Tag:Adrian Burton
Posted on: May 3, 2011 3:22 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2011 3:39 pm
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Alabama Badger Sports 7-on-7 Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- If one championship was lucky, a second confirms what the South Florida-based Footballers Fire 7-on-7 team thought all along, that they were one of the most talented teams in the country.

Composed mostly of players who were cut from the elite South Florida Express travel team, the Footballers Fire ended up beating them for a title in Tampa and ran through the competition over the weekend to grab their second title on the campus of Samford University.

The group ended up taking three vans from Miami to Birmingham, a trip that lasted over 13 hours. The long drive was the furthest thing from their mind when they held up the championship trophy though.

"Everybody was excited about getting out of Florida and coming to Alabama," Pompano Beach (Fla.) cornerback Adrian Burton said. "The difference between Tampa and here is we came up here undefeated. We didn't lose one game in this tournament and we won outside of our elements. We wanted to prove we were college-ready and came to play outside of our elements by playing in another state."

The team was the most vocal of any of the 15 teams that came to the event from all over the South. Part of the hooting and hollering after every play was strategy, especially once they reached the championship game and kept quiet in order to throw the other team off.

"The competition was really good," Gainesville (Fla.) corner Chris Bivins said. "We talked a bunch throughout the day but we decided to calm it down for the championship game and make them think we weren't playing. We were quiet and things started clicking."

Bivins is not full-time member of Footballers Fire but decided to come along on the trip and play with several of his friends on the team. He deferred to other members of the team in terms of playing time but still managed to make an impact in the secondary, playing both slot and outside receivers.

Burton, on the other hand, was in for nearly every play on defense and picked off two passes during the tournament, one more than he had in Tampa. Grabbing an extra pick wasn't as meaningful for the talented corner as grabbing a second title however.

"It meant a lot to me personally," Burton said. "We heard on ESPN that there was no way we can repeat, it was a fluke. Honestly we don't take that too lightly. We went from the cut list (from the South Florida Express) to winning two 7-on-7 championships. What more can we say?"

Texas Tech is one school showing a lot of interest in Burton but has yet to offer him a scholarship. Defensive backs coach Otis Mounds is the coach recruiting him and Burton had good things to say about the former South Florida high school coach.

"He has to be one of the coolest guys I've met who is a recruiter," Burton said. "He talks about real stuff, real situations, he doesn't actually talk that much about football. In his words, there's only two things they want us to come to Texas Tech for, to play ball and get your education. Education and football, I'm glad he pointed that out and it's not just football."

Bivins is also seeing his recruitment pick up with the May Evaluation period in full swing and already holds five offers, including ones from Utah and USF. He picked up his first SEC offer from South Carolina on Thursday and is excited about what the Gamecocks bring to the table.

"They've been contacting me lately. Coach (Steve) Spurrier Jr. came to school but I wasn't there because I had a track meet," Bivins said. "I called him on the phone and he said they were going to offer me a scholarship because they love big corners with long arms and speed."

Both players will head to the Badger Sports National 7-on-7 Tournament in Dallas over Fourth of July weekend.

Ward drops into coverage

Aberdeen (Miss.) defensive end Channing Ward didn't show up for Day One of the tournament and many thought he had taken an unofficial visit or just stayed home for the weekend. Turns out he had a good excuse as he was anchoring Aberdeen High's 4x100 and 4x200 track team and ended up running a 11.3 second 100 meters at a hefty 6-foot-2, 250 pounds.

The big and fast defensive end ended up playing linebacker for much of Day Two of the tournament and did so mainly to get better with his footwork and show off a little bit more to observers.

"It was a good challenge," Ward said. "I had to keep my feet moving. I think it will make me a better defensive end because I have to keep my feet moving. I felt ok."

Ward recently picked up another offer to add to his growing list that is sitting at 16 and includes Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss and Notre Dame among others.

"I picked up an offer from Miami last Friday," Ward said. "I have interest in them."

