Tag:Matt Morin
Posted on: August 22, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: August 22, 2011 11:03 am
 

Ranking the Mountain West recruiting classes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

1. TCU

One could technically include this class in the Big East rankings but they top the Mountain West rankings for the last time. Quarterback Tyler Matthews has had a terrific summer and is a sharp signal-caller and the rest of the class is full of speed athletes like defensive back Daje Johnson.

2. Boise State

There seems to be more talent in this class, at this point, than other years thanks to the rise in the Broncos' profile. The staff has done well in talent-rich Florida, Texas and California and have a great quarterback incoming in Nick Patti.

3. San Diego State

The departure of head coach Brady Hoke last year means a new recruiting pitch for the Aztecs but they've managed to bring in some quality players. Quarterback Matt Morin is a strong-armed pick up for the program and they have several other underrated local talents halfway until Signing Day.

4. Air Force

It's always hard to judge service academy recruiting classes but at the moment, Air Force is winning the recruiting version of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. Running back Johnathan Johnson has BCS offers and the rest of the class is full of solid players.

5. Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV, Wyoming

These four school do not have any commitments for the class of 2012.

Posted on: August 15, 2011 6:18 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 6:19 pm
 

Recruiting Weekend Wrap

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Alliteration aside (see what I did there?), a few commitments happened over the weekend and because we'd like to catch you up sooner rather than later, here's an overview of who made a verbal pledge recently.

Tennessee went out of state for Washington, D.C. cornerback Kenneth Crawley. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder is the Vols' 14th commitment and is the first corner in the class.

"I had to get a feel for their coaching staff and how they coach,” Crawley told GVX247.com after attending Tennessee's camp. “When they were coaching me, I actually felt like I was a (Tennessee) player."

Another SEC program, Georgia, picked up a recruit - for the class of 2013. Newnan (Ga.) safety Tray Matthews is likely one of the top 20 prospects for next year's class and held 18 offers already.

"I've always wanted to come to Georgia," Matthews told UGASports.com. "I really didn't want to commit so early, but today when Mark Richt came up and put his hands around me, I just figured I'd better go ahead and do it."

Strong-armed Temecula (Calif.) quarterback Matt Morin committed to San Diego State. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound signal-caller is the ninth commitment and he'll likely be able to compete for the starting job as a freshman.

"The more and more I thought about it with my dad, we thought it was a great fit for me," Morin told Rivals. "It's close to home. They can come watch me. It's a great school and they're up-and-coming, so it's a great decision for us."

Solid pickup for Purdue, who snared a commitment from Celina (Texas) offensive lineman Jordan Roos. He held offers from Colorado and Louisville among others but will be headed to the Big Ten. He is also an elite shot putter.

"I just felt like it was time and there was no reason to wait any longer," Roos told GoldandBlack.com. "When you say the word 'Purdue,' everyone knows what it's all about, both academically and athletically. I'm just ready to go there and show what I've got."

Miami added a nice piece to their class of 2012 in Tampa (Fla.) defensive tackle Earl Moore. He held offers from Florida State, South Carolina and others

"I committed because, just being around the coaches, talking to them, I just felt real comfortable around them," Moore told CaneSport.com. "I was just talking (to Miami assistant Hurlie Brown) and I just let him know what I wanted to do. He was excited, real excited.

BYU added their 17th commitment to the class of 2012 in Richland (Wash.) defender Sawyer Powell. He was a participant in Nike's The Opening this summer and posted a top score during SPARQ testing.

"I just couldn't see myself playing for anyone else, ever," the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Powell told The Deseret News. "BYU has everything, and I've only wanted to play for them for as long as I can remember."

Posted on: July 5, 2011 10:52 am
 

Video: Badger Sports 7-on-7 Nationals

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Lots of FBS-caliber talent at the Badger Sports/New Level Athletics 7-on-7 National Championship this weekend. Here's plenty of highlights from some of the top matchups of the tournament.

Round robin play 

1925 vs. B2G 

1925: Troy Williams, Tyler Stewart, Jorday Payton, Bryce Treggs, Mike Davison, Chris Harper, Jaydon Mickens, Deontay Greenberry, Ishmael Adams, Randall Goforth, Richard Smith, Tee Shepard, Johnny Johnson, Shaq Thompson, Jeremiah Allison, Marc Phillipi.

B2G: Marc Evans, Matt Morin, Derrick Turner, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Trenton Irwin, Robert Lewis, Gabriel Marks, Michael Robert, Kenny Lawler, Kahlil Pettway, Shannon Edwards, Jeff Coprich, Devian Shelton, Jermaine Ervin, Seth Jacobs. 



