Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco rolled through the tournament and was really only tested in their final pool play game against a good looking Encino (Calif.) Crespi squad. They knocked off Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita in the semi-finals for the second week in a row and then dominated a solid Las Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat squad in the finals.
With Bosco, everything starts with quarterback Josh Rosen. He has taken his game to another level this past summer and it was already pretty high to begin with. In terms of his ability as a pure passer to get the ball out on time, with accuracy and touch or zip depending on the throw, he's as good as we've seen coming out of the Golden State in a while.
Every game we saw, he was throwing the ball so early, before his receivers were even out of their breaks, the opposing DBs never had a chance. He doesn't mind checking down and rarely forces a ball. Where we questioned his ability to lead at times last season, he has taken major steps in the right direction in this area, offering encouragement after every dropped ball and lending helpful advice to his backup QB, who splits every series. There is no question Rosen has earned the No. 1 QB spot in the country and the gap appears to be widening.
More from Bosco
After graduating a loaded senior class, there was some talk that Bosco might have a down season in 2014. The jury is still out on their line play but their skill players on both sides of the ball might be even better than they were a year ago.
*'16 running back Sean McGrew can definitely play at the next level. He showed off incredible hands out of the backfield and that's big for how he projects. He's undersized and even though he can run 10.6 and has some wiggle to him, he's still not likely going to be an every down RB. Get him in space out of the backfield and he'll be a very dangerous player. He also has the ability to run the football and showed multiple times against high level competition last season that he can take a hit and gain yards after contact.
*'16 DB-WR D.J. Morgan had a somewhat disappointing season last year after landing two early offers before ever playing a varsity snap. He played a backup role at safety but has shown at the last two 7v7 tournaments that he could be ready for a big season. He's playing with a lot of confidence right now, showing range at safety and making some athletic plays at WR. He always had the size and athleticism and now the production is coming around. He definitely projects at the high Div I level.
*'16 corner Traveon Beck has good quickness and can really close on the ball. He's a tough, scrappy kid who can play in press but has the quick feet needed to play off. He has good ball skills, is an instinctual player and is another Brave player we expect to have a breakout junior season.
*The WR group looks loaded with as many as four players projecting at the next level. Senior Kaylin Franklin and juniors Jared Harrell, Devin Fleming and Anselem Umeh are all talented, sure handed and can run. Having WR Coach Brian Treggs (son Bryce plays at Cal) around is a huge benefit as it's almost eery how every Bosco receiver looks just like Shay Fields did a year ago running their routes.
*Amat made it all the way to the finals and their best player was probably wide out Brandon Arconado. With juniors Tyler Vaughns and Trevon Sidney grabbing the headlines, it was actually Arconado who led the team in catches and yards last season and he has been their go to guy during the 7v7 circuit as well. He's about 6-0, 170 pounds and showed a nice all around skill set. He can get deep, understands how to get open and has very good hands. No one has offered yet but he's definitely a next level.
*Vaughns is a very talented and skilled athlete and should have his choice of any school in the country in two years. He has a long, athletic frame at about 6-1, 175 pounds, runs well after the catch, can out jump just about anyone and the game just looks very easy for him.
*In a somewhat of a surprise for us, Amat LB Anthony Camargo spent the whole day at running back and said that's likely where he'll spend most of his senior season. Camargo will be an absolute load to deal with out of the backfield and showed good hands. When he squares his shoulders and turns up the field, there won't be too many players excited about taking him on. He's still being recruited exclusively as a linebacker and that's where we like him as well.
*After Rosen, no one had a better day throwing the ball than Las Flores (Calif.) Tesoro '16 QB Devon Modster. Modster has a stocky frame that makes him look shorter than he is but he's probably about 6-1, 6-1.5 and 215 pounds. In the opening game of the day, he threw five TD passes before throwing a single incomplete pass. He showed off a very live arm putting the ball in tight windows and also had some great deep balls with touch and accuracy as well.
*Another '16 QB we like a lot is Santa Margarita's K.J. Costello. had another solid showing and is definitely in the running for top QB out West in the '16 class. He's a pure thrower and was hitting some great deep balls today and also throwing with touch and accuracy. He got a little frustrated in a 3rd place game against Tesoro and threw some uncharacteristic picks but he has made incredible strides this past spring/summer. I'm very curious to watch him with the pads on to see if he can take his game to another level with live bullets coming at him but in terms of being able to sit back in the pocket and made a throw, he's about as good as anyone.
