Early look at 2017 West Coast 4-Stars

AUG 27 -- It's never too early to look ahead and the West Coast 2017 class already has a handful of players we expect to be national recruits in two years...

We didn't assign any 5-star players in the class just yet but there are a few players we could definitely see earning that following this season.

Newbury Park (Calif.) defensive back Darnay Holmes started as a freshman at Oaks Christian a year ago before transferring to Newbury Park. At 5-10, 180 pounds, he has a strong build, clocked a 4.57-40 at the SoCal NIKE Camp and showed very good instincts and ball skills during the spring 7v7 circuit.

He has great bloodlines as his father Darick Holmes was a running back for the Buffalo Bills and older brother Darick Jr. is a senior and has committed to Arizona. The younger Holmes has already blown past the double digit scholarship offer list and should have his choice of any school in the country by the time he's a senior.

Another player to watch closely as a potential future 5-star is Upland (Calif.) athlete Nathan Tilford. Tilford landed his first offer from USC as an 8th grader and has the versatility to play multiple positions at the next level.

At a rock solid 6-2, 190 pounds, he has a college body right now. He can play running back or receiver on offense as well as safety or outside linebacker, depending on how much bigger he gets, in college. He runs well, is a physical kid and plays with toughness. He'll likely be the primary running back for Upland this season and that could be where he projects best at the next level as well.

Another running back with a lot of potential is Antioch's (Calif.) Najee Harris. Harris a big back and measured in at the NorCal NIKE Camp at 6-2, 205 pounds. Some have already compared him to Joe Mixon at the same stage and after seeing limited action as a freshman, should really blow up this coming season.

The top sophomore in Arizona is Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro's Kayden Lyles and he has a chance to be very special.

"He could be a potential 5-star for sure," Scout regional analyst Jason Jewell said. "He's very mature for a young player. Most big kids when they are young are scared to be aggressive and don't know how to control their body, that's not Lyles.

"He started every game for a perennial power team that won a state title in 2013. He plays tackle now but will be a guard at the next level. He's a big, strong kid and it's scary how good he could be."

Graham (Wash.) Kapowsin offensive lineman Foster Sarell is the early pick as the top player in the NW.

"Sarell started as a freshman for Kapowsin and showed right from the get-go that he was more than ready to start on the offensive line as a ninth grader," national recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman said. "He’s light on his feet and nimble, has great flexibility, being a natural knee bender, knows how to use his hands well, is superb as a run blocker and comfortable as a pass-blocker.

"He may be the best offensive lineman in the state already, regardless of class and while he’s still three years from playing on a college offensive line, he already looks like he’ll be able to make that jump and play right away."

Saratoga Springs (Utah) Westlake defensive back Chaz Ah You is our early choice as the top sophomore in the state, in what is shaping up up to a solid group of prospects.

"Ah You is a fantastic athlete that is just beginning to tap into his potential," Scout regional analyst Doug Kimmel said. "He had an impressive freshman year, primarily playing safety, which is what he currently projects best at in college.

"This fall he will be playing quarterback for Westlake and in his first career start there, he accounted for five touchdowns. He has the size, skill, genetics, and football IQ to be a very special player down the road."

Two other Utah players to watch out for in the coming years are South Jordan (Utah) Bingham defensive end Langi Tuifua and Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton linebacker Sione Heimuli-Lund. Tuifua has already committed to Utah and Heimuli-Lind has offers from both Utah and BYU.

West Linn (Ore.) defensive back Elijah Molden and Wilsonville (Ore.) quarterback Connor Neville are the top two prospects in the Beaver State.

Molden is the son of former Oregon Duck All-American corner Alex Molden. He earned 2nd team all-region honors last season with 56 tackles and four interceptions. Neville is a great looking signal caller who really shined at the NorCal NIKE Camp and Oakland Elite 11 Regional. He's a big, strong kid with an effortless release and a cannon for an arm.

Another player benefiting from a nice gene pool is Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian quarterback Dylan McCaffrey. McCaffrey, who's father Ed was a standout receiver for years with the Denver Broncos, is already 6-4, 185 pounds and a plus athlete as well. This coming season will be McCaffrey's first year starting but physically, he has all the tools to be an impact player right away.

Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman has three early 4-star prospects including a pair of Poway (Calif.) transfers in quarterback Tate Martell and wide out Tyjon Lindsey. Martell committed to Washington as an 8th grader and has some very nice tools. He's a bit undersized right now at 5-10 but has a live arm, very good mobility and shows an excellent feel for the position.

Lindsey is an explosive receiver who can get deep or take a short pass, make 3-4 guys miss and get to the house. Alex Perry is another dynamic player for the Gaels who was already generating a ton of buzz while in Junior High. He's a two-way threat at running back and corner and should put on a show for nationally ranked Gorman this season.

Another young player from the Silver State we're high on is Las Vegas (Nev.) Centennial defensive tackle Greg Rogers. He's already a load at 6-4, 275 pounds with an early offer from Utah.

Anaheim (Calif.) Servite is another school with multiple 4-star prospects. The Friars have a ton of depth at the receiver position and that's bolstered by Osiris St. Brown, younger brother of Equanimeous and St. John Bosco transfer Terrell Bynum.

St. Brown is a smooth pass catcher with great hands and is already an advanced route runner. Bynum is an explosive player with superior speed and body control. The two should complement each other very well in the coming years.

Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins doesn't have much of a regional reputation just yet but that could change quickly. They have a ton of young talent headlined by athlete Greg Johnson. Johnson rushed for 581 yards and five touchdowns in just six varsity games as a freshman last year. He was one of the better looking players we saw at UCLA's summer camp and he could project even better as a safety or corner down the road.

Mission Viejo (Calif.) wide out Keyshawn Johnson Jr., son of USC All-American and Super Bowl champ Keyshawn Sr., racked up double digit scholarship offers over the spring/summer before even taking a varsity snap. He's already a very polished receiver with strong hands. He's expected to grow and end up in the same 6-4 range as his pops and if he can continue to improve his overall speed and athleticism, he could end up a special player at the next level.

Fontana (Calif.) Summit running back Stephen Carr was a man among boys playing freshman ball last season and should be on everyone's radar. He has size, speed, toughness and shows the ability to run inside or bounce it outside and run away from defenders.

Another player we expect to make a big impact is Corona (Calif.) Roosevelt corner Thomas Graham. Graham is a player who impressed us on the 7v7 circuit over the spring and has the length and athleticism to be a national recruit in a few years. He needs to get bigger and stronger but the skill set is definitely there.


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