1925 vs. Goon Squad

Goon Squad: Zeke Pike, Eddie Printz, Charless Davis, Gehrig Dieter, Elliot Fareber, Goose Cohorn, Jason Croom, Roger Lewis, Jeremy Graves, David Williams, Jesse James, Darrion Hutcherson, Ike Spearman, Deaysean Rippy, Steven Longa, Justin Combs, Jalen Mills, Brandon Simmons, Graham Gillispie, Edward Parris. 



Championship Game

1925 vs. Team Houston

Team Houston: Jordoan Scott, Kaylon Melancon, Shane McCarley, Javonte Collins, Ashton Bennett, Tavares Garner, Xazier Murry, Josh Martinez, Seth Lensford, Chris Dismutte, Richard Rose, Jared Ambres, Allan Scott, Selwyn Green.



Posted on: June 22, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 12:51 pm
 

Washington Nike Camp Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

SEATTLE – The 13th and final stop on the annual Nike Training Camp schedule made it's way back to the Northwest, and plenty of elite talent came out to Husky Stadium to compete. While these events are typically a time for the skill-position players to impress, the offensive linemen were actually the ones who stole the show.

Puyallup (Wash.) offensive tackle Joshua Garnett showed why he was a Top 100 prospect by flat-out dominating the opposition.

"I'm just happy to be out here, glad to get the MVP today,” Garnett said. “Definitely glad I didn't lose any one-on-ones, the only lineman that didn't lose any. Went over to the defensive side of the ball and won three of the four reps on defensive line, felt pretty good about that. Definitely showed my athleticism on both sides of the ball."

Garnett wasn't the only top offensive lineman in attendance. One of his good friends, Top 100 tackle Zach Banner, also participated. While the two play the same position and therefore didn't really go head-to-head, Garnett had no problem mentioning that he won the MVP award.

“Oh yeah, it felt good,” Garnett said. “He likes to talk a lot, he's a little louder than I am if you guys didn't notice. I'm definitely a little more calm, more mellow. I think it's good to come out and show people my talent. Just because I'm not 6-9, 350, I can still play and do the same exact stuff.

"When we go out in public, people say, 'Jeez, is that Zach Banner?' then we'll come out here in the drills and they'll see my athleticism. I'm not saying he's not, but he did allow some guys to go inside. Definitely I think it's good to come out here and show the difference."

The pair are so close that as recruiting has taken off, they've been able to talk and bounce ideas off each other. One idea many observers have floated is that the two are a package deal, and Garnett does not shy away from the fact that the two might end up at the same school.

“We're definitely going to be looking at the same schools, we're good friends,” he said. “We're going to look at the same schools just because of that chemistry we have together.

“Looking at Zach's list, there's going to be a couple schools that aren't going to be on (my list), probably about three or four of them. Me and Zach have different goals going to college. I'm really big into the football, don't get me wrong I want to play football, but I'm going to be looking into medical school and looking more at a pre-med program than I am a football power. I know I can can go to Florida or Miami or any SEC school, but I want to look at my life past if I played in the NFL.”

The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder is ranked 43rd in the country for the class of 2012 by MaxPreps. The four-star prospect is focused on life off the field as much as he is on it when it comes to recruiting. The biggest thing he's looking for is a program that allows him to succeed on the field while also preparing him for a career in medicine. Coincidentally, there was a top school across the street from where he was performing Sunday.

“U-Dub, obviously they have a great medical school,” Garnett said. “No. 1 medical school in the nation, so I'll definitely talk to some of the biology teachers and stuff. I'm definitely looking at U-Dub hard, and it helps them an awful lot having this medical school right next to it.

“Next week me and my dad are planning on going down to Stanford and Cal. My uncle lives close to Pasadena, in Upland, so we're going to go to UCLA and 'SC just to see those schools.”

Garnett holds more than 30 scholarship offers from powerhouses across the country, but at least two West Coast programs are sticking out as recruiting him the hardest.

“SC is coming after me hard, and so is Cal-Berkley, probably the hardest,” Garnett said.

Banner narrows list, impresses at Nike Camp

While Garnett is the athletic tackle that coaches look for, Lakewood (Wash.) offensive tackle Zach Banner is the mammoth left tackle prototype that has coaches drooling over his 6-foot-8, 320-pound frame. He performed well Sunday and left no doubts that he was an elite college recruit.

“I feel like I did good, I came out here and worked my tail off,” Banner said. “I got invited to The Opening and it's all a blessing. Me and Josh are going to go down there together. We've been working our tails off this whole spring and summer, and it's paying off for us. I know it's paying off for me, and coaches are seeing it.”

