LIFE IS A JOURNEY OF CROSSING PATHS!
“Life is a Journey of Crossing Paths as we take different steps each moment on our journey. Sometime when we Cross Paths with someone, we Touch Them and change their life forever and sometime they will change our life forever! Everyone has their own path to seek.” Emfinger
SPECIAL TOP GUNNERS OF WEEK #6
At my Super Elite Top Gun Football Camps, Super Combines, and All-American Bowl Game Classics, lives are sometimes touched and changed forever. I always tell our players to always do their best and never let-up, because they sometimes will never know who is watching them or Scouting them and so they need to be the best that they can be on every single play. “Will my coaches or I remember you for what you did when we crossed your path today or will we never remember you?”
It was July 2010 and I had just rented a Big SUV and was set to take three or four players with me to Florida to my 2010 Super Elite Top Gun Camp. Ronald Martin lived in White Castle, about 10-miles from Plaquemine and I was going to meet him at Plaquemine High School and he was going to leave his car in the parking lot and then ride with me to Florida. Ameer Abdullah lived in Homewood, Alabama which is in North Alabama and I was going to pick him up with and a Friend in Mobile, Alabama on my way to Florida. and everything was set to take one car when the phone rang and it was the Head Football Coach at Pineville High School and he had a Running Back named Derrick Milton that he wanted to go to my Top Gun Camp, but that he did not have a ride and could not afford to take a Bus. I told him to tell Milton to meet me at the Racetrack by the Baton Rouge Mississippi River Bridge and he could ride with me. Milton was going to turn 19 during his Senior Season and the Louisiana Coaches Association had ruled him ineligible to play as a Senior.
About the same time, Ronald Martin called me back and said that Junior RB Tyre Bracken (5-8, 186, 4.3) also of White Castle wanted to go, but he also needed a ride. I told Martin to bring Bracken to my house and we would take two cars; my car and my rented car and we would leave from my house in Plaquemine.
Odell Beckham (In Top Gun Photo) and Jeremy Hill were two Louisiana High School football players who would meet us in Florida at the Super Elite Top Gun Camp.
Except for Hill, who was already committed to LSU, all Five of the Top Gun Campers, including, Beckham, Martin, Abdullah, Milton, and Bracken, did not have a single scholarship offer when they got to The 2010 Super Elite Top Gun Camp, First Practice. Abdullah played Cornerback and did a 40-Inch Vertical Jump.
Abdullah was also Nicknamed as the next Mini Deion Sanders and was voted as the Skills Defensive MVP; while Beckham and Martin were the Co-Offensive Wide Receiver MVP. Martin did a 40-Inch Vertical Jump and a 4.0 Pro-Shuttle and Beckham and Martin made numerous one-handed catches and were Coached by my good friend and NFL Hall of Fame WR Wes Chandler. Bracken ran the fastest Forty at the Camp when he recorded a 4.33 Forty. Beckham ran a 4.36 Forty and Martin ran a 4.42 Forty. Milton weighed 218 and he had the best 41-Inch Vertical Jump, a great 125 Standing Broad Jump, and he also ran a 4.47 Forty.
All of these Top Gun Camp Players drove one of the cars on the trip to Florida and also on the way back home. Oh Yes! We had two flat tires on the way back home and under the direction and leadership of Ronald Martin, all of them helped to fix the flat tires before we could get the flat ties to a Flat-Tire place to get them professionally fixed. We also had to leave my car in Tallahassee, Florida, on the way back home, because we could not get it fixed in time to get everyone back home in time.
I will never forget pulling up into the driveway at Ronald Martin’s house in White Castle at 4:30 A.M. on Saturday morning after two flat tires on the way home from Florida. Martin rested on Sunday and then went to LSU on Monday for a visit. After getting some fabulous rave reviews from our Top Gun Camp Coaches, LSU offered him a scholarship on his visit.
I always thought that Martin, who was an incredible All-State Wildcat Quarterback and All-State Point Guard in Basketball, would become a great Wide Receiver or Quarterback in College, but LSU already knew that they had a Committment from Jarvis Landry and they were still looking at Odell Beckham, so the Tigers offered Martin as a Defensive Back. And the Rest is History.
Martin was all scheduled to play in the 2011 All-American Bowl Game Classic, but he pulled a Ham-String in the 2010 Louisiana 1A State Championship Game and Ronald and his Dad and I decided that since he already had committed to LSU, there was no need to risk any further injury. Martin also was playing Basketball and he also led White Castle to the 2011 Louisiana 1A State Championship.
1. AP Odell Beckham – LSU – Beckham was sensational last week against Georgia, but the Tigers still fell short as the Bulldogs sealed their 44-41 victory over the Tigers with 1:47 left in the game. In that game, Beckham caught six passes for 118-yards and added another 175-yards with seven Kickoff Returns. These two totals gave him a “Mind-Boggling” Total of 293-All-Purpose Yards.
