|The FABULOUS FIFTEEN
The 15 players on the West who had the best combination of practice prowess and gameday gusto
| 1. Ty Phillips, DL, East St. Louis (Ill.)
No one could block this guy in practice all week. In the game, he had a couple of good pressures and one sack. His motor is constant, his technique is excellent and I expect him to do very well at Missouri.
|2. Reid Fragel, TE, Grosse Pointe South (Mich.)
At almost 6'8, 260-lbs with very little body fat, Fragel was the talk of practice this week. It wasn't just for his size though, he pancaked several defensive linemen, including Phillips and was really the only one who could block him in practice. That had folks bringing up offensive tackle again, but Fragel promptly made a few great catches in practice and then had four in the game.
|3. Darius Moffett, LB, Chicago Hubbard (Ill.)
After being the vocal leader of the West all week, Moffett stormed down the field on the opening kickoff and made the tackle. On the next play, he read a sweep to the outside, ran down Demond Dennis and dropped him for a 10-yard loss, serving notice that he was there. Dennis, later, even commented on how hard Moffett had hit him. At 6'3, 210-lbs with great athleticism and a nose for the ball, he was definitely one of the standouts here this week.
|4. Chad Bumphis, WR, Tupelo (Miss.)
He was the star of most of the practices this week. He's fast, has great hands and runs really nice routes. He was a bit dinged up, but still had a solid game. There is a ton to like about this kid and whoever gets him will have a kid who could make a real impact.
|5. Ryan Reardon, LB, Scottsdale (Arz.)
Nobody really knew much about this kid coming in, but he left as one of the names on everyone's lips. He made play after play in practice and was one of the team's leading tacklers in the game. Folks were shocked to learn he had no FBS offers, a product of his lack of measureables. West running backs, however, kept talking about how well he got to the ball. So much for not being fast enough.
|6. Dexter Pratt, RB, Navasota (Tx.)
On a team full of smaller, quicker skill guys, Pratt stood out with his combination of size, power and speed. In the game, he ran hard and tough and in practice, showed impressive burst and explosion. He also can catch the ball out of the backfield, something that should help him play early at LSU. Another thing that will help? Enrolling early, which he is doing.
|7. Aaron Hardwick, RB, Phoenix (Arz.)
Another kid with zero FBS offers, Hardwick's quick, darting style was a great compliment to Pratt's north-south pounding. A couple times during the week, Hardwick shook players out of their jocks, drawing oohs and aahs from his fellow teammates. Surpringly enough, he says most schools are recruiting him as a defensive back, but after what he did this week, I have a suspicion he may end up with the ball in his hands.
|8. Montez Robinson, DE, Avon (Ind.)
Even though he missed a day, Robinson made up for lost time as the West offensive linemen just couldn't block him in practice. He has great athleticism and a variety of moves that help him get to the quarterback. He was quieter in the game, but the East quarterbacks were doing a good job of getting rid of the ball quickly.
|9. Ivory Wade, OL, Dickinson (Tex.)
The West defensive line generally had their way with the offensive line in practice this week, but Wade was one of the guys who could stand toe to toe with everyone of them. None of the defenders or the line coach knew his name, but after practice, all of them were talking about "Baylor," which is what Wade had been dubbed after the school he has committed to. The Bears are getting a big kid with good technique and strength.
|10. Chris Garrett, QB, Tupelo (Miss.)
Garrett had a good week of practice, showing a strong arm and a consistent ability to hit receivers in the numbers. In the game, all the quarterbacks were running for their lives from a fast East defensive line, but it was Garrett, supposedly the least mobile of the three, who shook away from the rushers and found receivers on the run.
|11. Jamal Miles, RB, Peoria (Arz.)
Miles isn't the biggest back, but he has great quickness and burst. He showed that in the game, as he was able to get through the hole and cut it outside a couple times for nice gains. Throughout the week, he also demonstrated the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. I think he'll be a really good fit at Arizona State.
|12. Tommie Hopkins, DB, East St. Louis (Ill.)
I knew all about Hopkins coming in, but I looked at him the first day and saw skinny kid who did not look like the hitter he was touted to be. Well, that's why you don't judge books by their cover because Hopkins made plays all week and in the game, delivered some nice hits. He also impressed me with his ability in man to man coverage. He said there is some possibility that he'll play cornerback at Illinois and from what I saw this week, he has the skills to.
|13. Will Sutton, DT, Corona (Calif.)
Another kid who doesn't pass the eyeball test, but he can really play. He's shorter and light in the pants, but very quick and has good technique as he is good at using his hands to get off of blocks. I can't help but think of former USC star Mike Patterson when I watch Sutton and he should be a good one for Arizona State.
|14. Shawn Lynch, WR, Pelham (Ala.)
Lynch was solid during the week, but did not really standout or do anything spectacular. That changed during the game as he made a couple great catches worthy of any highlight reel. He is a taller kid with good hands and even though he isn't the fastest kid, he finds ways to get open.
|15. Raymond Cotton, QB, Fort Meade (Md.)
Cotton had a really great first day, showing excellent velocity on his passes. He wasn't quite as good later in the week as he struggled with a sore elbow, but he did some really nice things in the game. He threw pretty well on the run and lost very little zip on his passes when doing that. He also showed good awareness in the pocket.