Like his good friend Garnett, Banner enjoys some healthy competition and felt the camp setting brought out the best in the both of them, even if he wasn't the one taking home the MVP award.

“Definitely. Even though we play the same position, we both come out to prove that we're the best,” Banner said. “It's always friendly competition, and we'll go back and laugh at it.”

On a strong year for West Coast linemen, Banner stands out literally and figuratively. Ranked 12th overall in the class of 2012, he has no problem answering who is the top offensive lineman in the state, much less the country.

“Yes, yes I do,” he said, confirming he was the state's top dog. “You think about it, me and Josh, we're best friends. If they were a defensive end or someone who played across from me, then it would be pure battle. Not only do we play the same position, but we work out together, we're good friends, we're getting recruited by the same person.

“We care about getting better, and I know, for sure, both of us got better today.”

On the recruiting front, Banner holds offers from just about every school in the country and has started the process of narrowing things down.

“I gave out my top nine earlier this week and in no particular order, it's U-Dub, Oregon, Notre Dame, Michigan, Alabama, USC, LSU, Florida State and Oklahoma,” he said. “I'm just narrowing it down as we go. I'm about to go into my senior year, so you have to do it sooner rather than later and I just felt like the nine, I'm not cutting anybody off.

“I'm going to narrow it down to a top five in December. I'll take all five of my official visits. No unofficials scheduled, but I do have two officials scheduled ... Michigan on Sept. 10 for the Notre Dame game and I'll be there all weekend for those two days. Then Notre Dame on Oct. 21 and 22 for the USC game. They're both good, and Michigan's game is the first night game there ever and the Notre Dame game will be the first night game in like 25 years. ”

Husky commits have friendly competition

Banner and Garnett were not the only players who had a healthy competition going. The two quarterbacks committed to the University of Washington, Denver signal caller Cyler Miles and Mercer Island (Wash.) quarterback Jeff Lindquist, both threw well this weekend as a preview of what's to come over the next four or five years for the Huskies.

“A little bit I guess,” Miles said when asked about the competition. “He's a cool guy, and I've got a lot of respect for him. He's a great quarterback, and I like him a lot. It's going to be fun. We're going to make each other better and wherever you go, there's going to be quarterbacks so it will be a good competition.”

“I met him today, so it was nice to get that relationship started,” Lindquist said. “In terms of competition, it was more of a friendly competition and trying to make each other better. There was no dirty mouthing or anything like that.”

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Miles enjoyed meeting Lindquist and several other future Washington teammates, who he ended up throwing to on a few occasions once he was warmed up.

“I felt I did all right, I was a little rusty at first,” he said. “It was good to interact with all the guys, a couple of whom have already committed just like me, so it was good to just hang with them. It was nice to see where I'm going to be at the next four years.”

The overcast skies forced the organizers to turn on the lights at Husky Stadium which was fine by Miles. The experience of playing on the turf and throwing into the end zone with big Washington lettering was a nice experience for him.

“It was nice, big old stadium with about 75,000 ...,” Miles trailed off, thinking about playing on the field in a few years. “It's great, though, to picture myself here next year and the year after that. It's exciting and something to look forward too.”

Miles pulled the trigger on a commitment to Washington just a few weeks ago in large part because of the relationship he developed with the coaching staff there.

“I just love the relationships the coaches have with the players,” he said. “It's a good fit for me because of the offense. I love the Pac-12 and the coaches, they were the ones most sincere with me, my mom and dad. I just felt like this fit me best.”

With two quarterbacks in the fold for 2012, both are continuing to spread the gospel about the Pac-12 program and trying to recruit a few others for the upcoming class.

“I'm trying to get Garrnett and Banner,” Miles said. “I'm just talking to them a little bit, at the end it's their choice. I'd love for all of them to come here and help build this program as it's rising up.”

“We'll probably get that coordinated,” Lindquist said of the two tackles. “We'll chip in here and there. I don't want to annoy them, but we'll get in a word here and there.”

Neal impresses once again

Scottsdale (Ariz.) athlete Davonte Neal is no stranger to the camp circuit. He's performed at both the LA and Stanford Nike Camps among others, and he surprisingly showed up in Seattle, hungry to improve his game.

"I felt I did good, but there's still some things I could work on,” Neal said. “I'm never satisfied, I'm always hungry and try and stay humble and keep working."

Neal's father, who handles all of his recruiting, showed up to watch his son in a UCLA sweatshirt on the chilly day. The younger Neal made sure to remind everybody that his dad was just trying to adjust to the weather, which was just a little bit different from the triple-digit heat at home.

