RAYMOND, Miss. — Several of the top prospects in the Southeast gathered at Hinds Community College for the Varsity Preps Elite camp on Saturday to compete in front of regional scouts and the media to distinguish themselves as elite prospects in the 2018 and 2019 classes.
Recruits from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee were all in attendance, including prospects that will likely play in the SEC next fall and beyond.
Here are the top performers from the Varsity Preps Elite camp:
Malik Heath, 4-star WR (Mississippi State commit)
Heath has a habit of earning a spot on top performers list. The top-200 prospect in the 2018 recruiting class was unguardable on Saturday as the alpha wide receiver at the camp.
At 6-foot-3 and 200-plus pounds, Heath has enough size to tower over even bigger defensive backs. He possesses sure hands and can easily reel in passes thrown anywhere in his vicinity. While he doesn’t have elite speed, he consistently creates separation even against upper-echelon defensive backs.
The Mississippi State commitment has drawn attention from a handful of top colleges across the country in recent months, especially LSU. He expects to make a final decision on whether to stick or flip before his senior season.
Slade Bolden, 3-star ATH
Bolden is a true athletic in every sense of the word. The 3-star prospect from West Monroe (La.) High School worked out as a slot receiver, but will also take snaps out of the backfield next fall.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder made some truly athletic grabs on Saturday and really showed out when he was playing in the slot. There, he dominated against both safeties and linebackers, and that continued in 1-on-1s.
Bolden recently camped at LSU and mentioned he was close to a decision after that. He will visit Alabama and TCU before making a decision before the end of the month.
Brandon Turnage, 4-star ATH
The Class of 2019 standout is already a top-150 prospect in the recruiting cycle. Turnage worked out at cornerback on Saturday and proved that he could certainly be a star at that position in the SEC.
Turnage, at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, possesses great strength for a cornerback and incredible athleticism. He was easily the top defensive back overall at the camp and the only prospect capable of going toe-to-toe with the top receivers on hand.
LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss are three SEC schools to keep tabs on with Turnage, who is nowhere close to making a decision. Turnage has made multiple visits to Baton Rouge since earning an offer last December, but Ole Miss and Mississippi State have some hometown pull with the 4-star athlete.
Maurice Robinson, 3-star QB/ATH
Easily the most impressive quarterback on hand, Robinson may or may not be playing behind center at the next level. One thing for sure: he certainly has the arm and the mental makeup to do so, if he chooses.
LSU and Alabama are two schools that have offered Robinson, who throws with great anticipation. However, at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, Robinson will likely be playing wide receiver or defensive back for a school in 2018, and he possesses the tremendous athleticism to eventually make that transition.
The Tigers were out in front for Robinson early on in his recruitment, but if Robinson wants to play quarterback then LSU or Alabama may not be his top options. Whether the 3-star prospect can convince those schools otherwise remains the question. If he finds comfortable in switching positions, consider Alabama as a team to watch.
James Williams, 3-star DE
Williams recently camped at LSU, and whatever techniques he picked up from working with Pete Jenkins and Ed Orgeron certainly translated to Saturday’s camp in Mississippi.
The 3-star defensive end was a mismatch for all of the offensive tackles attempting to slow him down. He has an ideal combination of both size and speed, and was easily the top pass rusher in attendance at the elite camp.
LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss are certainly three SEC schools to watch for the strong-side defensive end. Camping at LSU left an impression of Williams, but Karl Dunbar is making an impact on the 3-star prospect. It’s also hard to rule out Ole Miss or Mississippi State and the home-state pull.
Larry Dixon, 3-star OL
Dixon is the type of prospect that schools will want to walk off the bus first. The 6-foot-5, 320-pounder possesses ideal size to play tackle at some schools next fall or possibly utilize as a mauler inside at guard.
Dixon looks the part and can play it as well. He is developing into a top-notch offensive lineman. He has a lot of the tools you would expect out of a tackle and the grittiness to also dominate inside, too.
Mississippi State and Houston are two teams battling for the Hahnville (La.) High School standout.
Bryton Constantin, LB
Another Class of 2019 prospect that drew the attention of those in attendance quickly was University (La.) High School Bryton Constantin.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder is a bit off-the-radar — for now — but should see his stock spike quickly this fall. For his size, Constantin possesses elite speed and was rather impressive in his pursuit during 1-on-1 drills against some very talented running backs.
Nicholls State is the lone offer for the rising junior thus far, but he certainly will garner more attention as he continued to add to his frame and plays on the big stage at University High. Constantin has all the makings of a top-20 prospect in Louisiana’s 2019 recruiting class, which is already uber deep.
Donald Clay Jr., DB
Clay put together one of his best outings at a camp, which has become a trend over the past several weeks.
The Class of 2019 safety has benefited from playing on the 7-on-7 circuit and the tutelage of former LSU and NFL veteran Ryan Clark. Clay made a handful of good reads during 4-on-4 drills and made easily the play of the day when he overpowered an opposing wide receiver into the crowd during 1-on-1s.
Marshall and UTSA are two schools worth monitoring early on in Clay’s recruitment. The New Orleans area prospect could continue to garner attention from bigger schools if his performance continues to impress as it did on Saturday.