I attended the game Friday between La Puente Bishop Amat and Westlake Village Oaks Christan, and it was a very entertaining, high scoring game. Here's a breakdown of some of the UCLA prospects in the game:
Michael Pittman- WR, Oaks Christian. Obviously the star of the night and his improvement from last spring has been nothing short of amazing. This was the third time I've seen him live this year and have seen a ton of his film from other games, he just keeps getting better. His size, strength and body control give him such a huge edge at the HS level and he looks much faster than he did last summer as well. What has really made a difference for him is his ability to catch the ball but more importantly, his ability to adjust to the ball.
During the spring/summer 7v7 circuit, he really struggled catching the ball and usually had more drops than catches. Not only that, he didn't even know how to place his hands and his catch radius for a 6-4 WR was about as small as you'll ever see. Anytime he had to adjust his body to a ball thrown a little behind him or over his head, he had no chance to catch it. That was a big reason we pushed him as a defensive recruit. His improvement in this area has been night and day. Keyshawn Johnson, who was his 7v7 coach and worked him with every weekend during the summer flat out said to me, 'he has no chance to play WR in college, his balls skills are awful.' He's still not a natural pass catcher and dropped about 3-4 balls that he should have caught but his upside is tremendous. His toughness is what I love most about him, he plays WR with a defensive mentality and brings such a strong physical presence to the position.
Chris Gaston- DB, Bishop Amat, UCLA COMMIT. Gaston had the unfortunate task of trying to cover Pittman. He actually did well early on and made a couple of really nice plays on the ball in the 1st half. He then proceeded to get torched, giving up a couple of big plays for TDs. He has size and toughness but ball awareness was really lacking. He gambled a few times, lost track of where the ball was, got away with a few PI penalties and looked a little overmatched. He looks like a redshirt candidate for sure and needs to get faster, add some flexibility and just get more comfortable playing the position. Remember he missed his entire junior season with an injury and that has hurt his development.
Matt Corral- 2018 QB, Oaks Christian. Matt made some poor decisions but for a sophomore, I really liked him a lot. He got hit a ton, sometimes on a 3 step drop but never flinched, never yelled at his lineman and never shied away from contact, a stark contrast to what I saw from Malik Henry last year against Mater Dei. He has a live arm and throws the deep ball with incredible touch and accuracy. He's mobile but doesn't just run around aimlessly, his eyes are always down the field. He forced a couple of throws I know he would want back, had one very costly INT in the end zone when Oaks was making a strong comeback but if he continues to develop at the rate he currently he is, he has a chance to be special down the line. Corral is among the top targets for UCLA at QB for 2018.
Colby Parkinson- 2017 TE, Oaks Christian. The junior TE was pretty quiet this game and only had 3-4 catches that I saw. He was open in the end zone on the pick Corral threw but for the most part, the focus of the offense was Pittman. He still shows a lot of upside in terms of his size, hands and ability to run and get open. He has a wide catch radius and can take a hit and hang on to the ball. Amat was physical with him at the line and jammed him up a little but he was still able to break open. He needs to fill out and get stronger but he has the frame to do so and is a good looking prospect.
Those are all the players with a UCLA offer. One player worth mentioning that surprising doesn't have an offer from anyone is Amat RB Torreanho Sweet. Next to Pittman, he was the most impressive player in this game and has had a huge senior season. He rushed for 370 yards and 3 TDs and is someone that I would definitely give a hard look to as a preferred walk on. At 5-10, 200 pounds, he's a tough, physical runner, catches the ball well out of the backfield and really finishes his runs. He has good not great speed and isn't going to run away from anyone in college but if you could get him to walk on, it would be a nice addition to the RB corp.