Fort Wayne – It was good to see footballs flying, cones and agile bags on the turf again, at the Midwest Exposure Skill Camp hosted by Fort Wayne based performance training company Traction Ap. Indiana Preps partnered with the group to bring in hundreds of players from around the Midwest.
Day 1 Top Performers
Session I: OL & DL
This was our second opportunity this year to catch some of the state’s top lineman in a camp setting. Westfield 2022 defensive end Popeye Williams, Snider 2022 offensive lineman Demon Moore Jr., Leo 2022 offensive lineman Landen Livingston and East Noble 2022 offensive lineman Chris Hood were all standouts at the Indiana Winter Showcase back in January. On Saturday, it wasn’t any different. The three offensive lineman were impressive in their position drills and in the pass rush/blocking competitions. Snider tackle DJ Moore won a ton of his reps and went back and forth with Williams. Moore has added several offers since January, and with his latest performance being available via live stream, it’s safe to expect the offer list to increase. Mammoth offensive tackle Chris Hood continues to get better each time we see him. Checking in at 6’8.5 the 330-pound’s feet are getting better. The most impressive outing belonged to Landen Livingston. He kept defender, after defender at bay. His technique has improved since January and he performed with a good deal of confidence. Like Moore, his performance can only aid him in picking up a few more offers soon. Hamilton Southeastern 2021 offensive lineman Donovan Shuff opened up every scout’s eyes in attendance with his performance. A raw prospect, who hasn’t played organized football in a few years, due to an injury, was arguably one of the better offensive line performers. Other notable performers on the offensive line include Homestead high’s Sean Rice, a player with tenacity in every rep. An intriguing player in the first session was North Side high’s Jacob Lambert. He competed well on both sides of the ball.
Popeye Williams showcased his ability to bend the edge and utilize his speed against every offensive lineman he faced. His hand placement and punch has also improved since we seen the Top50 prospect. He spoke about adding muscle, getting up to 230 before the pandemic and how his recruitment is picking up steam with Penn State and Kentucky increasing their interest. If there were a MVP award, Williams would have made a strong case. A kid with a ton of upside is Kiel Eldridge. He had several good reps on the defensive line and then made the transition to wideout in the later session to showcase his athleticism. The Heritage high product checked in at 6’5 and 228-pounds, and is definitely a name to watch. Two players who made a name for themselves on the defensive line, belong to New Palestine’s Tucker Keevers and Avon high’s Danny Norocea. We evaluated Keevers in January and February at the offensive line position. He had the fastest forty-yard dash at the Best of the Midwest, and proved to be one of the better offensive line prospects at both events. His transition to the defensive side, has almost been seamless. His quickness, power and technique makes him a prospect for non-power 5 schools at 6’2 265. Norocea went from unknown to being challenged by the best offensive lineman in the camp. He more than held his own. Look for Norocea to be a force for the Orioles this fall. Other notable performers on the defensive line include Columbia City’s Landin Markind, and Seaholm (MI) high’s Jacob LaBarre. LaBarre holds a couple of small school offers.
SESSION II: RB LB TE
This group was small in numbers but popped with some new names to know and a Top50 prospect who continues to impress each time we see him. Domanick Moon headlined this group and the linebacker looked good in drills and in the open field ‘tag drill’ against the running backs. The Fort Wayne Snider product checked in at 6’2 225-pounds and looked smooth in drills. It was Bishop Dwenger tight end Jack Tippmann who stole the show in Session II. Impressed with his route running and ability to make the difficult catch. Tippmann is an athletic tight end at 6’5 225. Look for this class of 2022’s stock to blow up with a good season this fall. Another relatively unknown player who turned heads was New Haven linebacker D’Andre Wright. Scouts in attendance raved about his athleticism, above average coverage skills and his 6’2 215-pound frame, ideal for a next level backer. He stole the show with his one-handed grab for an interception. Other notable campers include Glenbard North (IL) tight end Jake Cicero and Carroll high running back Anderson Walukebs.
SESSION III: QB WR & DB
Session III had a lot of talent on display. The quarterback group was as loaded as it gets. Indiana prep signal callers in attendance did not disappoint. North Side quarterback Duce Taylor was as impressive as any thrower we’ve covered this year. Not many quarterbacks in the country have a live arm like Taylor. The ball comes out hot and each throw is precisely placed for only the receiver to catch it. Taylor holds a number of MAC offers, and we have and will continue to pound the table for a power five program to take the leap of faith on him. Not to be completely outdone by Taylor, Carroll high quarterback Jeff Becker and Snider’s Luke Haupert went throw for throw in drills and in 1-on-1s. Becker looked good in drills with his accuracy. He also threw the ball well in the competition segment. There was much anticipation by scouts on hand to evaluate the young gun Luke Haupert. He did not disappoint. His mechanics are ahead of other kids his age and his decision making in the half-skelly session proved to be noteworthy. Michigan product Austin Myers is a good looking player. A 6’4 215-pound prospect with a strong arm. Another name to know is Greg Bolt from Columbia City high school. A strong campaign as a sophomore, makes Bolt a player to watch this fall. NFL legacy was in the building, but Cole Pennington made a name for himself. Son of Chad Pennington, the class of 2022 Sayre (KY) high product flashed potential and good mechanics in drills. Other notable quarterbacks include Leo’s Jackson Barbour, and Wayne high’s Aidan Meek.
The defensive back group was strong with prospects in Snider high’s Tavarious Jones, North side’s Arieon McCarter, and Elkhart’s Kennath Dennis. Elkhart has a number of players on their roster with division one offers or soon to have and Dennis is one of the best. His footwork was effortless in drills, smoothly flipping his hips and making transitions without hearing his cleats hit the ground. He lined up against inside and outside receivers in 1on1s and was hardly ever beat. Dennis currently holds offers from Central Michigan and Indiana State, respectively. Jones and McCarter each held their own in the competition period, and the Fort Wayne pair should garner more interest this fall. Throw in Snider product Jonathan McCollough and the Panthers have a formidable tandem in the defensive backfield. McCollough had a good day as well. New Haven’s Jamareon Hagler was also impressive on the day.
The wide receiver group was wide open when it came to recognizable names. So, Ethan Chambers took it upon himself to bring the spotlight on him. Chambers has a thick lower body, and uses his strength to knock defenders off the line of scrimmage when starting his route. He also showcased his ability to locate the football and win every 50/50 ball. Even the throws that should have been knocked down or incomplete, Chambers somehow came up with the football. Look for this Homestead product to turn heads this fall. This was our third time evaluating class of 2022 slot receiver Nick Munson. He is shifty and a polished route runner. A mismatch for an outside backer or safety trying to cover him. East Noble has a playmaker in Munson. Homestead has options on offense and Jared Kistler is a weapon for the Spartans. He used his 6’3 205-pound frame to muscle defenders and win several matchups when the ball was in the air. At the moment, Kistler holds a number of small school offers. It is possible for a sub Power 5 program to recruit him as a tight end. Leo product Rylan Crawford was impressive and so was Wayne high’s Cam Toles. Notable receivers include Leo high’s Kaeden Miller.
SESSION IV: QB WR DB
This session was dedicated to the young football players, but some of them caught our eye and we look forward to covering their high school careers. Get to know the following:
Gavin Coazad – Homestead, Henry Scruggs – Concordia, Andrew Evans – Ben Davis, Zyers Ruff – Ann Arbor Skyline (MI), Nehemiah Dau – Ben Davis, Braden Steely – Carroll, Parker Kennedy – Redford Union, Trey Gibson – Wheeler, Jackson McCollough – Snider