Four-Day Camp Standouts

An elite quarterback recruit confirms his elite status, a UCLA commit confirms his worthiness, and UCLA discovers a very fast running back prospect…

The UCLA four-day camp is mostly intended as an instructional camp - and not really intended to scout or evaluate. Obviously, some scouting and evaluating takes place. The football program, like every one across the country, uses these types of multi-day camps mostly to enhance the income of college coaches. So, most of the campers at these camps are there because they can afford it, not necessarily because they are elite prospects. With that in mind, among the 300-400 campers that attended UCLA's four-day camp, here are the elite guys who participated:

Shelton Sampson, RB, 5-10, 175, Tacoma (Wash.) Clover Park. Besides the prospects who were well-known elite players like Trent Edwards and Eric McNeal, the fairly unknown player who could also be counted among that group in this camp is Sampson. In the running back drills, he looks very fast and quick. For 5-9 to 5-10, he's put together really well - and again, is fast on fast. A recruiting update is forthcoming on him, but he did say he was getting indications that UCLA would offer him a scholarship soon.

Trent Edwards, QB, 6-3, 180, Los Gatos (Calif.) High. Comparisons were being made to Troy Aikman, because of the accuracy and power of his throws. Bob Toledo spent quite a bit of time talking with Edwards and he looked very comfortable. He was a little tired, having come from spending two days at USC's camp. He's definitely an elite quarterback and in that top list of prospects on UCLA's want list. Talking to him briefly, he didn't offer up anything new and played it close to the vest.

Eric McNeal, DB, 6-2, 200, Gardena (Calif.) Serra. McNeal looked like he was in a different league than almost everyone at the camp. Working out with the safeties, he looked bigger, quicker and had great instincts. McNeal also played some wide receiver, but it appears that he's realizing that his enormous potential is at safety - or at least, on the defensive side of the ball.

Kirby Joseph, LB, 6-2, 220, Lake Charles (Louis.) Washington-Marion. A kid to definitely watch, you have to like the fact that this kid came all the way from Louisiana merely because he likes UCLA. He's got a good body and has good feet for his size, just pretty raw, having played DE last year on his high school team. A recruiting story is coming soon.

Robin Kezirian, OL, 6-4, 275, Fresno (Calif.) Central. Kezirian definitely has a chance, showing good quickness and strength. There's also the great connection with UCLA, which makes him look very comfortable on campus.

Ben Bandel, DE, 6-6, 245, Murrietta (Calif.) Murrietta Valley. A very impressive-looking kid with a huge body, built-well, with some room to put on even more muscle. For his size, he moved very well, working out with the defensive line one day and the tight ends the next. He's pretty raw, looking like he's just at the beginning of his football learning curve, but he showed good coordination and quickness for a guy this size.

Mike Nixon, DB, 6-2, 200, Phoenix (Ariz.) Sunnyslope. You have to love it that Nixon came out for the camp. He looked okay, with good size, but also didn't tend to show real quickness or explosion playing safety. He looked decent at quarterback, but almost certainly isn't a quarterback on the next level.

Craig Schlapprizze, 6-2, 210, St. Louis (Mis.) University. Another kid who you have to appreciate for coming across half the country, Schlapprizze had some good quickness and good feet. He appeared not very physical, but he's someone to watch for this fall.

Dominic Roux, DB/WR, 6-0, 180, Gardena (Calif.) Serra. A puzzling prospect. Roux looks like a guy who should be a player, and he has good speed - but really only once he gets going. He doesn't really explode in his first ten yards, which, by then, most plays in football are over. It's really curious, given the fact that he's a sprinter in track also. But Roux is definitely someone to watch for his senior season, given his body and his peculiar speed.

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