Release: July 09, 2013
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NUC Top Prospect Superlatives
Norman, Oklahoma - This July marks the fifth consecutive year that the National Underclassmen has held its prestigious end of the year event on the campus of Oklahoma University. In that time there have been several performances that have left the NUC Coaching Staff star struck.
Having had the privilege of covering each of these events I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the spectacular performers. There have been many elite prospects attend this camp but the players mentioned below stood out above and beyond the call of duty. Each of these players took top honor at their respective positions and more.
Below the players are listed under the year they attended the Top Prospect Camp. The year they were in school when they attended the camp is also noted. We also take a look at what they have accomplished since attending this event.
My question is who will shine this year? It takes size, superior athleticism, grit and determination to be considered one of the best that has ever attended an NUC event. ARE YOU NEXT?
Andrew Buie, RB, Trinity Christian, FL (2011)
What really stood out about this all-purpose back was the way he attacked the ball with his hands. Buie had no fear jumping in around heavy traffic over the middle of the field. He was able to contort his body in order to make plays on badly thrown balls. He demonstrated excellent change of direction and the ability to take a short pass and make a long gain. He ended up being named the top back in the class of 2011 at this camp.
Since: He will be a junior this fall at West Virginia University. He has carried the ball 230 times for 1,023 yards and eight scores while catching 41 passes for 403 yards
Colt Lyerla, ATH, Hillsboro, OR (2011)
At first glance you would have thought Lyerla was kin to Brian Urlacher. This tall athletic phenomenon came to this camp to work out at receiver, tight end, defensive back and linebacker. And he dominated at each position he tried. Defensively he was able to cover a ton of real estate using his long elegant strides. On the offensive side of the ball he was a straight up mismatch for linebackers and corners. I had him take some reps at defensive end and he demonstrated the ability to play that position with a quick get off and good use of hands. When the camp was over he was named the top overall athlete in the camp.
Since: Lyerla will be a junior this fall for Oregon. In his first two seasons he has caught 32 passes for 539 yards and 11 scores while also carrying the ball 13 times for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Damontre Moore, DE, Rowlett, TX (2010)
Moore made a living coming to NUC camps in 2009 showing off his natural athletic ability. Moore already had the ideal height, long arms and quick get off to stand out amongst his peers. During one-on-ones he proved to be an excellent outside pass rusher beating offensive lineman off the snap of the ball. Moore took each rep with unbridled passion as the top offensive lineman in the camp challenged him. By the end of the day he was honored as the top Defensive Lineman in the class of 2010.
Since: This past year he was named a consensus First Team All American after recording 85 tackles and 12.5 sacks for the Aggies. He was selected in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.
Bralon Addison, WR, Hightower, TX (2012)
I'm not sure I have ever seen a receiver attack the ball with his hands like Addison. During individual position drills he was able to catch balls that were released with velocity while his back was turned. The sound of the pop of the ball hitting his receiver gloves still rings in my ear. After the catch he proved to be more elusive than a greased pig at the county fair. Defenders could not break down in space get a hand on Addison. When the day was over he was the easy choice for WR MVP.
Since: As a true freshman Addison caught 22 passes for 243 yards and three scores this past year for the Oregon Ducks.
Landon Collins, DB, Dutchtown, LA (2012)
Collins came to this camp to work out at safety and corner back. This true gridiron warrior did all his talking with his actions on the field. He was able to come out of his backpedal and make several plays on the ball. Then during the 7-on-7 action he roamed the secondary like he owned the real estate and all others were trespassing. He was named the DB MVP, ATH MVP and 7-on-7 MVP. I do not think anyone has ever accomplished that feat prior to 2010 or since.
Since: Collins recorded 17 tackles as a true freshman for the Crimson Tide on his way to earning a National Championship Ring.
Jabari Hunt-Days, LB, Hillgrove, GA (2011)
Hunt-Days looked like a giant when compared to the other linebackers in his age group. He took every rep of agilities like a challenge meant to be destroyed. During one-on-ones he was able to turn and run with backs like a gazelle in the Serengeti National Park. Hunt-Days was able to get good depth on his drops while reading the eyes of the signal caller. Similar to Collins he did all his talking with his play on the field. And that is why he earned LB MVP at this camp.