There are also several schools close to extending a scholarship and Ward offered up one school who might be the next to pull the trigger.

"Florida State. The've been writing me a lot and told me to come to their camp," Ward said. "I'm going this summer. I'll also probably go to LSU and Auburn (camps). I've been to both of them to watch a game and on Junior Day."

Alabama and Mississippi State are the two schools recruiting him the hardest with Crimson Tide assistant Jeff Stoutland being his primary recruiter and one of the few who are recruiting him as a hybrid defensive end/linebacker. He still hasn't narrowed down his list of schools but looking for a few things in his future school.

"Graduation rate, good vibe from the coaches," he said.

Ward has offers from just about every SEC schools and projects more as a defensive end than linebacker in college.

Dural doesn't live up to his own high standards

One of the few commitments participating in the tournament was Beaux Bridge (La.) wide receiver Travin Dural. The LSU commitment didn't get too many balls thrown his way and had trouble meshing with his teammates he met just two days before on their way from Louisiana.

"I didn't feel like I played my best, I kind of had an off weekend," Dural said. "I did alright in some games but just didn't really get it going."

Although he didn't live up to his own high standards, Dural did compete against some of the best defensive talent he's seen and he felt he measured up well despite having an off weekend.

"I wanted to play with the best and see how I do," he said. "They say these are some of the best players in the country so I wanted to see how good I really am. I kind of showed that I can compete with them."

Firmly committed to LSU, his commitment was pretty open and shut as soon as the Tigers became interested in the in-state prospect.

"When I got the offer," he said of when he committed. "That was the school I wanted to go to ever since I was little. That helped because I wanted to go there and didn't have to worry about committing when I wanted to go there."

The 6-foot-2, 170 pound Dural is still receiving mail from several programs but isn't being actively recruited by anybody. Many schools will stop by to see him when spring football starts in two weeks but putting on the pads isn't something Dural is looking forward to.

"No," he said with a grin. "It's going to be hot out there. I'm in track right now so I'm not even in football shape. I do the 200 and high jump, long jump and 4x200 (relay). I've got the state track meet next weekend at LSU. Last week at regionals, our relay team ran the seventh fastest time in the nation."

Gross looks good at quarterback

There were not a lot of high caliber quarterbacks in Birmingham but Memphis (Tenn.) signal caller Will Gross was one of the top two or three at the event, throwing a good spiral and really showing some velocity on throws. He's already received offers from Louisville, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt and picked up a big one last week after a few schools stopped by during the evaluation period.

"Memphis, Wake Forest, Alabama and UConn," Gross said of the schools that came by Melrose High. "Alabama offered Thursday. I'm blessed. I'm glad the coaches see something in me. They have a good program and get you ready for the NFL. They have a great staff. I'm going to visit next month."

While some schools are recruiting him as an athlete, Alabama is recruiting him as quarterback. The 6-foot-1, 175 pound Gross wants to play quarterback in college and that will be an issue he'll bring up to those schools pursuing him.

"Mississippi State and Arkansas State," he said of schools that are recruiting him the hardest. "It doesn't matter where I go. I'm very patient and want to take my time. I might commit during the season."

Gross has already taken a few unofficial visits and will take some time over the next few weeks to plan where he'll go next. He won't limit his planning to just unofficial visits though, he plans on taking all five of his official visits and is already trying to figure out when and where to go.

"I don't know them all," he said. "I know three, Louisville, Kentucky and Alabama. Those are my top three right now."

Alabama's recent offer appears to make them the co-leader along with Louisville for Gross but he remains open until taking his visits.

Recruitment of Kimbrow heating up

A few miles away from Gross, running back Brian Kimbrow is becoming a hot name for recruiters. The city of Memphis is always a must stop for coaches on their way around the south and Memphis East is becoming the first destination in the city thanks in large part to Kimbrow.

"Duke stopped by, Western Kentucky, Tennessee and some more coaches are supposed to come by next week," Kimbrow said. "Notre Dame has come by. Lots of people."

