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July 30, 2012
Gridiron Kings: Best of the weekend
ORLANDO, Fla. - The Southeast team was crowned champion at Gridiron Kings this weekend, but players from all four teams had their moments. Rivals.com's Josh Helmholdt breaks down the best of the weekend.
Runner-up: Crete-Monee (Ill.) wide receiver Laquon Treadwell had several spectacular catches over the weekend, but one of his best came when quarterback Shane Morris threw a pass to the front pylon of the end zone that forced Treadwell to turn his body and catch the ball on his fingertips over his shoulder before falling out of bounds.
Runner-up: Tulsa (Okla.) East Central's Stanvon Taylor broke loose on a skinny post route during Saturday's round-robin play, and that gave us a chance to really appreciate how much of a burner he truly is as he opened up a wide gap between himself and the group of defenders trailing him.
Top defensive back tandem
Runners-up: The Southwest had one of the toughest defenses to throw on all weekend, and Class of 2014 cornerback Tony Brown and safety Marcell Harris were big reasons why. The duo shut its side of the field down and batted down a ton of passes.
Best Undersized Prospect
Runner-up: At just 5-foot-10, wide receiver Jalin Marshall is not going to be jumping over defensive backs in the corner of the end zone. But his game is the short, underneath routes that get the football in his hands quickly and allow the Ohio State commit to use his quickness and agility to pick up yards after catch.
Runner-up: Another key interception came at the end of the half in the semifinals game between the West and Southeast teams. With the West inside the 5-yard line, Tampa (Fla.) Wharton defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III baited West quarterback Troy Williams into throwing his way, then ripped the football away from the defender. That stop would prove important at game's end.
Best QB-WR connection
Runners-up: Warren (Mich.) De La Salle quarterback Shane Morris is committed to Michigan and Crete-Monee (Ill.) wide receiver Laquon Treadwell has the Wolverines as his favorite. It remains to be seen if the two will hook up in college, but they connected more than any other wide receiver-quarterback duo over the course of the two days.
Instead of a runner-up, we'll go to the opposite end of the spectrum. Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips' safety Marcell Harris does an extraordinary job of closing down passing lanes and getting his hands on the football. The problem is he has trouble catching the football. Harris should have had at least four interceptions on day one alone but finished with just one.
Best 7-on-7 running back
Runner-up: The other Midwest running back, Ezekiel Elliott, got a little overshadowed because his team featured Mizzell along with slot receiver Jalin Marshall and tight end Travis Johnson as check-down options, but the 6-foot, 198-pound Elliott is a deadly receiving option out of the backfield himself and made the most of limited opportunities.