Utah athletes attend Mountain West Elite Camp

About 150 athletes from the state of Utah, some of whom are considered the top players in the state by Scout, gathered together last week at the Mountain West Elite Camp to receive personal development from experienced instructors. The camp simulated the practice structure found at major Division I colleges.

Mountain West Elite Camp co-founder Riley Jensen and All-Poly Sports founder Alema Te'o teamed up to put on an eight full days worth of skill development to be taught by more than 100 years worth of combined coaching and NFL experience.

"We get a lot of one-on-one support from the coaches and the NFL players that coach here," said Salem Hills High School receiver and defensive back Zack Zobell. "It's great because they really focus in on every person here and teach you what you're doing right or wrong."

The camp was organized and broken down into skill positions to be taught by various NFL players such as Edwin Mulitalo, who oversaw both the offensive and defensive lines. Hand placement, footwork and body positioning were part of the focus as each camp participant was evaluated, corrected and taught the latest techniques.

"I learned at the camp that you have to work as hard as you can and always listen to the coaches because they know what they're talking about," said Zobell. "There was a lot of big competition that I otherwise wouldn't have received with my own team. It also allowed me to see where I'm at as an athlete and learn where I need to get to."

Coming in at 5 feet 10 inches and 175 pounds, Zobell was one of four camp MVPs for last Friday's session. Another was 6-foot-1-inch, 180-pound freshman Riley Welch of American Fork High School, who plays tight end and middle linebacker.

"My coaches told me to go hard and be physical and that's what I did," said Welch, who will be one to watch in the near future. "There's a lot of good competition and it's all about getting better and there's a lot of one-on-one focus from the coaches. It's just a great camp and a lot of great coaches here."

The camp had some of the more well-known Utah high school athletes being looked at by colleges in and out of the state. Some of the more notable camp participants have received offers or are on the verge of receiving offers.

Receiver Tyler Fox

Coming out of Layton High School, 5-foot-11-inch, 165-pound wide receiver Tyler Fox was recruited by Utah, Tulsa and Weber State, but has committed to play wide receiver for the Aggies of Utah State.

Safety Kavika Fonua

From Syracuse High School, 5-foot-10-inch, 175-pound Kavika Fonua had a field day at the camp. Fonua is rated the No. 60 safety prospect nationally in his class. He was a defensive MVP at the camp, having recorded two interceptions during the 7-on-7 portion of the camp. He has good awareness and good coverage skills.

"It was a good day for me," Fonua said. "I was able to get the two interceptions and was named one of the camp's MVPs, which was a nice thing. I guess I just happened to be at the right place at the right time."

Fonua is being recruited by BYU, Utah and Utah State and has been to their campuses for unofficial visits.

"I've been down to BYU's campus quite a bit and they always want me to come down during their practices," he said. "Coach Howell is the one that is recruiting me. I was hoping they would have given me the offer last year, but they're telling me that I have to be dedicated and to keep working hard. It's all good and I'm just staying patient. BYU is a great defense and a defense I would like to be a part of.

"Utah is just kind of saying the same things. They just told me to keep doing what I'm doing."

Defensive end Korey Rush

The 6-foot-3-inch, 235-pound Rush from East High School has scholarship offers from Arizona State, Idaho, Mississippi and Weber State.

Corner Jonah Trinnaman

American Fork's Jonah Trinnaman, in addition to participating in the camp, was also the SPARQ MVP at the Los Angeles NFTC after recording the highest score. Trinnaman is being looked at by BYU, UNLV, Utah, Utah State and Harvard.

Receiver Alec Wing

At 6 feet 3 inches and 160 pounds, Wing – who was invited to paticipate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the U.S. Army National Combine – represented Park City High School at the Mountain West Elite Camp. Wing is being recruited by Utah, Utah State and San Diego State.

Quarterback Baron Gajkowski

Gajkowski (6 feet 3 inches and 205 pounds) transferred to Lone Peak from Jordan High School and was the starting quarterback last season. He was an all-state honorable mention and was named first-team all-region.

Safety Braxton Gunther

From the 2016 class, Braxton Gunther represented Woods Cross High School. Gunther is one of the early standout prospects in the state of Utah and is already on the radar of BYU and Utah. He's quick and started as a freshman for his team.

Running back Ray Hale

From Clearfield High School, 5-foot-10-inch, 170-pound Ray Hale showed quick feet and very good speed and was one of the better running backs at the camp in the 7-on-7 competition. He needs to work on his catching skills a little more, and that was quickly identified by the camp coaches. Hale, who is African American, is currently a sophomore and also plays cornerback.

Middle linebacker Robert Ercanbrack

Coming in at around 6-2, 230-pounds, Sky View High School's Robert Ercanbrack turned in a good day. Ercanbrack covered the field nicely during the 7-on7 competition as one of the better linebackers on the day. He and Kavika Fonua were two of the more imposing players on the field during team competition.

"There's a lot of competition out here," said Fonua. "When you come out here you're facing a lot of the best players in the state of Utah. Then you have some really good coaches that help you focus in on what you need to improve on. It's a good experience overall."

Top performances by players at the Mountain West Elite Camp could lead to greater recognition and a personal invitation to the All-Poly Camp held in June, as well as an invitation to a Nike SPARQ training combine to be held in the state of Utah.

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