"No, no, no, no indication at all, it's just to keep warm, that's all,” he said. “That's why he's wearing that and I'm wearing it and I have a Nike sweater on."

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound athlete showed off his athleticism all day and played at a high level at both receiver and corner. Schools are recruiting him at both, but Neal has no preference where he'll play at the next level.

"I feel comfortable at both positions," he said. "If they want to put me at receiver, I'll play receiver; if they put me at corner, I'll play corner. It doesn't matter, I just want to get on the field. Either/or, it doesn't matter to me. They're recruiting me as both. Some as receiver, some as corner. It just depends on where they want me to play."

Neal holds offers from more than 25 schools but plans on pushing all his official visits and a decision until after the football season.

"There is no list," he said. "There's only undecided. A lot of people are recruiting me heavily. They're all really pushing hard, but I just let my dad handle the recruiting and I just play football.

"I'm just relaxing until after my senior season. ... I'll take all five officials, but I'm just going to do them all after the season when I have a lot of free time."

Led by quarterback and Texas commit Connor Brewer, Neal is focused on helping Chaparral High, ranked No. 24 in the country by Maxpreps, to success yet again in his senior season.

"We're going to be good. Hopefully we'll get that three-peat,” Neal said. “That's going to be on our shirts."

Notes

-- One of the players who Neal frequently battled against -- on both sides of the ball -- was Lakewood (Wash.) athlete Cedric Dozier. The two would have one rep where Neal was the receiver and Dozier playing the press corner, and then they'd flip around. Their match-up was pretty even, and Dozier felt it helped him improve his all-around game.

“I did all right for the most part,” Dozier said. “I competed with a lot of good players from all over, and it really forced me to step up. There's competition and you've got to play. I didn't come here just to play no nobodies. You've got to come out here to play. There's people from all over that's really good, and that means you have to step up.”

Dozier said he's completely open as to what school he'll attend, but Cal and Washington are recruiting him the hardest. He'll likely make a decision after the season.

-- Washington commit Michael Rector made his pledge public just a few days before the camp and, it turns out, there was a reason for making a commitment earlier than he had originally planned.

“At first my parents and I wanted to wait until July or after school,” he said. “With a new receiver (Dwayne Washington) committing too, they were only going to take two, so we thought about it the day before school was out and thought it wasn't too soon to make the decision.”

Rector tried to hook up with the two Husky quarterbacks as much as he could while at the camp in order to start developing timing before any of them even stepped on campus for college.

“It was fun,” he said. “We got together whenever we could and ran routes and stuff. We like it a lot, and we're looking forward to it.”

The most impressive quarterback at the event was not the pair of commitments to Washington but rising junior Max Browne. He impressed earlier this year at the Stanford Elite 11 and recently picked up an offer from Clemson. He grabbed the MVP award and displayed a very strong arm, fluid motion and was able to make all the throws. Lefty Matt Morin, also a regular on the camp circuit, also impressed.

-- Everett (Wash.) running back Keivarae Russell took home running back MVP honors and showed the ability to get into and out of breaks very quickly. Seattle cornerback Jayshawn Jordan won the defensive back award and performed well, playing his man and the ball closely.

Posted on: May 16, 2011 1:28 am
 

Stanford Nike Camp Top Performers: Offense

Posted by Bryan Fischer

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Football is a sport played in the elements and the hundreds of top athletes from all over the West Coast got a dose of rain, wind and hail during Sunday's Nike Training Camp on the Stanford campus. Here's a few of the top performers on the offensive side of the ball:

Offensive linemen

One of the strongest groups at the camp, the offensive linemen might have welcomed the chance to play in a little bit of rain the most. It's a good year for linemen on the West Coast and this group was very reflective of that.

Erik Magnuson

Magnuson has a great frame and could fill out even more into a monster at left tackle. He's got a bit of a mean streak and was very competitive all day, especially in one-on-ones. He uses his hands well and keeps the defender in front of him very well. He was very flexible and probably could play either right or left tackle at the next level.

Kyle Murphy

Another big tackle prospect, Murphy showed why he's receiving attention from schools all over the country. He stays upright with the proper bend at the hips and had one of the better kick steps. He knew which angle the defender was taking during one-on-ones and adjusted well to stay between him and the quarterback. He can improve his footwork just a tad but it's already some of the best in the West.

