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April 5, 2012

Best of South Carolina Rivals/VTO camp

MORE: Camp page | Skill | OL/DL | Sleepers | Underclass

YORK, S.C. - More than 150 athletes from South Carolina and the surrounding states competed at York Comprehensive High School last weekend in the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100. To wrap up nearly a week of coverage, here is the "best of" list from Rivals.com analyst Keith Niebuhr:

Fastest player

Austin McKinney, DB, Saint Stephen (S.C.) Timberland
A player with no offers at this stage, McKinney posted the camp's best 40 time - a solid 4.48 seconds. In the process, he edged out some pretty speedy players. The 6-foot, 168-pound McKinney is a good overall athlete who also produced a 33.4-inch vertical jump. The junior corner is definitely a sleeper to watch for 2013.

Strongest player

Gerald Turner, LB, Yanceyville (N.C.) Bartlett Yancey
Pound for pound, Turner had the most strength of any camper on hand. At 5-9, 204 pounds, he did 32 repetitions of 185 pounds on the bench. Only one player could match him, but defensive lineman Rod Oglesby of Gaffney (S.C.) has 62 pounds on Turner. Right now, Turner reports an offer from Princeton.

Most versatile running back

Caleb Kinlaw, RB, Goose Creek, S.C., 2014
It's easy to see why the sophomore back already has offers from schools such as Clemson, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. He's fast. He's shifty. He's explosive. And he displayed all of those skills Saturday even though he was nursing a sore hamstring. In one-on-ones against the linebackers, he also showed that he's a pretty good receiver, consistently catching passes and making quick, sharp cuts after the reception.

Most impressive linebacker

Justin Bridges-Thompson, LB, Spartanburg, S.C. and Kevin Crosby, LB/TE, Bamberg (S.C.) Bamberg-Ehrhardt, 2014
Bridges-Thompson is listed as a defensive back and some schools like him at safety, but given his frame and broad shoulders you'd have to think he'll end up at linebacker. That's what he competed at Saturday and he was outstanding. He moves very well, was solid in coverage and has great footwork, which allows him to change direction seamlessly. Crosby split time between linebacker and tight end, and was solid at both. On defense, he showed explosiveness and closed well. He also had a knack for making big plays.

Best hands

Hyleck Foster, ATH, Gaffney S.C.), 2014
The 5-10, 173-pound Foster saw action at both running back and receiver, but probably did his best work as a pass catcher. His quickness off the line and solid route-running routinely got him separation. His hands did the rest. Of all the players on hand, he probably did the best job securing receptions.

Best feet

Hyleck Foster, ATH, Gaffney S.C.), 2014
Foster was good at running back, receiver and on defense in the secondary. You can't make that transition as easily as he did Saturday without having great footwork. This is an outstanding young athlete whose best option may be as a receiver at the next level. His mind and feet always seem to be in sync.

Best arm

Jacob Park, QB, Goose Creek (S.C.) Stratford, 2014
The best of the quarterback crop, Park is a promising young signal caller with a great feel for the game. Not only does he spin the ball well, but he already can make just about every throw. He can deliver downfield strikes, complete shorter touch passes and drop intermediate throws over linebackers with accuracy.

Best WR/DB Matchup

Austin McKinney, DB, Saint Stephen (S.C.) Timberland vs. Marcus Edmond, ATH, Hopkins (S.C.) Lower Richland
McKinney also saw snaps at receiver and produced some excellent battles with Edmond, a player that is starting to get some really good offers. Call this one a draw. On one rep, McKinney got late separation but couldn't bring down a high throw. On another, Edmond got a hand in late to break up a pass.

Most physical offensive lineman

Donell Stanley, OT, Latta, S.C., 2014
The 6-3, 311-pound Stanley is really an impressive athlete. His physicality isn't one of brute force, but a combination of brawn and brains. Using great footwork, sound technique and strong arms, Stanley does a great job getting off a powerful punch that keeps opposing defensive linemen off balance.

Most complete defensive lineman

Jaylen Miller, DT, Gaffney, S.C.
The 6-3, 257-pound Miller seems to have somewhat of a tweener body, but he showed that he has the skills to probably play either end or tackle in college. He's a terrific athlete with very good quickness and a wide array of moves. He redirects very well, and was relentless in one-on-ones, when he won just about every rep.

Best OL/DL Matchup

Donell Stanley, OT, Latta, S.C., 2014, vs. Jaylen Miller, DT, Gaffney, S.C.
Stanley was probably the more well-known of the two coming in, but Miller won their battles Saturday. As polished as Stanley is fundamentally, he had trouble with Miller. One rep, Miller beat Stanley to the mark with a lightning-quick spin move to the inside. Another time, he won with a spin move after first using an explosive first step. On a third rep, he beat Stanley to the outside with speed. Stanley is very good. But on this day, Miller was just a little better.

Best play

Aggadoria Bowers, WR, Bamberg (S.C.) Bamberg-Ehrhardt, 2014
Although Bowers ran somewhat hot and cold, he showed some pretty impressive skills on one play in particular. On a deep pass thrown down the right sideline, the 6-3 Bowers shook off tight coverage to get a hand on the leather. The ball popped into the air and as the defensive back froze, Bowers, who kept his balance, reached out and grabbed it.

Rivals.com/VTO SPORTS ELITE 100
Here's a look at the 2012 schedule for the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 Showcases:
March 24 - Birmingham, Ala.Event info
March 25 - Atlanta, Ga.Event info
March 31 - York, S.C. Event info
April 1 - Charlotte, N.C.Event info
April 7 - Richmond, Va.Event info
April 14 - Cincinnati, OhioEvent info
April 15 - Pittsburgh, Pa.Event info
April 22 - Newark, N.J.Event info
April 29 - Orlando, Fla.Event info
May 6 - Geismar, La.Event info

If you are the coach or parent of a prospect with D-I offers or likely to receive D-I offers, or the prospect himself, contact Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell at mike@rivals.com, via Twitter at @rivalsmike or via Facebook.

These camps are INVITE ONLY and you must pre-register to attend, there will be no walk ups allowed.

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