ESPN Rise GK: West Elite Eight

The team from out West had lots of comradery and California pride. Some of the Sunshine State's best showed why they are so highly regarded, and a transplant from Florida also proved he belonged.

ESPN Rise - West Elite Eight
joshua shaw - CB - Palmdale (ca.)
Shaw is a nice sized kid who plays tough and with a lot of confidence. He can play up on the line, in press coverage, and is not afraid to mix it up with bigger receivers. I also thought he had really good ball skills, which he showed a couple times with a few pass breakups and an interception. The question on him is position. He showed this weekend that he can cover some of the country's top receivers at cornerback, but I also think he could be an outstanding safety in college. His ability to open and run will likely be the deciding factor in where he ultimately ends up.

chris martin - DE - The Hun School (N.J.)
There were some of the top tight ends in the country there and it was eye opening to see the 6'5, 240-lb Martin, a future defensive end, running stride for stride with them in coverage. He didn't have particularly outstanding ball skills, but that won't really matter when he has his hand down at Notre Dame. What he showed here in Orlando will though, he is a great athlete with tremendous upside potential and I could see him bringing a lot of versatility to a defense because his athleticism will allow him to play a variety of roles.

Cecil Whiteside - TE/LB - Newport Harbor (Ca.)
Whiteside did everything and did it well. As a linebacker, he showed he had the speed to run with tight ends and running backs out of the backfield and when called upon to play tight end, he ended up stealing the show there as well. He did not play much tight end until the later games, but caught everything thrown at him and made a few outstanding catches, going high over top of defenders. He could play offense in college, but his athleticism and aggressive style of play should make him a fine linebacker at California.

Brennan Clay - RB - Scripps Ranch (Ca.)
Running backs typically have a hard time making a huge impact in 7-7s, but Clay put his receiving ability on display. He has good hands and made some things happen after the catch. He is a stockier kid who just looks like a running back. While he did not necessarily make a ton of big plays, he was solid all day long.



dillon baxter - rb/wr - Mission Bay (Ca.)
Baxter is somewhat of a renaissance man in high school, doing it all for Mission Bay, but he will likely be a wide receiver in college and that is what he played in Orlando. He made play after play. He is a good athlete with a knack for getting open. He found open areas and caught everything thrown at him. What he did not show was super breakaway speed, but his quickness, route running ability and instincts made up for that. He should be a fine slot receiver for USC.

kenny stills - wr - La Costa Canyon (ca.)
Stills made some great plays throughout the day and came up big in a losing effort during the championship game. He has great speed and quickness and that made him tough to cover for many of the cornerbacks in attendance. He made a couple nice plays, getting behind the secondary and hauling in some deep balls. His explosiveness and route running are assets and he also is a confident, vocal kid who emerged as one of the leaders for this West squad.

dietrich riley - S - La Canada St. Francis (ca.)
Riley is capable of playing a few positions, but lined up at safety in Orlando and I believe that could be his best spot in college. He is a smart kid, who seemed to be in the right place at the right time with regularity. He was rarely out of position and as a result, was able to make a number of plays on the ball. His ball skills are good and everything else is there, he just needs to get a little more explosive and he has the chance to be an impact player in college. I really like what he brings to the table.

marvin robinson - S/LB - Lake Region (Fla.)
Robinson got transplanted onto the West squad and he made an impact for them. He already is built like a college player and played both safety and linebacker. At linebacker, he still has the coverage ability of a safety and he showed that, jumping an out route and running it back nearly for a score. At Michigan, he will play a rover type spot for them and he has the ideal package of skills to do that. I also like his quiet, business like demeanor. He rarely spoke and let his play do the talking instead.


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