The 5-foot-9, 170 pound scat-back recently picked up offers from Maryland and Wake Forest to put his total number of offers at close to 30. With so much attention being shown at this point in the recruiting process, Kimbrow is just taking everything as it comes and keeping a level head.

"It's hard to say right now because I'm being patient. I don't want to rush into recruiting and end up going somewhere that doesn't fit me," he said.

So far Kimbrow is taking unofficial visits like most top recruits and is starting out local before heading out to schools outside of the region this summer.

"I've been to Tennessee, Memphis and I have plans to go to Cincinnati and Vanderbilt," he said. "I have plans to go to Notre Dame. I've also been to Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss."

Kimbrow has no set timetable for when he makes his commitment but the talented athlete, who also could be a slot receiver in college, is looking to stay focused on his high school team before worrying about where he'll end up in college.

"More than likely it will be after the season so I can focus on that during the season," he said of a commitment date. "Right now though, I'd say Tennessee and Vanderbilt and Cincinnati are standing out though.

"It doesn't matter where I go, I just want a place that fits me."

Notes

- Talented Lemming Top 100 linebacker Deaysean Rippy didn't play too much this weekend due to nagging injuries but did mention he was hearing a lot from Florida and that the Gators are at the top of his list at the moment. He was planning on taking more unofficial visits over the next few months so that might change.

- Marietta (Ga.) sophomore quarterback Eddie Printz did not have a very good first day, struggling to throw a spiral and get things going for Team Georgia. He came back much sharper on day two however, really spinning the ball well while leading his team to the championship game. He had some serious talent to throw to at wide out and while they saved him on day one, Printz made them look good on day two with some very nice deep balls.

- One of Printz's wide outs was Norcross (Ga.) athlete Jason Croom. He was the top receiver at the event and was a nightmare to cover with his 6-foot-5, 230 pound frame. At this point, he's a bit of a hybrid receiver/tight end until he fills out but he certainly has some very good pass catching skills. Georgia might be close to offering which might change things in his recruitment but it looks like Miami might be the team to beat at the moment. Georgia commit C.J. Curry was also on the team and played well but it was Croom who was the best receiver at the event.

- Justin Combs, son of Sean "Diddy" Combs, picked up offers Middle Tennessee and Wyoming recently and took an unofficial to UAB after the tournament. He has family in Alabama and one of his coaches said he is looking to step out from his dad's shadow but doesn't mind going to a smaller school to play football.

- Memphis (Tenn.) running back Jovon Robinson has a bit of a rivalry with Kimbrow in terms of who will be the top running back in the city and certainly showed he was capable of the top spot in terms of pass catching and quickness. His most recent offer was from Penn State and he said several SEC schools who have already offered stopped by to evaluate him further last week.

- Olive Branch (Miss.) wide receiver De'Arthur Cowan was one player who impressed from the Mississippi team. He said he had five offers, including ones from Arkansas and Mississippi State. Ole Miss visited his school last week and could be the next to offer. Cowan displayed good hands and ran nice routes but he needs to add some weight to his very skinny frame.

- Footballers Fire quarterback Ghierry Van der Kuyp has a very unusual sidearm throwing motion but he managed to be the most accurate quarterback at the event. He is being recruited by several programs as a wide receiver and the Hialeah (Fla.) athlete is close to getting offers from Miami and Florida. A commitment to Miami might follow if they offer because both of his parents are Miami fans. When Footballers Fire went up big on Team Georgia in the championship game, Van deer Kuyp played some wide receiver but badly injured his ankle and had to be taken off the field.

Posted on: March 13, 2011 7:04 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2011 7:05 pm
 

USF Badger Sports 7-on-7 ends in upset

Posted by Bryan Fischer

TAMPA, Fla. - You could tell how happy the Footballers Fire team was to win the Badger Sports Elite 7-on-7 tournament when the players kept asking when they would head to California for the national 7-on-7 finals.

