COLUMBUS, Ohio --One of the staples of an Urban Meyer program is Friday Night Lights. On Friday night Urban Meyer brought in some of the top prospects in the classes of 2013, 2014 and 2015 to compete under the lights in The Horseshoe in an ultracompetitive setting built to determine the best of the best.
A great group of talent, particularly among the underclassmen, was in attendance at Meyer’s first Ohio State edition of the event and we take a look at some of the standouts and performances of note coming out of the event.
1. Artavis Scott, WR, Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake, Class of 2014 – By the end of the night, everyone in the Horseshoe knew who Scott was. The Florida native was smooth and fluid as a wide receiver and even doubled up at defensive back effectively for several reps. Scott earned plenty of one-on-one attention from Urban Meyer and has put himself on the map as one of the top receivers in the country.
2. Chris Davis, RB, Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain – One the few rising seniors at the event, Davis showed great feet and balance through the position drills and was so dominant during the RB-LB pass game 1on1s that he eventually took his skill-set to compete against the cornerbacks and looked like a natural wide receiver. Davis has no offers after missing all of his junior year with a knee injury but looks fully recovered and could be one of the better sleepers in the country.
3. Braxton Berrios, WR, Raleigh, (N.C.) Leesville Road, Class of 2014 – Berrios is going to remind many of 2013 North Carolina signee Ryan Switzer. He works extremely effectively out of the slot and is great at creating separation. He also showed elite ball skills and though he is limited with his height he can climb the ladder to make plays outside of his catch radius. Already with a handful of offers, Berrios looks bigtime.
4. Darian Roseboro, SDE, Lincolnton, S.C., Class of 2015 – Keep an eye on this rising prospect out of South Carolina. He’ll only be a sophomore in 2012 but he already has a nice frame and he showed some of the best burst quickness and speed off the edge. Even as a youngster, his pass rush instincts are evident and he has the look of one of the top prospects in the state for his class.
5. Mikale Wilbon, RB, Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle, Class of 2014 – Going through the drills with the ball in his hands, there wasn’t a more natural back than Wilbon. He’s got a smooth jump cut, can run with good lean and has both the feet to make plays in space but also the ability to get north-south. Wilbon has an early Purdue offer but should see his list grow this fall significantly.
6. Darius West, S, Lima (Ohio) Lima Central Catholic, Class of 2014 – Listed as a safety, West showed plenty of ability at cornerback as well and was arguably the top cover defender in attendance. He’s very natural in and out of his backpedal and looked comfortable on an island in press coverage. West already has a handful of offers and looks like one of the top defensive backs in Ohio for 2014.
Camp on Friday night closed with one of the most important tenets for an Urban Meyer team: speed. Each position group, had an old fashion foot race with the winner of each group coming back for a final sprint to determine the fastest man award for Friday Night Lights.
Offensive line – 2014 offensive tackle Nathaniel Devers was one of the most athletic linemen throughout the day’s event and clinched the title after easily winning the offensive line sprint.
Quarterback – Big 2014 passer DeShone Kizer displayed great athleticism to go along with his arm by winning the quarterback race. A stumble out of the blocks by another athletic passer in 2014 standout Drew Barker ensured the win for Kizer.
Defensive line – The defensive line group saw Nile Sykes run away with the title. As an undersized defensive lineman with the ability to play linebacker on the next level, the win came as no surprise.
Tight end – Darryl Long was good all evening among the tight ends, showing nice soft hands for a player of his size and then added some speed to his arsenal as well with a win in the sprints.
Defensive backs – After putting together a strong performance in the 1on1s, Darius West capped his evening off with a win in the race as well.
Running backs – Ashton Jackson wasn’t one of the top two backs over the course of the night but he was close. A solid evening was capped off with a win in the footrace while several other backs showed well including Chris Davis.
Wide receivers and Finals – Ryan Timmons, a four-star out of Kentucky in the class of 2013 took home the fastest man award at the camp after winning the wide receiver group against some elite competition. Devon Allen and Artavis Scott were both in the hunt but Timmons was the clear winner and then easily coasted to a win in the finals.
* A few prospects that had good nights just missed on the top performers list and Joey Bosa leads the way. The Ohio State verbal looked incredibly athletic for a prospect with awesome size. He didn’t take any 1on1 reps but if he had, it would be hard to envision any offensive lineman shutting him down.
Billy Price, also an OSU verbal, had a similar evening, looking really good during the agility portion of the evening but his limited participation in 1on1s keeps him from being among our top performers.
Shelton Gibson also seemed well on his way to being one of the top performers at the event. It’s a beautiful thing to watch him run and the way he changes directions and gets off the line is elite. However Gibson wasn’t able to finish on some tough catches and his hands failed him at times during the 1on1s.
* Throughout the evening William Houston continued to flash from the running back position, particularly during the pass-catching portion. The big back could be a great pass catching option from the fullback position on the next level.
* From the offensive line position, there were several players that had strong evenings. 2014 offensive tackle Jamarco Jones had nothing to prove, coming into the event with an Ohio State offer, but the big body still competed and had a strong performance.
An undersized prospect that had a strong night from the center position was Brian Allen out of Hinsdale (Ill.) Central. Allen was extremely light on his fight and agile and then showed the toughness and strength to anchor against bigger defenders as well. Only a rising junior, Allen already has four Big Ten offers to his credit.
* On the other side of the ball, Donovan Munger from Shaker Heights, Ohio, also competed at a high level as an interior prospect that was very disruptive getting to the quarterback, showing surprising athleticism for a player of his size.
* Making the trek all the way from Arizona, Devon Allen demonstrated exactly what we expected out of him with good height, nice route-running ability and elite straight-line speed.
* It is obvious that Meyer has reached out to any number of former Buckeyes to help the program. Standout former stars like Orlando Pace, LeCharles Bentley, Mike Doss, Joey Galloway and many others spoke to the campers and also worked with them during drills.
* Click here for our running thread with observations and comments from the Ohio State camp. This thread has nearly 400 posts and over 51,000 views as of this afternoon.
Bill Kurelic and Steve Wiltfong have produced a ton of updates already, including: