Clash of the Titans Overall MVP Alex Ballinger and recruit757 Founder Andy Hilton (Photo: Lance Hinton/recruit757)
Sunday’s Clash of the Titans was a big success!
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
On Sunday, we had 200 campers for a fantastic football showcase for athletes all over Virginia. The MVP awards were won by athletes from each region of our coverage and the competition was intense.
Here’s a recap of the top performers from Sunday, including the MVPs and the other standouts in each position group as reviewed by the coaches who were running the skills and drills, and the one-on-one challenges that closed out the day.
Overall MVP: Alex Ballinger, Flint Hill, 2021
Quarterback MVP: Gavin Pitts, Loudoun County, 2021
The quarterback group was 40 athletes deep so the competition was thick. There was no shortage of standouts in a group led by QB coach Tony Pittman. Alex Ballinger edged out Gavin Pitts for the overall MVP award for the camp, based on his arm strength, his accuracy and his decision making. Pitts wasn’t far behind, exhibiting all of the same skills in much the same way.
Other QBs of note include: Charles Mutter, Prince George (2021), Tyler Hensley, Monacan (2021), Ryan High, Princess Anne (2021), Dylan Hauser, Cox (2021) and Brett Griffis, Broad Run (2022). and Juwan Dent, Highland Springs (2021).
Running back MVP: Devante Cooper, Great Bridge, 2021
The running backs group was led by Coach Jeff Super. There were 23 running backs competing, and it was Cooper’s tenacity that won him the award above all else. Stone Bridge running back Najee Richards (2021) was very close to grabbing the MVP award for the day. Shimique Blizzard, Western Branch (2023) was another key standout of the group.
Wide Receiver MVP: Malaki Jones, Salem, 2021
A wide receiver group of 35 had some guys who could really haul it in. Former Apprentice School wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator David Porter led the group (and most of the camp overall). Former Dinwiddie and Hampton University WR Drakar Harvell assisted with the coaching for the day. Malaki Jones caught everything thrown his way, but it was his length and his ability to get open that made a difference. Other WR of note include: Cade Bills, Colonial Forge (2021), Kymari Gray, Phoebus (2022), Christian Robinson, Highland Springs (2022), Chris Gundy, Smithfield (2021) and Jamil Anderson, Life Christian (2022) – who won the DB MVP. Isaiah Smith, Bethel (2021) was our Fastest Man winner with a 4.53 forty time.
Tight End MVP: Tahja Collins, Midlothian, 2021
This was a smaller group, led by Ocean Lakes head coach Joe Jones and the group got plenty of reps with blocking and receiving skills. Several athletes from the wide receiver and running backs groups added themselves to the tight end group in an effort to get more reps. Tahja Collins poached the MVP award, coming over from the running backs group, in an effort that showcased his versatility. Nansemond River tight end Julian Soriano made a case for the MVP award as well, catching virtually everything thrown his way.
Offensive Line MVP: Matt McCann, Riverside, 2021
Matt McCann led a stellar group of over 30 offensive linemen. The O-line group was coached up by Great Bridge coach Pete Gale and former Atlee/Old Dominion lineman Nick Clarke. Clarke also runs the Richmond based Hog Academy with former Atlee/Florida State lineman Alec Eberle. Other athletes who made a case for the O-line MVP include Alex Birchmeier, Broad Run (2023), Caleb Gosney, Varina (2021), and C.J. Van Buren, North Stafford (2021).
Defensive Line MVP: Akhari Haggard, Matoaca, 2021
Alec Eberle and North Stafford line coach John Harris led the group of 30 defensive linemen on Sunday. Akhari Haggard battled to win the MVP award, and he was challenged mightily by Ambrose Asiedu, North Stafford (2022), Holden Shank, Nansemond-Suffolk 2022, Jaylon White, Kempsville (2022), Kyree Moyston, King’s Fork (2022) and Ryan Adams, Gar-Field (2022).
Linebacker MVP: Jermond Simon-Davenport, Phoebus, 2021
The linebacker group was thick, with over 30 athletes competing. “J.J.” Jermond Simon-Davenport took the top award, but there was no shortage of competition. Standouts included Jeremiah Covington-Griggs, Stone Bridge (2021), Desmond Cook, Western Branch (2022), Miguel Rijo, Princess Anne (2021) and Joshua McCray, Benedictine Prep (2021).
Defensive Back MVP: Jamil Anderson, Life Christian (2022)
Jamil Anderson plays both wide receiver and defensive back. On a day where most of the athletes gravitated toward playing receiver, Anderson made his name as a defender. His shutdown coverage skills got even the best receivers at the camp twisted up. Other standouts included Quincy Jefferson, Varina 2021 and Caiden Luster, Bethel (2022). The defensive backs group was coached by Kenny Painter.
The day was huge for talent across the state of Virginia. We’ve gathered numerous photos from the day which can be seen in our gallery, and we’ll be rolling out individual articles and video interviews on many of the notable athletes over the next several days. Enjoy the coverage!
– Andy Hilton