Since: Hunt-Days started all 14 games as a redshirt freshman in 2012. He recorded 84 tackles, 4.5 TFL's and one pick.
Braxton Berrios, WR, Leesville Road, NC (2014)
Berrios was truly the Whirling Dervish in this camp. He could change directions on a dime while accelerating in and out of his breaks like a finely tuned sports car. His ability to attack the ball at its highest point was a thing of beauty. Underthrown overthrown it did not matter he was still able to make plays on the ball. He dominated his age group during the 7-on-7 looking more like a rising senior than a rising sophomore. He was the easy choice for WR MVP.
Since: He has accounted for over 4,000 yards of offense and 57 touchdowns in his sophomore and junior seasons. He currently has more than 15 BCS offers and is being compared to NFL great Wes Welker.
Jason Hatcher, DE, Trinity, KY (2013)
Hatcher had been dominating NUC events for two years and Top Prospect was no exception. Hatcher had the ideal build to project as a hybrid DE/LB. He came off the ball with his hair on fire and his hands violently attacking his opponents. He was able to get by offensive lineman before they could even get back into their pass set. But he was more than just an outside rusher demonstrating a plethora of pass rushing moves. He was honored as the best overall lineman on either side of the ball in this camp.
Since: Hatcher went on to help Trinity to two consecutive State Championships after this camp. He shunned the Trojans of USC and signed his letter of intent with the Wildcats of Kentucky.
EJ Levenberry, Jr., LB, CD Hylton, VA (2013)
This huge interior linebacker had a knack for getting his hands on the ball. Levenberry was able to get good depth on his drops while rerouting backs out of the open holes in the defense. He proved to be very physical at the point of attack overpowering backs with his two handed jam. During 7-on-7 he treated every ball thrown over the middle of the field as his own. In the end he was the easy choice for LB MVP.
Since: Levenberry recorded over 320 tackles, 29 TFL's and 23 PBU's his final two seasons of high school. He then signed his letter of intent with the Seminoles of Florida State.
Tony Brown, CB, Ozen, TX (2014)
Brown came into this camp with nothing to prove having already garnered over 20 scholarship offers. But he is a perfectionist and wanted to hone his craft as a defensive back at a high quality camp. There was no question about him being the fastest player in the camp as he whipped through agilities like a bird of prey attacking its meal. Brown had a nice smooth backpedal and hips on a swivel which allowed him to turn and run effortlessly to keep up with receivers. This competitor proved fierce yet humble and that is why he earned DMB MVP.
Since: This past season he recorded 96 tackles, three picks and 16 PBU's. He was also named the Gatorade Texas Track Athlete of the Year after posting a 4A State record 13.4 in the 110-Hurdles.
Sione Palelei, RB, East Ascension, LA (2014)
Pound for pound and muscle group by muscle group no prospect was better looking on the hoof then Palelei. This guy lives for agilities and position specific drill taking each rep at 110%. He not only uses his size and strength but his quickness to create space when running routes. He is then able to attack the ball with his hands and get vertical in a hurry. Some pundits see him as an all-purpose back but he has the size and strength to tote the ball in any situation. He not only led his team to the 7-on-7 championship he earned Overall MVP in the camp.
Since: He accounted for over 1,100 yards and 16 scores as a junior. He currently has over ten DI offers as that list continues to escalate.
James Proche, II, ATH, Prime Prep Academy, TX (2015)
I still run into participants that attended this camp as they are still asking about this player. Proche not only proved to be a superior route runner but also an excellent defensive back. He makes sharp crisp cuts and has that natural athletic ability to make the tough catch look easy. Proche then roams the secondary looking to pick off any ball in the air too long. He not only led his team to the 7-on-7 championship but earned Overall MVP for his stellar play on both sides of the ball.
Since: In a shortened season Proche caught 11 passes for over 250 yards and three scores as a sophomore. He already has two DI offers and that list will logarithmically grow soon.
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