And kept asking 30 minutes after the field cleared. And probably asked a few more times on the ride home.

The Footballers Fire had extra motivation to upset all-star team and number two overall seed South Florida Express. After holding an open try out in Miami for the team, many of the top players who were not chosen were selected to play with the Fire.

"We're a first year team and coming in and beating the defending champions is great," said Pompano Beach (Fla.) cornerback Adrian Burton. "They said we were rejects from their team and we showed them that we're just as good. I say we're better because we beat them."

"We just wanted to win," Plantation (Fla.) athlete Deshawn Lindsay said. "I came in to this game ready to play my heart out and give it everything. I was hoping we'd beat South Florida Express. I went to their tryout and didn't make their team. I was grateful to be picked up by Footballers Fire."

Footballers Fire and South Florida Express played each other in the very first game of the event on Saturday, with the Express pulling out a close game. The rematch in the title game had a key difference however, a more focused and expereinced team taking on the top dog.

"It kind of woke us up," Burton said of the first game. "We talked and said you might beat us once but you're not going to beat us twice. We were a lot more confident this game. The first game I felt we should have won too because we only lost 18-13. It was the first game (in the tournament) so we still had to get our jitters out."

In the end though, it was the repetitions and hard work the team put in before the the tournament that several players credited as the reason they were hoisting the Badger Sports Trophy.

"We practiced every other day for this," Lindsay said. "We just did our thing out here."

Posted on: February 21, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2011 1:11 pm
 

Miami Nike Combine/Ft. Lauderdale NUC Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

FORT LAUDERDALE - Once again, the South Florida region continues to amaze with the sheer amount of skill position talent available. Although it’s a particularly good year for Florida linemen, several unknown skill position players from the region jumped into the spotlight after the Nike Sparq Combine in Miami on Saturday and the National Underclassman Combine (NUC) in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday.

Coming from out of nowhere, outside linebacker Justin Horton posted the best Sparq score in the nation on Saturday with a 115.95. The Clermont (Fla.) defender ran a 4.58 in the 40 yard dash at 6-foot-2, 207 pounds and was easily the talk of the combine.

“I had gone to a previous combine and I just wanted to come out here and grab a better score,” Horton said. “I didn’t think much of it until I came over and everybody started getting excited. I really didn’t know what to expect today.”

The impressive Sparq score is an indicator of Horton’s athleticism and he certainly looks the part of an outside linebacker at the next level. Although he played mostly at defensive end last year, he racked up 65 tackles and hopes to have an even bigger season in 2011 by playing some linebacker. With only a little interest from schools such as Louisville and USF, expect coaches from around the South to be asking for Horton’s highlight tape this week.

Coral Springs (Fla.) defensive end/linebacker Cameron Smith posted a slightly lower 94.50 Sparq score but certainly looked the part of a Division I player. Although he doesn’t have any offers, several schools are showing interest.

“I want to play (defensive) end,” he said. “Most schools are looking at me as defensive end or outside linebacker. I’ve got a couple of letters, a lot actually, from Boston College. I’ve had some from Iowa State, USF, awhile ago I had some from Miami, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Duke.”

Smith displayed nice side-to-side movement and after racking up double-digit sacks as a junior, could be primed for a breakout senior year if the combine is any indication.

Jones impresses

Sophomore quarterback Akeem Jones stood out from the crowd of skill position players on both Saturday and Sunday. Already receiving interest from the likes Miami, Florida State, Florida and Rutgers, Jones has been a hot name in recruiting circles after making the 7-on-7 travel team South Florida Express two weeks ago.

Recording an 81.12 Sparq score at the Nike Combine, the 6-foot-3, 190 pound Jones showed off his arm at the NUC, throwing a very catchable ball with good accuracy on short to intermediate throws. Jones didn’t play much during the season due to injury so he’s using camps over the summer to get better on the field for his upcoming season.

