Several of the West's best will be in Las Vegas this weekend for the fifth annual New Level Athletics Elite 7-on-7.
The tournament begins on Saturday, and continues on Sunday, and there will be plenty of talent on the field at UNLV, just as it has been the last four years, when some of the elite prospects across the country converged on Vegas.
Prospects from Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington will be amongst the talent on hand as well as the Goon Squad, with players from all over the country as well as a team from Canada this year.
The unique format features select teams. Some of those squads include two-time defending regional champions Team B2G (Los Angeles-based B2G Elite Football Program), the 2011 National Champions Team 1925 All-Stars (Los Angeles-based team), Team Gridiron Football Academy (Inland Empire-based GFA) and Team Pro-Sports USA (San Jose-based Pro-Sports USA), to go with other in-state teams from Washington and Utah and regional teams from places like Central California, the Inland Empire, Sacramento and San Diego.
It will be a 7-on-7 format, with teams playing in a championship and consolation bracket.
Here is the first look at a few of the familiar California teams who've participated the past few years, and found great success, in Vegas.
B2G is back to defend their title from 2010 and 2011, the lone two-time winner of the Las Vegas event, and they have three teams in the field, B2G 5-Stars, B2G Malice and B2G Scorch.
The headliners for Team B2G's 5-Stars includes a trio of Scout 100 members, all in the secondary, five-star safety Priest Willis out of Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza and Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) teammates Tahaan Goodman, a four-star safety and Chris Hawkins, a four-star cornerback. Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey cornerback Daquawn Brown, rounds out the vaunted secondary
One of the premier tight ends in the nation, Riverside (Calif.) J.W. North's Marcus Baugh is an offensive weapon for Team B2G that is in the Scout 300. Other B2G prospects to watch are quarterback Kelly Hilinski from Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame, receiver Drew Wolitarsky from Canyon Country (Calif.) and Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne receiver A.J. Richardson. Both Hilinski and Wolitarsky made the all-underclass team a year ago in Vegas. Freshman receiver Trent Irwin from Newhall (Calif.) Hart played in the tournament as an 8th grader last year and was selected to the all-Underclass team last year.
Players to watch from B2G Scorch include Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey receiver Delvon Hardaway and safety Jayme Otomewo, San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills cornerback Devin Holiday and Redlands (Calif.) East Valley safety Tre Wilcoxen.
Team 1925 won the NLA Elite 7on7 National Championships last July in Dallas, and while the majority of their squad signed with D-I programs, they bring back the most important part of a 7on7 team, their quarterback. Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne four-star passer Troy Williams led 1925 in Dallas and then won City Section Player of the Year honors after leading Narbonne to the City Section title, so he's on a hot streak of winning major titles. He's the only familiar face offensively, with sophomore cornerback Malik Cyphers from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian.
With Bryce Treggs and Jordan Payton gone this year, 1925 will turn to a slew of four-star receivers to take their place. The headliner there is Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany's Steven Mitchell, a top 100 prospect by Scout.com and a four-star. A similar receiver to Treggs, he'll play opposite a similar receiver to Payton, and a teammate of his at Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, Francis Owusu, another four-star receiver. The third four-star receiver is John Ross from Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan. Another receiver who's gotten Pac-12 offers is Xavier Shepard from Lakewood (Calif.). Defensively, Encino (Calif.) Crespi safety Tyler Foreman is one of the standouts as is teammate and fellow safety Brandon Arnold, and sophomore Dwight Williams, a linebacker from Gardena (Calif.) Serra is another to watch.
DB Guru from Fresno will rival B2G for one of the best secondary's in the event, with a pair of Scout 300 defensive backs, Fresno (Calif.) Central safety Hatari Byrd and cornerback L.J. Moore. Offensively, sophomore Michiah Grimes, also from Fresno (Calif.) Central, will be the featured receiver for Fresno (Calif.) Edison quarterback Khari McGee.
Gridiron Football Academy finished in the semifinals two years ago and in the quarterfinals a year ago and they will again have a strong team in Vegas, led by Scout 100 receiver Sebastian LaRue from Santa Monica (Calif.), who jumped on the scene here a year ago. He'll be joined at receiver by La Mesa (Calif.) Helix's Kendal Keys and sophomore receiver Jeremy McNichols from Lakewood (Calif.). Quarterback Alek Torgeson from Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison and Redlands (Calif.) Citrus Valley quarterback Dalton Douglas will split the quarterback duties. Defensively, three-star safety Marcus Stamps from Los Angeles (Calif.) Jefferson, who won Co-MVP honors at the GFA Passing Tournament earlier this month, will anchor the secondary.
The Cathedral team has been strong historically, especially two-years ago when they won their "Pool of Death" before falling short in the playoffs. Their quarterback that year was a freshman Hayden Rettig, who will be back to quarterback this year as a Scout 300 member and a junior. His go-to receiver is D'Amari Scott, who is his teammate at Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral.
Team Pro-Sports comes down from the Silicon Valley and they have one of the top sophomore quarterbacks in the West, San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep's K.J. Carta-Samuels as well as two-way prospect Kenneth Olugbode.