Gridiron Football followed up the first Elite Camp of 2023 with another successful outing at the second Elite Camp this time held at St. Edmund High School in Eunice, Louisiana. 60 players participated and got a chance to show off their skills in front of the Gridiron Football staff. First, the players ran the 40, shuttle, and then, did the long jump.
By partaking in these events, the players got experience in actually going through a combine with events quite similar to what the top college prospects go through in the NFL Combine. There was a lot of talent at the camp and that skill level was shown in the combine portion of the camp.
In the 40 time, it was all about the running backs. Jennings High School has had a strong tradition of running backs and it looks like ReJohn Zeno is ready to add his name to the list after running the fastest time at the camp with a 4.53/40. Another running back that hit the 4.5/40 club was another back that plays for a run first program in Acadiana High School and that was Jonah Gauthier, who ran a 4.58/40. St. Edmund High School star running back Kevon Johnson took advantage of having home field advantage by consistently running in the 4.6 to 4.7/40 range. Then, finally, there are three non-running backs that broke into the 4.6’s including Barbe High School safety Darryl Washington (4.66), Bolton High School QB James Lucas IV (4.66), and Alexandria High School WR Darius Washington (4.65).
In the shuttle, the athletes got the opportunity to showcase their quickness and change of direction. 15 players ran in the 4.40’s or better including five players that ran in the 4.2’s or faster in Darryl Washington (4.22), Jonah Gauthier (4.22), Elton RB/WR Tristan Leblanc (4.19), West St. Mary’s WR/SS Charles Robertson (4.25), and of course, Jennings running back ReJohn Zeno, who ran the fastest shuttle time with a 4.18.
Although there were not any players that jumped 10 feet in the broad jump like Zachary High School running back Kameron Thomas did at the Woodlawn Elite Camp, there were a lot of players that came really close to that mark throughout the day. Six players jumped nine feet including Alexandria WR Darius Washington, Natchitoches Central WR/DB Dremarious Brown Jr., Jennings RB ReJohn Zeno, and Lake Arthur QB/WR Ray Levi, but it was two quarterbacks that ended up jumping the farthest in DeRidder High School’s Uriah Wade and Bolton’s James Lucas IV, who jumped the farthest at 9 feet 5 inches.
After the combine was over, players got the chance to go to their specific position groups with former LSU quarterback Marcus Randall coaching the quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers, Broderick Fowler coaching the defensive backs, James Lucas III coaching the linebackers, and Gridiron Football CEO Andy Bryson/St. Edmund High School assistant coach Paul Franklin Orr coaching the offensive and defensive linemen.
In speaking of linemen, it certainly was a deep group. Two Catholic High School Bears were at the camp with Erv Smith Jr. representing the offensive line and Blair Rousseau representing the defensive line. At 6’2, 273 pounds, Smith’s size and athleticism was on display as he was able to run a quick 5.38/40 while running a 5 second shuttle. Rousseau wowed in the one-on-one competition drills as he often showed his explosiveness, lower body strength, and high motor. In fact, the upcoming senior from Catholic High School was so impressive that he earned an invitation from Andy Bryson to play in the 2023 Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game, but certainly, he won’t be the only lineman from the camp that gets invited when it is all said and done.
There was also another standout lineman from the Baton Rouge area that made the hour and a half drive in Dunham High School defensive lineman Malachi Jackson, who at 6’2, 250 pounds, ran an eye opening 5.09/40 while running a 4.68 shuttle. Belaire High School offensive lineman Jordell Baise showed great technique and Acadiana High School center Jackson Hammond was near dominant in the one-on-one sessions while also putting up great numbers in the combine. Lake Arthur defensive lineman Ahmad Boudreaux and Marksville High School defensive lineman Demerion Dupas stood out too. As far as linemen depth is concerned, this has been overall one of the most impressive camps that Gridiron Football has had.
The skill positions were not too shabby either as indicated earlier in the writeup. Bolton High School’s James Lucas IV had one of his best days setting individual highs in the 40 time while leading the pack in the long jump, but he also showed improvement in 7 on 7. All the quarterbacks showed great touch and accuracy including DeRidder High School QB Uriah Wade, Iota High School QB Peyton Renfro, Oberlin High School QB Kadyn Dart, and Southside High School QB McCain Weaver.
It is always great to see the constant battles between the wide receivers and the defensive backs. Iowa High School RB/WR Jonathan Walker Jr. was always working through the routes and attacking the football. Lake Arthur WR Zavier Drake won a lot of reps and caught a nice deep ball from Wade. Marksville High School LB Chauncey Curtis displayed excellent cover skills. However, the highlight of the camp had to go to Lake Arthur WR Ray Levi, who jumped over two defenders and made a leaping catch. Levi definitely stood out with his freakish athleticism, long 6’3 frame, and ball skills.
Those were just some of the names throughout the camp, but everybody that was there really impressed and put in some good work on a humid day in early March. The 60 players got to learn a lot while also getting promoted by being on Gridiron Football’s radar. Andy Bryson opened up the Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game to six different games featuring six different age groups in order to promote even more kids at the national level toward the end of the 2023 season. All players have their reps on video and every player from the St. Edmund camp will get their photo in our magazine, which is sent out to over 2,000 coaches. Former Tiger great Marcus Randall thought that it was a great day of work put in by everybody at the camp.
“We had a great day out here at St. Edmund’s camp. 60 guys came out here and showcased their talents. We saw some good times being run and saw some explosive jumps. We also had some great one-on-ones. There are definitely going to be some guys that will be invited to our All-Star game at the end of the year. We are going to follow a lot of these guys throughout the 2023 year. This was a big step forward and our second camp down. Through two camps, we had close to 200 kids come out and showed their stuff. It has been a great start to the 2023 year.”Gridiron Football Talent Evaluator Marcus Randall
There will be several guys that the staff will invite to the bowl game from this camp so make sure to follow us with everything going on the latest Bowl Game invites right here at Gridiron Football!
Like Marcus said, it has been a great start to the 2023 Gridiron Football Elite Camp Series and we still have a couple of more camps to go. After having two camps at Woodlawn High School and St. Edmund High School, South Louisiana showed out and now, it is time for North Louisiana to show us what they got.
It is a quick turnaround for Gridiron Football as there will be another opportunity for players to show us what they got. In fact, the third camp is this Saturday, March 4th at Jonesboro Hodge High School in Jonesboro, Louisiana. Then, we will have a fourth camp on Saturday, April 22nd at Rayville High School in Rayville, LA. If you are between 7th and 12th grade and want to take part in our camps, go to the link below to pre-register.
All of the videos from the Gridiron Football (St. Edmund) Elite Camp are below.
Keep posted with everything happening on our website. The digital magazine recapping the event plus all of the pictures for the event will be posted soon.