Texas 7-on-7 Tourney Evals

Martellus Bennett

The 7-on-7 state tourney held in College Station provides competition for the kids and coaches participating in the two-day event as well as excitement and/or short-lived disappointment for their family and friends. But it also provides an opportunity to scout several D-I (and potential D-I) prospects and we touch specifically more on that below...<p>

In order of appearance, on our most recent Texas Hot 100, we highlight 10 Hot 100 selections in this particular report. This will be an on-going series that will touch on several additional prospects we checked out so we're just getting started. Without further ado, our first group of 7-on-7 camp evals...

One of the star attractions of the event was none other than Alief Taylor TE Martellus Bennett. He showed more quickness than could be seen on his junior game film as well as the same sure hands. He could move up in our next Texas Hot 100, but he's in a heckuva fight to do just that. It doesn't get much better than wide receiver Malcolm Kelly (6-3.5, 190, 4.55) who is presently locking down the Texas Hot 100's No. 5 spot...

Henry Melton
Grapevine RB (or fullback/tight end/linebacker/defensive end -- maybe even...err...defensive tackle prospect?) Henry Melton put on a show. This kid easily measured 6-3, 260 pounds, but surprisingly moved quicker than expected with such a large frame to tote around. And just as Grapevine head coach Gary Mullens raved about Melton's soft hands, he was in fact on the money...

One prospect playing both ways and doing damage was all purpose running back R.J. Jackson. While garnering minutes on both sides of the ball, the Bayou City baller collected names with nary a breather. Although that'll wear out most prospects in the summer Texas heat, Jackson refused to wilt. At 5-11, 200, kid was packing plenty of extra beef/muscle on his frame requiring even more stamina to keep himself in the game. The Westside tailback's desire to compete, devotion to help his team win and his impressive display of endurance stood out as much as his acrobatic grabs and ability to make plays. As a receiver, he was simply skying over defenders and reeling in everything, including the 35-40 yard throws. Kid made it look easy due to what can be described only as superior concentration and excellent eye-hand coordination.

Keenan Clayton
Another standout blue-chipper, who actually sits at No. 12 (overall) in the Texas Hot 100 though he could move up another spot or two, goes by the name of Keenan Clayton. The Sulphur Springs safety/linebacker prospect eye-balls at 6-1.5/6-2, 210-pounds, proving his reported height/weight surprisingly reliable. He looked extremely impressive in person and don't be surprised to see him climb back to his original spot in our debut Texas Hot 100 rankings back in mid-January of this year, which was No. 10. Essentially, what impressed me the most was seeing Clayton moving down from the safety spot to man up as a corner at the 7-on-7 State Tourney (which is where you'd prefer to see top-ranked DBs playing in a 7-on-7 format). I mean, this kid impressed if for no other reason than the determination to improve his coverage skills as a DB. And he did a lot of good things out there as a cover man. He possesses quick feet, terrific speed, excellent strength and outstanding ball skills. The Texas Hot 100 No. 12, who recently committed to Oklahoma, already carries the hype and projection of being another Brodney Poole/Tony Cade safety prospect and quite possibly, from an upside standpoint, a (dare we say) Roy Williams-type impact for the Brent Venables/Bo Pelini Sooner D. His potential/upside suggests he may very well reach that lofty standard.

Additional notes on Clayton: While on the subject of what position the Sulphur Springs prospect will play in Norman, notice the above projection being a S/OLB. You may very well be looking at a potential outside linebacker talent who can provide tremendous big-play blitz ability, pass coverage as good as any linebacker prospect in the country and yet strong and big enough to project as a major weapon in the run game. If you saw his father coaching and encouraging from the sideline, then you probably recognized that there's a very good chance that this kid hasn't stopped growing. His father stands an eye-popping 6-4, 290. If this kid adds another inch and another 10-15 pounds, the Derrick Johnson comparisons may not be too far behind. I mean when you look at his size/speed package, along with his potential for more growth, Clayton's future position could in fact be at WILL linebacker...

Jorvorskie Lane
Todd Walker impressed but left a bit to be desired with some folks who were catching their first glimpse of the Pflugerville passer. I've seen him look really good and he's at his best on the broken play, something you won't see in 7-on-7. Walker has unique ability that can serve him well at the signal caller position.

Grabbing a quick eval on Lufkin FB/LB Jorvorskie Lane, he didn't do anything to distance himself from his well-deserved reputation of having soft hands. Eye-balling the Texas Hot 100 No. 25, he was right at 6-0/6-0.5, 235/240.

Alton Dixon
Lufkin DB Alton Dixon flat out told me, a couple of months ago, that he was without a doubt 6-0, 180. And after visiting with him with this past weekend, I told him I agreed. The east Texas standout is at least within a half-inch of 6-0, IMO. Also of particular interest to me was assessing his man-on-man skills. When I arrived, Dixon was in press and never came out of it. Kid lined up in bump 'n' run, used his hands well, stayed one step ahead, taking his assignment out of the game plan each and every time. Easily, the top corner I saw in the tourney. He'll move up and his primary position projection has been changed to cornerback with safety as his secondary position projection. Look for him to make a nice jump in our August Texas Hot 100.

Queito Teasley
Queito Teasley (Katy Cinco Ranch) is another kid I wasn't firm in listing as at 6-0 prospect. But make no mistake about it Teasely looked every bit six feet-tall. He's a bit too skinny, needs to bulk up and will do exactly that in a college strength and conditioning program. Having said that, the Baylor commitment demonstrated quick feet, nice moves and the ability to consistently make the grab. Look for Tasely to remain in the top 100. He's currently ranked No. 66 (overall).



Nick Richmond
Nick Richmond, a 6-7/6-8, 270-pound DT/OT who projects as an OT on the next level attended the event to cheer on his fellow South Garland teammates. That afforded us the opportunity to get a good look at the physical specimen and we took advantage. IMO, his size/upside alone may keep him in the Texas Hot 100 all season long, though, we need to watch more film on the South Garland big man before we go out on too far of a limb. In person, however, kid looks like a freak. Richmond is slated at No. 69 in our state top 100.

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