After such an incredible game against Georgia, it would seem very difficult to be able to have another game that was just as impressive. This past Saturday, Junior WR Beckham (6-0, 190, 4.33) from New Orleans caught nine passes for 179-Yards and Two Touchdowns, including a 14-yard Touchdown pass from Zach Mettenberger in the second quarter and another 33-yard Touchdown in the fourth quarter. When you add the 111-yards that Beckham recorded on his five kickoff returns, it gives Beckham another equally “Mind-Boggling” Total of 290-All-Purpose Yards in the 59-26 victory over Mississippi State at Starkville.
2. AP Ameer Abdullah – Nebraska – Abdullah has been a Super Star for three years, but on Saturday, he was just sensational as he rushed for 225-Yards on 20 carries and caught one pass for another 15-Yards, giving him 240-All-Purpose Yards and Two Touchdowns as he helped the Cornhuskers to beat Illinois by a 39-19 score. If you get your calculator out, you can see that Ameer Abdullah averaged an incredible 11.3-yards per carry and a 11.4 yards per touch.
Abdullah was a Super-Star Return Specialist as a True Freshman, returning one 100-yards for a Touchdown, and then last year, as a Sophomore, Abdullah rushed for 1,137-yards. Junior RB Adbullah (5-8, 190, 4.3) from Homewood, Alabama was producing great this year, but none of his games fell into the Heisman Candidate Category until his game on Saturday. Abdullah pounded the Fighting Illini Defense for a Career-High 225 Yards, at Memorial Stadium. He also ran for a pair of Touchdowns, including a beautiful 43-yard Touchdown in the fourth quarter that featured a really nice cutback in front of the Fighting Illini bench.
3. RB Jeremy Hill – LSU – Hill was sensational last week against Georgia and he came back this week against Mississippi State and he was sensational again for the second straight week. In the game on Saturday in Starkville, Sophomore RB Hill (6-2, 235, 4.5) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana rushed for 157-yards and scored Two Touchdowns, including a 69-Yard Touchdown in the first quarter. He also caught three passes for 13-yards, giving him 170-All-Purpose Yards as the Tigers won by a 59-26 score. The 69-Yard Touchdown made the ESPE Sweet Sixteen Plays of the Week.
4. FS Ronald Martin, Jr – LSU – Martin has had two outstanding games against Georgia (In Photo, defending Justin Scott-Wesley) and Mississippi State after losing his Dad, Ronald Martin, Sr, just before the Auburn game. Against Georgia, Junior FS Martin (6-1, 202, 4.42) of White Castle, Louisiana (about 10-miles from my house) recorded a Career-High seven tackles and then on Saturday, against Mississippi State, he recorded four tackles and two pass-breakups, including the blocked pass of Quarterback Dak Prescott on third down and forcing a Field Goal with 12:01 left in the game.
5. RB Derrick Milton – Mississippi State – Milton was ruled to be too old and ineligible to play his Senior Season in High School, but after our 2010 Top Gun Camp, Milton (6-1, 210, 4.42) of Pineville, Louisiana and Hargrave Military Prep School in Chatham, Virginia was offered a scholarship at Hargrave Prep School. Then after an outstanding year at Hargrave, Milton Signed with the Mississippi State Bulldogs. This year, as a Sophomore, in Game #4, against Troy, Milton rushed for 56-Yards on Seven carries and scored a Touchdown. Milton has been hampered by an njury since that game.
Earlier in the Summer, I attended the “2010 Battle of the Trenches” Lineman Football Camp at Hinds Junior College and I found some very competitive Linemen and I invited them to attend my 2010 Top Gun Lineman Camp. Those Linemen included OG Justin Bell (6-3, 325, 5.3) of Jackson Calloway, Mississippi; OG Collins Langley (6-3, 286, 5.) of Memphis Briarcrest Academy, Tennessee; and OG Earnest Lang (6-4, 305, 5.3) of Columbus New Hope, Mississippi.
6. OG Justin Bell – Ole Miss – Bell and the other two Offensive Linemen were outstanding at the Linemen Top Gun Camp, but Bell was unbelievable and he was Voted by the Top Gun Coaches, including my vote, as the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman. All three players had No Offers before the Top Gun Camp, but Bell (6-3, 345, 5.3) received an Offer from Ole Miss. Bell Red-Shirted as a Freshman and and now is the Starter at Right Guard for the Rebels.
His best friend and Jackson Calloway Teammate, Aaron Morris (6-5, 335, 5.2) (In Photo) is also the Rebels Starting Left Guard. Morris was also at the “Battle of the Trenches” Camp and he walked into the Dining Hall for Lunch, after missing the First Morning Practice. Morris was such an unbelievable-looking Physical Specimen, I thought he was an NFL Guy coming in to help in the Trenches Camp. In the Afternoon practice, Morris was a Super Freak and then was the Voted MVP of the Camp. All three other Offensive Linemen, including Bell, Langley, and Lang played for the East Team in the 2011 All-American Bowl Game Classic.