July 8, 2010
Coney another QB on the radar
It's not often that a rising high school junior gets to take a solo trip to Hawaii.
Then again, not everybody that age can throw a football like Bennie Coney, who spent last weekend at the Steve Clarkson Maui Super Seven event for some of the nation's top quarterback prospects.
Coney joined an elite group of players that included four-star prospects Jerrard Randall, Brett Hundley, Max Wittek, Jacoby Brissett and Kyle Boehm. The other camper was Jeff Lindquist, a rising junior from Mercer Island, Wash.
During the camp Coney received instruction from quarterback guru Steve Clarkson and former Notre Dame and San Francisco 49ers star Joe Montana.
"I'm a shotgun quarterback in the spread and I'm so used to standing up when I get the ball," Coney said. "They told me to keep my shoulders low and turn instead of standing straight up to get into my drops. They taught me how to keep all my weight on my back leg and turn through so my passes can be stronger and faster than what they are. They just taught me a lot."
The trip to Hawaii might be the highlight of a summer that's almost in the books. Coney will start practice at Plant City High School in Plant City, Fla., at the beginning of August.
Before that he plans to attend camp at Auburn, which is one of his main verbal scholarship offers. Coney claims offers Purdue, Texas Tech, Michigan, Michigan State, Wake Forest, South Carolina, Minnesota and South Florida. Meanwhile, Notre Dame and USC have shown strong interest.
Notre Dame has a connection to Coney via Plant City teammate Jordan Prestwood, who committed to the Irish in the beginning of April.
Prestwood has filled Coney in on what things are like in South Bend.
"I don't know a lot about it but Jordan has told me about it," Coney said. "He said they have one of the best facilities. He said the school is just very nice. He said the coaches are very nice. I met one of them, coach (Tony) Alford. He was very nice."
Alford made the trek to Plant City during the spring not only to keep tabs on Prestwood but to evaluate Coney. The 6-foot-1, 198-pound prospect had hoped to make it to Notre Dame's camp to throw for the coaching staff again but it conflicted with Hawaii.
"They wanted me to go to their camp but I didn't go because if I went there I probably would've missed the Hawaii trip because I would've been so tired," Coney said. "So I didn't go but they came down and told me they want to see me some more. They want to see me throw the ball more. At practice they saw me throw. They just said they'd keep a good eye on me."
An unofficial visit during the fall isn't out of the question, Coney said, as he hopes to check out many of the programs courting him before narrowing things down to a top five around this time next year.
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