There was a ton of movement in the just released Scout 300 and when you haven’t updated rankings since last summer, that’s understandable. In total, 13 players jumped in to the Scout 300 (101-300) who were either not ranked at all or were outside the 300.
Here’s a look at what players were the biggest risers and what players we expect to jump in to the Scout 300 at some point later this summer.
New Prospects In Scout 300
Temecula (Calif.) Great Oak linebacker Jack Lamb has had a tremendous off-season and the film backs up what you see in person. In fact, in person, Lamb is even more impressive as it’s rare to see a player with his size, athleticism, toughness and versatility.
He’s a naturally aggressive player but always under control, is extremely strong in coverage and shows the ability to play inside or outside at the next level. Not only was Lamb not ranked as a junior, we had him listed with the tight ends. He now jumps in to the Scout 300 at No. 119 and rising fast.
Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco defensive back Stephan Blaylock is on the very short list of top safeties in the West region. Blaylock jumps in to the Scout 300 at No. 127 and you can expect he’ll continue to rise up the charts all summer.
Blaylock brings a ton of versatility to the safety position. He has a lot of range and can cover hash to hash, is physical in run support, an excellent open field tackler and was the Braves best defensive player in multiple games last season.
Nebraska, Oregon and UCLA are the early leaders for Blaylock.
Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O’Dowd athlete Jevon Holland is a two-way standout and could end up at safety or receiver in college. We originally had Holland slotted with the receivers until we saw his safety film and now feel he’s a tremendous talent on both sides of the ball.
Holland is a high level athlete with good speed and body control. He can make plays down the field as a receiver but safety might be where his ceiling is highest. He can cover a lot of ground, has good ball skills and has the necessary toughness to play on the defensive side of the ball. Cal, Notre Dame, Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington are just a few schools involved here.
Salt Lake City (Calif.) Olympus defensive end Cameron Latu jumps in to the Scout 300 at No. 135 and has had a great off-season. He earned an invite to The Opening Finals earlier in the month and has a lot of tools that project well to the next level.
Latu has a college body right now with plenty of room for growth. He’s a physical player, quick off the edge and will be able to fit in any defensive front. He can rush the passer, play the run and has a great motor to him as well. The former BYU commit is still looking at the Cougs but also mentions Alabama, Oregon, Notre Dame, USC, Utah and Washington.
San Marcos (Calif.) wide out Kyle Philips checks in at No. 206 and is among our favorite receivers in the region. It’s a very deep year for receivers out West but Phillips is still a stand out and we love the attitude and edge he plays with.
He’s a quick, explosive slot man who is close to impossible to press at the line, very good after the catch and shows very good hands as well. He’s also a talented return man and brings some gamebreakinig ability to the table. Oregon, UCLA, Utah and Washington State are just a few of the schools on Phillips heavily.
Anaheim (Calif.) Servite defensive back Julius Irvin is yet another elite safety from out West. Along with receiver, safety is the strongest position in the region and Irvin has as much upside as anyone. He has an athletic frame, can play close to the line of scrimmage because of his physicality but has the athleticism to be a factor in the passing game.
Irvin comes in as the No. 213 player in the country and that even seems way too low. He does everything well and shows tremendous upside. Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, UCLA and USC are just a few schools showing heavy interest.
Like Irvin, Reno (Nev.) linebacker Brandon Kaho is probably deserving of being rated than No. 217 nationally. He really jumps off the screen when you watch him on film. He combines a solid 6-3, 220 pound frame with a high level motor and tremendous speed and athleticism.
He makes plays on both sides of the ball and looks very good running the ball but we love his upside as an outside ‘backer coming off the edge. The BYU commit recently visited Stanford and could take trips to Notre Dame, Oregon, UCLA and Washington as well.
Vista Murrieta (Calif.) wide receiver Khalil Shakir is an explosive pass catcher who has dominated at every event we’ve seen him at this winter. He’s a natural pass catcher, very quick in and out of his routes and is one of the best in region after the catch.
Shakir, who checks in at No. 220 nationally, is a good all around athlete who has the ability to play on both sides of the ball as well but we like him a lot as a receiver and he also projects as a possible returner as well. Arizona, Colorado, UCLA and Washington State are all on the short list right now.
Calabasas (Calif.) linebacker Reggie Hughes enters the Scout 300 at No. 259 and is one of the elite pass rushers in the west region. Hughes is an explosive athlete with a great first step and can really get off the ball. He plays almost like a hybrid rush end/outside ‘backer and totaled 20 sacks as a junior.
