2012 Prospect Takes Top Ball Hawk

Passing Down co-founder Cameron Worrell spent six years in the NFL as a safety, which is his inspiration for creating the Top Ball Hawk DB competition. The inaugural event had some expected big names miss but still featured Stanford NFTC top performer Antoine Pickett out of Concord (Calif.) De La Salle. However, 2012 Moraga (Calif.) Campolindo DB Dan Fadelli stole the show…


Pickett was one of Friday's top
ball hawks.
Photo by Mario Gomez
Antoine Pickett, who was a top performer at the Stanford in May, was a late entry, but he arguably became the frontrunner at last Friday's Passing Down Top Ball Hawk Competition. But fellow Bay Area prospect Dan Fadelli ended up having the better afternoon.

Four-star prospect George Atkinson missed the event along with his three-star twin brother Josh Atkinson because of scheduling conflict. A couple of 2012 elite DB prospects also didn't compete – Shaquille Thompson and Tee Shepard. Thompson and his teammate, four-star safety James Sample, were running late and missed the competition. Shepard sat out with a broken finger. Three-star safety Mercy Maston also missed the event. Nonetheless, the field wasn't bare.

Cameron Worrell developed a unique point system to determine the Top Ball Hawk. Agility, speed, quickness along with solid footwork and good hips would set the winner apart from the rest of the field.


Wilson was a standout on Friday
and Saturday at Passing Down.
Photo by Mario Gomez
Fadelli, Pickett, and Bakersfield (Calif.) West defensive back Fred Wilson were the top performers with Fadelli claiming the honor of the Top Ball Hawk.

The underrated prospect is trying to get his name out there, he told us. With afternoons like the one he had on Friday, he shouldn't have a problem gaining college coaches attention. He reminds us of current Washington Husky safety Nate Fellner. Like Fellner, Fadelli hasn't received much attention heading into his junior season.

"I'm trying to get exposed to D1 schools," said Fadelli. "I like Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona State, where my dad played. He was a safety and running back in the 1980s."

Fadelli says his father would like him to be a Sun Devil. "If I had the chance, I would go there," Fadelli said about following his footsteps.

"I've talked to Oregon State, and they said if I progress over the years, they may give me a shot."

At 5-foot-11 and 170-pounds, the rising junior is still growing. He played wide receiver and cornerback last season recording 50 tackles and two interceptions last season. He will play both positions again this fall. Based on Friday's drills, he looks like a natural DB with good footwork and fluid hips.

"You had to use a lot of quick moves, a lot of hip work, it was fun all round," Fadelli said of the Top Ball Hawk competition.

Fadelli consistently timed faster than Wilson and Pickett during drills, which was the main component of the point system. "I've gotten a clock hand time 4.41 [forty] with my track coach, real time with a laser it's 4.5," added Fadelli.

Fadelli's next stop is Tony Perry's Locked Down Wear Skills Camp on Wednesday at Kerman High School.

Worrell's Top Ball Hawk Quotes:

On Dan Fadelli – Was by far the smoothest athlete that participated in the drills, he made effortless transitions in and out of breaks and had very good acceleration. His hands were good enough that he can be a Division 1 prospect on both sides of the ball.

On Fred Wilson – Reminds me of Charles Tillman [of the Chicago Bears], a tall physical corner with good speed who can transition in and out of breaks despite being taller than most defensive backs. He will be a very good press corner at the next level.

On Antoine Pickett – He looks like a Division 1 safety right now. Despite being the biggest DB out there, he would have won the competition if not for one dropped ball on the last drill. He had the best body control of everyone; he looks like a young James Sanders [of the New England Patriots].

On Justin Gallegos, Fresno (Calif.) Clovis North – Has a frame that can support 200 pound and moves fluidly with very good footwork and acceleration.

On Jake Worrell – Finished sixth in the competition despite being a year younger than anyone out there because he is technically sound and didn't drop a ball.

On Isaac Quick, Fresno (Calif.) Central – Going to be a freshman next year, his great change of direction and burst combined with excellent hands make him a prospect on both sides of the ball in 2014.


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