Isaac Seumalo

Seumalo took home position group MVP and was the most technically sound and consistent offensive lineman at the camp from start to finish. You could tell his dad is a coach (at Oregon State) and how he was ready for just about anything thrown at him. He's got good size and can play either offense or defense because of his quickness. Seumalo looks like he could really be an asset run blocking with the way he gets after things and drives defenders off the ball.

Running backs

It wasn't a particularly strong group at running back with only a handful actually holding offers. Lewis, an SMU commitment, was the best of the best and nabbed the MVP award.

Robert Lewis

Seeing Lewis up close, it's hard to see him being a 15 carry a game back. At the same time, he's a huge threat to score with his combination of speed and quickness; he moves side-to-side extremely well. Lewis can catch the ball well and he can really excel at the next level in the slot or even as a multipurpose threat like Oregon State's James Rodgers.

Wide receivers

Probably the deepest group at the camp, the wide outs were very impressive despite the less than ideal pass catching weather. Arizona speedster Davonte Neal took home MVP honors and couldn't find a matchup out of the slot he didn't like.

Deontay Greenberry

Greenberry has seen his stock take off the past few months and he did nothing to slow it down at the Farm. He accelerates into top gear quicker than just about everybody and is very fluid while running his routes. It actually was difficult for the quarterbacks to throw to him because they often wouldn't anticipate him running so fast. Greenberry tended to round off his routes and not get into and out of his breaks however.

Jaydon Mickens

Mickens and Neal were the two guys out of the slot that just about everyone had trouble covering. Mickens has a pair of good hands and does a good job of taking off towards the end zone as soon as he's secured the ball. A bit on the small side, he's just too quick for anybody to really get a hand on him for that to matter.

Kenny Walker

Walker holds a host of offers and seems to be on the cusp of going from a good wide receiver to a great one. He's got good size and is similar to Greenberry in terms of speed and quickness. He caught just about everything thrown his way and was able to create separation with defensive backs on deep routes.

Ian Taubler

Taubler might have been the biggest player at the event that was not an offensive lineman. Despite being a big tight end, he showed he could move and has surprisingly decent speed. His routes are pretty sharp and he comes off the ball well and gets into and out of his breaks quickly. In terms of looks and game, he's somewhat similar to Nick O'Leary out of the 2011 class but not quite as big.

Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick

Cope-Fitzpatrick was stating his case for the top tight end in California and did a good job. He's built very well physically and likely can come in as a tight end that can be a threat in both the passing game and blocking for the run game. He's one of the faster tight ends but still needs to improve his route running a bit.

Quarterbacks

The quarterbacks got the spotlight on Friday and just about everyone - with the notable exception of Connor Brewer - returned for another go around at Stanford's practice fields. Once again Zach Kline made a big impression by showing off his big arm and took home position group MVP.

Zach Kline

There's not much for Kline to do at this point after shining two days in a row and collecting his second MVP award in as many Bay Area Nike Camps. The Cal commit has an arm that is one of the strongest in the class of 2012 and he can really put the ball wherever he wants to on the field. Kline has good fundamentals and his footwork is excellent. Overall, just he's very balanced from snap to throw and it wouldn't be surprising at all to see him play early.

Tanner Mangum

The BYU commit also followed up a good Elite 11 performance with what might have been an even sharper Nike Camp performance. He stands tall in the pocket and is very accurate at all three levels. He doesn't quite have the arm strength as Kline but it is still very good. At this point, it's hard to argue Magnum being the top prospect in Idaho based on what he's shown on the field and during the camp circuit.

Matt Morin

Morin was MVP of the LA Nike Camp and had another good showing up North. While he wasn't quite as good as he was earlier, Morin was still sharp and the lefty displayed one of the strongest arms on Sunday. He would go through spurts where he wasn't as accurate but most of the day he was spinning the ball very well.
Posted on: May 14, 2011 3:24 am
 

Stanford Elite 11 Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Some of the most talented quarterbacks from up and down the West Coast descended upon the beautiful campus of Stanford and in the process, turned the 2011 edition of the Bay Area Elite 11 into the circuit's best stop. While most of the quarterbacks in attendance were already committed to a school, several under the radar players managed to make an impression on observers as well.

The headliner of the group was Cal commitment Zach Kline. The 6-foot-2, 210 pound quarterback had a slow start to the day but finished strong and was easily one of the top performers.

"I actually started the camp out a little shaky," Kline said. "The coaches started to get on me and say I'm better than that. I started to put 100% focus into every throw and you have to do that on every single one at the next level. If you don't, that's when the picks and incompletions happen and that separates the Andrew Luck's from all the other guys. Once I started (focusing better), I had a great camp from then on."

