Talent on display at Elite Camp

There was a good turnout for the Wildcat Elite Camp on Sunday. A host of talented players were on hand for one-on-one instruction from the Wildcat staff and a chance to see the campus.

The talent was good, as it was last year. A year ago there may have been a few more elite players, but this class was at least equal in the sheer number of quality players. There were more linemen a year ago, but the quarterback and linebacker crop looked better this year.

Arguably the most important player at the camp was quarterback Tyler Lyon. Lyon was one of only three passers who had been offered a scholarship. That morning Salt Lake prospect Alex Cate announced he would attend LSU. Before that Lyon and Cate were the top-two passers that Cats wanted. Now Lyon is the top quarterback prospect the Arizona staff is pursuing.

Cate made an unofficial visit to Tucson over the weekend. Despite a good trip, LSU prevailed for his services. Lyon is a tall, strong armed passer. He has good footwork and can make all the throws needed by a player in Mike Canales' system. He will visit Tempe after leaving Tucson and admits the Cats and the Devils are his two top programs. He said a decision may come very soon.

While Lyon was clearly the best passer at the camp, he wasn't the only good looking quarterback in attendance. Michael Coughlin of Mira Mesa High School and Colorado's Kelsey Sokolosky were probably the next best prospects. Neither hurt themselves with their performance and are guys to keep an eye on.

Two Arizona players looked good. Erik Archuleta was solid. He has lost almost 10 pounds since the spring and throws a good ball. Jon Tobin of Glendale Cactus HS has a cannon arm, but has a lot of mechanical flaws. He can throw the ball a mile, but needs some work before he's a legit target.

Colin Baxter was the best lineman at the camp. He's ideally suited to play guard and could be a decent center. He's strong and quick off the ball. He's also a tough player with a slight mean streak. Cal and Arizona are his leaders, with the Cats holding an edge. He says that he will wait a little while but offensive line coach Eric Wolford was giving him a lot of attention and has been a very good salesman when he gets linemen on campus. Last year he had Daniel Borg, Eben Brittain and Jordan Lowe at the summer camp and all three committed before the end of the summer, with Brittain committing before leaving town.

Baxter was the best offensive lineman, but not by much. Corey Elmore is a solid player and both he and his twin brother Ricky have written offers from the Cats. Corey is a 6-5 lineman who is athletic. He's only 265 pounds, but has a frame that can handle more weight.

Ricky is a defensive lineman who is lean and athletic. He moves very well and was a constant hustler.

The two want to be a package deal and so far only Arizona, Utah and Wyoming have offered both. They want to see who else offers before they pull the trigger, but both say Arizona will be in the mix.

Although he was not there, it appears as if Salpointe junior-to-be Kris O'Dowd was offered a verbal offer from the Wildcats before he left the big man camp on Saturday. He admits that the Wildcats are the team he rooted for as a kid, but that does not mean he is a sure thing. He will probably be the top player in the state for the 2007 class and could be an elite national prospect.

Tucsonan Brooks Reed has a chance to be the top player in the state this year. The big fullback is very versatile and intriguing. He's at least 6-3 and can move. The camp had no contact, but we hear he can lay the wood.

His teammate Glendon Bolasky had to sit out the camp due to a calf injury, but was front and center for all of the drills. Bolasky is put together and could be one heck of a safety.

Shareece Wright lives up to the hype. He is a player that can play either way, but loves the defensive side of the ball. He has nice size and decent speed. Both of the Stoops brothers took interest in the talented player.

Wright's teammate James Smith was on hand as well. He is a solid defensive back prospect as well.

Tight End John Reece is not real big, but he can move and is skilled. He needs to add weight to become a big time prospect, but has the other skills. He likes Arizona but is a ways off from any type of decision.

Phoenix-North linebacker Cody Dowd has some skills. He has good instincts and can hit, but he didn't look overly fast at the camp. He has a verbal offer from ASU, but the Cats seem to be taking a wait and see attitude.

Fred Gerrin is a linebacker from Texas that a lot of folks have not heard about. They will. He played very well at the camp and the Cats seem to be an early favorite. Like many others he seems to be waiting to pull the trigger.

Tyler Porras had the fastest 40 time at the camp and may have been the best athlete. He is a bit on the thin side after competing as a sprinter during the track season, but he can fly. He is not real instinctual but he did have a nice pick in 7-on-7 drills. He does not have an Arizona offer, but said that the Cats are his favorites. He was getting a lot of coaching from Mike Stoops and seemed to take very well to the coaching. His father played college football for Washington and played in the CFL and NFL.

E-mail Brad at bradallis@msn.com


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