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April 18, 2005

Threesome thrives at NIKE

LOS ANGELES - The rough streets of South Central Los Angeles were well represented by a threesome from Los Angeles (Calif.) Jordan. Not much was known about these three until earlier this recruiting season. After their stellar performance at yesterday's NIKE Camp held in Los Angeles their stock could move upward.

Dreams come hard to many who live in the Los Angeles hamlet known as Watts, but for three youngsters they can see and feel that their athletic talent may earn them a college scholarship.

One of the three players Carell Johnson (5-8, 175, 4.6) whose nickname is "Baby Bush" lived up to his billing yesterday during the one-on-one drills. Johnson was named running back of the camp.

Johnson displayed flashy quick moves reminiscent of his nickname. He couldn't be touched and he was among the top three running backs on all the running back coach's grading cards.

On one play, Johnson looked like Allen Iverson in cleats because he crossed over a linebacker and made him fall to his knees.

Johnson was making plays like that all day and it didn't matter if he lined up against the cream of the camp or not. He made people look foolish.

Johnson's teammate running back Ricky Thenarse (6-1, 180, 4.48) also impressed onlookers. He showcased a great set of hands that gives him the versatility to play either running back or wide receiver.

Thenarse was in the A-group of backs and more than held his own against all the backs in the camp.

Thenarse is a fierce competitor who thrived on the competitiveness of the camp. He's looking forward to taking the things he learned at the Los Angeles NIKE Camp so he will do even better in Palo Alto next month.

The third amigo from Jordan high school who attended the camp was fullback Rashad Newsome (6-1, 230, 4.8). Newsome did well on all the drills. But was somewhat disappointed with his performance on the one-on-one drills.

Newsome like all three of the Jordan players is very competitive and he is going to take the NIKE Camp and use it as a positive experience in which to grow as a football player.

All three are getting looks from colleges from coast-to-coast. They are currently receiving recruiting letters from the likes of Colorado, Kansas State, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Oregon State, USC and UCLA.

Jordan coach Elijah Asante is a difference maker for this school. Before he came along Los Angeles Jordan never showed up to events like the NIKE Camp. He has taken these young athletes under his wing and his leadership has taken root. These three players are working hard doing the right things that get their talents showcased.

"I couldn't be prouder at what they did yesterday and what they were doing work wise leading to the event as if I were their own Dad," Asante said. "These young men are beginning to see the results of their hard work."

For expanded coverage of the Los Angeles NIKE Training Camp, you should check out StudentSportsFootball.com. Access to StudentSports.com requires an additional membership. Coming Soon! The best is getting better. The Rivals.com Recruiting Database will include all authentic data from this summer's NIKE Training Camp schedule.

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