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February 13, 2009
New Jersey event to bring out area's best
Rivals.com Scouting the Nation | Rivals.com 250 to Watch 2010MORE:
The first big event in the state of New Jersey for the class of 2010 is taking place this Sunday, Feb. 15, at TEST Sports Clubs indoor turf field in Martinsville, N.J., and will feature many of the top rising seniors in the Garden State led by two top quarterbacks, Brandon Hill and Joseph Brennan.
Hill, a 6-foot-5, 218-pounder from Audubon, N.J., has an early offer from Rutgers and plenty of interest from programs like Maryland, Duke, NC State, Oregon, UCLA and others. Brennan, a 6-foot-2, 179-pounder from Cherry Hill (N.J.) Camden Catholic, also has an offer from Rutgers and interest from Pitt, Duke, UConn and others.
There is also other talent at quarterback including East Orange, N.J., dual-threat Quadir Pendleton, a 6-foot-4, 180-pounder who has a verbal offer from Oregon and interest from Alabama, Miami, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State and NC State. And two underclassmen quarterbacks will compete with the big boys as 6-foot-4, 186-pounder Nick San Giacomo from Barnegat, N.J., and 6-foot-4, 185-pounder Tanner McEvoy from Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic will be on hand to compete.
At running back, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep standout Tony Jones is expected to be on hand. The 5-foot-8, 178-pounder has been on the recruiting radar since he became a starter as a freshman at the storied program. Jones has an early offer from Boston College and interest from others like UConn, Miami, Rutgers and UCLA. Other notable running backs include Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph's all-purpose back Kamal Hogan and Richland (N.J.) St. Augustine big man Darnell Laws. But arguably the biggest name at running back is Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep 2011 stud Savon Huggins, a 6-foot-0, 190-pounder who will be one of the biggest recruits for his class.
The wide receiver/tight end crop is loaded with talent and big targets for the quarterbacks. Shakim Phillips from Wayne (N.J.) DePaul Catholic, the top player in the state of New Jersey so far, will attend although he might not be able to participate due to a thumb injury. Phillips has offers from Pitt, Syracuse, Duke, UConn and others. He'll be joined by top wideouts Terrence Casper and Najee Salaam who both stand over 6-foot-3. And tight end Kevin Haplea from Annandale (N.J.) North Hunterdon Regional has interest from Boston College, UConn, Rutgers, Virginia and many others. And two class of 2011 prospects, Damiere Byrd and Bill Belton, will also be competing. Byrd is one of the fastest players in New Jersey as a rising junior and Belton is a stud athlete.
Moving to the big men, Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep offensive tackle Jake Kaufman is expected to attend but likely won't participate due to a knee injury. Kaufman has early offers from Rutgers and Stanford. Paramus (N.J.) Paramus Catholic big man Danny Foose, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep offensive/defensive lineman James Kittredge and Passaic, N.J., tackle Jorge Vicioso highlight the offensive linemen.
On the defensive line, Bridgeton, N.J. defensive end Rashaun Smith headlines a strong group. The 6-foot-2, 260-pounder is coming off a season where he registered 116 tackles and eight sacks. In addition to Smith, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep offensive/defensive lineman Brandon Sacco, East Orange, N.J., defensive tackle Chris Woods and Union defensive/offensive lineman Hassan Purdie will also be on hand.
At linebacker, Highland Park, N.J., stud Nate Smith is expected to attend and will be joined by Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep standout Ryan Cobb and others. Cobb is being heavily recruited by Rutgers, Boston College, Clemson, Virginia, UCLA and others while Smith is coming off a season where he had 92 tackles and 14 tackles for a loss. Smith has serious early interest from Rutgers and others.
Finally, the defensive backs will have a tough task holding a talented wide receiver group in check. Pennington (N.J.) Pennington Prep safety Dontae Johnson might make an appearance if his basketball schedule doesn't get in the way. The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder has offers from Maryland, Michigan State, NC State and UConn so far and is one of the top defensive backs on the east coast. Atco (N.J.) Winslow Township teammates Travis Minor and Courtland Bragg bring athleticism to the position and will be joined by teammate and 2011 stud Robert Mahan. And Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep 2011 standout Sheldon Royster will also be on hand.
The event is being held at TEST Sports Club in Martinsville, N.J., and is being run by Brian Martin. Guest speakers and instructors will be former New York Giant greats Odessa Turner and Billy Ard. They will be joined by former Rutgers Scarlet Knight and current Indianapolis Colt, Eric Foster, as well as Foster's former teammate and future pro player, Jamal Westerman. Rounding out the list of college stars will be Val Barnaby, William Beckford and Ian Scott.
Offensive and defensive linemen report at 5:00 p.m. EST and will work out from 5:30-7:00. Skill position players report at 6:30 p.m. EST and will work out from 7-8:30 p.m. This is an invite only event. For questions, please e-mail recruiting analyst Mike Farrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.