Badger Sport 7v7 Vegas Notebook

Here's a look at some of the standouts from the Badger Elite 7on7 and Elite Lineman Challenge...


Las Vegas- The first day of the Badger Elite 7on7 and Elite Lineman Challenge is in the books, with some dominant performances in the first day of action and some good showings in the lineman challenge.

The surprise was the struggles on the day of defending champion B2G, who went 1-3 in Pool Play, and the surprising win in that same pool by Big Picture Athletics, going 3-1.  Team 1925, a loaded team full of talent, was 2-2 on the day, while Team AIGA, the 2009 champions, went 3-1.  Utah 1, the runner-ups the last two years, was the best team on the opening day, going 4-0.

Brandon Huffman: West Regional Manager
Top Offensive Performer: Troy Williams, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne
Why: The 2013 quarterback from Harbor (City) Narbonne was the most consistent quarterback on the day, and was outstanding in the biggest surprise of the day, 28-0 win over Team 1925, the team that Williams normally plays for.  On Saturday, he played with his Narbonne teammates, and picked apart several of his summer teammates.  He threw 12 touchdowns and only one interception.

Top Defensive Performer: Jeremiah Allison, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey
Why: Initially a defensive end, Allison is being recruited as a linebacker, and he showed on Saturday that the move is going to be relatively smooth.  He's very good in coverage, does a good job of reading the quarterback and getting into position and has good ball skills.

Top Surprise: Dalis Bruce, Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista
Why: Bruce had an excellent day in the second session, with a couple of picks, and several pass breakups.  Overshadowed by the offensive players on his high school team, Bruce showed that he's one of the top cover corners in the event and showed he can play at a high level.

Top Lineman: Jordan Simmons, Encino (Calif.) Crespi
Why: The top offensive lineman in Southern California made the Lineman Challenge a personal playground.  He was stout in all the drills, and did very well in the 1-on-1's.  Simmons is looking like he's in the best shape of his career and moved really well.

Top Lineman Surprise: Dejon Allen, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez
Why: Did 1on1s on both sides of the ball, and looked quick off the ball as a defensive end, getting a good push on the offensive lineman and won nearly all of his 1on1s.  Offensively, did a great job on his blocks and footwork was good.

Jake Worthen: West Recruiting Analyst
Top Offensive Performer: Deontay Greenberry, Fresno (Calif.) Washington Union
Why: His ability to get the ball, great body control, and his separation.  He scored two touchdowns against Washington and an interception and four more throughout the day. 

Top Defensive Performer: Jayshawn Jordan, Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea
Why: A shorter corner who teams attempted to pick on, and continually had their passes turned away.  Even when out of position, showed a great ability to recover and make a play on the ball.  Only one who came close to shutting Greenberry down.

Top Surprise: Rhett Byrd, Mt. Pleasant (Utah) North Sanpete
Why: Had a slow start, but settled down and got his Utah team undefeated through pool play.  Great size for a quarterback, good poise, showed good arm strength and accuracy to be a Division I athlete..

Top Lineman: Brandon Fanaika, Pleasant Grove (Calif.)
Why: Fanaika is being recruited on both sides of the ball, but showed today that his future is likely on the offensive side of the ball.  Has good footwork, long arms and the ability to keep guys away from his body.

Top Lineman: Lowell Lotulelei, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham
Why: The younger brother of Star Lotulelei, Lowell had success against several of the top lineman there, and figures to be one of the better prospects in Utah in the 2013 class.

Mario Gomez: California Recruiting Analyst
Top Offensive Performer: Deontay Greenberry, Fresno (Calif.) Washington Union
Why: We first wrote about Greenberry last July after the Passing Down camp, and while he's somewhat under the radar, he's firmly on the radar now, having an excellent day and showing why he's one of the top prospects in Central California.  Whether it was an offense or defense, Greenberry stood out.

Top Defensive Performer: Johnny Johnson, Fresno (Calif.) San Joaquin Memorial
Why: Johnson is a very smooth corner. He plays very well off the ball, he keeps his eyes on the ball while covering his man/area. He broke well on the ball, he picked off at least three passes on day one, and really liked his recovery speed.

Top Surprise: Isaiah Saunders, Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove
Why: The younger brother of Fresno State receiver Jalen Saunders, Isaiah had a great day catching the ball out of the backfield and making people miss.

