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June 1, 2013

VTO Underclassmen camp: Mallard Creek shows off


MORE: Complete VTO Sports coverage

Dallas Jackson is the National Columnist for Rivals.com. Email him your comments or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
CHARLOTTE -- Head coach Mike Palmieri has a good problem: too much talent.

The first stop of the VTO Sports Underclassmen circuit took place on the field of his Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek program, and plenty of home-school talent was on hand.

With 17 returning starters, one of the top players on the day -- Class of 2016 defensive end Josh Brown -- might not crack the starting lineup of the North Carolina power this season.

"He will probably be with our two's," Palmieri said. "We have so much back that freshmen and sophomores really don't see the field here.

"If he keeps working, I really think he could be one of the best players at his position in this state when he is a senior."

Brown measured a bit taller than 6-foot-3 and was close to 200 pounds.

Brown was not the only Mavericks player to get noticed at the combine, nor was he the only one to update his recruitment.

Class of 2015 cornerback Nafees Lyon said that North Carolina and South Carolina have been the schools most involved in his recruiting and that he has taken visits to both.

"I have been to North Carolina twice and got to see a spring practice," he said. "It was up-tempo and I really like that. I like to play at a fast pace, so it was cool that they were moving around.

"I went to South Carolina for the spring game and got to meet Coach (Steve) Spurrier for a quick second. I thought he was cool and I would like to play for him."

Florida State and Michigan State are also starting to get into the picture.


Lyon said that the distance to Michigan State was less than appealing and while he was listening to all coaches, he didn't know too much about that program.

Alongside Lyon in the secondary at Mallard Creek is another Class of 2015 prospect, Amari Henderson.


Henderson did not participate in the combine but said that he plans on showcasing his talent at several college camps this summer.

With an offer already from Charlotte, he plans on going to North Carolina on June 8, South Carolina on June 14 and Florida State on June 17 through 19. He said Clemson and Auburn have been recruiting him hard and that he might try to get to one of their camps as well.

The 6-foot-1, 171-pound cornerback said that his dream school was Miami and that if he received an offer he would commit.

If the Hurricanes offer does not come through and he stays local, there is another school at the top.

"I would go to South Carolina if I don't end up at Miami," he said. "They are my favorite team in this region but I have always been a Miami fan. It would be awesome if they offered me."

While the event was about the underclassmen, the core four of rising seniors were there to support their teammates. Still, they were happy to update their recruiting situations.

Quarterback Emiere Scaife holds offers from Georgia State and North Carolina A&T, but has three in-state schools giving him major looks.

Scaife said that Appalachian State has told him that he is the top quarterback on its board.

He is planning to visit Wake Forest on Sunday and said that Duke would be a program that would jump to the top of his list with an offer.

"The academics at Duke plus being on the next level would be incredible," Scaife said. "My goal is to win state, that is first, and if offers come in that is great, too."


Scaife has a 4.0 grade point average and is taking honors courses and is already cleared with the NCAA for eligibility. He thinks the combination of academics and athletics makes him attractive to schools and that a place such as Duke, with similar attributes, would be a good fit.


Joining Scaife on his trip to Wake Forest will be outside linebacker prospect Stephan Askew.

Askew played defensive end for Mallard Creek and although he holds offers from Gardner-Webb and North Carolina A&T, he thinks that when he gets to show colleges his skills at his natural linebacker position, the offers will increase.

"I think schools see me as a little undersized to play linebacker but I have been working hard in my drops and I know I can cover the flats and curls," he said. "Sometimes I think that if I were 6-3 or 6-4 I would have offers sewn up, but I know everything happens for a reason and I just have to keep working hard."

Louisville and Duke have been increasing their interest in Askew but it is a current Big 12 program that he calls his ultimate offer.

"West Virginia is my dream school," he said. "Bruce Irvin is one of my favorite players and I think the coaching he got there could make me a better player, too."

Two-star safety Jaylen Samuels has put another camp on his calendar with N.C. State being his destination on June 8.

With offers from Ball State, Charlotte, and Georgia State -- among others -- the 6-foot, 225-pound player said that the WolfPack have visions of him playing a couple of positions.

"I like how they have been communicating (with) me," he said. "They check up on me the most and think that I am good fit for them either on offense as an H-back type or on defense at linebacker.

"I don't care where they play me I just want to play football. I think when I get there and show what I can do I will get an offer."

Originally from Baton Rouge, Samuels said that LSU was his dream offer but that the Bayou Bengals have not been in contact yet.

The embarrassment of riches for Mallard Creek continues and as Class of 2014 defensive tackle Ikeem Allen has upped his offers to five while two-star safety Cameron Mattison is now holding two offers. Class of 2015 prospects Stephon White and Kyle Horton as well as Class of 2016 Jacob O'Connor all participated on Saturday and figure to be the next in line of Mallard Creek players to head to the next level.



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