One of the camp instructors was former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer. Although Kline won't get to work with Cal head coach Jeff Tedford - known in the past for quarterback development - for a few more months, being put through the paces by Dilfer at the camp was quite the learning experience.

"He's an intense guy but when he's yelling, it's for a reason," Kline said of Dilfer. "You kind of learn to listen to what he's saying and not how he's saying it. When you listen like that, that's how you get the best things out of when he's coaching you. You listen to what he has to say and then you use it. It helps leaps and bounds."

Normally the Bay Area Elite 11 is held at Cal's Memorial Stadium. Kline preformed well there last year and though he had to throw the ball around in enemy territory at rival Stanford, he did manage to see the bigger picture.

"Well, I'm happy that Cal is getting a new stadium for sure," he said with a smile. "But it's good having the camp here and doing well might mean having a good game in future years. Either way, both places have great facilities."

Kline displayed the strongest arm at the camp and can really throw the ball wherever he wants. He generally throws a tight spiral with plenty of force on the ball and should continue to be in contention for the top quarterback on the West Coast.

Rodrigues makes an impression

While there were plenty of commitments on hand, several of the quarterbacks who held offers but hadn't yet pulled the trigger wanted to show that they had what it takes to compete at the next level. One of the real surprises of the camp was how well Rocklin (Calif.) quarterback Jake Rodrigues threw and he might have ended up the top guy at the entire event as a result.

"I'm ecstatic right now," Rodrigues said after the camp. "I've been wanting to play college football since I was three years old and this is just another step in my long journey I have. It means the world to me."

Like most of the campers, the time spent learning from a Super Bowl-winning quarterback like Dilfer was a great opportunity for Rodrigues to learn from the best.

"It's surreal. You grow up watching him on TV and then you're talking to him and he's coaching you up," he said. "What more can you ask for as a quarterback? Coming out here and competing is the best thing you can do. They're all good out here and to have Dilfer watching us, analyzing us and getting in our faces like how it is in a real game situation; everything out here has been just phenomenal."

The 6-foot-2, 215 pound signal caller even managed to get a personal lesson and help correct a small flaw in his footwork.

"Coach Dilfer said work on my drive step," Rodrigues said. "When you're done with your three, five, seven-step drops, that last step I need to stay off the tips of my toes and really drive it into the arch of my foot. I'll get more power coming off and I got that out of it today which is great."

Rodrigues has a very quick release and compact throwing motion but can still spin the ball well. He already holds offers from Colorado, Michigan, Utah, Oregon State and Washington but is receiving attention from several other big time programs.

"Standing out I would say USC and Oregon but all of them are going hard right now," he said. "They're all doing a great job and I'm open to everything still. I don't even have a top five or top three, I'm just taking it all in. "

Planning on graduating in December, Rodrigues is hoping to settle on a school by July and then concentrate on his senior season. He's already visited Washington and Oregon and will attend USC's Rising Stars Camp later in the summer. A trip to unofficially visit Tennessee might also be in the cards.

Baker the touchdown maker

The coaches seemed to enjoy calling Fresno (Calif.) quarterback Mike Baker the nickname they bestowed upon him while going through drills, particularly the accuracy challenge.

"Mike Baker, the touchdown maker!" they'd shout once he hit a target.

The nickname was apt as the Central California star was among the best performers at the camp, showing off a strong arm and very good mobility.

"I did good, competed well," Baker said. "It's just about seeing what I can do to get better and competing. Then have some fun."

The 6-foot-3, 190 pound signal caller came to the camp excited to play against some of the best quarterbacks in the country but did have one thing he wanted to work on with the instructors.

"My footwork," he said. "Just get all the coaching they offer and there's a lot of good coaches out here. I just want to take their coaching points and try to make me a better QB."

With the Evaluation Period in full swing, several schools are stopping by Central High East but so far Baker holds just one scholarship offer.

"Just San Diego State right now," he said. "I'm waiting on a few other ones. USC wants me to go down to their camp. Just a lot of colleges want to see me live and in person on their campus before they offer.

"I'm going to the Arizona camp and will be at Washington. I want to go to North Carolina because they keep calling."

Receiving interest from several other out of state schools, Baker is focused on evaluating his future schools primarily on two factors. He already has a top five and if one of the schools on the list extends an offer, a commitment will likely follow it.

"I want to go somewhere where I know the coaches are going to stay and go to a pro-style (offense), because I know there's a better chance of going to the pros from there," he said. "If it's one of my top five, then I'm going to commit. If not, I'll let it go through my senior year and make my decision."

Baker is teammates with cornerback Tee Shepard, who is one of the top defensive backs in the nation. With so much attention on Central East High thanks to Shepard, Baker is benefiting from the added attention of having a top player in the same locker room.