Top Lineman: Jaylen Ruiz, Fresno (Calif.) San Joaquin Memorial
Why: This 2013 prospect was easily the most impressive defensive back on the day, continuing his strong spring by locking down receivers and making several great plays on the ball.


A 1-3 record was what B2G had on Saturday night.

A championship trophy was what they held on Sunday afternoon.

For the second straight year, B2G came to Las Vegas and was a winner, taking home the title at the Badger Elite 7on7 Tournament.

Led by a gutty effort by Venice (Calif.) receiver Gabriel Marks, who was named the MVP of the tournament, and a couple of clutch throws by Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure quarterback Marc Evans, B2G topped the 1925 All-Stars, the team coached by Keyshawn Johnson.

Down to their last play in regulation, B2G scored a touchdown with no time left, but because time wore off, they couldn't attempt a potential game-winning extra point.

Overtime had them go to a one play, playoff, the team who got the most yards winning. B2G picked up 16 yards on their attempt, but 1925's attempt to go deep was overthrown and B2G celebrated.

"We knew that we weren't happy with how we played on Saturday," said Marks, who scored 12 touchdowns on the weekend. "So we took it upon ourselves to refocus and we knew we all started 0-0 on Sunday."

To get there, both teams had to roll through four games on Sunday before the championship. Two-time runner up Utah lost to 1925 while B2G beat the Football Factory Inland Empire to advance.

With the win, B2G automatically qualifies for the Badger Elite National 7on7 Tournament this summer.

Brandon Huffman: West Regional Manager
Top Offensive Performer: Gabriel Marks, Venice (Calif.)
Why: The receiver was all-tournament a year ago, helping B2G to the title.  This year, he left with the MVP honors after scoring 12 touchdowns on the weekend, including the game-tying touchdown in the final seconds of the championship game.

Top Defensive Performer: Alphonso Marsh, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez
Why: The fast-rising corner had a good weekend for Gridiron Football Academy Inland Empire.  He showed good backpedal and smooth hips and showed that he could play either corner or safety.

Top Surprise: Kendrick Mathis, Ventura (Calif.) Buena
Why: Mathis goes about 6-0, 190, and played safety for one of the more surprising teams of the tournament, Big Picture Athletics.  He had a couple of interceptions and came up with a huge game-saving stop in the round of 16 to move on to the quarterfinals.  Mathis showed the ability to cover the whole field and lock up receivers.  With no offers, it should just be a matter of time before he does.

Jake Worthen: West Recruiting Analyst
Top Offensive Performer: Jeff Lindquist, Mercer Island (Calif.)
Why: Threw very well on Sunday and led Washington to the quarterfinals, where they narrowly lost to the eventual champs, B2G.  Had one of the best weekends of any of the quarterbacks. 

Top Defensive Performer: Austin Lee, Sandy (Utah) Alta
Why: Lee helped Utah #1 to the semifinals, with several big pass breakups and near picks.  He anchored the secondary for the Utah defense.

Top Surprise: Trent Irwin, B2G
Why: Only an eighth grader, Irwin served as the #2 receiver in the championship game for B2G, and showed plenty of moxie in playing with guys three years older than him.

Quick Hitters

  • Team Washington had a rough go of things, but nearly toppled B2G and almost ended their back-to-back dreams.  They lost corner Tyler Hasty to a nasty concussion on Saturday and two other players went down with freak injuries.
  • In the lineman challenge on Sunday, a newcomer arrived, Jeremiah Poutosi, an offensive lineman from Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines.  The 6-5, 305-pound Poutosi dominated in the 1-on-1s and looked good in the strongman challenge.  Poutosi received his first offer recently from Idaho.
  • Another lineman who impressed was Glendale (Ariz.) Cactus lineman Denzell Dotson.  The 2013 prospect is definitely one to watch.  He's quick and athletic with tremendous strength and had the best time in the tire flip.
  • Mercer Island (Wash.) quarterback Jeff Lindquist will take an unofficial visit to Stanford at the end of the March, the 27th-28th.
  • Long Beach (Calif.) Poly receiver Josiah Blandin, who's first offer is from Arizona State, will be visiting the Sun Devils for their Junior Day on April 2nd.
  • Lowell Lotulelei, a 2013 lineman from South Jordan (Utah) Bingham holds two verbal offers, from BYU and Utah.

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