Jun. 26 -- Here's our breakdown of both days of the UCLA Skills Camp...
There wasn't a tremendous amount of talent on the first day of UCLA
's Skills Camp, with many of the top players choosing to attend USC
's Rising Stars Camp. The second day, though, was much better, with many more players coming to UCLA, even if all of them didn't choose to work out.
As usual, though, several players emerged from the camp as legitimate UCLA prospects, and we could see several offers go out in the coming weeks as the coaching staff reviews the film from the camps.
Here's our breakdown of the players we saw over the last two days, and some of the news and notes we gathered about their recruitments.
Davir Hamilton looked pretty good. He ran a 4.53 40, on a poor day to run, and that's pretty fast for a guy his size. UCLA looks to be recruiting him as an athlete, and possibly a Y. He won the wide receiver MVP on the first day of the camp. He didn't get an offer immediately after the camp, but we've heard that an offer could be coming very soon -- if not Thursday night, then within a few days. He told us he wouldn't immediately commit if offered, but it's fair to assume UCLA would definitely be in the driver's seat.
Leni Toailoa, who is the brother of UCLA LB commit, Lokeni Toailoa, looked okay and got a great deal of attention and coaching from Demetrice Martin. He's a legit 6-1, and 190. We know UCLA is interested, but we heard that an offer isn't coming quite yet. It's probably a situation where UCLA would wait until later in the summer, or possibly until games this fall. Toailoa, who is verbally committed to San Jose State, said, if UCLA offered, he wouldn't flip on the spot but it'd be a big offer for him. He sounded pretty confident an offer was coming.
Javelin Guidry, who is the son of the former Bruin (from Leander (Tex.) Cedar Park, looked to be about 5-9 and 180, and had a blazing 4.3-something 40, while looking just okay in the drills. Javelin, his dad, and his brother were all hanging out for a while after the camp.
Braxton Burmeister, the 2017 quarterback committed to Arizona, was also just OK during the event, and it sounds as if he probably won't receive a UCLA offer based on his camp performance.
Keith Taylor, the 2017 cornerback from St. John Bosco, was up and down during drills, looking decent during 7-on-7, but struggling during 1-on-1s. He's a big dude, all of 6'2 and looking like he has the potential to thicken out some, so it'll be interesting to see where he ends up. We'd be intrigued by the idea of him trying out receiver. Having not seen his hands, it's hard to say how good he'd be, but he looked a lot smoother running routes when he was giving other defensive backs a look than when he was backpedaling and having to use a lot of short-area quickness. He didn't make it back on Thursday for the second day of the camp, but he has long listed UCLA as his favorite.
Salvon Ahmed, 2017 Washington cornerback, looked good during the drills, but struggled a bit more during 1-on-1s and 7-on-7. He's pretty well built already for a 2017 prospect. From what we gather, he could be in line for an offer fairly soon. Most of the Pac-12 is jumping on board, with recent offers coming in from Oregon, Stanford, Utah, Washington, and Washington State, and on Thursday, he pulled one in from USC.
Ahmed with Coach Demetrice Martin.
Rahyme Johnson, the 2017 athlete from LA Cathedral, was at Thursday's camp but just ended up watching. The feeling is that UCLA really likes Johnson, and he could get an offer soon, perhaps by the end of the week at UCLA's 7-on-7 camp Saturday, with the Bruins recruiting him as a linebacker. Johnson indicated that UCLA is his #1 school. He looks good physically, at 6-4 and long.
Jordan Chin, the 2016 WR from Chaminade, was a player we thought really stood out at the The Opening LA Regional. He did really well today at UCLA, and stood out again, running good routes and showing very good hands. He also ran a good 40, but we didn't hear an exact time. We'd anticipate he's someone UCLA could watch closely in fall and perhaps offer after a few games.
Darnay Holmes, the 2017 DB from Newbury Park, shined at basically every position on Thursday. He started out working with the corners and looked completely fluid and natural. Then, when Mique Juarez threw on a jersey and came in for a couple of reps during 1-on-1s at linebacker, Holmes decided to flip to running back to go against him, where he looked a little too quick for Juarez. Holmes opened some eyes playing slot receiver and looks like he could make an impact on offense if he decided to go that way in college. In any case, he's a big-time athlete on either side of the ball. He also ran what we heard was a 4.4 40 yard dash, and it looked like a legitimate time from eyeballing it. UCLA is doing well with Holmes, but Stanford is also in the mix.