This off-season, Hughes has shown a complete game and has looked very comfortable playing out in space. He has actually played a lot of middle ‘backer in the 7v7 circuit and frame wise, actually has an inside ‘backer build. Nebraska, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington State are the early leaders here.
Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic offensive lineman Matteo Mele checks in at No. 266 and is a very intriguing player who could be the most athletic tackle prospect in the region. Mele was a tight end until making the move to tackle full time and it shows in how well he moves and how coordinated he is.
He has a prototype tackle frame and should have no problems adding the necessary weight he’ll need for college. As we see more of him this spring/summer, Mele is a player we think could shoot up the charts. Arizona State, Colorado, Louisville and UCLA are making a big push right now.
Sacramento (Calif.) Inderkum athlete Isaah Crocker exploded on to the scene this off-season and checks in at No. 277 nationally. He’s a two-way threat who projects as a game breaking receiver who can stretch a defense but also flashes a ton of natural ability as a defensive back if he wanted to go that route.
Crocker is an elite athlete who can really run and jump. He’s good for a few highlight reel plays every time we see him and plays with a ton of bounce and quick twitch in his game. He’s easily among the most entertaining and talented players in the region. Nebraska, Oregon, Notre Dame, UCLA and USC are just a few of the schools involved with Crocker.
West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade wide out Michael Wilson just made the cut and landed at No. 300 nationally. It was definitely well deserved as Wilson is a very talented player with a very nice skill set. He has good size at 6-2, runs well, is a fluid athlete, catches the ball effortlessly and has the speed to run past a defense.
Wilson committed to Stanford earlier in the week and is a great fit in the Cardinal offense. He’s a physical player who should be an excellent blocker and will excel in the Cardinal play-action game with his ability to make plays down the field.
Most Underrated Prospect
After the Scout 300 was done, we looked to see if there were any glaring omissions or players rated a little too high or too low. The one player that jumped out was Temecula (Calif.) Chaparral offensive lineman Justin Dedich. Dedich is rated No. 145 nationally and really should be in the Scout 100 somewhere.
He’s not only the top center in the nation but has easily been the most impressive offensive lineman we’ve seen out West this off-season and it hasn’t been close. The center position always seems to get devalued a bit but Dedich is an extreme talent with advanced technique, toughness, feet and is highly competitive. You can expect he’ll be moving up the charts here sooner than later.
Who Just Missed The Cut
This is a very deep year for talent out West and there are several players who we think were worthy of being in the Scout 300. In terms of elite talent at the top of the board, last year’s 2017 class was probably stronger and had 10 five-star prospects. We don’t think the ’18 class will have close to that but in terms of depth, this class is much stronger.
The biggest omission for me is Ontario (Calif.) Colony wide receiver/tight end Michael Ezeike. The kid is simply a beast and you can bet the house, he’ll be in the 300 the next time rankings are updated at the end of the summer.
Ezeike is pushing 6-6, 225 pounds and knows how to use his size and strength to create space. He runs well enough to stay as a receiver but we think he’ll eventually grow in to a pass catching tight end who should create matchup nightmares for opposing linebackers and safeties.
Calabasas (Calif.) athlete Nikko Hall is another player we like a lot who deserves mention. He’s a talented receiver and safety although we think playing in the secondary is probably where his upside is highest. He has good size, toughness and playmaking ability and has a very nice upside to him.
Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany safety Ely Doyle has looked very good this off-season showing improved athleticism and range. He has a great safety frame, is a physical player and we really like how he’s able to run, make plays in space and cover a lot of ground. He should have a great senior season.
Year of the Wide Receiver
The strongest position group out West this year is easily the wide receivers. The class of 2016 was very strong but in terms of strength at the top of the board and the overall depth, the class of ’18 is even stronger.
Among the top 60 prospects in the region that are all in the Scout 300, an amazing 14 are wide receivers and that’s not including Chase Williams and Devon Williams, who are rated with the athletes and Ezeike, who was just moved to tight end and will be in the 300 later this summer.
Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei’s Amon-Ra St. Brown is the top guy on our board and is also rated as the top receiver in the country. He’s a dynamic player, tremendous after the catch with great hands and is a big play threat in the return game as well. He’s a physical player who loves the weight room and is tough to jam because of his strength but just as tough to play off, because of his superior quickness off the ball and explosiveness as a route runner.
Guys like Andre Hunt, Dylan Thomas, Nikko Remigio and J.R. Justice are all four-star players and very talented but weren’t able to make the Scout 300 because of the depth at the position. You can make an argument that the top 20 receivers on our board if we throw in Chase and Devon Williams all project as national prospects who can play for just about any school in the country.