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January 26, 2010

Top underclassmen compete at Pa. 7-on-7

ASTON, Pa. - With National Signing Day just more than a week away, the attention is already beginning to transition to the underclassmen. This evidence was displayed in full force on Saturday night as the Badger Sports Elite 7-on-7, powered by New Level Athletics, made a pit stop just outside of Philadelphia. Leading the way was talented junior athlete Terrell Chestnut, as well as a top sophomore running back.

Chestnut, who mentioned that he is still holding six offers and at this point and is mainly being recruited as a defensive back, was able to showcase the athleticism that has made him a top target for a number of programs. However, Chestnut worked out the majority of the event at quarterback, so while it was still easy to tell that he is a gifted athlete, we weren't able to check him out at his future position.

Another player who definitely stood out was 2012 running back Drew Harris of Exton (Pa.) Downingtown East. Harris just produced a 2,000-yard season in 2009 and after measuring in at 6 feet 2 and 195 pounds, it's safe to say that he's a name everyone should become familiar with. At his size, he showed impressive agility and burst during drills, good hands, and an attitude that makes you believe that he wants to be the best. Another sophomore running back who stood out was Sharif Smith of Philadelphia (Pa.) Furness. While not possessing the overall physical stature of Harris, Smith has the tools and frame that could make him a top recruit and checked in at a still-impressive 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds.

Not receiving the attention that Chestnut has thus far, junior linebacker teammate Maika Polamalu, showed up much more physically impressive than the last time we saw him at the Premier Showcase last summer. While he mainly worked out at running back, Polamalu showed fantastic feet and change of direction abilities. He is the cousin of NFL star Troy Polamalu.

A name that is beginning to pick up some steam is junior wide receiver Louis Smith of Downingtown (Pa.) West. At 6-2 and 185 pounds, Smith definitely passes the eyeball test, ran precise routes, got in and out of his cuts quickly and flashed good hands. Smith attended the Rutgers Junior Day last weekend, and is looking to schedule a few more visits soon. Two smaller receivers that also had productive days were juniors English Peay of Philadelphia (Pa.) George Washington and Quran Kent of Philadelphia (Pa.) West Catholic. Peay catches with his hands very well and made a few very nice receptions in traffic, while Kent is a solidly built athlete who has great feet, runs good routes, and has a fantastic burst.

The quarterback position was led by junior John Loughery of Philadelphia (Pa.) Penn Charter. At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, Loughery has the size that pro-style offenses will be looking for. His fundamentals are sound and he showed a quick, smooth release. The velocity on a few of his throws was lacking at times, but overall he looks like a solid quarterback prospect. Loughery has good bloodlines as his father John was a quarterback at Boston College and his cousin is former BC great and current Atlanta Falcon Matt Ryan.

Another quarterback to keep an eye on is 6-foot-5 signal caller Terrance Bridges from Washington (D.C.) H.D. Woodson. While Bridges is skinny and needs to fill out, he has a live arm and showed adequate accuracy.

Mark Pszonak contributed to this article.




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