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December 17, 2010

Baltimore best of Crab Bowl practices

MORE CRAB BOWL: AMP Interviews: Levern Jacobs | Marco Jones | Darian Cooper | Coverage

Rivals.com recruiting analyst Brian Perroni breaks down the top 10 players who have put together the most impressive week of practices at the Crab Bowl in Maryland. The players have been in Mobile, Ala., all week for practices and other festivities in preparation for Saturday's showdown.

Top 10 Crab Bowl players
1) SHERROD BALTIMORE, CB, WASHINGTON D.C.
Baltimore is listed as an athlete but he has shown the ability to be a lockdown cornerback. Though only 5-foot-9, he has great hips and exceptional control of his body that allows him to change directions quickly. He is a pure cover corner that can match up with bigger receivers and more than hold his own. He is still waiting on his first FBS offer and a school will have a steal. All of the D.C. receivers were raving about him on the first day during one-on-ones.

2) GIOVANI FRANCOIS, DE, WASHINGTON D.C.
Francois was a late addition to the roster but has been one of the most consistent players all week. He moved from Florida in the middle of the season so he was only able to play a handful of games this year. However, he still finished with six sacks. He has shown that pass rushing ability all week as he can use his quickness or his strength, depending on the matchup. He is probably ideally suited as a 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level and should be ready to play early in his career.

3) BEN CURTIS, OT, BALTIMORE
Curtis is anchoring the left tackle spot for the Baltimore squad and has shown he is one of the top offensive linemen in the state of Maryland. He has very good feet and is able to cut defensive ends off with his drop step in pass protection. He is also a good drive blocker in the run game. Most impressive, though, is his use of his hands. He gets great extension of his arms and does not let the defender into his body.

4) ADRIAN AMOS, S, BALTIMORE
Amos looks like a shorter linebacker on the hoof. However, any doubts about his ability to play in the secondary are erased when he matches up with receivers. For a player his size, he moves very well and is able to run stride for stride with most opponents. He has also played some receiver during one on ones this week and was able to beat much smaller cornerbacks on go routes. He could see early playing time at Connecticut.

5) DARIAN COOPER, DT, WASHINGTON D.C.
Cooper is very undersized at just over 6-foot and 270 pounds. However, he makes up for that with his quickness. He is a rare pass rushing defensive tackle and he is able to beat the interior offensive linemen off the line and get into the backfield regularly. He is likely going to have quite a bit of trouble against the run at the next level, though, as he is not somebody who has the frame to get too much bigger.

6) LEVERN JACOBS, WR, WASHINGTON D.C.
The Marshall commitment has been another one of the nice surprises of the week. Though not highly rated at the moment, he has been the most consistent receiver on the D.C. squad all week. He is already a polished route runner and has soft hands. He uses those hands, and not his body, to make catches. He also does a good job of finding seams in the defense.

7) RB CRUSOE GONGBAY, RB, WASHINGTON D.C.
Gongbay was the area's leading rusher during the season and he has not missed a step heading into this week's practices. He is a big runner at 6-foot, 185 pounds. However, he is much quicker than one would expect. He is very explosive, showing his acceleration the best when lining up in the Wildcat formation. He is hard to bring down with all of his momentum. However, he is still able to make defenders miss in the open field.

8) HUNTER GOODWIN, OT, BALTIMORE
Goodwin is already a huge offensive tackle. His lower body makes him incredibly tough to move. He is able to use his legs to drive the defender in the run game. However, what is most impressive about the Wake Forest commit is his pass blocking. He is not incredibly polished, but he still moves his feet well. Considering he has never been in an offense where he has been asked to pass protect before, he has picked it up very well.

9) BRANDON PHELPS, ATH, WASHINGTON D.C.
It is hard to truly get a gauge of the four-star prospect's ability. He is playing wide receiver this week but it is clear he is best suited for the defensive side of the ball. Even so, he has shown a very smooth stride when running and has long arms that should help him defend the pass. He is a fluid athlete that will likely need to add some muscle to play safety but, should he be able to do so without losing a step, he will have a big impact at Virginia.

10) KELBY JOHNSON, OT, WASHINGTON D.C.
Johnson is a raw prospect right now, but he has everything a coach would look for in an offensive tackle. At 6-foot-8 he has a long and lean frame with long arms that are perfectly suited for pass protection. He currently weighs 285 but will be up to at least 320 after a redshirt season. He needs to learn to play a little lower but he moves like a basketball player out on the field and that has to have the Virginia coaches excited.



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