*Staying at Santa Margarita, it was good to see WR-DB Kyle Sweet back in action. Sweat lacerated his spleen earlier in the spring and has been out of action. He looked healthy at Huntington and is simply a football player. He's going to make plays no matter where you put him, whether it be at receiver, corner or safety. He's a sure handed pass catcher and much more athletic than given credit for. He clocked a 4.53-40 at the NIKE Camp back in April with a 4.13 shuttle and plays that fast on the field. Schools are sleeping on him right now and he's easily one of the more under-rated prospects out West.
*Another player not getting enough attention is Tesoro WR Jake Smeltzer. At 6-3, 190 pounds, Smeltzer is big target who catches everything, uses his body well to create space and has very good body control. He has a huge catch radius and can go up and get it over smaller defenders and is a physical wide out as well and very difficult to knock off his routes.
*San Clemente QB and recent USC commit Sam Darnold had an up and down day but played well overall. He doesn't have much talent around him, in fact, he's probably the only legit Div I player on the team and that includes underclassmen. He has a strong frame at 6-4, 210 pounds and his physical build could pass for a LB. A few of his deep balls floated on him a little but he also made some real nice throws through some tight windows. He has good arm strength, is solid mechanically and is a natural leader who doesn't get down on his teammates, when it would be very easy to do so.
*Encino (Calif.) Crespi DB Marvell Tell looked great and was probably the most impressive defensive player in the tournament. He's a lean 6-2, 185 pounds and so fluid on the field. He can run, has good ball skills, and is a very instinctual player. The coaches at Crespi said he's having some trouble putting on weight but he's exactly where he should be going in to his senior year. He made some nice plays at WR as well but as a safety, he has unlimited potential and has a chance to be a special player at the next level. He keeps getting better every time you see him and you won't find a nicer kid off the field either.
*Orange Lutheran (Calif.) LB Keisean Lucier-South is the region's premier outside pass rusher and is much more comfortable playing on the line. He was playing OLB in the 7v7 and looked a bit stiff in dropping in to space and changing direction, lacking a little fluidity. He was physical and had no problem re-directing guys but needs to continue to work on his lateral mobility if he's going to make a full time move to outside 'backer in college. He's still a take of course and is very good with the pads on. He's a natural pass rusher and very skilled and where he ultimately plays will be determined by how much weight he puts on in college.
*San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills DB Dechaun Holiday is still a little banged up and has been since The Opening. He played primarily WR and actually looked good catching the ball. He's a natural athlete and was able to easily jump over smaller DBs but looked tired at times and wasn't always going 100% in running his routes. Holiday said they have 3 weeks off now for a dead period and he's looking forward to getting healthy and getting back on defense where he's most comfortable. At 6-2.5, 208 pounds, his measurements at The Opening, it will be interesting to see if he can stay at corner in college or will he outgrow the position and need to move to safety. Either way, he's a good looking prospect with a nice upside.
*Buena Park (Calif.) ATH Jaylinn Hawkins always impresses and had a good day at WR and corner. He can get open with ease against anyone and does a nice job setting up corners and changes speed very well on his routes. He's a very mature pass catcher and maybe only Trent Irwin is comparable in terms of knowing how to get open, when to settle and then having the great hands to finish off a play.
*Encino (Calif.) Crespi linebacker D.J. Beavers has dropped some weight and looked like a big safety running around. He's about 6-1, 205 pounds and shows good range and cover skills. He can close on the ball and is a physical player who loves contact. He plays inside 'backer for Crespi but looks like a classic will 'backer at the next level.
*While watching another game, we kept noticing this tall receiver making TD catch after another on the next field. That turned out to be Tustin's (Calif.) George Wilson. Wilson is a big, physical player who can get down the field. He's not the most fluid route runner right now but that can be refined. What you can't teach his his size, ability to catch the ball in traffic and take a hit and his under-rated speed. He's a nice prospect for Utah and is just now starting to come in to his own as a player.
*Huntington Beach (Calif.) wide out Nolan Thompson is another under the radar receiver who had no problem getting open. He has very good size at 6-4, 190 pounds, has above average speed and strong hands. He was open down the field repeatedly and should be the featured player in the Oilers offense next fall. He's a tough matchup in red zone and jump ball situations and always competes at a high level as well.