Semper Fi Practice Day 1 (West Team)

Day one of the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl kicked off this morning and the best position group by a wide margin was the wide receivers.

During the one on ones, you could probably count on one hand how many times the defensive backs made a play on a ball or picked one off. The wide receiver group as a whole was deep and talented but three players really stood out.

San Diego (Calif.) Horizon's Darren Carrington, Long Beach Jordan's (Calif.) John Ross and Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep's Devon Allen all showed considerable talent.

Carrington has some of the softest hands you'll see and makes it looks effortless out there. He has a very athletic body and above average speed and leaping ability. He has a huge catch radius and his strong hands allow him to catch balls thrown at just about any angle.

Carrington is also an advanced route runner and really explodes in and out his breaks. On a few occasions, a defensive back would be right with Carrington until he made his cut to easily get separation. The receiver will play his college ball at Oregon.

Ross is a deep threat and showed his speed multiple times running right by an opposing corner. He has good hands and timing on jump balls and runs very well after the catch. Ross has gotten bigger in the last year and is now close to 6-0 with room to fill out.

The receiver plans to make his college choice this Friday during the Semper Fi game with UCLA and Washington as the likely candidates. Ross is not just an athlete, he's already polished and has a chance to play as a true freshman no matter where he ends up.

Allen is known just as much for track as he is for football but make no mistake, he's definitely not a track guy trying to play football. Allen has very good speed, that was known already. What he showed was the ability to get in and out of his breaks without losing much speed at all.

A lot of track athletes have straight line speed but Allen showed good flexibility and he's a lot bigger than expected as well looking all of 6-1, 190 pounds. He tweaked his ankle at one point and had to sit out part of practice and said he's about 90% right now but still had a very good day.

The defensive line group was also pretty strong led by Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande tackle Elijah Qualls. Qualls is incredibly strong and even though he's usually considerably smaller than just about every guard/center he goes up against, he always has a big edge in quickness and can physically measure up with no problems.

Qualls can split a double team and was pushing guys backward throughout practice. He was dominant in the one on ones and looked very good in the 11 on 11 session as well.

One of the more versatile defensive lineman was Lincoln (Neb.) Southwest's Christian Lacouture. LaCouture has a huge frame and could end up at tackle or end in college. He has the ability to dominate and at times, in the one on ones, no one looked better. He also got beat a few times, which seemed to motivate him because his best reps of the day were always the ones right after he was beat.

Texas defensive ends Daeshon Hall and Deon Hollins both represented the Lone Star State very well. Hall, out of Lancaster (Texas), has a long athletic frame and a huge upside to him. He's still leaning the position but once he fills out and adds strength, the sky is the limit.

Hollins, from Missouri City (Texas) Thurgood Marshall, is a blur coming off the edge and has a high understanding of how to rush the passer. He explodes off the snap and has great closing speed as well. Whereas Hall will bulk up in to a defensive end, Hollins will drop back in to a linebacker in college and is a great fit for a 3-4 scheme.

Injury Update

*Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne receiver A.J. Richardson is still recovering from the knee injury he suffered in the CIF Southern CA Championship game against Corona (Calif.) Centennial and is out for the rest of the week.

*San Diego (Calif.) Lincoln athlete Tyree Robinson re-injured the foot he fractured over the summer at a recent basketball game and will be out all week. Robinson was still watching the defensive backs and was slated to play safety this week.

*Mission Viejo (Calif.) offensive lineman Erik Bunte was wearing a walking boot today and it doesn't look like he'll be available. We weren't able to catch up with Bunte to see what caused the injury.

*South Jordan (Utah) Bingham defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei is sick at home and won't be flying out for the game.

*Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis receiver Jeremy Tabuyo looked very good early but slightly strained his hammy running a route and had to sit out the last half of practice. He's hopeful he'll be back later in the week.

Top Five Performers of the Day:

It was tough to pick out just five but here's our look at the five players that had the best day on Monday.

1. Darren Carrington- San Diego (Calif.) Horizon – Had the best day in what was the deepest position group of the day.

2. Elijah Qualls- Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande- Qualls is the size of a defensive tackle but moves like a linebacker, incredibly explosive.

3. John Lopez- Orange Lutheran (Calif.)- Lopez stoned Qualls in one of the first one on one reps of the day, the only time Qualls lost. The guard is very strong and physical.

4. Dane Crane- Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita- Crane was as dominant as Lopez but didn't get as many reps to prove it. He's a truly elite center prospect and has an incredible upside to him.

5. John Ross- Long Beach Jordan (Calif.)- Ross showed explosive speed, strong hands and the ability to get separation any time he wanted.

Five We Want To See More From

These are five players who have elite talent but need to step it up a bit on day two.

1. Johnny Johnson- Fresno (Calif.) Central- Johnson is a true lockdown corner who plays with an edge but he got beat a few more times than we expected. Look for a bounce back day on Tuesday.

2. Jared Goff- Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic- Goff was the top quarterback of the day but has room for growth. His accuracy, usually a strength, was a little off at times.

3. Tyrell Robinson- San Diego (Calif.) Lincoln- Robinson could be the best pure athlete in the state but we really didn't notice him much today. The linebacker position as a whole didn't stand out but look for Robinson to get going shortly.

4. Paulo Lepua- Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne- After dominating a very tough schedule all year, Lepua was a little quiet on Monday. Look for him to be more active in the one on ones.

5. Cole Luke- Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton- Like with Johnson, we expected Luke to display his lock down skills and although he had his moments, he was still beaten multiple times.

More Standout Performances:

*Oakley (Calif.) Freedom receiver Darrell Daniels was another standout pass catcher. He's not as polished as the other receivers in terms of his ball skills but he's a big, physical kid that uses his body well and is a tough cover for smaller defensive backs.

*Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey defensive back Daquawn Brown might have been the most consistent corner of the day. Brown is a physical player with good feet and he was able to turn and run nicely with some of the faster West receivers.

*Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe offensive lineman Kenny Lacy has an ideal frame for a young lineman. He's big, physical and shows improved athleticism. He could end up at guard or tackle in college depending on the need but will play tackle this week.

*Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei tight end Thomas Duarte usually plays as a big receiver and was one of the most dominant pass catchers in the state last season. He was working out as a true tight end Monday and it was definitely an adjustment. He still showed his trademark hands and route running ability and is a brutal matchup for a linebacker.

*Baylor is getting a good one in Irving (Texas) offensive lineman Rami Hammad. At about 6-5, 310 pounds, Hammad has a nice frame, moves very well for a big man and has all the physical tools to be an outstanding tackle at the next level.

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for
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