IMG Recap: Top Players

The IMG West Region Championship was loaded with not just teams from the Southern California area but NorCal and Arizona as well. Here's a look at the top players who caught our eye over the two day event...

B2G Five Star exacted some revenge on Body By Tra to win the tournament. BBT had beaten B2G five times in a row in previous tournaments but after an OT scare in the quarters against TGS Warriors, B2G rolled over everyone.

We also spotlighted two-way standouts Adoree Jackson and Juju Smith in an earlier article and didn't feel the need to write them up again in this piece.

TOP OFFENSIVE PROSPECTS:

2014 Checklist

Jalen Brown, WR Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe- Brown was very impressive and might be the most polished receiver in the region. He has very good size, hands and body control and has an advanced feel for how to play the position. He looked great at safety as well but receiver is definitely his favorite position and where he had the bigger impact this past weekend.

Erik Brown, WR Fontana (Calif.) Summit- There a lot of similarities between the two Brown's Jalen and Erik (no relation). Both are about 6-2, very smooth, and catch everything. Whereas some young receivers really fight the ball, Brown has suction cups for hands and better than average downfield speed and athleticism as well.

Dashon Gordon, WR Los Alamitos (Calif.)- Gordon is a dynamic playmaker who always seems to step up for B2G. We've compared him to Oregon State signee Victor Bolden in the past because of his similar size and explosiveness. He may not be quite as fast as Bolden but is a more polished pass catcher at the same stage.

Jordan Lasley, WR Gardena (Calif.) Serra- It's going to be a lot of fun to watch the Serra offense this year and Lasley should be a big part of it. He has made incredible strides this past spring and was extremely clutch for B2G this past weekend. BBT has owned B2G but Lasley came up big with several big third down catches as well as multiple touchdowns against their nemesis in this one.

Emmanuel Butler, WR Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe- Butler probably had more highlight reel catches than any other receiver. It seemed at least once a game, Butler would catch a deep ball or an end zone fade over a pair of helpless defenders. Butler looks all of 6-3, 200 pounds and with his overall athleticism, he's a pretty intriguing player to watch this coming summer.

Matthew Palmer, WR Menifee (Calif.) Heritage- Palmer is a versatile player who has played corner, safety and receiver this past spring and stood out this weekend as a pass catcher. Palmer has very good size, good straight line speed and a nice catch radius. He's a tough red zone matchup and the offensive side of the ball might be his ultimate meal ticket.

Chase Forrest, QB Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei- Forrest is an impressive looking quarterback and a definite Div I prospect. He saw part time action last year for the Monarchs but will run the show this season. Forrest has a plus arm, makes good decisions and can really spin it. He's solid mechanically and his accuracy should continue to improve with repetition.

Tai Tiedamann, QB Long Beach Poly (Calif.)- Tiedemann has a cannon and had arguably the strongest arm in the tournament. He can fit the ball in to small windows because of his arm strength but showed off some nice touch on a few fade balls as well. Tiedemann has good size and his frame will fill out. If he can improve his accuracy and decision making, he ha a chance to develop in to a legitimate prospect.

Josh Fuglsang, TE Panorama City (Calif.) St. Genevieve- Fuglsang was a revelation this past weekend and looks like one of the most versatile players in the state. He plays several positions for his H.S team and probably projects best as an H-Back or fullback type at the next level. He has a very strong body, great hands and plenty of toughness.

Michael Sewell, WR Palmdale (Calif.) Highland- Sewell looks the part of a big play receiver and delivered this weekend. He doesn't have great down field speed but can run past guys and is a plus athlete. He's a polished route runner, has a strong body that he used to get off press coverage and showed strong hands as well.

Mikah Holder, WR Oceanside (Calif.)- Holder was hobbled with a sore leg but still made some dynamic plays. The receiver has very good quickness getting off the line, runs great routes and catches everything with his hands, away from his body.

Tim Hernandez, WR Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe- Hernandez was a player we were told to watch out for prior to the tournament and he didn't disappoint. No one could cover Hernandez and if official stats were taken, the receiver may have led the tournament in catches. He runs well, has great hands and drew some Wes Welker comparisons from onlookers.

Ajene Harris, WR Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw- We've only seen Harris play quarterback in the past but he was very impressive at receiver and corner. Being a quarterback, it shouldn't be surprising that he understands route running but he really impressed with his overall athleticism and ability to make big plays.