"It's great because a lot of college come by to see him and they also know I go to school with him," he said. "They watch film so they call me or talk to me too. The people that are looking at him are basically looking at me too so that's nice."

What can Browne do for you?

The Elite 11 is always a chance to see some up and coming quarterbacks and the Bay Area stop was no exception. Class of 2013 product Max Browne was the top underclassman at the event and displayed a very strong arm and was accurate at all three levels.

"I felt I did good, my feet were real good," Browne said. "It was a good day and great weather."

The Sammamish (Wash.) native is the latest in a long line of top quarterbacks at Skyline High. A legitimate 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, Browne looked more like a rising senior throwing the football around the Farm.

"You can't look at it as an underclassman, everyone is here to compete," he said. "You just have to push yourself, whether the guy's a freshman or going to be a senior, it doesn't matter. Every throw, every drop back you do."

Browne already holds an offer from nearby Washington and is receiving a lot of interest from other Pac-12 schools early in the process.

"No other offers but I've had some contact from schools and some guys stop by my high school," he said. "I'll be making a few trips this June and maybe in July. I don't know where I want to go."

Despite receiving a lot of attention from college coaches at an early age, Browne is guided by a high school staff who has been through the process with a host of Division I players.

"It helps because not only have I seen it happen, but my coach knows what to expect," Browne said. "It's not a new process for him so he can help me out. With all of this stuff, I can ask questions and he can provide the answers."

Notes

- Recent Utah commitment Travis Wilson was the most physically imposing quarterback at the event. Every bit of 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds. He can spin the ball but does tend to drop his arm angle which is a bad habit.

- Austin Bray, the younger brother of Tennessee starting quarterback Tyler Bray, competed at the camp.

- Lefty Matt Morin out of Temecula (Calif.) followed up his MVP performance at the LA Nike Camp with another strong showing. Morin has a very strong arm and appears on the verge of receiving his first offer in the next few weeks.

- Washington commit Jeff Lindquist was another top thrower at the event. Although he doesn't have the strongest arm in the class, he throws a very accurate ball that still arrives in the receiver's hands quickly. His footwork and throwing motion are also very good.

- Scottsdale (Ariz.) quarterback Connor Brewer was very accurate throughout the three hour camp and though he doesn't have elite arm strength, you can see why Texas coaches made him their quarterback for this recruiting class. Brewer is really a passer and is similar to BYU quarterback Jake Heaps.

- Speaking of BYU, commit Tanner Mangum showed why he was the top prospect out of the state of Idaho with a good showing. He doesn't have prototypical size at about 6-foot-1 but he has a good arm and really drives off his back foot.

- Yet another commit who preformed well was Idaho State pledge and Moorpark (Calif.) quarterback Grant Rohach.

Posted on: April 4, 2011 2:07 am
Edited on: April 4, 2011 2:19 am
 

Los Angeles Nike Camp Recap

Posted by Bryan Fischer

LOS ANGELES -- Some of the best players on the West Coast descended upon the campus of USC for the annual Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp Sunday afternoon. Although there were several hundred skill position players that came out to leave their mark, it was Defensive Line MVP Aziz Shittu that literally and figuratively stood out from the crowd.

"I did pretty well, I just came out here to get better," Shittu said with a smile. "I keep trying to work on my speed and quickness on my get off."

The Atwater (Calif.) defensive tackle has seen his stock soar as of late. He recently picked up a scholarship offer from Utah to give him one from a majority of the Pac-12 schools and should be in line for a few more nationally based on his performance during the camp.

The barrel-chested Shittu was one of the most physically imposing defenders to participate in drills and displayed good speed and quickness off the line. Though many considered Monrovia (Calif.) defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy to be the favorite for the MVP award, there was little doubt that Shittu proved himself against the best of the best.

"It means a lot, there's great competition out here in Southern California so to come out and do well, it means a lot," Shittu said. "It shows I can play."

Encino (Calif.) tackle Jordan Simmons was named Offensive lineman MVP and was one of the biggest players at the camp. Though it took him awhile to get warmed up, the 6-foot-5, 320 pounder easily stood out as the best at the camp.

"I started off a little sluggish but I picked it up at the end," Simmons said. "I just came out here to compete against everybody else. It's great competition out here and I just wanted to go against it."

The highlight of the camp featured the two MVP's facing off against each other in one of the last reps of the day. Though the play lasted just three seconds, it was well worth the wait after Shittu used a very quick swim move to get around Simmons and sack the tackling dummy.

