West Recruiting Notebook

Mar. 6 -- A look at the latest news and notes from out West in this week's notebook, including plenty of tidbits on UCLA...

Pylon 7on7 Wrap Up

With over 80 teams in attendance, the Inland Empire (Calif.) based Ground Zero walked away from Las Vegas with the 2015 Pylon Elite National 7v7 Championship, beating 702 Elite, from Las Vegas in the finals.

Paced by offensive MVP and Scout 300 receiver Damian Alloway, a four-star out of Fontana (Calif.) Summit and defensive MVP Camryn Bynum, a three-star cornerback from Corona (Calif.) Centennial, Ground Zero lost one game in pool play before going through Sunday unbeaten and winning their second major 7v7 title in the last two years, after winning the Passing Down Best Of the West tournament last spring.


Alloway (L) and Bynum (R) were MVPs in Vegas

Scout broke down the loaded Ground Zero squad, which features a number of Scout 300 prospects in the 2016 and 2017 class, including two of the West's top middle linebackers, Rialto (Calif.) Carter's Lokeni Toailoa and Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty's Krys Barnes.

Several other players stood out on defense, like the West's No. 1 overall prospect, Caleb Kelly, the five-star linebacker from Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West and the region's top jumbo athlete, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei four-star outside linebacker/receiver Curtis Robinson.

The top two quarterbacks in the West were also in Las Vegas and impressed, Lake Stevens (Wash.) four-star Jacob Eason and Santa Margarita (Calif.) four-star K.J. Costello.

Nike Returns to Los Angeles

The first Nike Football Opening Regional out West is set for this Sunday, March 8th at Redondo Union HS in Redondo (Calif.).

In their 19th year, the Nike Football Opening Regional's are the nation's premier football camp series, traveling around the country and producing the best talent at each and every event throughout the U.S.

And while the Vegas 7v7 had a load of talent, The Opening Regional kicks it up a notch by adding linemen in to the mix, and some of the region's best will be in attendance in the trenches, including Gardena (Calif.) Serra four-star defensive lineman Oluwole Betiku and fast-rising offensive lineman Alex Akingbulu from Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne.

Both Betiku and Akingbulu have something in common- a ton of offers and only one year of football under their belt.

Betiku came to the U.S. last year, shined at the D.C. NFTC and was offered by Maryland, before ever playing a down of organized football.


Betiku made his debut at the Washington D.C. NFTC in 2014

Akingbulu was a basketball player who was convinced by Narbonne football coach Manuel Douglas to try football and he's nearing double-digit offers.

The receiver position, though, will be stacked, which makes senses since it's a loaded year for the region.

Some of the standouts expected are La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat's Trevon Sidney, who was the WR MVP at last year's Oregon NFTC, his Bishop Amat teammate Tyler Vaughns, the West's top receiver, Corona (Calif.) Centennial's David Long and Long Beach (Calif.) Poly's Jack Jones, as well as Alloway, who looks to pick up where he left off in Vegas.

The linebacker group should be loaded too, with Barnes, Robinson and Toailoa joined by Bryce Youngquist, who was the SPARQ MVP in Los Angeles a year ago.

Several top underclassmen will be in Los Angeles too, including Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins trio Joseph Lewis, Greg Johnson and Jalen Hall and Saratoga Springs (Utah) Westlake safety Chaz Ah You.

  • The first Passing Down 7v7 Tournament of 2015 is set for Sunday, March 15th in Livermore (Calif.). Passing Down is the state of California's first and only statewide high school elite football 7on7 tournament, with the finals culminating at the end of April at Fullerton College with the Best Of the West Finals. Past Passing Down participants include Cal quarterback Jared Goff and USC linebacker Su'a Cravens, among others.


    Lamar Winston - OLB - Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic - 2016
    One of the top players in Oregon, Winston has picked up offers from Cal, Michigan, UCLA and USC in the last week.

  • Bend (Ore.) Summit tight end Cam McCormick committed to Oregon.
  • Calabasasas (Calif.) defensive back Isaiah Hayes committed to Boise State.
  • Sparks (Nev.) Reed defensive tackle Nick Gregg committed to Nevada.
  • Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman offensive lineman Julio Garcia committed to UNLV.
  • Reno (Nev.) safety Lukas McKenzie committed to Nevada.
  • Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman offensive lineman Jaron Caldwell committed to UNLV.

  • Click for offer updates from the Mountain/Island, Southwest, Southern California and West.

    Southwest Recruiting Analyst Jason Jewell and Mountain Recruiting Analyst Doug Kimmel contributed to this notebook


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