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IMG Academy football program: The tournament's best

BRADENTON, Fla. – Many of the nation’s top prospects met at the IMG facility on Sunday and Monday to compete in the first-ever Madden Football Academy.

Led by class of 2013 quarterback Shane Morris and Top247 all-purpose back Dennis Norfleet, Maximum Exposure out of Detroit took home the trophy, defeating Team Tampa in the championship. The South Florida Express and Pro Impact Jacksonville rounded out the top four.

247Sports ranks the top performers through both days of competition.

  1. Amari Cooper: The receiver from Miami (Fla.) Northwestern put on a dominant show both days for the South Florida Express. The 6-foot, 170-pound Cooper recently landed an offer from Florida State, and it’s easy to see what the Seminoles staff saw. Cooper is a deep threat, with great speed, good body control, plucks the ball out of the air at its high point, and has good hands. Look for Cooper to possibly skyrocket in the next 247Sports rankings.
  2. Dennis Norfleet: One of the most versatile offensive players in the country, the 5-foot-8, 175-pound Norfleet could play the same running back/receiver role Danny Woodhead plays for the New England Patriots on the next level. This fall, the Top247 prospect will likely rush for over 2,000 yards for Detroit (Mich.) King. This weekend in helping lead the Michigan Maximum Exposure team to the championship, the four-star Norfleet was the team’s top pass catcher. He can play every receiver position, runs well, has great quicks, and his hands are as good as anyone. He even catches the ball in traffic, and is fearless with his body. He is currently ranked as the nation’s fourth-best all-purpose back.
  3. Shane Morris: The class of 2013 Michigan commit plays with a gunslinger mentality and thinks he can make every throw. On Sunday, more times than not, he did. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Morris was on top of his game in guiding Maximum Exposure to the tournament championship. He was hitting the intermediate routes in stride, was throwing on the run, and of course completed several 30 to 40-yard completions for touchdowns. Sometimes Morris can be erractic with the football as he tries to fit footballs in tight windows, and as he learns when to and when not to take chances, he’ll be even better. One thing is for sure, the lefty has one of the strongest arms in America, and that includes the class of 2012 too.
  4. P.J. Williams: Like we wrote on Saturday, the nation’s eighth-ranked safety and 124th-best prospect overall will bring flexibility to the Florida State secondary. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Williams played cornerback through the tournament, and was one of the better cover guys in attendance. He has great size.
  5. Javonte Snead: The 5-foot-10, 170-pound receiver from Armwood (Fla.) Seffner has a great motor and goes hard on every play. He was a big playmaker out of the slot for Team Tampa, which advanced to the finals. He’s deceptively fast and can go up and get it.
  6. Duke Johnson: Much like Norfleet, the nation’s 12th-best running back had his receiving skills on display for the South Florida Express, and will bring big-play ability to Miami’s offense. The Miami (Fla.) Norland standout had the most impressive open field move of the tournament, and he seems to have an extra gear when he sees the end zone.
  7. Dante Fowler: The future Florida State defensive end from St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood only played the first day because of a shoulder injury. On Saturday, the 6-foot-3, 224-pound Folwer played out of position at outside linebacker and was still outstanding. Ranked as the nation’s fifth-best weak-side defensive end and 43rd-best prospect overall, like we said earlier, Fowler was covering running backs out of the backfield and was seen swatting several passes.
  8. Leon McQuay III: The leader of the defense for Team Tampa, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound class of 2013 safety lived around the football. He’s a smart player that has good size and speed. He’s an all-state high jumper that will be highly ranked in next year’s class.
  9. Keith Brown: A physically imposing linebacker at 6-foot-1, 230-pounds, the four-star Miami (Fla.) Norland product and Hurricanes commit has outstanding lateral quickness. He also reads well making him a very efficient player. Doesn’t seem to make a lot of mistakes.
  10. Jordan Diggs: The nation’s 10th-ranked safety is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound tweener that’s going to be a good fit for a program that uses a rover. Diggs played cornerback, safety and linebacker, and had several pass breakups on Sunday.
  11. Jaime Wilson: The old staff at Florida offered the 5-foot-11, 190-pound receiver early, but the new staff hasn’t reciprocated. Wilson’s only offer at this point is from Marshall, but the Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central standout played like he deserved a full-ride from many of the nation’s top programs. He made play after play for the South Florida Blur, and was one of the toughest covers of the weekend. He’s a physical receiver that can also get behind the defense for a big play.
  12. Erik Striker: Will be a blitzing nickel back/rover that plays in the box for Oklahoma, so one would figure this wouldn’t be the setting for the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Striker to shine. The future Sooner from Seffner (Fla.) Armwood is a big hitter on Friday nights. This weekend he played cornerback and linebacker and was good in coverage, breaking up several plays.
  13. Tion Green: The receiver from Altamonte Springs (Fla.) Lake Brantley was a consistent performer both days, and appeared to always be catching the football. He’s a good clean route runner with strong hands.
  14. Nathan Peterman: The 6-foot-2, 200-pound quarterback from Batram Trail High in Jacksonville, led his team to the semifinals by always making the right throw, delivering a catchable football with the right touch. He holds a few BCS offers, but don’t be surprised to see a couple more come his way once some of these higher-ranked quarterbacks come off the board.
  15. Brandon Snell: The future Louisville receiver from Miami (Fla.) Norland had some of the best hands of the tournament. He was the third weapon on a potent South Florida Express offense that made it to the semifinals. The speedy Snell also provided a lot of yards after the catch.
  16. Ronald Thompson: The 6-foot-4, 240-pound tight end from Southfield (Mich.) High was Morris’ favorite deep target. A nice route runner, Thompson found the end zone numerous times on Sunday in helping Maximum Exposure win the championship.
  17. Tyreece Jiles: The 6-foot-1, 175-pound cornerback from Cape Coral (Fla.) High has added 20 pounds from last year, and likes to play physical. He was another strong cover guy that showed a lot of toughness. He almost got knocked out accidently banging into his own teammate when breaking on a football, but quickly returned to the field.
  18. Alvin Bailey: The 6-foot, 170-pound class of 2013 receiver made all the big catches for Team Tampa in its run to the title game. The Seffner (Fla.) Armwood prospect is fast, and although he hasn’t pulled in his first offer, has the makings to be a highly sought after player in next year’s class.
  19. Nick Washington: Another talented class of 2013 prospect that could be ranked very high. The 6-foot, 182-pound Washington could grow into a safety, but in the meantime he’s a good cover corner with nice turn and run ability. He’s also very long.
  20. Ruben Lile: If Morris wasn’t going to Norfleet or Thompson, he was looking for the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech prospect. Lile was the deep threat on the other side of the field from Thompson. He also played some safety, which could be his best position on the next level. Lile has cover ability, and with his frame, it wouldn’t be surprising if he even grew into an outside linebacker.
  21. Hugs Etienne: The Wisconsin commit from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) South Plantation was one of the best one-on-one cover guys on the IMG campus. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Etienne could usually be found in the back pocket of whoever he was covering. He also has a knack for getting into the receiver early and forcing a bad route.

Honorable Mention

WR Leon Allen, WR Richard Benjamin, LB Kenneth Bynum, RB Danny Dillard, QB Jon Economou, CB Kimani Elliott, TE Laith Harlow, QB E.J. Hilliard, WR Jalen Holmes, LB Eric Kinsey, WR Elston Lane, CB Will Likely, WR Jarvis McCall, RB Sony Michel, S Leviticus Payne, WR Ja’Juan Pollock, WR Clint Stephens, WR Damon Webb

Josh Newberg contributed to this report.

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