May 25th, 2019 in Parkersburg, WV the 304 Elite hosted their second annual football prospect camp. We were huge fans of the first and had high expectations going into this. As we thought, they delivered. Upon our arrival were hundreds of the state’s top prospects lined up along the fence line with bundles of college coaches beginning to pile in. The weather was great- for the most part. A hot May day with two short-lived storms that got the players wet first then had them have to wait in the lockerroom for twenty minutes as lightning passed through. Other than that, you can’t ask for a much better setting while playing on the prestigious Stadium Field.
Players got warmed up slowly and steadily as specialists got direct instruction and highlight early. They separated into position groups and began working basic fundamental drills under the instruction of some very successful coaches and bright minds. Even former West Virginia prep stars joined in to help in terms of footwork, technique, and effort. Unlike other events, there was no testing. It was strictly instructional then 1v1s then 7v7s. We appreciated this change of pace as college coaches were given the ability to watch the players go at it on the field and show off their capability. The players seemed to love this even moreso as many stayed after the concluding whistle to compete and have fun.
We were able to see A LOT of players during this event individually and working within a system. Quite a few players lived up to their hype, some exceeded their rankings, and there were even several that now have made a name for themselves. Out of all positions, quarterback seemed to impress the most. After attending enough camps, it becomes apparent that truly good quarterbacks are rare and camps are usually full of rough pass throwers. However, the 304 Elite showcased some impressive talent. #1 Elijah Banks (Martinsburg) and #5 Corbin Pierson (Jefferson) stood out most notably with superior arm strength and zip on the ball. Also, saw a good day from #4 Owie Ash (Hedgesville) and #16 Xavier Lopez (Robert C. Byrd). #18 Austin Womack (Hurricane) had the biggest rising performance- had good mechanics, great size, and pushed the ball into tight spaces.
For runningbacks, #2 Naieem Kearney (Martinsburg) was utterly impressive. It is obvious he has been in the weightroom. Running routes from both slot and the backfield, he demanded separation basically every time. Tough performance all day long. #7 Hunter America (Doddridge County) showed he could catch as well. His speed was on-par and his routes were swift and with a purpose. #8 Mark Rucker (Tyler Consolidated) had the best eye-test. Tall, muscular, and great lengthy speed. As we expected, he had multiple good reps.
Wide receivers were also a deep group. In addition to ranked QBs Shyleik Kinney (South Charleston) and Nate Ellis (Spring Valley) participating in the group, there were other top talents.#2 Malakai Brown (Martinsburg), #3 Chance Knox (Capital), and #5 KJ Taylor (Capital) were hands down the three most dominant pass catchers throughout the day. Polished routes, pure athleticism, and a true competitiveness. #20 Jaimelle Claytor (St. Albans) also made several touchdown grabs. #6 Preston Fox won practically all of his matchups too.The biggest riser of the day came by #16 Dylan Day (Parkersburg South)- had tons of catches and scores. #13 Alex Mazelon (George Washington) had the catch of the day with a one-handed palm catch over several defenders in the back of the endzone.
Both sets of linemen impressed throughout the day too. #3 Ty Lucas (Martinsburg), #8 Ian Pomeroy (Woodrow Wilson), #9 Jake Hutchinson (Spring Valley), and #10 Liam Fultineer (Mount View) all had awesome days at work. Proved the have been in the weightroom and also have grit. On the interior, mostly all were undefeated. The edge blocks included some true battles by #3 Matt Bednarski (Martinsburg) but most impressively off the edge #6 Cole Hughart (Sissonville). His quick twitch for tackles was nearly unblockable. Sleeper DL Marcell Guy (Independence) also made a name for himself during the matchups as well.
For linebackers, several stood out. #2 Eric Brown (Williamstown) had the height, size, and coverage ability that stood out. Physical development-wise, #4 John Covert (Winfield) and #15 Hunter Williams (Independence) were impressively developed physically and carried their size well. #7 Jackson Biser (Keyser) showed a solid frame and had great length and improved all through the day ending up with a series of winning reps. #6 Malachi West (Fairmont Senior) also had a fantastic day to add on to all the great backer play.
Finishing, #7 Karrington Hill (Capital) had probably the best day at defensive back. Showed off great closing speed, hip mobility, and possessed the tangibles. #17 Donavin Davis (South Charleston), #10 Sincere Sinclair (Wheeling Park), and #5 Jahiem House (Bluefield) also all had stellar days covering receivers. Sleeper DB Mason Deem (Williamstown) was making plays all day long it seemed too.
Overall, we thought both the coaches and players got a lot out of the 304 Elite. We wish we had more people of our own there to see every player as we guarantee there were some great performances we missed reps on. Regardless, the camp was a reminder of the great talent within the state and the growing interest of colleges in attendance. As we have said many times by now: great event, the best in the state, and can’t wait for next year!
C&C’s 304 Elite Position Winners
QB MVP: TIE – Banks (Martinsburg) ’20 / Pierson (Jefferson) ’20
RB MVP: Naieem Kearney (Martinsburg) ’21
WR MVP: KJ Taylor (Capital) ’21
Combo MVP: Connor Cunningham (Doddridge County) ’21
OL MVP: Ty Lucas (Martinsburg) ’20
DL MVP: Cole Hughart (Sissonville) ’20
LB MVP: Eric Brown (Williamstown) ’20
DB MVP: Karrington Hill (Capital) ’20
2022 MVP: DB JT James (Hurricane) ’22
Breakout Offensive MVP: WR Kirk Black (Morgantown) ’21
Breakout Lineman MVP: OL Lance Payton (Fairmont Senior) ’20
Breakout Defensive MVP: DB Mason Deem (Williamstown) ’20