Notes And Evaluations from Passing Down

Apr. 26 -- There were a few UCLA commits and prospects in attendance on Sunday at the Passing Down Best of the West 7-on-7...

Here are our news and notes from the Passing Down Best of the West 7-on-7 Tournament earlier today:

2016 LB Lokeni Toailoa -- As we've said many times, 7-on-7 is not the ideal environment for a linebacker like Toailoa, who's more of a run-stopping linebacker than someone who excels in pass coverage. Even still, he moves better than you'd think looking at him. He looks like he's in better shape than he was at the beginning of 7-on-7 season, but he's still a big guy, and it's interesting to project where his body goes from here, since he's gotten considerably bigger over the last year. From what we've heard, he's still solid to UCLA, though other schools, including USC, are obviously trying to flip him.

Krys Barnes
2016 LB Krys Barnes -- Barnes, who also plays linebacker for Ground Zero, is a different type of player than Toailoa, and actually showed up well in coverage. He lined up in man coverage against a couple of slot receivers and running backs and didn't look out of place at all. He's not super quick, but he turns and runs well and can keep up with smaller, quicker guys in short bursts. He had a couple of nice pass breakups during the two games we saw.

2016 WR Damian Alloway -- Alloway is really hard to cover in a 7-on-7 environment, with great short area quickness that can flummox defensive backs. He needs to continue to work on his route-running, though, as oftentimes, when he doesn't get initially open off the snap, he has trouble creating separation downfield. Alloway told us that he enjoyed his recent California visit, and will take another trip to UCLA soon. After the next visit to Westwood, which he said could happen any time (basically whenever he doesn't have a tournament of some sort), he'll probably be ready to make his decision. From what we've heard, it sounds very much as if UCLA is in the driver's seat.

2017 DB Thomas Graham -- Matched up against fellow 2017 prospect (and absolute freak) Najee Harris, Graham actually acquitted himself nicely, bodying up Harris at the line of scrimmage and maintaining close contact with him downfield. He has real potential as a press corner, and Harris had a really hard time shaking him. Graham told us that he enjoyed his trip to UCLA, but this is a situation where USC could be tough to beat. He grew up a fan, and his sister is going to be attending USC in the fall on a track scholarship. Still, the Bruins are trying, and he seems to legitimately like UCLA and Demetrice Martin, so we'll see.

2016 DB Lamar Jackson -- (Pictured Above) You'd be forgiven for thinking that Jackson was Tahaan Goodman if you just glanced in his direction. At all of 6'2 or 6'3 with a well-developed, well-built body, Jackson is a first-guy-off-the-bus type, but his play definitely backs up the physical impression he gives. He played both corner and safety today, and while he might project best as a safety long-term since he is such a big dude, he moves really well for his size, and actually was pretty impressive at cornerback. He played on offense too, and looked smooth there, though he didn't get any balls thrown his way. He told us that he really enjoyed his trips to both USC and UCLA, and it sounds like those are the two schools recruiting him hardest.

2017 RB Najee Harris -- As we mentioned above, Harris is a freak for a 2017 prospect. Already huge, at probably a legitimate 6'2 or so and filled out, he played outside and slot receiver for his team, as well as middle linebacker, and looked pretty freaky wherever he lined up. He had at least three one-handed catches that we saw, and has a real knack for locating the ball in the air and adjusting his body and his route to come down under it. He accelerates well, has good quickness, and his size and jumping ability are both elite. Coupling all of that with his very good hands, and we completely understand why he's such an elite prospect. Scout will have an interview with him up shortly.

Jordan Parker
2016 DB Jordan Parker -- He's about 5-11 and not thin, with some thickness. When you first see him physically you might question whether he has the quickness to play corner, but as soon as you watch him move the question is answered. He has very good agility, especially his ability to close on the ball. There were a couple of times today when, in a zone, he looked like he was just too far away to break on a ball successfully, but he got there with ease. He doesn't have great top-end speed, but he's very good at staying with his man and being physical. He's definitely an elite cover corner prospect. He's a trashtalker, too, and actually got into it with his future Bruin teammates, Barnes and Toailoa, in the tournament's semi-final.

2016 DB Shurod Thompson -- Thompson, the Cal commit, is more of a throwback kind of safety than the type we now see predominantly in the Pac-12 -- more of a strong safety than a free. He's big and looks significantly bigger than when we saw him last year, to the point he could end up a linebacker in college. In a 7on7 environment, the safety doesn't get that much work, but there were a few times he used his physicality to break up balls in the air, and showed that he still moves well despite having gotten bigger.

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