Atlanta MVP Camp Notebook

Demarre Kitt

McDONOUGH, Ga. — Super-talented Georgia natives like Reuben Foster, Kelsey Griffin and Jaquay Williams contributed to last year's Atlana MVP Camp being the best to date.

On Sunday afternoon, another deep pool of talent came out to participate in the MVP Camp on the Avalon Fields with the number of campers totaling 422.

"I'm very pleased," MVP Camp director Chad Simmons said. "I thought it went well, went pretty smooth from the registration to the heights/weights to photos to the one-on-ones to when we closed it out. A lot of kids competed. I'm proud to say we had a great coaching staff. That's what we take pride in — the coaches working with us at these camps.

"A lot of these guys worked with us in the past and knew what we were looking for here. We want the kids to learn something. We want the coaches to push these guys like their own kids, like their own teams, and drive these guys to get better. I was very happy with that."

A host of multi-star prospects showed they weren't afraid to put their Scout.com rankings on the line as the likes of Brice Ramsey, Brendan Langley, Delando Crooks, Joshua Outlaw and Shamire DeVine came out to work on their game.

"Everyone can get better and everyone likes to see how their game stacks up to the guy they hear or read about," Simmons said. "Nobody is perfect. That's the bottom line. I think kids realize there is always room for them to improve and that the MVP Camp could help them with that. They may have 12 (offers), but they want 13, 14, 15. They want that one they don't have yet most of the time and they are willing to keep working to get there.

"I think we have that trek record of kids coming in here and developing and becoming even bigger stars down the road. They're here to learn and see how they stack up against other top guys, and improve their stock in the recruiting world."

This is the third full year of the MVP Camps with nine editions in the books, the amount of interest continues to grow. The Peach State was joined by Alabama, Ohio and South Carolina with representatives.

Eight players carried home large trophies for their performances. Simmons said he was "very impressed with" David Johnson, the Lithonia (Ga.) High School prospect that carried home a plaque for being the top defensive lineman.

"Johnson is a hybrid guy and he could play with his hand down at end or drop back to linebacker on the next level. He had a very good day today though. He was quick off the ball and he dominated the man in front of him during the one-on-ones."

Over 40 percent of the field is typically freshmen and sophomores who never shy away from the competition of their elders.

"It puts their name on the map," Simmons said. "It may not be every coach but somebody at every university sees the Internet. They see Scout.com. This stuff will get out there, and many kids will get profiles, and begin their recruiting process after a strong performance at an MVP Camp. The kids that did well will get articles written about them, they will generate interest in them, and new guys emerge at every camp."

Simmons went so far as to single out Class of 2016 cornerback Ronnie Blackmon who will attend Sandy Creek (Ga.) High School, calling him "one of the best cover guys out here."

Among the Class of 2014 participants that turned the heads of MVP Camp coaches were offensive tackle Orlando Brown, quarterback Tyler Harris and wide receiver Demarre Kitt.

"I love to see young guys look to compete and to get better," Simmons said. "People are going to read about them, hear about them and emerge as top prospects down the road. We had some guys with offers stand out today, but we had many guys stand out that many knew nothing about entering this camp."

Four-star Delando Crooks makes a block during drillwork at the MVP Camp on Sunday afternoon.

Danny Parker is currently the Associate Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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