Jon Randall Belton, a 2016 quarterback from West Monroe (La.), looked like a legitimate prospect from what we saw on Thursday. He's all of 6'3 and well built, with a sturdy base. He threw the ball well with good velocity and had a pretty good throwing motion. We heard he was hurt for much of his junior year which stunted his recruitment a little bit. From talking to him, he sounds as if he wouldn't be turned off by the idea of going to a school that already has a quarterback (or two) committed, saying he likes competition. UCLA is probably not going to offer quite yet, but an offer could come down after a couple of games this fall.
Chaz Ah You, the Utah 2017 safety, looked very good, showing good agility to go along with a very good body. Soon after the camp, he earned an offer from UCLA and that probably puts the Bruins as his current leader. He probably won't make an early decision, though.
Brandon McKinney, another 2017 safety, this one from Orange Lutheran, also had a very good day and you can expect UCLA to be on him pretty seriously now. We heard that he was very coachable during the camp, which is a big plus in the eyes of the coaching staff.
Tua Tagovailoa, the 2017 Hawaii QB, was very impressive, wowing everyone, and clearly the UCLA coaches. It wouldn't be a stretch to say he elevated himself to being one of UCLA's top targets for the 2017 class. It was funny -- he clearly didn't intend to camp, but after an hour or two of watching, his dad was persuaded to sign him up for the camp and then Tagovailoa was by far the most impressive quarterback during the 7-on-7 period in the last hour. USC is probably the leader here, but he said that UCLA is right there with the Trojans when we spoke to him afterward.
Dymond Lee, the 2016 UCLA commitment, played mostly quarterback, and some receiver, and looked okay. He ran just a decent 40, but he is a good overall athlete, with excellent ball skills. We watched him throw a little, and he was okay, but there's a lack of consistency in his mechanics and footwork that he would really need to iron out if he intends to stay at quarterback.
Mique Juarez, the highly coveted 2016 LB committed to USC, only originally intended to watch, but the coaches convinced him to take some reps, and he looked exceptional. A huge contingent of UCLA people -- Jim Mora, Myles Jack, etc. -- surrounded him at one point to talk to him. He didn't want to do interviews after the camp, but the impression we get is that recent talk that he might be cooling on UCLA is probably overblown.
Jordan Iosefa, the 2016 Hawaii LB commited to USC, was in attendance, and received a UCLA offer. He didn't originally intend to work out but then did. He's a big guy, but moves well, and at a couple of different points, it was difficult to distinguish him from Juarez (okay, it was hot, and we might have been hallucinating).
Eugene Ford, a 2016 WR from LA University, looked good He got some extra attention from UCLA WR coach Eric Yarber. He was impressive both days at the camp, and could be another one UCLA evaluates heading into the fall.
Santino Marchiol, the 2017 LB from Colorado, who is one of the best at his position for his class in the west, was in attendance, but didn't work out. UCLA offered him a couple of weeks ago, and it looked like he was really enjoying himself, spending time with Myles Jack.
Isaiah Pryor, a 2017 safety from Georgia, was there, and spent a great deal of time with the coaches.
Marcus McElroy, the 2017 running back, looked well-built physically and was one of the standouts in a not-so-great running back group. He's one that UCLA will continue to monitor.
Alex Akingbulu was at UCLA on an unofficial visit, and spent a good long while with Adrian Klemm. He looks about the same physically, maybe up to 235 or 240 now. We had heard he might be back for the Big Man Camp on Friday, but it doesn't sound like that will happen. Perhaps he'll show, though.
In a really interesting note, or maybe not so interesting, Theo Howard attended the camp, ostensibly to watch a cousin of his. He told reporters that he was simply there to watch his cousin, but he also spent a good amount of time talking with some of the coaches, including Coach Mora. Howard has been adamant for months that he's 100% committed to Oregon, so we'll see.