Jeff Farrar, WR Upland (Calif.)- We've spotlighted Farrar at safety in the past but he had a big weekend at receiver. The athlete made catches down the field and worked the middle of the field as well. He's a versatile athlete who will have the ability to play on either side of the ball in college depending on what the bigger need for said team will be.

2015 Checklist

Brady White, QB Newhall (Calif.) Hart- White was the unofficial MVP of the tournament and had another steady weekend. White was especially affective on the deep balls and was hitting his receivers in stride all weekend. He made big throws in the clutch and has a rare poise and calmness to him well beyond his years.

Tyler Hilinski, QB Upland (Calif.)- Hilinski and White have been battling in the finals of a tournament almost every weekend it seems. This was another strong event for Hilinski who showed off his strong, accurate arm and quick decision making.

Joseph Jones, (2016) WR Upland (Calif.)- Jones is just a freshman but is making clutch ‘Moss' like catches look routine now. He's so big and athletic and has great timing in jump ball situations. Jones is already a red zone weapon and with two more years left to grow and learn the position, he has a chance to develop in to a national prospect.

Trent Irwin, WR Newhall (Calif.) Hart- It was another typical weekend for Irwin catching everything thrown in his direction. It really is amazing to watch as Irwin is one of the few pass catchers who doesn't wear gloves yet has the fewest drops of any pass catcher every tournament. He understands how to get open and is extremely clutch.

Malik Roberson, RB Gardena (Calif.) Serra- Roberson is a lightning quick running back who is filling out, especially in his upper body. He catches the ball well out of the backfield, can make a defender miss in the open field and has great top end speed. Look for a huge year from Roberson this coming season.

John Arzola, WR Oceanside (Calif.)- Arzola played in the slot and was open all day long. He's very quick off the snap, has a nice wiggle to him and showed a great burst getting in and out of his breaks.

Anthony Taele, TE El Camino (Calif.)- Taele lines up at tight end but has a fullback body and that's probably his best position down the line. He's physically strong, can get separation and has very soft hands.

Greyson Bankhead, WR Corona (Calif.) Centennial- Bankhead makes this list for the second week in a row after a standout showing at the Passing Down tourney a week ago. Bankhead moved all over the field for BBT but did the most damage in the slot. He's undersized but has a burst and was very sure handed.

Jeremy Calhoun, RB Long Beach Poly (Calif.)- Calhoun was a threat out of the backfield for the winning B2G squad and proved to be a great security blanket for Brady White. Calhoun runs the wheel route very well and made several impressive diving catches all weekend.

Dakota Miller, (2016) QB Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza- Miller is an intriguing lefty who showed some nice promise for a young signal caller. He never looked rattled, made good decisions with the ball and has some arm talent to him as well. With three years to develop, if Miller continues to grow, and looking at his parents, that looks very likely, he has a chance to be a serious prospect down the road.


TOP DEFENSIVE PROSPECTS:

2014 Checklist

Fred Warner, LB San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills- Warner has been great all spring but was especially impressive this past weekend. Its not often a linebacker jumps out at you during 7 on 7 player but Warner's size, cover skills and closing speed were all on display and he made a ton of plays for the winning B2G squad.

Maurice McKnight, DB San Bernardino (Calif.) Arroyo Valley- McKnight looked like one of the smoothest corners in the tournament. He has good length and is about 5-11 with long arms and is very fluid. He's smooth in his backpedal, can break on the ball and played very tight coverage. You're not going to get a lot on McKnight and he's definitely a player colleges should be looking hard at.

Jonathan Lockett, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei- Lockett is great in coverage and just blankets a receiver. The one thing he needs work on and really the only time you ever see him beat is on corner fades where he can lose track of the ball. His cover skills and instincts are already at a high level and will continue to get better as he gets bigger and stronger. We've said it before but he's one of the few corners who doesn't have to clutch and grab at the line but can just move his feet and shadow a receiver all over the field.

Alijah Holder, DB Oceanside (Calif.)- Holder has a great corner frame, long, athletic and he's very tough. Holder plays with an edge and is just as content slamming a receiver to the ground as he is turning and running with him down the field. He's a complete corner who does everything well and will likely outperform players rated higher than him at the next level because of his physical upside.

A.J. Greathouse, DB Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton- Hamilton is always loaded in the secondary so it's easy to see how Greathouse might have gotten overlooked last season. He showed this past weekend that's he's a legitimate prospect with a nice upside. He looked close to 6-0 with an athletic body and very good ball skills. He was strong in coverage and had a pick in every game we watched him play.

