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May 25, 2014
VTO Chicago: QBs shine
MORE: Class of 2015 Rivals250
CHICAGO, Ill. - On a hot and humid Sunday morning, the VTO Elite 100 Series tour came to a close at Brother Rice High School with around 160 athletes competing in front of the camp's coaches and a bleacher full of parents and supporters.
Players took the field just before 11 a.m. and were quickly separated into position groups. The camp featured talented prospects in the Midwest region, and the coaches put a strong emphasis on competition.
"It was a great event, great turnout, and great execution from the kids," Vince Jacobs, VTO's Director of Events said. "They worked hard from the get go. I feel like it was a very strong quarterback group. It was one of the strongest quarterback groups we've had really on the tour. That was really the highlight of the day."
Like Jacobs noted, the quarterback group was the best and most impressive of the day. Led by Plainfield East's (Ill.) Cole Kotopka and Centennial's (Ill.) Christopher Comet, the grouping flaunted mature skill and pinpoint accuracy throughout the camp's demanding schedule of events.
Kotopka took home the MVP award for the men under center, while Comet surprised coaches throughout the day, earning him the camp's Sleeper award.
"I thought I did pretty well; I had a lot of help with the receivers," Kotopka said. "I felt like I read the coverage really well today in the 7-on-7. I think the coaches liked my arm strength. I made some throws in tight holes and one for a touchdown in the 7-on-7."
As heated and competitive the quarterback grouping was, there wasn't a lack of firepower in the trenches. Offensive and defensive linemen sat out of the camp's 7-on-7 scrimmages, which gave the groups more time to focus on 1-on-1 battles.
"I put my heart out there today in the agility and 1-on-1 drills. I was tired then but now I'm just feeling great," Bright said. "It was incredible; a lot of competition, and it was fun. That's the most important thing-I had fun today and got better."
On the opposite side of the ball, defensive lineman Raushawn Brent and linebacker Vershawn Brock earned themselves MVP honors. Brent, an expected 2015 graduate from Avon High School (Ind.), showed explosive power off the ball in majority of the drills. And Brock, a sophomore at Harper High School (Ill.) was impressive covering receivers and running backs in the 7-on7 scrimmage and in his position-specific drills.
In the skill groups, Wisconsin Lutheran's Terrance Ward Jr. took home MVP honors for the running backs. Devonte Dunn, a defensive lineman from Nazareth Academy (Ill.), was selected to compete in the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge in Jacksonville, Fla., which will take place in July.
Chicago's event was VTO's final camp of the tour, which began on March 1 in Georgia. Jacobs, who is a former player for North Carolina, said the event was a huge success. And he believes the message the camp wished to instill in its participants was received.
"The biggest thing is [for us] is 'compete.' Every breakdown is on 'compete,'" Jacobs said. "From the second they hit the field to the agility station, they're competing. We want everyone to compete, no matter who you are, four star or five star prospect. You're competing; our coaches don't know who you are. They're going off just what they did today. So if you come out and make a name that day, you can make a name for yourself."