All-Poly Camp Day One

The All-Poly Camp in Utah was in full swing Thursday with a bevy of coaches representing the MWC, Pac-10, WAC, junior colleges and Division II colleges. Many future college player hopefuls – some already on the recruiting radar, while others trying to make their case – were able to receive instruction.

Day one of the All-Poly Camp fielded prospects suited up in helmets and high school jerseys and receiving training and instruction in technique drills. The full pads and contact will come later, providing a better look at what the prospects can do in a game setting.

Until then, lets take a look at those athletes present during day one that performed well in position drills.

Defensive Line

Defensive linemen groups were coordinated by BYU defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi, who supervised the groups in various stages of technique development. Coaches John Pease and Jason Ah You of Utah helped with techniques designed to shed a block and burst through tackles. Footwork and hand placement in a driving tackle form were key factors the coaches were looking at.

Those that stood out in this drill were 6-foot-2-inch, 270-pound Taniela Tupou (Washington commit), 6-foot-2-inch, 260-pound Jarrett Finau (BYU recruit) and 6-foot-3-inch, 270-pound Lowell Lotulelei (offered by Utah). Lotulelei is the younger brother of former BYU commit Star Lotulelei of Bingham High School.

On Friday when the more physical aspect of the camp begins, there will be a better look at who excels at the fight in the trenches.

Offensive Line

There were two offensive linemen that stood out in the first evaluation process: 6-foot-6-inch, 280-pound Ryker Mathews and 6-foot-4-inch, 280-pound Nua Poteki.

Mathews received a lot of attention from All-Poly Camp coaches in drills designed to distinguish when and how to use their hands in outside and bull rushes. Mathews was one of the top performers, executing the drill very well.

Poteki, like Mathews, passes the eye test. He moves well for his size and is an intriguing prospect. More information on Poteki will come out as the evaluation process continues.

Running Backs

Coaches Ilaisa Tuiaki and Chad Kauhaahaa of Utah State conducted running back drills, with Coach Lance Anderson of Stanford overseeing the drills. There weren't any star-studded names like in years past, but there were three running backs that stood out during Thursday's drills.

The first was Jacob Siwicki, a chiseled 5-foot-11-inch, 190-pound running back from DeMatha High School in the state of Maryland. Siwicki showed a good burst of speed. He is loose in the hips and is able to cut and change direction rather well and then burst out of the cut, getting downfield quickly.

The most consistent running back in Thursday's drills was 5-foot-11-inch, 180-pound Erik Takanaki. Takanaki is a local Utah prospect from West High School and performed the various drills with the fewest mental mistakes. He has a descent burst of speed and glides when running the ball.

The third running back that stood out is another local prospect from Utah's American Fork High School. Kaiden Worthington is a 5-foot-10-inch, 180-pound running back that is receiving some attention from BYU, Utah and Utah State. Like Takanaki, Worthington was also consistent in his drill performance and ran with quick feet and loose hips.

Linebackers

There were two linebackers that stood out in particular and performed well in Thursday's activities. One was K.J. Filiaga of Bingham High School. Filiaga is the younger brother of former BYU and Utah player – and Utah strong man champion – Isley Filiaga. K.J. showed good technique and instinct at the outside linebacker position.

The other was Trajen Pili, who was evaluated and reported on by this reporter as one that stood out during the BYU Nike Camp this week. A cousin of BYU fullback Jo Jo Pili, who is preparing to serve a mission to Alabama, Trajen is only a sophomore from Las Vegas. Trajen too is LDS, and plays older than a typical sophomore. He has good size and speed and will become a Division I athlete in the near future. It's only a matter of time.

Sideline Notes

BYU Nike Camp linebacker MVP Adam Pulsipher was offered a scholarship following the camp by BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. Pulsipher had checked out of the camp and is now heading down to Sacramento for a few more camps with his mother and two younger brothers.

Pulsipher comes in at about 6 feet 3 inches and 220 pounds, and is a big, physical inside linebacker who was strong in all areas at the Nike Camp at BYU. Adam dominated in the pass rush drills and was the top cover linebacker.

Pulsipher also played outside linebacker for the Prodigy Athletes seven-on-seven team at the AIGA Memorial Day event. He was on the same team as Jeremy Castro and Su'a Cravens. Both received offers by UCLA shortly after the event. The three linebackers played on a defense that allowed the least amount of points and had the most interceptions of the tournament, a tournament that turned out the top offensive threats in California.

The schools that have offered Pulsipher are BYU, New Mexico State, Yale and Buffalo, and if he continues to perform well like he did at the Nike Camp, he could receive more offers soon. BYU is Pulsipher's "dream school," and once he returns home, the family will discuss it together, pray about it and then make a decision.


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