Oakland NFTC: Breaking Down the LBs

A look at the top linebacker performers at the Oakland Nike Football Training Camp, where Tulare (Calif.) Mission Oaks

Tulare (Calif.) Mission Oak linebacker Kevin Palma was the runaway winner of the LB MVP honors at the Oakland NFTC.

And had their been an overall camp MVP, Palma would have probably ran away with that too.

After narrowly missing the LB MVP award at the SoCal NFTC, Palma kicked it into overdrive for the Oakland NFTC, and from beginning to end, was not only the best linebacker there, but may have been the best player there, period.

Whether it was blowing by running backs in the pass rushing drills (not unlike what he did at Cerritos last month), breaking up passes in the skelly or his quick pursuit to the ball-carrier in pursuit drills, Palma was stellar in every facet. 

While he's only got three offers for now, Palma won't be in single digits for long- he's one of the best linebackers we've seen this entire spring, and we think he's definitely a double-digit offer guy.

Concord (Calif.) De La Salle had the best linebacker corps in the West last year, if not the country, and even with Michael Barton graduating, the Spartans should be in good hands, so it's no surprise that their three returning linebackers all had good days across the board.

Michael Hutchings is the most touted and the most heavily recruited of the bunch but D.J. Moffitt, who only has one offer, had the best day on Sunday.  He's a good athlete, with a lot of room to add weight and he could even play safety in college.  The coaches raved about his aggressiveness.

Hutchings was solid throughout and took a bunch of reps.  Justin Davis did get the best of him in a LB/RB pass-rushing drill, but it was pretty entertaining to watch the two five-stars go at it.

Victor Egu, the third Spartan linebacker is really well put together, and could play any of the linebacker spots, with some schools liking him in the middle and some on the outside.

One of the fastest rising backers in the West this spring has been Grass Valley (Calif.) Nevada Union's Tanner Vallejo was solid all day and has good size and looks like a pure middle linebacker.  He's approaching double-digit offers.

Like Palma, a player who's performed well every time we've seen him this spring is Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton linebacker Uaea Masina.  The three-star has offers from Colorado and Utah, but we think as more teams see him playing linebacker this fall (most of his film is at running back), his offer sheet will increase.

Santa Rosa (Calif.) Cardinal Newman's Philip Wright drew high marks from the linebacker coaches, largely because of his motor and effort all day.  The coaches noted his speed and agility.  Granite Bay (Calif.) linebacker Beau Hershberger is another one who drew praise from the coaches because of his aggressiveness and motor.

Other linebackers who did well were Concord (Calif.) backer Uaisele Manoa, Shingle Springs (Calif.) Ponderosa's Jeff Camilli and Tamalpais (Calif.) backer Jon Finkelstein.

National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins contributed to this report.

Brandon is in his eighth year with Scout.com and FOXSportsNext, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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