“I got hurt the fourth game of the season, broke my ankle in three places. I wasn’t able to play the rest of the season,” Jones said. “Right now my mindset is I just want to win a state championship. I want to get my team to that next level and see how I’m going to lead them there. I want people to say, ‘look at how he set an example for a lot of kids.’ That’s my goal.”

Jones looks like a taller version of former Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor with his throwing motion and strong arm. He won the NUC Leadership Award and was almost like another coach on the field by helping out his receivers and correcting their alignment on plays during the one-on-one portion of the combine. Expect to keep hearing Jones’ name as he travels around the country to other camps and competitions.

Speed is the name of the game

South Florida produces some of the fastest players in the country and both camps had two players turn in blazing 40 yard dash times.

At the NUC combine, Hollandale (Fla.) running back Jared Sanders blazed a 4.37 and 4.40 (hand-timed) in the 40 yard dash to grab the fastest man award. A bit small at 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, Sanders could be a slot receiver in college despite playing running back in high school. He was a terror to cover in one-on-one drills and had better hands than most, if not all, the wide receivers competing.

Sanders has had some interest from Miami, Illinois and FIU and could see even more schools start to take a look as the summer goes on.

Miami (Fla.) receiver John Green was the fastest man at the Nike camp, running a 4.46 (electronically-timed) 40 yard dash, which was the fastest time in the nation among all Nike combines this year.

“My fastest 40 is a 4.33,” he said. “I play slot receiver, kick returner and this year I’ll be the starting safety.”

Also a track star, Green has no offers but is being shown interest from coaches at Florida State, Kansas, Kansas State and Duke but says he hopes to hear from Miami soon. He plans on attending camps at Florida State and Kansas among others.

Burton takes Overall MVP award at NUC

2012 cornerback Adrian Burton attended both combines and made his name known at both of them. Posting a 98.46 Sparq rating at the Nike combine, Burton was hampered by a bit of fatigue from being in the sun all day and still managed to run a 4.67 in the 40 yard dash. He did much better on Sunday at the NUC, running a 4.51 and showing off impressive coverage skills in one-on-ones.

“It felt good to come out here after recovering and show that I am a D-1 prospect,” Burton said.

Burton was very fluid and excelled in press coverage against the top competition at the NUC. He took home Overall MVP honors and is seeing his recruiting pick up as of late. In-state programs like Florida and Florida State have shown interest but Miami is recruiting Burton the hardest. He recently went to the Hurricanes’ Junior Day and expects an offer to come from the staff shortly.

“I went to the one versus North Carolina,” Burton said. “I loved it, it felt just like home. Coach (Al) Golden is a real good coach, he’s really interactive with the players. I feel real comfortable there.”

As one of the top corners in Miami, expect to keep hearing Burton’s name pop up during the summer.

NUC Awards

2012 Quarterback MVP: Chase Bender from Cardinal Gibbons HS.
Running back MVP: Bo Ellis, a 2013 running back from Miami Gulliver Prep who ran a 4.57 in the 40 yard dash.
Defensive back MVP: Deshawd Tucker from Hollandale HS, he has interest from Miami, Oregon, Wisconsin and FIU but no offers at this time.
Wide Receiver MVP: Davaunte Robbins, who ran a 4.55 40 yard dash.
Combine King and Fastest Man: Jared Sanders.
Overall MVP: Adrian Burton.

Top Nike Sparq Scores

Top Sparq Rating: Justin Horton
Top 40 Yard Dash: John Green
Top Vertical Jump: Billy Crook (QB, Naples, Fla.)
Top Agility Shuttle: Kevon Caffey (RB, Miami, Fla.) 
Top Power Ball Toss: Pedro Sibiea (DE, Homestead, Fla.)
Posted on: February 19, 2011 7:04 pm
 

Miami Nike Combine Standouts

Posted by Bryan Fischer

MIAMI - The sun was shining, a light breeze was blowing and quite a few records fell at the Nike Sparq Combine at Miami North Stadium Saturday afternoon. Around 500 high school football players from around the state of Florida came to get tested in four events (a 40 yard dash, agility shuttle run, power ball toss and vertical jump), which were turned into their Sparq rating. Generally, anything over 90 is considered an upper echelon test score.