"I just read what he was doing," Shittu said. "I got a few hints from my teammates about what he was doing since they were on the O-line. So I tried to get a feel for what was going on."

The very humble Simmons, who played at both tackle and guard during the camp, had no problem giving credit where credit was due either.

"Yeah, he actually got me," Simmons admitted. "He gave me a swim move that was pretty good."

The Nike Camp offered a chance for many of the West's elite to compete against each other and test players who are almost always the best on the field wherever they go. The focus on competition at the camp also allowed players to improve their skils just as much as their stock among those that follow recruiting closely.

"It was fun and really intense, I liked a lot of the work we did today," McCarthy said. "Today I really wanted to learn some new stuff to take back to my school so I can work on it and get better. Today I wanted to get lower and really get off the ball."

Several other defensive linemen looked good on Sunday, including Riverside (Calif.) tackle A.J. Fanene and Fresno (Calif.) sophomore end Jaylen Ruiz. The offensive line also had plenty of standouts, including Anaheim (Calif.) guard Travis Averill, Las Vegas (Nev.) tackle Ronnie Stanley, Orange (Calif.) tackle John Lopez and Compton (Calif.) guard Dejon Allen.

Marks pulls in everything but MVP Award

Just a few weeks are impressing observers at the Las Vegas Badger Sports 7-on-7 tournament, Los Angeles(Calif.) wide receiver Gabriel Marks once again put on a show in the afternoon sun. Usually lining up against the top defensive backs, Marks pulled in impressive catch after impressive catch all day and was not afraid to be vocal about it either.

"Whenever you come to the the LA Nike Camp, you're going to get the best of the best," Marks said. "When you come out here, everybody is going to be here. All of the cameras will be out and if you mess up, everyone will see."

In a slight upset, Marks did not pull in the position MVP, which went to Long Beach (Calif.) wide out Randall Goforth. Marks won the award last year and though he didn't end up making it two MVPs in a row, he did end up making himself better.

"I just came out to hit it hard and learn stuff from some really great coaches," Marks said. "I felt I did alright. I had some things that I felt I could have done a little better on my releases but I caught a couple of deep balls."

"I really wanted to work on my speed. You can always work on your routes because you will never be perfect at running your routes. I want to get better so it's always something I'm working on."

Marks holds offers from SMU and Idaho and recently picked up one from Utah. In addition to Goforth and Marks, Bellflower (Calif.) wide out Bryce Treggs, Los Angeles (Calif.) receiver Kodi Whitfield, Lakewood (Calif.) receivers Darius Powe and Malik Gilmore and Inglewood (Calif.) receiver Derrick Woods all stood out at the position. San Diego (Calif.) tight end Taylor McNamara was tops at his position and solidified his status as the best at the position on the West Coast.

Morin grabs top quarterback honor

The Los Angeles Nike Camp in particular has always been known for it's quarterback play and was the launching pad for several highly recruited players such as USC's Matt Barkley and Boston College's Chase Rettig. Though the group this year was not as strong as in the past, it still had several good players able throw the ball with precision and Temecula (Calif.) quarterback Matt Morin ended up as position MVP after displaying a strong arm.

"I think it's such an honor," Morin said. "I didn't think I was going to get it but I guess I proved myself to the coaches with what I was able to do today. I'm really proud of myself and hopefully recruiting starts picking up in the next couple of months. I'm just honored to have this award right now."

Morin does not hold any offers yet but after impressing at the Nike Camp for the second straight year, the 6-foot-2 signal caller is starting to see the interest level from schools pick up.

"Right now, USC and Washington and Notre Dame are showing interest," he said. "Those are the top three right now and that's pretty solid. I took an unofficial visit to Notre Dame in November and fell in love with the school. My family is a bunch of Notre Dame fans so I know it's an awesome school. I don't know where else I'm going to visit but I'll figure it out in the next few months."

Scottsdale (Ariz.) quarterback and Texas commit Connor Brewer, Shane Dillon of El Cajon (Calif.) and San Clemente (Calif.) quarterback Travis Wilson also stood out as the top players at the most important position on the field. For Morin however, it was an adjustment to his mental game that allowed him to preform just a tad bit better than the others on the day.

"I was a little bit shy going into camps last year," he said. "I wanted to come out here and show everybody who I really am. You have to have confidence. That's what I'm working on and I think I honestly proved that today. My footwork can always get better and everything else too but being a quarterback, it's the mental part of the game you have to have work at."

Underclassman Hayden Rettig out of Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral High also impressed and looked a lot like his older brother, Chase, throwing the ball around.

 
 
 
 
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