Tons of talent at Nike Camp

PALO ALTO--The Nike NoCal Combine once again proved to be one of the premier showcases for high school football talent. With 500 registered players and over 250 walk-ups, there were almost too many good athletes to keep track of.

While the bulk of the players were from Northern California, a number of players paid their own way to be noticed by coaches and recruiting experts. Athletes came from the far corners of the United States to be a part of the event. There were athletes from as far as Alaska, Virginia, Massachusetts and Louisiana.

"I've never seen so many players at one of these," said one observer.

Many onlookers were impressed with the level of talent on the Stanford campus. With a number of players coming up from Los Angeles and many more from out of state, there was no lack of talent to keep an eye on.

"This is the place to be," remarked one coach. "I can't believe the talent here."

The quarterback position seemed loaded and was one of the most watched positions at the camp. QB guru Bob Johnson had a lot of talent to work with. A large contingent of coaches were on hand to watch the young signal callers go through the paces.

Blue Chippers Kyle Wright, T.C. Ostrander and Johnny DuRocher were among the big names showcasing their wares. The trio did nothing to tarnish their reputations, but they weren't the only QB's to show what they have. Tall, athletic Denis Dixon displayed a very strong arm, as well as quick feet. The quarterback from San Leandro, Calif. has the entire Pac-10 knocking on his door.

Long Beach Poly's Leon Jackson showcased nice zip on his passes as well as nice touch. He has been offered by Kansas and Washington State, but a number of Pac-10 teams are in contact with him.

Two players turned a lot of heads, not only with their great athleticism and quickness, but with the fact that they are identical twins. Brandon and Ryan Ting formed a potent passing combo, causing many onlookers to do a double take. They are considered strong USC leans.

A number of the camp participants were less than pleased with their times and measurements. Despite some lower than expected numbers, no one seemed disappointed in the quality of the athletes at the camp. Coaches and athletes were constantly griping that the numbers were lower than what they had tested on their own. Even non-biased observers noted that the 40-yard dash times appeared to be a bit slow.

The numbers were less important than what the players did in drills. In fact the college coaches were not given a copy of the vitals until after the camp was over. The coaches were there to see how the players responded to the coaching and how they looked in the drills.

NOTES:
*All of the Pac-10 schools were well represented. Coaches from Notre Dame, Colorado, Utah, BYU, Boise State, Montana, Fresno, Northwestern and Nevada were among those represented.
*Arizona had five coaches present, including John Mackovic, Rob Ianello, Marty Long, Scott Pelleur and Rick Dykes.
*Former Arizona assistant Bobby Kennedy was there and took some time to speak with some of the Wildcat coaches.
*Arizona basketball recruit DeMarcus Nelson was in attendance. Nelson is also a stellar quarterback prospect and appears to be a great sophomore to keep an eye on.

Cat Tracks interviewed a number of players and will put the interviews up over the course of the next few days.

{Brad can be reached via e-mail at heymtymte@cs..com}

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