Updated: Aug 12, 2018
The thunderstorms held off for Saturday's one-day clinic at Springfield College, where a solid turnout of players showed off their talent for the Pride staff. Here are a few bits of news, notes and observations from the morning:
— This was all done in shirts and shorts with no hitting, so for a lot of participants, this consisted of running through some drills and taking pointers. In a setting like this, even for some of the quarterbacks, tight ends, wide receivers, running backs, linebackers, and defensive backs, you have to take some of the performances with a grain of salt. With the passing drills, in particular, there are no referees, so there is a lot of jersey-holding and the like.
— That said, in the passing drills, the best Massachusetts performers of the day were two wide receivers from Springfield.
Springfield Central wideout Cqari Bacote was terrific. He's short, at around 5-foot-5 or 5-6, and between 160-165 pounds with room to add more. His change-of-direction skills and ability to control the pace of his cuts to throw cornerbacks off-balance lost defenders all day on a slick turf. He finished his routes cleanly and flashed good hands. The Pride staff increased his reps more and more toward the end of the one-on-ones, and he didn't lose effectiveness.
The other receiver who stood out was Commerce's Anas Nichols. Even though Nichols showed up a little late because there was a chance that the weather would cancel the activities, when the 6-2, 170-pounder stepped on the turf, he showed out. He flashed good speed and hands, but like Bacote, what stood out with Nichols was his footwork. He used good rhythm to lull defenders into false position before hopping into side-steps or jump-cuts to create space. Also like Bacote, Nichols can easily put on more weight without losing his athleticism.
— Sticking with Western Mass. receivers, one not in attendance whose recruitment is starting to pick up is Baley Collier, a class of 2019 Westfield High prospect who is getting some Northeast-10 interest.
— Also not there but someone to keep an eye out for out west is class of 2020 Springfield Central quarterback Isaac Boston. He missed the 2017 season with an injury, but holds down a 4.2 GPA and a likely candidate for Ivy League attention.
— Speaking of quarterbacks and heading back east, be on the lookout for Winthrop's Jonathan Applebee. The class of 2019 lefty showed good accuracy in a setting where it can be tough for quarterbacks, as they're all working with strange faces at receiver, for the most part.
— There were a number of Eastern Mass. standouts who made the trip. One player who will be interesting to watch this fall is Catholic Memorial's Hunter Tully. He spent 2017 as a wide receiver and defensive back, but got some work with the linebackers Saturday. He's listed at 5-11, 184 on his Hudl page, but the class of 2019 prospect looks to have bulked up over the offseason, and physically looks capable of playing in the box at the next level.
— Trevor Nunes of Falmouth, who we incorrectly assumed on Twitter was a post-graduate, is still with the Clippers and should do some damage again as a running back and defensive back his senior year. He stays low to the ground and powers through his cuts with authority.
— Class of 2019 running back Eric Adinkra of Pingree is also going to draw a lot of attention. His Hudl page lists him at 5-9, 165, so, like Bacote, he could be a candidate for the slot at the next level.
— Class of 2019 South Shore League All-Star Brandon Hogan helped lead Middleboro to a Division 6 state title last year, and at 6-2 can play the same position at the next level. He is listed from last season at 200 pounds, but can easily add another 20-25 without losing pop.
— As stated, there's not much to glean when it comes to the bigger bodies when there's no pads, but St. Mary's offensive and defensive lineman Domenic DiCenso, Somerville defensive end/tight end Kevin Dubuque, and Whitman-Hanson defensive end Quinn Sweeney are all ones to watch this upcoming season.