Big moves out West in updated Scout 300

Jun. 11 -- There was some big movement out West in the new Scout 100 with three players elevating their stock to 5-star status. In addition, two other players made big jumps inside the 100 and four players jumped in to the Scout 300.

There was no movement at the top of the board as our top two players, linebacker Caleb Kelly and quarterback Jacob Eason remained 1 and 2 in our region.

Kelly has been knocked a bit this spring by some and we’re not sure why. The two positions that you have to devalue in a 7v7 or shirt and short environment are linebacker and running back. When judging a linebacker, the biggest questions should be does he like to hit and is he physical. Kelly checks off both boxes.

Being an athlete and showing you can cover and play in space is obviously important but t-shirt All-Americans don’t do much at the next level. When you throw in the film and watch Kelly in pads, he’s a difference maker. He can rush the passer, play the run, is strong in coverage and can deliver a blow. He’s a smart, instinctive kid who reads and reacts very well, has a great work ethic off the field and is a high character kid as well.

The Georgia commit is one of those quarterbacks that just oozes upside. He has a Drew Bledsoe like frame and NFL arm strength right now. He’s smart with the football and doesn’t try and throw every ball 100 MPH but understands when to take something off and throws with great touch and accuracy.

He’s also a much better athlete than you would think looking at his 6-5 frame. He’s very comfortable rolling out to his right or left, is already very strong mechanically and has the football IQ to be able to step in and compete for playing time early in his college career.

As mentioned at the top, three new players out West earned 5-star status and we feel very comfortable all three will finish that way all the way to Signing Day.

It seems like just about every year, Gardena (Calif.) Serra has a 5-star prospect and this year is no exception. Defensive end Oluwole Betiku made a big jump up the board and by the end of the summer, could end up the top overall prospect in the state.

Betiku, now the No. 14 overall player nationally, played his first year of football ever this past season and by the end of the year, was a dominant force off the edge. He has a college body right now, a high level motor and improving speed and quickness. He has battled a wrist injury all spring but still made The Opening and will be a lot of fun watch in Beaverton.

Right behind Betiku is North Torrance (Calif.) linebacker Mique Juarez, No. 17 overall. The USC commit has steadily risen up our board all spring after his LB MVP performance at The Opening regional camp in SoCal back in March.

He has great film as well and his size, athleticism and toughness reminds us of a cross between Myles Jack (UCLA) and Sua Cravens (USC), not a bad couple of players to compare to. He does everything well on the football, is highly competitive, an elite athlete and could play inside or outside at the next level.

Also moving up to 5-star status is Long Beach Poly (Calif.) athlete Jack Jones. Jones is another player who has steadily risen up our board all spring and if we had to give an overall MVP for most impressive spring performance, it would be Jones. He was just outside the Scout 100 back in February but then made a big move following his DB MVP performance at the same Opening Regional camp Juarez attended.

He’s the top cover corner out west but we still love him at receiver and he would rank among the top five receivers in the region as well. He’s currently rated the No. 1 ATH in the country and the No. 18 overall player nationally.

One player who could earn 5-star status with a strong showing at The Opening finals is Westlake (Calif.) receiver Theo Howard. We’ve said for the past year that no receiver has more upside out West than Howard but just wanted to see him this spring to put our eyes on him.

An ankle injury sidelined him all winter and spring but at The Opening regional camp in Oakland last month, he put on a show. The Oregon commit clocked the days fastest 40 time at 4.38, showed that same explosiveness in the drills and is a natural pass catcher as well as a smooth route runner. He made a big jump up our board moving from No. 97 all the way to No. 44 nationally.

No one made a bigger jump in the Scout 300 than Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola athlete David Long. Long jumped from No. 225 nationally all the way up to the No. 54 player in the country. Long earned his ranking the old fashioned way, dominating at every event we saw him at and doing it at a position we didn’t expect to see him at.

We always thought of Long as more of a receiver but he proved to be one of the nation’s top cover corners. He has a solid 6-0 frame, is technically sound, explosive in his breaks and flashes the elite speed to run with anyone.

Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O’Dowd linebacker Camilo Eifler also made a nice jump and just missed cracking the Scout 100. Formerly at No. 158, Eifler moved up to No. 108 and shows tremendous upside as a prototype outside ‘backer. Eifler has been in the Scout 300 ever since we saw him at the Oakland Nike Camp a year ago. He’s a hyper athletic player with a great motor, plays a physical game and loves to hit. He earned LB MVP honors at the recent Opening Regional in Oakland last month and will be one to watch at The Opening finals next month.

La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat athlete Trevon Sidney was in our initial Scout 100 for the 2016 class last summer but dropped out after having just an ok junior season. Sidney has been tremendous this spring, once again showing he’s an elite receiver with great hands and body control and plays much faster than his 40 times. He moved up to the No. 116 player nationally from No. 161 and his arrow is definitely pointing up.

Four new players moved in to the Scout 300 headlined by Elk Grove (Calif.) Franklin defensive back Lamar Jackson.

Jackson moved from just outside the Scout 300 to the No. 161 player overall, as well as the No. 1 safety in the west. He’s a big, rangy safety who runs well and has good ball skills. If he continues to fill out, he could make a move to outside linebacker at the next level but for now, we feel he moves well enough and covers enough ground to stay as a safety.

Another huge jump was made by Abbotsford Senior Secondary (BC) athlete Chase Claypool. Claypool moved from someone who was not on many radars last winter to one of the hottest recruits out West and is now the No. 280 player nationally. We also moved Claypool from receiver to tight end. He currently plays as a big receiver but at 6-5, 215 pounds with a frame to add even more size, we think he grows in to a pass catching hybrid type tight end in the Jimmy Graham mold.

Also jumping in to the Scout 300 were Troy Warner (No. 285) and Melquise Stovall (No. 288). Both players were already 4-star prospects but can now add the Scout 300 moniker to their name.

Warner, an Oregon commit, was one of our favorite defensive backs all spring. He projects as a safety but played exclusively at corner and showed a ton of potential. He has a long frame with long arms and has the athleticism to play corner in some systems but probably projects best as a ballhawking free safety where his range and instincts could really elevate a secondary.

Stovall, a USC commit, is one of the most explosive players in the region and a threat to score from anywhere on the field. He can play running back or slot receiver and will be a major threat on punt and kick returns. Stovall shows great quickness, hits top speed after just a few strides and is shifty in the open field. His game breaking ability should make him a big fan favorite at the college level.

Scout 300 for 2016

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