OTHER PLAYER NOTES
|Jordan Luallen, QB, Center Grove (Ind.) - Earlier in the week, Luallen struggled a little bit, particularly over the middle, but he ended strong. He a really good last couple days of practice. In the game, he was under constant pressure, but showed his athleticism in escaping and making some plays with his feet. He also was a team leader and showed good smarts and poise.|
|Jerry Rice Jr, WR, Atherton (Calif) - Really exploded as the week went on. Made some spectacular catches in traffic and went high for a couple. He isn't real big and not blazing fast, but runs nice routes and has good hands. Caught most passes thrown his way despite not having gloves for the early part of the week.|
|Caleve Deboskie, WR, Chandler (Arz.) - Skinnier kid, but has good quickness and solid hands. He runs nice routes and shows good burst coming out of his breaks.|
|Blaine Ruiz, WR, Hemet (Calif.) - Had a relatively quiet week up until Wednesday's practice, where he caught everything. He has good ball skills and hands, but doesn't have top flight speed.|
|Ryan Hewitt, TE, Denver Mullen (Co.)- Hewitt had a solid week. He is a decent athlete who caught the ball well. He'll have to add a little more weight, but he should be a very solid, if not spectacular college player.|
|Laurence Gibson, OL, Sierra Vista (Arz.) - Needs to get bigger and stronger. Has a good frame, but has trouble with the bull rush.|
|Darren Denucci, OL, Bountiful (Utah) - The center on the West, Denucci had some trouble with Kwame Geathers in the game (but who didn't). During the week, he had a couple of really nice practices, where he showed good technique and footwork. Once he gets bigger, he should be a good one.|
|Everett Benyard, OT, Cathedral (Calif.) - Everett is a big big man. He used that size in the running game, where he had a couple of pancakes in practice. However, he could drop some weight and get quicker as he was beaten by the speed rush.|
|Sam Womack, OL/DL, Bishop Gorman (Nev.)- Sam had his moments. He had a really nice first day and showed the ability to play both guard and tackle although I think he'll be a guard. He must get bigger and stronger though..|
|Matt Goetz, OL, Steele (Tx.)- Had a solid week. Like a lot of the West linemen, adding size and strength will be the biggest key for him.|
|Fred Thornton, OL, Phoenix South Mountain (Arz.) - Thornton is definitely an interior player. He is shorter, but powerfully built and low to the ground. He is strong, but could get quicker and faster. He had one of the plays of the game for the West when he had a crack block on Caesar Rodriguez and absolutely laid him out.|
|Kevin Young, DE, Olathe North (Kan.) - Was dinged up during the week, but had a good first day when he was healthy. Is pretty athletic and good off the ball. Had some problems when Wade got his hands into him, but that will come with more weight room and technical work.|
|Colton Nash, DE, Sulphur Springs (Tx.) - Big tall kid with solid athletic ability. Has to work on getting that 6'6 frame lower, but has a lot of ability and had a sack in the game.|
|Derek Johnson, DT, Hoxie (Ark.) - Big, wide kid who is strong. However, relies too heavily on brute strength and bull rushing and must continue to work on technique. Would be a good fit as a nose tackle though. Texas commitment who shares some similarities with former Longhorn Casey Hampton.|
|DeQuinta Jones, DT, Bastrop (La.) - Came in late, but did some nice things once he got in. Pretty good athlete and has a nice rip move. Seemed to wear down some and could improve conditioning. Had a couple tackles for loss in the game.|
|Trevor Erno , LB, Lakewood (Calif.) - Erno had a really nice week. I was impressed with his athelticism and ability in space. He was solid in coverage and has good feet.|
|Tyrell Webster, LB, Chicago Simeon (Ill.) - He didn't have a lot of hype coming in, but he had a pretty good week. He has good speed and a nose for the ball. He could grow into a weakside backer or could potentially be a rover type in college.|
|Earnest Norman, LB, Trinity (Tex.) - Has a nice frame and showed some ability as a blitzer. He's not real tall, but has some explosion.|
|Shane Wombles, LB, Hemet (Calif.) - Undersized kid, but has a solid motor. Played some DL in high school, mostly played LB this week and will have to find a true position in college.|
|Fritz Rock, S/WR, Plymouth Wayzata (Minn.), - Only kid who played both ways. Was learning the safety position, but has the size to be a good strong safety or weakside backer. Was one of the better receivers out there when he switched over, but didn't have any passes thrown his way during the game.|
|Alvin Hines, S, Pelham (Ala.) - Nice sized kid who did a nice job back there in center field. Isn't a blazer, but is smart and stays in good position.|
|Prinz Kande, S, Trinity (Tex.) - I really liked his game. He has decent size and is physical, but best of all, he closed fast in coverage and broke up a lot of passes during the week.|
|John Therrell, S, Bishop Gorman (Nev.) - Showed a nose for the ball and good hands. Doesn't necessarily stand out physically, but has decent size and is usually in good position.|
|Anthony Sanders, CB, Phoenix South Mountain (Arz.) - He made some nice plays during the week. He has pretty good ball skills and made a couple picks. He isn't the biggest guy, but came up and had some nice hits during the game.|
|Roland Pierce, CB, North Canyon (Arz.) - Had some nice moments in practice this week. Solid all around.|
|Charles Childers, CB, Bishop Gorman (Nev.) - Made some nice plays in practice. Was beaten by Stephen Hill in the game, but he has solid cover ability.|
|Mitch Ewald, K, Waubonsie Valley (Ill.) - Had a pretty nice week and capped it off by giving the team their only points in the game. Didn't get his kickoffs as deep as the other kicker, Lloyd, but was just as accurate.|