The National Radar will be out and about for the next several months evaluating prospects live in person that the Recruit Nation and other showcase camps. Of course, what an athlete does on the actual football field weighs more than what’s done in a camp with no equipment. However, the camp setting can sometimes allow you to see things about a player that don’t show up in film. It can be a cornerback who plays mostly zone defense for his high school team that shows he can play man-to-man defense at a camp. Another good example is linebackers who are able to show their athleticism and ability to defend in pass coverage.
Here’s a look at some prospects that I was able to evaluate live in person.
Fletcher Westphal | Offensive Tackle | 6-8 | 325 | Virginia | 2024
Westphal finished as a top three offensive linemen performer this past weekend. Let’s not get it confused, he was the best prospect at the event. He lost a few reps due to oversetting during the pass-blocking 1v1’s session. However, when you look at the entire picture, he has improved a lot since February of last year. The size is obviously there but he’s not relying on that. He has improved his footwork, agility, hand usage, and has gotten stronger. Westphal was confident enough to test in the 40-yard dash. He’s only a sophomore and will continue to get better and better.
Jaxx Liedel | Offensive Guard | 5-10 | 220 | Michigan | 2023
Outside of Fletcher Westphal, Liedel might’ve had the most powerful punch out of all the offensive linemen at the event. From a recruiting standpoint, he might have to move to the center position at the next level. With that being said, he was one of the most technically sound linemen at the event. He’s not the biggest but he is very strong for his size and barely budged during the 1v1’s. He’s difficult to bull rush and did a great job of extending his arms to create space between him and the defensive linemen. Leidel has good footwork and agility. During 1v1’s, he did a great job of playing with lower-body bend and natural leverage.
Joshua Johnson | Wide Receiver | 6-2 | 170 | MD
Despite not being able to finish the camp due to a sprained ankle, Johnson did enough during positional drills and 1v1’s to be selected as a top-3 performer. After watching camp film and his highlights, it’s clear that he’s truly under-the-radar at the moment. Johnson has good size and has a nice stride that allowed him to separate from defenders when he ran long routes during 1v1’s. His highlights show that he has the ability to show a quick burst and rack up yardage after the catch. Johnson displayed great ball skills as well as he made several contested catches during 1v1’s. I look forward to seeing what he does on the camp circuit in the upcoming months.