Gridiron Kings Preview: The West

The West's roster is stacked with stellar receivers and defensive backs heading into Gridiron Kings in Orlando, and they'll look to finally bring some hardware home to the Pacific Time Zone, with some UCLA recruits on the roster...

A team heavy with Californians, and featuring an Arizona and Washington native will take to ESPN's Wide World of Sports this weekend for Champion Gridiron Kings.  Injuries to a couple of defensive prospects could slow the West, but shouldn't stop them, thanks to a stellar receiving group.

Here is a look at who will represent the West:


Mike Baker, QB, Fresno (Calif.) Central
The top passer in Central California has seen a lot of other quarterbacks from the West earn accolades this week at the Elite 11, so he'll try to cement his name there with a good performance in Orlando, as the West's lone passer.

Robert Lewis, RB, South Gate (Calif.) South East
The RB MVP at the Stanford NFTC, Lewis has been stellar all spring on the 7on7 tour, helping B2G to the title at the Badger Elite 7on7 in Vegas and the title of the BMOC Tournament.  The SMU commit is the perfect back for a 7on7, fast, quick and with great hands.

Keivarae Russell, RB, Everett (Wash.) Mariner
The MVP of the Washington NFTC, Russell was one of the few bright spots for his team at The Opening.  The four-star back is one of the best in the region, and he's hoping to be a nice outlet for Baker.

Bryce Treggs, WR, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Few players nationally have been as good as Treggs has this summer.  Scout's pick as the Offensive MVP at The Opening, Treggs starred all week in Oregon, a week after helping 1925 win the New Level National Championships. He also played in the Passing Down title tournament last weekend.  His fourth, and final weekend, in a row of national showcases is one more chance for the Cal commit to shine.

Jaydon Mickens, WR, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey
Like Treggs, Mickens has been busy, helping 1925 to the 7on7 title in Dallas. Mickens, a USC commit, had a very good week at The Opening, showing more explosiveness than we've seen from him.  He'll provide a gamebreaking target for Baker.

Darius Powe, WR, Lakewood (Calif.)
The possession receiver of the group, Powe is also pretty explosive himself, but poor quarterback play at The Opening prevented him from showing well.  The big bodied and sure-handed Powe will be a nice safety valve for Baker.

Taylor McNamara, TE, San Diego (Calif.) Westview
McNamara, on the other hand, didn't have many quarterback issues at The Opening, being one of his team's main targets, when Treggs wasn't picking apart the secondary.  The Arizona commit may be one of the best pass-catching tight ends nationally.

Davonte Neal, ATH, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral
Neal is a do-it-all type, twice earning NFTC WR MVP honors this spring (at Stanford and Washington), and he'll contribute on offense and defense.  The best skill player in Arizona, Neal is also one of the premier athletes nationally.


Jabari Ruffin, LB, Downey (Calif.)
Ruffin suffered a wrist injury at The Opening and is likely out for GK.  The replacement for the SC commit is unknown.

Christopher Santini, LB, San Jose (Calif.) Leland
Santini is the ideal 7on7 linebacker- he's a safety by trade, but has excelled at linebacker, so his versatility will be huge for the West. 

Scott Starr, LB, Norco (Calif.)
The USC commit, and the West's top middle linebacker prospect, will anchor the West's defense at Gridiron Kings and he had a great showing at the Stanford NFTC.

Ishmael Adams, CB, Westlake Village (Calif) Oaks Christian
The four-star cornerback was the MVP of the DBs at the Los Angeles NFTC and already has achieved big success on the 7on7 circuit, helping Team 1925 to the national title at the New Level National Championships.

Marcus Rios, CB, Elk Grove (Calif.) Cosumnes Oaks
Rios was pretty busy at The Opening a couple weeks ago, thanks to his teams offensive struggles, and he was solid all weekend.  The Boise State commit is one of the best pure cover corners nationally.

Tee Shepard, CB, Fresno (Calif.) Central
The five-star was outstanding all week at The Opening, earning All-Camp honors, and there is a reason the Notre Dame commit is considered the West's top cornerback- he's nearly impossible to pass on.

Shaquille Thompson, S, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant
The West's top skill prospect, the five-star Thompson is out with a knee injury, a blow to their secondary.

Derrick Woods, S, Inglewood (Calif.)
With Thompson out, the versatile Woods, who was very good at The Opening as a receiver, will likely spend the majority of his time in the secondary.

Brandon is in his seventh year with, currently as the National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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