NLA Elite 7on7 Day Two Recap

Here's a look at the top performers and top surprises from Day Two at the New Level Athletics Elite 7on7, where Utah 1 beat the 1925 All-Stars to win the 2012 NLA Elite 7on7...

Las Vegas- After three straight years of making it to the final four Utah 1 finally leaves Vegas with a tournament title.

Finishing third a year ago, and runner up in 2009 and 2010, the team led by South Jordan (Utah) Bingham head coach Dave Peck won the NLA Elite 7on7.

But it wasn't without drama. 

Facing a 1925 team that was coming off a 2011 NLA Elite National Championship, Utah had a chance to win it in regulation, but had a pass deflected in the end zone, and intercepted by 1925's Malik Cyphers.  1925's last ditch effort on the last play was incomplete, so the teams went to overtime.

In overtime, in which the winner is declared by who gains the most yards on only one play, Utah gained 21 yards on their possession.  1925's attempt was picked off by Syracuse (Utah) linebacker Kavika Fonua, and Utah rushed the field in celebration.

The natives of the Beehive State beat both the defending national champions, 1925, and two-time Las Vegas champions, B2G, the two finalists a year ago, and the team who topped Utah in 2010.  They knocked off B2G in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals, where they took out 4th Quarter Sports.  1925 returned to the finals after knocking off I.E. Elite in their semifinal matchup.

Here is a look at the top performers from Day Two.

Brandon Huffman: National Recruiting Analyst, West
Top Offensive Performer: Troy Williams, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne.
Why: The top quarterback prospect in attendance, Williams came up with several big throws to help 1925 to the finals.  While his last throw was an interception, he was excellent the rest of the way, including a pair of huge touchdown throws in the semifinals that helped 1925 rally from a deficit against I.E. Elite.  He also came up with a clutch throw in overtime to beat the top overall seed, the Frat Boyz, in the quarterfinals.

Top Defensive Performer: Tyler Foreman, Encino (Calif.) Crespi
Why: Foreman was a huge part of 1925's success on Sunday, with a number of big breakups, and a crucial interception that sealed 1925's semifinal win over I.E. Elite.  Foreman has great size and range and should really see his recruitment take off this spring.

Top Surprise: Jack Austin, Chino Hills (Calif.)
Why: Austin was one of the standouts in I.E. Elite's surprising run to the semifinals, where they lost a close one to 1925.  Austin had a pair of touchdowns in the semifinals, showing great size and strength, and very good route running and surprisingly deceptive speed.  Austin has one offer, but should see more come his way.

Jake Worthen: Northwest Recruiting Analyst
Top Offensive Performer: Jake Lloyd, Provo (Utah) Timpview.
Why: Lloyd led Utah to the title, making the plays he needed to, when he needed to, to win the tournament.  He threw a pair of touchdowns in the championship, and completed the 21-yard pass that ultimately proved to be the difference.

Top Defensive Performer: Uaea Masina, Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton
Why: The anchor of Utah's defense, Mesina was money all day on Saturday and Sunday, and came up with some big pass breakups and stops to help Utah win the tournament.

Top Surprise: Deshawn Stephens, Milwaukie (Ore.) Putnam
Why: Stephens was unstoppable on the fade route with the ball in the air and had seven touchdowns alone on Sunday, in helping the Oregon/Washington team to the quarterfinals.

Greg Biggins: National Recruiting Analyst
Top Offensive Performer: Troy Williams, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne
Why: Williams' 1925 squad lost an overtime heartbreaker in the finals, there is little doubt who the top quarterback was on this day. Williams made some big time throws showing off not only a live arm but throwing the ball on time with accuracy. He squeezed the ball through some tight windows and continues to show improvement in all areas of his game.

Top Defensive Performer: Tahaan Goodman, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.)
Why: Goodman was among the top three overall performers for me all weekend. He has a college body right now, plays with an enforcer mentality and is a very good athlete. He had several acrobatic interceptions in almost every game and didn't allow any receivers to beat him over the top.

Top Surprise: Uaea Masina, Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton
Why: Tall, rangy linebacker who flashed amazing closing speed all day. Is a very physical 'backer who did a nice job re-directing receivers and backs who came across the middle and showed the athleticism to drop back in to coverage and chase down plays from behind as well.

Others:
CB Chris Hawkins, Rancho Cucamonga; QB Jihad Vercher, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian, WR Jabrian Blackwell, Encino (Calif.) Crespi; WR Talon Shumway, Highland (Utah) Lone Peak; TE Dalton Schultz, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham; WR Cameron Denson, Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic; WR Trent Irwin, Newhall (Calif.) Hart; DB Hatari Byrd, Fresno Central; QB Anu Solomon, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman; WR Nathan Starks, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman.


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