connecticut. He hopes to visit every program that has offered him by this spring, having already gone to three.
"[South Carolina] is a great campus, and I really liked it down there. Obviously the weather is great down there and not like up here in Jersey. Rutgers -- its home. It is close and I like that my family and friends could come to see me play," Byrd said. "UConn is a different campus then the others, more out in the country in the mountains and the valleys. I think I passed some haunted houses out there when we went out to visit."
Byrd said that he is hearing from several other top programs, including Ohio State, Cal, Oregon and Florida. The Gators are using an enticing recruiting line to attract his attention.
"They think I can come in and play for them in like a