SoCal NIKE Camp Preview

The NIKE Football Training Camp tour kicks off in Southern California on Sunday with Redondo high school serving as the host. As is always the case, there is a lot of talent out West and the SoCal camp should be loaded on both sides of the ball. Here's a look at the standouts expected on the offensive side of the ball...

OFFENSE

The quarterback position is a bit down this year out West but Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain signal caller Kyle Allen should put on a show. He shined at last year's NorCal NIKE Camp in Oakland and his familiarity with the drills as well as his natural talent should see him have a big performance.

Making the road trip from the Midwest is Michigan commit Wilton Speight. The Richmond (Va.) Collegiate School product is a big, strong quarterback with a powerful arm and he can make every throw on the field. He's very solid mechanically, has made huge strides in the last year and has a very big upside to him.

Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian quarterback Brandon Dawkins has a Cam Newton body with a big arm but consistency has been an issue for him this winter. He has a lot of physical tools and is a natural leader but decision making is an area he needs to work hard on.

A sleeper to watch is Carlsbad's (Calif.) Christian Chapman. Chapman shows up well on film and is among the most polished quarterbacks in the state. He just picked up his first offer from Washington State on Saturday and could have a breakout performance on Sunday.

Another quarterback worth watching closely is Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic's Morgan Mahalak. Mahalak is getting a lot of Div I attention right now despite playing behind Cal signee Jared Goff this past season. The signal call has a college body, moves around well and can get the ball down the field.

A few underclassmen to watch will be Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco's Josh Rosen, Upland (Calif.) Tyler Hilinski, Newhall (Calif.) Hart's Brady White and Chandler (Ariz.) Bryce Perkins.

Rosen and Hilinski were both very impressive at the recent NLA 7 on 7 tournament in Las Vegas, White put up monster numbers this past season and Perkins is one of the most athletic signal callers in the region right now.

Imperial's (Calif.) Royce Freeman and Palmdale's (Calif.) Demario Richard headline the running back group.

Freeman will have a chance to compete on the big stage and put to rest comments about him putting up big numbers because of his small school competition. The athlete might be the most powerful back in the region and at 6-0, 225 pounds is an absolute load to deal with. He's also a lot more athletic than given credit for and can run away from people in the open field.

Richard is one of the most explosive backs in the west and his stock has been really heating up recently. He earned all-state underclass honors the last two years and recently landed an offer from Tennessee. Richard has a great burst, wiggle, and is a home run threat from anywhere on the field.

Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian D.J. Riggins has been impressive all winter and should shine in this setting. He catches the ball very well, is tough to handle in the open field and it will be very difficult for any linebacker to keep up with him in the open field.

Mission Viejo's (Calif.) Alex Suchesk and Kurt Scoby, who recent left Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany are two more talented backs who should work out very well.

Long Beach Jordan (Calif.) and Washington commit Rahshead Johnson headlines a solid group of receivers. Johnson has a great skill set to him, is lightning quick and has some of the best hands in the region. He has a chance to be even better than his former teammate John Ross, who was a top five WR in the region last year.

Several top underclassmen will be on hand including Diamon Bar's (Calif.) Cordell Broadus, Newhall (Calif.) Hart's Trent Irwin, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro's Christian Kirk and Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany's Desean Holmes.

Broadus is that big receiver all colleges covet and looks all of 6-3, 190 pounds. Irwin dominated last season for Hart, which was no surprise for those who saw him dominate the summer 7 on 7 circuit playing for B2G.

Kirk was one of the top players in Las Vegas last weekend and had offers from both in-state schools plus UCLA before he even finished his sophomore season and Holmes is an explosive deep threat who reminds a lot of people at Alemany of a young Steven Mitchell.

A few other pass catchers to watch will be Inglewood's (Calif.) Zaire Andre, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco's Shay Fields, San Diego (Calif.) Madison's Michael Garner, Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral's Ladarius Wiley, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey's David Williams and West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade Donovan Lee. The top tight end in attendance will likely be La Mirada (Calif.) standout Tyler Luatua. Luatua has a big, athletic frame, soft hands and can make the tough catch in traffic or use his speed to get down field and make a play.

La Habra's (Calif.) Darrell Cloy will make a return visit to the NIKE Camp after impressing last year. Cloy is very athletic with a big, strong body and could end up on either side of the ball in college.

The offensive line position is led by the top three guard prospects in the region and a USC tackle commit.

Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco's Damien Mama is one of the hottest prospects in country and picked up offers from Alabama and Notre Dame just last week. Mama played tackle last year but projects as a guard and is one of the strongest and most physical players in the region.

Corona (Calif.) Centennial's Viane Talamaivao shocked a lot of onlookers last year when he earned OL MVP honors as a sophomore. Talamaivao hurt his foot and missed most of his junior season but says he's 100% recovered and he'll have a chance to prove it on Sunday.

Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe two-way standout Natrell Curtis is getting a ton of looks as a defensive tackle but said he'll work out with the offensive lineman. Curtis is a true road grader with great strength and the perfect mentality to play on the interior line. He shows a motor and plays with a mean streak.

USC commit Toa Lobendahn, who transferred from Lakewood (Calif.) to La Habra (Calif.) in the off-season, leads the tackle group. Lobendahn is the son of a coach and it shows as he's very solid mechanically and has the athleticism you love to see in a tackle prospect as well.

Claremont's (Calif.) Jordan Austin and Apple Valley's (Calif.) Troy Bacon are two more tackle prospects than a lot of tools that translate well to the next level.

An underclassmen to watch is a player making one of the farthest road trips to SoCal. Sophomore Fred Ulu-Perry out of Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis is a road grader at the guard position who can physically manhandle opposing players and should be a national recruit in two years.


DEFENSE

Several of the West's best prospects will be in the Southland on Sunday for the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp at Redondo Union HS.

Scout.com will be on hand to check out the top prospects from Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Here is a look at some of the defensive players to watch on Sunday, which includes a number of 2014 Scout 300 prospects.

DEFENSIVE LINE


Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star DL Malik Dorton.
Scout.com

The headliner on the defensive line is Lompoc (Calif.) defensive tackle Ainuu Taua, a four-star prospect and one of the premier defensive linemen in the West.  Taua came to the SoCal NFTC a year ago and was one of the top underclass performers there.  He's ranked #7 nationally at the defensive tackle.

Making an appearance for the second year is another four-star defensive lineman, Malik Dorton, the four-star defensive end from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, one of a number of top prospects from St. John Bosco expected on Sunday.

A slew of other top defensive tackles will also be there, including La Habra (Calif.) tackle Greg Gaines, who's got a handful of offers, Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista's Jalen Jelks, who also boasts some offers, and Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian tackle Tyrone Fa'anono.

Other to watch include Ventura (Calif.) defensive end Tevin Krall, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez defensive end Uriah Leiataua, Oak Hills (Calif.) defensive end Kennedy Emesibe, Los Angeles (Calif.) University defensive end Jameal Baker, Villa Park (Calif.) defensive end Louis Vecchio and Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco defensive end Jacob Tuioti-Mariner.

LINEBACKERS


Gardena (Calif.) Serra four-star linebacker Dwight Williams.
Scout.com

The linebacker crop is led by the West's top outside linebacker prospect, Gardena (Calif.) Serra's Dwight Williams.  Last year, with a talented group of upperclassmen, it was Williams who left Los Angeles with the LB MVP award and he's hoping to make it a repeat and potentially earn an invitation to The Opening.

Some of the top linebackers in San Diego will be in attendance, San Diego (Calif.) Patrick Henry linebacker Zach Brown and La Mesa (Calif.) Helix's Ruben Leasau.

From the Inland Empire is Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta linebacker Greg Hoyd and from the Valley is West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade's Rick Gamboa.

Underclassmen include Encino (Calif.) Crespi's D.J. Beavers, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian's Andre Chevalier, Gardena (Calif.) Serra's John Houston and San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine freshman Quinn Seau.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

The secondary is the deepest position out West in the 2014 class and a host of the top prospects from the region will be representing the defensive backs, including the West's top prospect in the 2014 class, Gardena (Calif.) Serra cornerback Adoree Jackson and perhaps the top prospect in the region in 2015, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly's Iman Marshall.


Gardena (Calif.) Serra five-star cornerback Adoree Jackson
Scout.com

Jackson, a five-star by Scout and the #2-ranked corner in the country, was a standout a year ago at the NFTC and Marshall, who is a lock for five-stars in 2015, was another stellar performer a year ago.  They'll be back this weekend for another go-round.

Joining them are a handful of Scout 300 prospects for 2014, including Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei cornerback Jonathan Lockett, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco teammates Naijiel Hale and Jaleel Wadood and three-star Bosco cornerback Chandler Hawkins.

Compton (Calif.) Centennial's Denzel Fisher is an intriguing prospect with a ton of upside and figures to blow up this spring and become a top priority for several schools.  Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany safety Quentin Tartabull

Other prospects to watch include Oceanside (Calif.) safety Alijah Holder, Corona (Calif.) Roosevelt cornerback Kionce Roberts Long Beach (Calif.) Poly cornerback Demetric Woodard, Chandler (Ariz.) safety J.R. Hunt

Besides Marshall, other underclassmen to watch include Encino (Calif.) Crespi's Marvell Tell, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian's Darick Holmes and Diamond Bar (Calif.) corner Kanya Bell.

Brandon is in his ninth year with Scout.com and FOXSportsNext, currently as a 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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Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for Scout.com/FOXSportsNext.
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