Las Vegas NLA 7on7: NW Preview

Scout.com takes a look at the top prospects from Oregon, Utah and Washington participating in this weekend's NLA 7on7 in Las Vegas…

The Northwest region, as defined by Scout.com, includes teams representing the states of Oregon, Utah and Washington. The region has not only produced some of top talent in the tournament's history, but boasts the defending champion in Team Utah 1.

Team Utah 1 has been a mainstay of the tournament and after years of coming up just short, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham head Coach David Peck and his staff finally brought home the title. Utah 1 will be a favorite again this year, but may get competition from some fellow statesmen. Team Utah 2, led by coaches from Logan and East HS, also boasts big talent and could make a run.

Northwest Elite Index, run by Taylor Barton and Jordan Johnson, has put together a pair of teams from Oregon and Washington. Team NEI North includes players from the state of Washington and was one of the top teams in pool play at last year's tournament. Team NEI South includes a few players from Washington mixed in with a base of players from Oregon. NEI South made a deep run in last year's tournament and could have gone all the way.

Quarterback
The headliners in the Northwest quarterback group are both 2015 prospects. Sandy (Utah) Jordan 2015 quarterback Austin Kafentzis (Utah 2) already holds offers from BYU, Utah, Utah State and Wisconsin. Kafentzis will likely be a top passer in the West next season. Bothell (Wash.) 2015 quarterback Ross Bowers (NEI South) is another name to watch. He is still waiting on his first offer, but is a legit Pac-12 prospect.

Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea 2014 quarterback Pierre Le Dorze (NEI North) has a strong arm and will have the chance to show his ability to distribute the ball apart from his run heavy HS offense. Sandy (Utah) Alta quarterback Chipper Lucero (Utah 1) will lead one of the most talented rosters and comes from a HS with a great track record for producing talent.

Running Back
The top player at the running back position, Ula Tolutau, is from Utah powerhouse East HS in Salt Lake City. Tolutau (Utah 1) already holds offers from BYU and Utah.

However, much like the quarterback group, the largest collection of talent can be found in the 2015 class. Federal Way (Wash.) 2015 speedster Chico McClatcher (NEI North) already has offers from Portland State, Utah and Washington. Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton athlete Osa Masina (Utah 1) has been one of the hottest prospects in the Beehive State this spring. Masina has offers from BYU, Michigan, Utah and Wisconsin. Finally, Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea back Myles Gaskin (NEI North) should have a list of Pac-12 offers down the road.

Wide Receiver/Tight End
The top rated prospect from the Northwest at the tournament will be South Jordan (Utah) Bingham four-star tight end Dalton Schultz (Utah 1). He is already up over a dozen offers, adding Nebraska, Notre Dame, UCLA and Washington this past week.

It is an unusually weak year at wide receiver in the Northwest. Yakima (Wash.) Eisenhower athlete Ridge Harmon (NEI North) put up big numbers before an injury ended his season. His HS quarterback and SMU signee Kolney Cassel played in the tournament last year. Sandy (Utah) Alta wide receiver Mack Richards (Utah 1) is looking to make the impact that HS teammates Harrison Handley (Utah signee) and Ammon Barker (Hawaii signee) made in the past. Timpview (Utah) wide receiver Rhett Van Leeuwen will follow in the footsteps of his older brother by playing for Team Utah 1.

Linebacker
The prospects listed at linebacker are a very thin group. Many of the prospects that could end up at the position will line up at either safety or wide receiver in the tournament. Utah has famously produced at the position and I would expect to see someone separate themselves this week.

NEI South has two of the top prospects at the position. Canby (Ore.) linebacker and freak athlete Sam Bodine along with Tigard (Ore.) linebacker A.J. Hotchkins, who just added an offer from Idaho, should stand out this weekend.

Secondary
Syracuse (Utah) safety Kavika Fonua (Utah 1) was a break out player in last year's tournament, he is back as a leader of Utah 1. Kearns (Utah) athlete and Utah commit Amone Finau (Utah 2) will play cornerback at the tournament, but could play multiple positions down the road for the Utes.

Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton safety Isaiah Kaufusi (Utah 1) should sound like a familiar name to recruiting fans. He has family ties to BYU and Utah, the Cougars have already offered. Layton (Utah) Northridge cornerback Dayan Lake was one of just two sophomores named to the Utah 1 team.

Federal Way (Wash.) safety Keenan Curran (NEI North) is a long athlete and big play machine. Curran has the potential to be a BCS recruit. Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic cornerback Aaron Washington (NEI South) and Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood safety S.J. Fehoko (Utah 2) are both prospects to keep an eye on.


Jake Worthen is a West Recruiting Analyst for Scout.com.
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