For over 20 years, Tony Perry has cranked out numerous D1 defensive backs while coaching at Fresno (Calif.) Edison and College of the Sequoias (Visalia, Calif.). This year, he moves to Fresno (Calif.) Central. Nonetheless, he continues to workout some of the area’s top players.
Under his new venture, www.thedbguru.com, Perry is collaborating with former Oakland Raider George Atkinson’s Diverse Sports in developing, training, and promoting the top high school prospects in California.
On Sunday, the venture started with a bang.
Perry and Atkinson joked that a friendly conversation late last week spurred Sunday’s last minute workout. Despite the short timeframe, nearly 40 prospects turned out with about half coming from the North Valley and Bay Area.
From 2010 Fresno State signee Marcus McDade to 2011 four-star blue chip recruit George Atkinson to 2012 top quarterback prospect Mike Baker, nearly every level high school prospect was represented. The number of athletes would have broken 40 but 2010 signees Jalen Saunders (Fresno State) and Josh Harper (Fresno State) among others did not attend at the last minute. As well, 2011 standout Kendall Brock had to watch from sidelines with a tweaked hamstring.
It’s hard not to be impressed with George Atkinson. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound athlete can play multiple positions from running back, wide receiver, safety, and possibly cornerback. On Sunday, he worked out strictly at receiver making defenders look silly. He runs smooth, precise routes with superb speed; he leads California with a state-best 10.61 100m.
He currently has 16 scholarship offers his latest ones coming from USC and Syracuse.
Not to be outdone, his twin brother Josh Atkinson is one of the Golden State’s top cornerback prospects. With seven offers in his pocket, the 6-foot-1 cover man locked down just about every receiver he faced. He has good feet, hips, and excellent speed. He now shares the state’s fastest man honor with his brother after clocking a 10.61 100m last Saturday.
Castro Valley (Calif.) cornerback/wide receiver Giles Chapman is extremely quick zipping through DB drills faster than anyone did on Sunday. His feet are quick, his hips are smooth, but he does lack size. At 5-foot-8 and 160-pounds, he had trouble locking up against bigger receivers. Nonetheless, he is physical and has very good ball skills. He currently has three verbal offers from Illinois, Mississippi, and Rice.
Fresno Central cornerback Tee Shepard is Tony Perry’s next great high school cornerback. In his last year (2007-08) at Fresno Edison, Perry sent five-star U.S. Army All-American cornerback Robert Golden to Arizona and groomed junior Cliff Harris, who signed with Oregon in 2009. But Perry says Shepard has chance to be better than both were in high school.
Shepard is already bigger standing nearly 6’1 as he finishes his sophomore year. While he needs to work on his stance, his footwork is unquestionably good. He matches well with big receivers yet has the wheels to keep up with speedsters.
Working out mostly at receiver, Lodi (Calif.) running back Jordan Perkins blew past defensive backs in 1on1’s. Skill wise, he has good hands and runs decent routes. But his future is at running back, where he will play at Stanford after verbally committing to the Cardinal earlier this spring.
Stockton (Calif.) St. Mary’s Marcus McDade was one of the few seniors working out. He signed with Fresno State in February. He has added some bulk since last year. He’s 6-foot-3, 200 pounds with a cannon for an arm. We’ve yet to see a stronger arm on any prep quarterback in the last 15 months.
The future elite signal caller in California is arguably Fresno Central’s Mike Baker.
The 2012 quarterback prospect is an accurate passer, but his greatest attribute is his ability to throw a catchable ball.
When in comes to the eyeball test, Clovis (Calif.) East safety Jerry Haymon is hard to miss. The 6-foot, 200-pounder can bench press 400 pounds and last month benched 185 pounds a remarkable 28 times at the Under Armour Combine in Los Angeles. However, in 1on1’s, he relies too much on his physical play rather than his cover skills. His footwork needs work, but he has great recovery speed.
Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West linebacker Josh Lang worked out with the defensive backs on Sunday. Instead of covering running backs and tight ends, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound sophomore held his own covering receivers in 1on1’s. He has nice feet and hips for a future college MIKE backer. He reminds us of his predecessor at CW, 2009 Scout 300 member Travis Brown.
The DB Guru and Diverse Sports will continue to hold workouts this spring and summer for more information visit www.thedbgure.com.