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March 24, 2012

Dallas NIKE Camp: Top storylines

MORE: Dallas NIKE: Five to watch | Elite 11 | More NIKE

The Nike Football Training Camp schedule kicks off this weekend at the Dallas Cowboy Training Facility in Irving, Texas. Around 350 of the top prospects from Texas and surrounding states will be in attendance Sunday to have a chance to compete against the best of the best.

Here are five storylines to watch heading into Sunday's camp:

The Rivals100 represents

It would seem that most Rivals100 prospects have nothing to gain by attending camps such as this. However, it is refreshing to see that their competitive sides still bring them out. In addition to Elite 11 holdovers Tyrone Swoopes and Shane Morris, several other Rivals100 prospects will be on display as well. Alabama running back commit Altee Tenpenny of North Little Rock (Ark.) is set to be there to prove he is back from an injury that cost him his junior season. A trio of Texas commits in wide receiver Jake Oliver, offensive lineman Jake Raulerson and defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson will also be on hand. LSU athlete pledge John Diarse is making the drive from Monroe (La.) Neville and is set to play defensive back, even though he will likely be a wide receiver in Baton Rouge. Rounding out the Rivals100 prospects is Mesquite (Texas) West Mesquite safety Kameron Miles, who is currently uncommitted.

Loaded wide receiver group

The defensive backs could have their hands full in one-on-one and seven-on-seven drills as there are more than a couple standout receivers. In addition to Oliver, Rivals250 wide receivers Ra'Shaad Samples, Eldridge Massington, Marcell Ateman and Vequan Jones are signed up. Also, Tulsa (Okla.) East Central Rivals250 cornerback Stanvon Taylor is signed up to play receiver. Throw in Rivals250 tight end Christian Morgan and Texas tight end commit Durham Smythe and the pass-catchers are definitely a formidable group.

The defensive line is stout, too

Though not quite as deep as the receiver group, the defensive line position is the best that the Dallas Nike Camp has seen in quite some time. Led by a Rivals100 defensive tackle in Robinson, the group has several more Rivals250 prospects in ends Tim Williams of Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab and Vincent Taylor of San Antonio (Texas) Madison as well as tackle Christopher Robinson of Shreveport (La.) Woodlawn. Three fast-rising ends in Texas commit Daeshon Hall of Lancaster (Texas) High, Alief (Texas) Taylor's Torrodney Prevot and Michael Patterson of Winnfield (La.) will also be on hand.

Will Thomas show up?

Colleyville (Texas) Heritage Rivals250 quarterback Cody Thomas has seen his stock soar this spring, picking up over 20 offers from around the country. However, he is the lone Texas four-star quarterback not on Saturday's Elite 11 roster. However, he is on Sunday's Nike Camp roster. Thomas is a big-time baseball talent and could have a scheduling conflict on Saturday. If he does indeed show up on Sunday it will be his chance to prove he belongs in the top as a possible Rivals100 prospect.

Young players on display

Though the event is primarily for the class of 2013, several elite younger prospects will be in attendance as well. Monroe (La.) Neville defensive back Laurence Jones was a first-team all-Army Combine selection and has a chance at being the top player in his state next year. He is joined by several very good Texas defensive backs in Cedric Collins, Jamal Adams, Tony Brown and Chris Hardeman. On the defensive line, Solomon Thomas of Coppell (Texas) High looks to be a national recruit next year as does linebacker James David. Running backs Devon Thomas of Broken Arrow (Okla.) and Donald Catalon of Aldine (Texas) Eisenhower are ones to watch as well. The youngest participant will be Katy (Texas) running back Rodney Anderson, a member of the class of 2015. The freshman did something unheard of this past season when he started for one of the top programs in the country.

Brian Perroni can be reached at perroni@yahoo-inc.com. You can follow him on Twitter @bperrroni.

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