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May 18, 2004

Ten showstoppers from Iowa City NIKE Camp

IOWA CITY, Iowa - When you enter the state of Iowa, you are greeted with a welcome sign that states ”Welcome to Iowa, the Fields of Opportunity.” The Iowa City Nike Camp Sunday at the University of Iowa was indeed a field of opportunity for several standout prospects, and Rivals100.com's Tim O'Halloran takes a look at several of the standout prospects that impressed and opened a few eyes.

Offensive line Matt Pipho LaPorte City (Union) Iowa – Pipho, who has an offer from Stanford, was one of several impressive offensive line from the state of Iowa at Nike Camp. Pipho has the size (256 pounds) and frame that will get serious looks from several college coaches, and at Nike Camp Pipho showed solid overall mobility and skills.

Offensive line/defensive line Alex Kanellis Iowa City West, Iowa – No question about it, all Hawk-eyes were focused on this early Iowa verbal commit, and this standout two-way lineman didn't disappoint. Kanellis has exceptional feet and mobility and excelled in the one on one drills. At one point, Kanellis just left opposing linemen just shaking their heads at the overall combo of strength and speed from Kanellis.

Outside linebacker Rahkeem Smith Willowbrook, Ill.- Smith just looks like a player, and physically Smith brings some serious strength and speed to the table. Smith, who is drawing serious recruiting interest from Wisconsin, Iowa and Pittsburgh, has the speed of a tailback in the body of a linebacker, and on Sunday Smith was a force to be dealt with in the one-on-one drills.

Offensive line Andy Kuempel Marion (Iowa) Linn-Mar – Kuempel has been known as a standout basketball player and prospect, yet Kuempel on Sunday proved that he's also a legitimate D-I football prospect as well. Tall and very athletic, Kuempel has the makings of a very good offensive line prospect, and Kuempel also showed flashes of much bigger and better things to come on the football side of life. Kuempel's frame and overall athletic ability is exceptional.

Defensive end Demetric Fowler North Chicago, Ill. – Fowler has the wingspan of a 757 airliner, and on Sunday Fowler proved that he is a serious D-I prospect. Fowler moved very well, and showed off his quickness and flat-out speed in several speed and agility drills. Fowler physically hasn't even begun to scratch the surface, and he possesses the frame to add weight in size over the next few years.

Quarterback Dustin Sherer Westfield (Ind.) Hamilton Heights –Sherer pulled double-duty in both the Nike Camp as well as in the Elite 11 quarterback workout. The results you ask? Sherer is just a very solid looking prospect and Sherer has a great arm as well as touch, and Sherer worked very well with the coaches and is a quick study.

Offensive line Ben Wampler Spencer, Iowa – Wampler without question looks the part of a road-grader type of offensive line prospect, and Wampler passes the eyeball test no question. Wampler performed well in the one-on-one drills, and Wampler's overall strength and agility were impressive.

Linebacker Eric Small Naperville, (Ill.) Naperville Central – Small looks like he's been working the Atkins diet this off season. Small, who played as a junior at 250 pounds, looks to have shed 20 pounds this off season, and he ran very well. Small's strength has never been in question, and on Sunday he posted an impressive 32 reps at 185 pounds, yet Small's increased speed and mobility is certain to draw more recruiting looks.

Wide receiver Rasheed Ward Chicago Harper – Despite measuring in at a smaller than listed 6-foot-1, Ward has some serious wheels and performed well in the individual speed drills, and Ward also caught just about everything thrown his way all day. Ward has the athletic ability and skills to become yet another serious game-breaker type of receiver from the Chicago Public League.

Athlete Dustin Jefferson Kankakee, Ill. – A handful of sophomores were in attendance on Sunday, and Jefferson is a player and a name that you'll need to keep a lookout for over the next few years. Jefferson is a coaches son (Ira Jefferson) and the younger Jefferson looks the part and performed more like an upperclassmen. Jefferson worked with the defensive line prospects on Sunday, and physically Jefferson has the potential to become a top-notch prospect from the Class of 2006. You've been warned.

For expanded coverage of the Iowa City NIKE Training Camp, you should check out StudentSports.com. Access to StudentSports.com requires an additional membership. Coming Soon! The best is getting better. The Rivals.com Recruiting Database will include all authentic data from this summer's NIKE Training Camp schedule.



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