Badger Sport 7v7 Vegas: Lineman Recap

Here's a look at some of the top prospects from the Badger Elite Lineman Challenge in Las Vegas...

Fanaika and Lotulelei
Doug Zylstra
Offensive Line

Encino (Calif.) Crespi offensive tackle Jordan Simmons came in to Vegas as the top ranked lineman and lived up to the hype. The junior dominated his 1-on-1 sessions, violently throwing opponents to the ground. Simmons seems to have trimmed some weight from previous camps and that allowed his athleticism to show through. The only time he looked vulnerable during the weekend was when sophomore Jaylen Ruiz used his speed to get around him to the quarterback bag. Simmons showed his competitiveness, calling the sophomore back twice until he was able to shut him down.

The other highly rated prospect in attendance was Pleasant Grove (Utah) lineman Brandon Fanaika. The two way starter holds offers from Arizona, Stanford, Utah State and Washington. Most schools are recruiting him as an offensive lineman and he looked the part this weekend. Fanaika has long arms and the frame to keep defenders away from his body. While Fanaika is a great athlete, he didn't show the quickness off the ball you would look for in a defensive tackle and seems best suited to play guard or center in college.

Desert Pine (Utah) tackle Jeremiah Poutasi was the surprise of the camp. The massive tackle had the most college ready body of any player in attendance. Poutasi was able to move very well for a man that stands 6'5" and weighs in at over 320 pounds. His only offer coming into the weekend was Idaho, but I would expect a number of Pac-12 schools to offer in the coming weeks.

Glendale (Ariz.) Cactus Ridge lineman Denzell Dotson is a physical player that should play on the interior. Once Dotson got his hands on a defender the battle was over. Dotson has a low center of gravity and uses his leverage well.

Defensive Line

Dimick and Fanaika
Doug Zylstra

Syracuse (Utah) defensive end Hunter Dimick was the most consistently successful defensive lineman at the camp. Dimick moves extremely well and has a great initial burst off the ball. He was able to beat most lineman on speed alone, but showed the ability to use his hands and strength when needed. Dimick is still waiting for his first offer, but feels like BYU and Oregon State could pull the trigger soon. Dimick showed a toughness and motor that make it no surprise he was an all-state selection last season.

Salt Lake City (Utah) East lineman Vaha Vainuku showed his ability to play on both sides of the ball. The junior was one of the top five offensive and defensive performers this weekend. While he had success on both sides of the ball, Vainuku isn't extremely explosive. He is more of a smooth athlete and offense is the better fit at the next level.

Compton (Calif.) Dominguez prospect Dejon Allen showed his versatility by playing on the offensive and defensive line this weekend. Allen looked more natural as a defensive end with an explosive first step and burst of the ball. In addition, he showed a good swim move and balance. Offensively, the junior is a knee bender that will need to add weight to his frame if he wants to play offense at the next level. Allen prefers to play offensive line.

Top Underclassmen

Hicks and Allen 
Doug Zylstra

South Jordan (Utah) Bingham defensive end Lowell Lotulelei is the younger brother of Star Lotulelei. Lowell had success against several of the top lineman and figures to be one of the better prospects in Utah in the 2013 class. The sophomore already holds offers from BYU and Utah.

Fresno (Calif.) San Joaquin Memorial defensive end Jaylen Ruiz was easily the most impressive looking line prospect from his class. He moves well, is quick off the ball and has a good frame to add more weight and go with his explosiveness off the edge. The sophomore currently projects as a defensive end, but could grow into an offensive tackle if he grows any taller or defensive tackle if he adds more weight. 

Utah's Cory Rush was the most impressive freshman at the camp and one to keep an eye on in the future. The athletic defensive end is a cousin of the renowned basketball family of Rush's from Kansas City. 

South Jordan (Utah) Bingham tackle Keegan Hicks has a solid frame and was one of the more consistent offensive linemen over the course of the weekend. Hicks moved well during the drill portion of the camp and more than held his own when it came time for 1-on-1's. The sophomore should be one of the top offensive lineman in Utah in the 2013 class.

Gardena (Calif.) Serra lineman Emerald Faletuipapai turned heads at the camp as easily the largest lineman in attendance. The sophomore hasn't quite caught up athletically to his size but has the potential to be a big recruit in the 2013 class. Faletuipapai will likely end up as a three technique defensive tackle.


Jake Worthen is a West Recruiting Analyst for
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