The D Zone

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Rising Stars Christmas Camp Top Performers Overview

Jalen Embry and Ambry Thomas in a release drill

The D Zone 2016-2017 Transition Tour kicked off with Day #1 of 9 on Thursday, December 29th at Ultimate Soccer in Pontiac aka Yac Town.  The host of the Christmas Camp was Rising Stars, led by Reggie Wynns whose son, Eric Wynns tragically died in a car accident in 2015.  The events proceeds went to the Eric Wynns Living the Legacy Foundation which will provide an outlet for future showcases and other events in honor of Eric who Reggie, Eric's former roommate at Saginaw Valley State, and others attributed to the fact that Eric simply loved being around football.

The event featured position drills before transitioning into 1 on 1's.  Tons of former Rising Stars athletes participated in the event, while a handful 2018 and younger players also came out to improve their craft.  Former players included: Dior Johnson & Ray Buford, Southfield - Minnesota, Jalen Embry, King - Northern Illinois, Ambry Thomas, King - Michigan, Trishton Jackson, West Bloomfield - Michigan State, Justin Clark, West Bloomfield - Toledo, Tim Cason, Clarkston - Purdue, Jamar Antwine, Southfield - Toledo, Blake Brady, Dakota - Central Michigan, and more. Others such as Donnie Corley, Avonte Maddox, Corey Lacanaria, and others were in attendance, but didn't work out.  Constant coaching from those above mentioned only benefited the younger players in attendance. A pair of former Michigan state champions; Alex Niznak - Ithaca and Cheyne Lacanaria - Brother Rice provided instructions to QB's as well.

As for the quarterbacks who threw, Rochester Adams 2017 QB Kyle Wood was the top dog with 5 offers to-date.  The Highlanders signal caller displayed a cannon arm and was the most accurate passer.  It was our first time seeing Bloomfield Hills 2018 QB John Paddock in action, who was selected as the Rising Stars Bus Tour MVP over the summer and Paddock lived up to his reputation.  Paddock who led the Blackhawks to their first playoff season this year, showcases a cannon arm and also a touch for accurate throws.

Despite graduating from Waterford Mott in a few months, 2018 WR Daylen Baldwin is a stud and will develop into a very strong receiver for Morgan State.  Baldwin has excellent size, length, speed, and hands.  His future teammate Southfield 2017 WR/CB Marquise Thorns is a sparkplug Slot/CB who is so fluid that it will be scary to see where he plays next.  Avondale 2018 WR Nick Whiteside may not have lost an entire rep the entire day, as Whiteside created separation and hauled in several difficult passes with ease. Paddock and Whiteside was a strong combination during the event, Paddock also had several good passes to an elusive teammate in Bloomfield Hills 2017 RB/Slot Derek Lynch.

Cass Tech 2018 CB Kalon Gervin will have a strong case at being the #1 ranked in-state prospect at this time next year.  Gervin's performance today definitely backed up his case, as Gervin continued to show his strong cover and ball skills, and just overall football IQ which are glaringly obvious.   Farmington Hills Harrison 2019 CB Roderick Heard was in attendance and displayed his physical coverage skills.  Heard holds an Temple offer.  Despite being a Linebacker, Southfield 2017 LB Lorenzo McCaskill doesn't give up and inch to anyone and is so physical upon contact.

The college players mentioned above tore it up as expected.  West Bloomfield / Michigan State WR Trishton Jackson was one of the most impressive players as the former Lakers QB showcased incredible fluidity and speed.  Jackson created separation on all his routes on 1 on 1's and looked good in the process.  Saginaw Valley State / Brother Rice WR Damaris Woods was a top performer at receiver and made the most plays overall from any receiver.

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