Cougar Camp Day One

Prep football players from New York to Hawaii made their way to Provo this week to work out in front of Cougar coaches and sharpen their skills. Monday marked the first day of this week's padded camp, which saw immediate and sometimes intense hitting.

It was a sea of various players from schools all over the country on the Cougar intramural fields Monday as the first day of padded camp commenced. It was an opportunity to work out with the Cougar coaching staff along with invited coaches from throughout the country.

Bingham Represents

The most recognizable set of players who were in attendance for today's camp were the now-familiar faces of several members of the Bingham football team. Austin Holt led the charge and was accompanied by teammates Iona Pritchard and Sam Langi, among others. All showed well on the initial day of workouts.

The committed Holt worked extensively with offensive coordinator and inside receivers coach Robert Anae, and saw a full day of workouts. Working out at camps isn't all that common for committed prep players, but Holt has seemingly made the decision to work on his game and take full advantage of the workouts offered.

Bruner Balling

Fellow commit Jerry Bruner was also in attendance, working out in full pads. Bruner is the 6-foot-3-inch, 225-pound RB/LB prospect from Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Washington. Bruner committed to sign a letter of intent with BYU this past April.

During the first afternoon drill, Bruner went up against highly recruited linebacker Paipai Falemalu a couple of times, along with running some sets with Holt. As both Bruner and Falemalu are two of the top prospects at camp, any casual observer could see the level of intensity kicked up a notch during two-on-two full-contact drills, which involve a running back, lead blocker and two defenders.

On one occasion Falemalu layed one of the hardest hits of the day on Bruner as he went up to stick the Evergreen running back as he came off the block. The hit made a loud pop, although Bruner didn't give any ground, leading to both players falling literally sideways on the drill.

Host of Hawaiians

Joining Falemalu were cousins Shiloah and Manti Te'o. Both Te'os did not suit up for the days activities, but were anxious observers. Ever the competitor, Manti Te'o expressed to his father on more than one occasion that he wished he would have suited up and inquired if he could suit up for tomorrow.

Joining the Kahuku players were a set of players from Kamahemeha High School. A player of note from Kamahemeha High was the younger brother of Cougar signee Kaneakua Friel, but he isn't much of a younger brother as he's well over 250 pounds as a junior-to-be this coming year.

Trinity Represents

Texas prep powerhouse Trinity High School was another school that was as well represented as any high school in attendance. A couple of players of note included TE/DE prospect Tapa Taumeopaii, along with a very young and excited prospect by the name of Ross Apo.

Apo is a 6-foot-2-inch wide receiver prospect who saw reps while catching some passes for Trinity last season. The remarkable aspect of that is that Apo was merely a freshman while getting those reps for one of the top high school varsity squads in the country.

Apo hardly looked his age, running some of the best routes of the camp during 7-on-7 drills, which concluded the day's activities. He showed good route-running skills, coupled with above-average speed for a prospect of his stature, and also demonstrated an amazing leaping ability.

Apo pretty much stole the show for this observer during the first day of drills. Throughout the day Apo was making play after play as he proved unstoppable during most reps. It was really difficult to imagine that this phenomenal athlete was a mere 15 years old, as he looked as good as any receiver prospect in attendance.

Apo is LDS and likes BYU a lot according to sources. BYU is the only camp Apo has attended and we'll be anxious to see how he develops from here on out, as he should prove to be a huge target for the Cougar coaching staff once 2010 arrive. Although he played for Trinity this past season, Apo is looking to transfer to a more pass-happy program.

TBS will be in attendance Tuesday and will report on more from the camp.


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