Jordan Robinson, LB Gilbert (Ariz.) Mesquite- Robinson is a safety-linebacker hybrid but looked very good at ‘backer this past weekend. He has a very solid frame at about 6-0, 205 pounds, has good athleticism and plays with toughness. He has good field awareness and is always in position to make a play.

Jamardre Cobb, LB Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian- Cobb always plays hard, that's the one you thing you can always count on with him and he wants to get better. He knows right now he's more of a run stuffing inside ‘backer and is playing a ton of 7 on 7 to improve his cover skills and it's paying off. He's more fluid now than earlier in the spring and is a great leader.

Sidney Jones, DB West Covina (Calif.)- Jones has quickly become one of the hot corner prospects in the state. He has plus size at 6-0 and very good speed as well. He's a smart heady player who understands the position well and never looks lost on the field. You can't beat him over the top because of his top end speed and he's physical enough to battle on the underneath routes as well.

Kwesi Mashack, DB Norco (Calif.)- Mashack sometimes gets lost in the shadows playing with so many other highly touted defensive backs but not this week. The physical corner lines up against a slot receiver and almost plays like a second linebacker. He's physically strong and will knock a receiver coming across the middle but has the talent level to cover a receiver down the field as well.

Artuz Manning, DB Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.)- Manning has looked good all spring and battled hard against some top receivers. He won't back down from anyone and excels in tight, press coverage where he can use his strength at the line. He runs well and shows natural cover ability.

Kurt Scoby, LB Monrovia (Calif.)- We almost put Scoby at running back, as he made several nice plays out of the backfield but probably had a bigger impact on defense. Scoby is so physically strong but has good balance and can change direction. He can cover a back out of the backfield and shows very good closing speed running down plays all over the field.

Nic Needham, DB Buena Park (Calif.)- An intriguing player who showed off a very nice skill set. Can play multiple positions but spent all weekend at corner and looked good . Very smooth in coverage and was rarely tested. Showed excellent quickness breaking on the ball and good hands when he was tested as well.

2015 Checklist

Iman Marshall, DB Long Beach Poly (Calif.)- Marshall took Saturday off to recover from a track meet but had a huge impact on Sunday. It doesn't matter if it's corner or safety, Marshall always brings his A game and plays with so much intensity and fire, that it can't help but inspire the rest of his teammates.

Stanley Norman, DB Culver City (Calif.)- Norman was the best two-way player in the tournament and made a ton of plays at receiver as well as corner. He's an electric athlete and does everything well. Throw in his high compete level and toughness and Norman should be a national prospect in two years. If he continues to grow and fills out, he's a national top 50 player, he's that talented.

Marvell Tell, DB Encino (Calif.) Crespi- When Tell lines up next to Marshall at safety, you're looking at two of the nation's best 2015 prospects. As good as he is at safety, and he's very good, Tell's coaches at B2G feel he could be an even better corner prospect down the line because of his size and high level athleticism.

Jaylinn Hawkins, DB Buena Park (Calif.)- We've talked up Hawkins at receiver but at IMG, he shined at safety. The athlete had SAT on Saturday so was only there for Sunday but he wasted no time making an impact. He covers a ton of ground in the secondary, has great ball skills and plays with a high football IQ. He also showed great leadership skills despite playing for a brand new team and missing all of Saturday.

Kyahva Tezino, LB Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian- Tezino worked out at linebacker and is as tough as they come. He's very physical in the box, but has the athleticism of a safety. He can run and cover and has good ball skills, picking off a couple of passes, which he does every tournament. The debate will be what position does Tezino project best at but with his frame, you know he'll continue to grow and should develop in to an elite ‘backer prospect.

Elijah Jones, DB Upland (Calif.)- Jones is a good looking safety prospect with a big upside. He has a corner frame but can roam the secondary and is always around the ball. He's a big time athlete who runs well and plays with a high football IQ. He's a solid running back as well but projects best in the secondary.

Justin Calhoun, DB Long Beach Poly (Calif.)- Calhoun's twin brother made this list yesterday at running back and Justin keeps it all in the family. Calhoun is about 5-9 and not real heavy right now but he makes up for it with superior quickness and is very tough. He'll battle you and made a lot of plays in Crazy Quick's surprising run on Sunday.

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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