Another day, another 7-on-7.
*Watched a lot of Michael Pittman, the 2016 UCLA wide receiver commitment. He is all of 6'4 right now, and seems to be getting bigger -- wouldn't be shocked if he was 210 pounds when I saw him today, and he doesn't look like he's done filling out. He played exclusively receiver with his team today and he has a pretty good get-off from the line for a guy that size. He was a little sloppy with his routes today and will probably need to refine that if he plans to stay at receiver. For a bigger guy, he looked a little inconsistent in his physicality -- on one play, he'll bully aside a safety, on the next, he might get pushed off his route by a much smaller player. He had a couple of drops that I saw, but also made a few nice catches, and seemed to have good body control. Just looking at him physically, though, he looks like a guy who's going to get bigger, and at 6'4, and at least 205 pounds right now, it's really intriguing to think about what he could do on the defensive side of the ball, either at safety or maybe even linebacker. In speaking with him after the event, it's clear that he's a very soft commit right now. It sounds as if the visit to USC and offer from the Trojans was significant for him, as they gave him a very convincing pitch about how they'd use him at receiver, and UCLA will have a fight on its hands to keep him in the fold. He's even saying now that he might have another announcement of some sort, perhaps at one of the All-American games, toward the end of the year, so this one is far from over.
*Khalil Tate, the 2016 QB/WR from Gardena Serra, played receiver and a little bit of quarterback today. As a QB, he has a strong enough arm, but very little touch, often sailing the ball well beyond receivers downfield. He's really intriguing as a WR/RB though. He's actually 6'0 or so and pretty thickly built, but runs really well. He was explosive off the line as a receiver, and if he didn't get jammed up immediately off the snap, corners had a lot of trouble keeping up with him. He'd need to work on his routes and the technique of being a receiver, but the raw material is definitely there. With his build, running back might even be an option as well. He told me that he's definitely giving UCLA a hard look and is by no means a USC lock just because he attends Gardena Serra. His cousin in former UCLA running back Manny White, so there's a real connection to Westwood.
*Marquel Dismuke, the 2016 Calabasas safety, looked like he's a little over 6'0 and probably 175 or so pounds. He moves really well in coverage, and looked fluid changing direction. He's being recruited exclusively as a safety from what he told me, and he thinks UCLA could be close to offering him, with Coach Demetrice Martin trying to get him up on campus sometime soon.
*Jackie Jones, the 2016 Long Beach Poly wide receiver, has gained probably 10 pounds and grown an inch since he earned an offer at UCLA's Skills Camp last June. The added weight hasn't hampered him at all, as he looks arguably quicker and faster than he did when he wowed everyone last June. He was uncover-able on underneath routes during 7-on-7 today, frequently catching the ball with tons of room around him. His hands were a little inconsistent, especially when he had to catch the ball with a little bit of traffic around him. As a playmaker with the ball in his hands, though, there are few his equal. It sounds like he's USC's to lose, but UCLA is still recruiting him.
*Javon McKinley, the 2016 Corona Centennial receiver, looked good as well, though he didn't get targeted much. He's a big-bodied receiver who plays with a good physical edge. As with Jones, though, he's looking like an early USC lean, and isn't really listing UCLA much anymore.
*Joseph Lewis, the 2017 receiver from Los Angeles Hawkins, might have been the best receiver at the event. He has great size, looking all of 6'1 and 180 pounds already as a 15 year old, and he was explosive off the line. He had two fantastic touchdowns on deep posts where he just blew by the corner and the safety over the top. It's be shocking if he's not one of the top receivers in the region in his class.
*Brandon Burton, the 2016 prospect from Serra, played exclusively wide receiver from what I saw today, and looked very good doing it, looking pretty fast with good quickness. He's grown a little too, looking like a legit 6'1+.
*D.J. Morgan, the 2016 safety from St. John Bosco, played exclusively on defense today and didn't look great. He doesn't change direction as well as you'd like and just appears to be a bit slow in his reactions. Physically, he looks great, at probably 6'1 and 180 pounds, but from what I've seen of him over the last year and change, it wouldn't be a shock if his future is on the offensive side of the ball, where he could be perhaps a possession-type receiver.
*2017 wide receiver Terrell Bynum, from Servite, was probably just behind Lewis as one of the best receivers of the day. He's a very smooth athlete with a very good burst after the catch, and he caught pretty much everything thrown his way today. He's right around 6'0 and is 165 or so pounds with plenty of room to fill out more. If Bynum and Lewis are any indication, the 2017 crop of receivers in the West should be pretty talented.
Evaluations from B2G 7-on-7
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