Much of the high-end talent in the state was not in attendance due to Florida State and Florida Junior Days being held on Saturday afternoon. Although there were not as many big names in attendance, a few players did get their names on everyone's radar after putting up some impressive numbers.

Faton Bauta - They say timing is everything and Bauta’s was impeccable this week - on and off the field. He attended the Nike Combine in Philadelphia last week but, having recently moved to nearby Palm Beach from New York, he was able to stop by for a second go around at the Sparq test. He posted one of the top Sparq scores in Miami with a 101.85 and, although he played quarterback last year, looks more like a linebacker. His 4.15 shuttle time was particularly impressive at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds. Bauta recently enrolled at South Florida powerhouse Palm Beach Dwyer High School and already has several programs evaluating him, likely as an athlete.

Adrian Burton - Despite a slow (for a top corner) 40 time of 4.67, Burton still was impressive in other events to record a 98.46 Sparq rating. He said he ran a 4.55 last year at a combine and that’s the time most college coaches like. Burton has good size and could also play safety if needed. He went to Miami’s recent Junior Day and is close to receiving an offer from the Hurricanes.

Kilto Meme - A running back from a small school, Premier Academy in Pompano Beach (Fla.), Meme posted an impressive Sparq rating of 94.14. At 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds, Meme looked certainly looked the part and his 4.55 40 yard dash should have a few coaches interested in seeing his film. The Nike combine was the first of a few camps Meme plans on attending and depending on his senior season, could be an name to look out for on the recruiting trail.

Cameron Smith - A tight end/defensive end at the high school level, Smith projects as an outside linebacker in college based on his size. At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Smith needs to add some muscle but he has a very good frame to do so. Not really a big name coming into the camp, his Sparq score of 94.5 should garner some more interest from schools. Boston College, Ole Miss , Iowa State, USF, Miami, Vandy and Duke are some of the schools who have shown interest but Smith does not have any offers. He ran a 4.61 in the 40 yard dash and had a very good vertical of 33 inches.

Justin Horton - After turning in his card listing his times, Horton quickly got most of the Nike staff excited. It was easy to see why when they announced his Sparq score, a 115.95, which was the best score in the nation this year at the Nike combines. The 6-foot-2, 207 pound Horton ran a 4.58 in the 40 yard dash, a 4.47 in the shuttle and had a 37 inch vertical jump to go along with an impressive 41 foot toss of the power ball. Louisville and USF are two schools to show interest in Horton but his eye-popping athleticism might make several schools pop in his tape and see him make 65 tackles last year. He will likely play linebacker at the next level.

John Green - South Florida is known for producing some of the fastest players in the country and the Miami combine allowed John Green to add his name to the list in 2012. He ran a 4.46 in the 40 yard dash (times are recorded electronicly), which is the top time at a Nike Combine this year. A 5-foot-10, 165 pound slot receiver, Florida State, Kansas and Duke are some of the schools showing interest. He said his fastest 40 was 4.33 and that he ran a 10.87 in the 100 meters last year. Green plans to attend several camps over the summer and could see his stock rise depending on how he does in 7-on-7 and 1-on-1 drills.

Pedro Sibiea - One of the few lineman to come to the combine (they generally are geared for skill position players), he posted an impressive 95.10 Sparq rating. A solid 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, Sibiea tested well in just about every category. If he can shave a little bit of time off his already impressive 4.87 40 yard dash, he could see a lot of scholarships come his way.

Akeem Jones - A class of 2013 quarterback, Jones is a hot name on the recruiting circuit after making the South Florida Express 7-on-7 travel team. He posted an 81.12 Sparq rating and is a legitimate 6-foot-3, 185 pounds. He ran a 4.89 in the 40 and had a 4.34 shuttle. Already seeing interest from several major programs, Jones stock should continue to rise.

 
 
 
 
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